The Benefits of Doll Play
At Lottie Dolls, We believe that sparking imaginations is one of the greatest gifts we can offer young minds. Nobody knows what the future holds. But with skills like curiosity, creativity and resilience, that’s an exciting thought not a scary one. In the world of Lottie, Finn and friends, curiosity-led discoveries are a daily occurrence, the imagination can run free and the only limit is bedtime. The possibilities for fun are endless with imaginative play.
“65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”
That’s according to the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum. Skills like creativity, flexibility and the ability to innovate will become more important than ever as today’s children develop into the adults of the future.
Einstein was on to something when he said,
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Children need to be given the space – and the stimuli – to learn how to play imaginatively. Gimmicky toys that are essentially one-trick-ponies may have an obvious and immediate appeal but toys that spark imaginative play are likely to have longer-term benefits and ultimately be more fun, too.
“I love to watch my own daughters at play,” says our Creative Director, Isla McGuckin. “When they play with relatively simple toys, their games conjure up hugely-intricate scenarios with adventures to be had and challenges to be overcome. It’s magical!”
When we’re designing new toys, we try not to be overly-prescriptive about the rules of play. We want to make toys that spark imaginations, that let children themselves set the rules, inspiring kids to enjoy hours of creative play. A seam of playfulness and fun runs through everything we do.
When we made Lottie’s first dollhuse, for example, we created a tree-house with a swing, a slide and a secret trap-door. It can become whatever children want it to become – a laboratory, a den, an observatory...Through the power of their imagination, children can create their own STEM toys with Lottie Dolls. And it seems that we might be on to something.
Psychologist Oliver James, author of the parenting book Love Bombing, says that toys that pre-determine play limit the possibilities for children.
"Young children discover their identity through fantasy play. If their toys offer a limited repertoire, this process is eroded."
There are such strong links between imaginative play and cognitive ability. Empowered kids make sense of the world through imagining scenarios and problem-solving. How reassuring it is to know that, with a bit of imagination, you’ll be able to handle whatever challenges life throws at you. Precious moments spent in exploration and invention, in childhood, will lay the foundations for incredible achievements in adulthood.
Lottie Dolls: A potted history
Our very first doll was created following 18 months of research. We spoke to retailers, industry experts, child psychologists, nutrition experts, parents and – most importantly – to kids. Our dolls look like kids. They are dressed comfortably in clothes that are made from colourful and tactile fabrics. They have play-sets that encourage outdoor play, from fishing to body-boarding to fossil-hunting. And their bodies are based on the proportions of a 9-year-old child. (Their heads are a bit bigger though because – when it comes to types of play - who doesn’t love the opportunity for a spot of doll dress up and hair-play?)
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