A recent study by the UK firm Oxy Insight shows children gain important social and emotional skills through doll play. The results indicate this is true for both cooperative play with others and even while playing alone. This study is somewhat unique in that it actually peeked into portions of the brain of children while playing using fNIRS technology. You can read the white paper by Dr. Sarah Gerson here.
The outcomes can be summarized as:
- Children develop important social and empathy skills through doll play.
- Playing alone with dolls is just as beneficial as playing with others.
- Solo playing with dolls is more beneficial than solo tablet play.
- The benefits of doll play are equal for boys and girls.
During a pandemic and even more important as we continue to live with the pandemic, providing children a social and emotional outlet for rehearsing and experimenting with new situations is a key factor in successful development.