Doll It Up

Children of America Dolls help young ones learn and grow

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | 9:53 pm

Should your little boys and girls both play with dolls? Pathologist Katie Yeh and clinical psychologist Laura Hutchison both think playing with dolls is a good idea for both young genders.

Baby dolls offer kids lots of opportunities for developing their cognitive, fine motor, and self-help skills, they said in a recent study.

And while America was built upon the ideal of diversity, American doll makers have fallen short of creating that same diversity in the dolls it offers young girls.

That’s why Children of America Dolls, was born to create dolls that American children of all ethnicities could culturally relate to. The Pasadena-based company founded by educator Mary Eubanks in 2006, has created a line of ethically diverse dolls.

Dolls have existed ever since there were people. The earliest dolls were made from available materials like clay. stone wood, or straw. they are the oldest known toy.

Dolls were made of clay, wood or ivory in Ancient Rome, and have been found in the graves of Roman children.

Traditional dolls are sometimes used as children’s playthings, but they may also have spiritual, magical and ritual value. They have long been used in children’s education and as carriers of cultural heritage.

According to the study, Kids often find it easier to practice life skills on someone (or something) else before they can apply them to themselves. And because boys often develop some of their fine motor and self-dressing skills later than girls, it’s important for them to be exposed to more opportunities for practice.

Dolls also provide the perfect opportunity for practicing grooming and hygiene skills such as brushing hair, brushing teeth, and washing hands, said the report. Children can also use the dolls for basic communication skills as they engage with the doll in daily conversation.

Playing with baby dolls is also a wonderful way for young children to prepare for the birth of a sibling, according to the report. What better way for a young son to prepare for holding his own child one day?

All of this acclimation through dolls becomes easier when the doll looks familiar to a child, when it resembles the child, or the child’s family and friends.

Educator Mary Eubanks founded the company in 2006 with a mission to provide little girls with dolls that were representative of their own race and ethnicity.

“We felt that the dolls should not only celebrate the diversity of America, but they should also be beautiful, durable, and affordable,” said Eubanks.

Children of America’s dolls—Brianna, Mia, Ashley and Andrea— feature a wide range of ethnicities from asian to latino. The new line will be available in September 2014.

“Each doll is designed to teach young ladies that they are uniquely different and very special,” says Eubanks.

Childen of America Dolls are available at www.coadolls.com.

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