Here’s a few good reasons to consider if you were undecided, about whether you want to introduce a cuddly brown friend to your little one:
BUILD CONFIDENCE & A COMFORT
For those of us with shy toddlers, a loved soft toy taken with on trips to the dentist or somewhere new will make them feel less alone and therefore more confident and let their guard down. Just having it nearby or at hand initially is enough.
PRACTICE SOCIAL SKILLS
They get to act out social interactions and behaviors they’ve seen with their soft toys which help to strengthen them and build confidence in doing so in person.
What’s that saying practice makes perfect? It couldn’t be more true when it comes to using language to express themselves and try new words. They get to put together sentences and have full on pretend chats with their silent friends – which can only benefit their use and understanding of language.
SPARK THEIR IMAGINATION
Pretend wiping of tears and booboos, pretend bath time, pretend play on the scooter, pretend parent child play- a great imagination is limitless! Need I say more?
Even an upsetting day can teach your child a lot when they use their doll as an outlet for emotions, they can try telling them about their day and what went on, or expressing anger and learning to later apologize or explain them.
I’ve personally seen how my own toddler becomes me (mom) when speaking to her dolls as she congratulates them, “cooks” them something delicious and coaxing the doll to eat or talks sense to them about needing to put on their clothes or go to bed. It gives a child a sense of responsibility and is practice for later responsibilities such as pets, relationships and maybe their own children eventually.
This one is for YOU mom/ dad. Get onto their level and treat these loved little dolls like the wing men they are capable of being. Talk to them or about them to your child to demonstrate good behavior versus bad, or even complicated situations. You can show them that teddy is eating their food and so should they, or show them Thandi is sleeping in her own bed and so should they. We know how possessive (and competitive) kids can be so they will rarely want to be outdone by their silent friends.
KEEPSAKES & COLLECTABLES
Even if your child outgrows them quickly or never really is into them, they serve as great collectables and keepsakes, a reminder of our childhoods. My personal opinion is you can never have too much of a good imagination.