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We previously discussed the importance of pretend play in early childhood development on this segment; but today, we will be focusing on a specific subset of it: dollhouse play.

While dollhouses have many pretend play benefits that range from language to social interaction to communication and more, there is one single attribute about it that other pretend play toys cannot replicate: the re-enacting of daily household scenarios under one roof. Children can sequence the day’s events by acting out typical routines from morning to evening; or reorganize their living space in order to accommodate more people (grandparents/new baby/or even a new pet!).

We previously discussed the importance of pretend play in early childhood development on this segment; but today, we will be focusing on a specific subset of it: dollhouse play.

While dollhouses have many pretend play benefits that range from language to social interaction to communication and more, there is one single attribute about it that other pretend play toys cannot replicate: the re-enacting of daily household scenarios under one roof. Children can sequence the day’s events by acting out typical routines from morning to evening; or reorganize their living space in order to accommodate more people (grandparents/new baby/or even a new pet!).

Dollhouses also give us a fantastic platform to create various ‘What If?’ situations that require lateral thinking and problem-solving skills. For instance, everyone in the family is now home and all want to watch different programmes on the television. Can they pick out another activity which will allow the family to bond together as a unit instead?

The next time you sit down with your child for some dollhouse play, try extending its play value with the following activity suggestions:

  • Ask children to sequence events in a day by acting out typical chores and activities from morning to evening. This is a great way of teaching routine and order, which helps in providing a sense of security and developing self-discipline.
  • Challenge problem solving skills with interesting (and very plausible) real-life scenarios: a new baby is on the way; grandma is coming for a long stay; a new pet is about to arrive – how can the dollhouse be effectively reorganized to accomodate more family members?
  • Similarly, throw out all kinds of potential family situations that require them to solve problems by developing an awareness for self and others, hence working on their compassion and ability to empathize. Both brother and sister want to play with the same toy – who gets to go first? Mommy needs to do the laundry but clothes are waiting to be ironed and the floor needs mopping – can anyone help her? PLANTOYS and DJECO’s dollhouse range keep an impressively detailed array of accessories add-ons, allowing us to engage in a degree of play that is highly meticulous and innovative in nature.
  • Dollhouse play is a bonanza for language development – from vocabulary expansion to verbal communicative skills. Encourage sequential storytelling that contains a beginning, middle, and an end – this not only helps improve speech and grammar, it also pushes the need for logical reasoning, as well as creative and imaginative thinking.
  • Explore basic math concepts with simple scenarios: the table is set for four but daddy has invited three friends to join us for dinner – how many tables and chairs do we now need? There are three carrots in the vegetable garden and mommy requested for one – how many carrots are left? (The Vegetable Garden set is available under Plan Toys’ range of accessories add-ons!)
  • It’s time to get crafty! Search around the house (your real one!) and use various items  to refurbish the interiors. Cotton balls make great bed pillows; wrapping or scrapbook paper make great wall decor – mommies can even help sew tiny doll clothes for the dollpeople if she likes!

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