Delight little ones with their very first friend, with a doll that they can not only play with but learn from too. Dolls may seem like a simple buy but the truth is they can be a complex item that requires more thought than some may realise when picking out one ideal for a child.
As with any toy, safety is key. Shoppers should avoid buying dolls that have pieces that can be removed, causing choking hazards. Some dolls come with removable dresses and other props, so buyers should be mindful of the age of the child they are purchasing for.
It would be wise to buy a doll that does not require excessive cleaning to avoid the child playing with an item that risks getting dirty. Shoppers should also keep in mind the interests of the little one they’re buying for. Some dolls are replicas of babies, and as such require extra attention and cry when they want to be fed, changed or picked up for cuddles. Other smaller dolls allow little ones to do their make-up or style their hair, and these are aimed at children above the age of four typically.
Buyers should consider the child’s learning style and cognitive development, which is enhanced through playtime and dolls. Dolls that allow children to dress them inspire their artistic and creative flair while dolls that resemble babies aim to naturally bring out their problem-solving and practical thinking mechanisms.
Finally, price means a baby-like doll that has a crying function and more ‘needs’ than a smaller figurine doll could end up costing more. This, however, depends on the brand.
Adora Toddler Happy Birthday Baby 20"
A realistic first friend to play with
This incredibly life-like doll could be a cute little sister or best pal for little ones over the age of six. The doll comes with an adorable pink and white dress with a cupcake and candle on, giving it the name ‘Happy Birthday Baby’ by its manufacturer. The product is meticulously crafted meaning it could easily be mistaken for a real child with its silky hair, manicured fingernails, beautifully crafted eyelashes and hand-painted details. Measuring 20 inches from head to toe and scented with talcum powder to give her that new baby smell.
Cabbage Patch Kids 9" Tallulah Tiger Zoo Cutie
A colourful soft toy and doll combo
Little ones can have the most fun ever with their very own Cabbage Patch Kids Tallulah Tiger, just one in a set of friends they can collect. The toy is half doll with its plastic head and soft tiger fur that will make Tallulah super cuddly. The doll measures nine inches and showcases the traditional Cabbage Patch look while also possessing a thumb-sucking future to help make her relatable to children. Batteries are not required for this colourful orange and purple character with silky soft ears and a smile any little one would no doubt treasure throughout the rest of their childhood.
Kindi Kids Snack Time Friends Pre-School 10 inch Doll - Jessicake
A colourful playmate sweeter than sugar
Adorable Jessicake comes from the world of Kindi Kids where everything is bright, fun and full of surprises. The cute and quirky bright blue doll comes with plastic cupcake and sprinkles accessories, so shoppers be mindful of the age of the child before you buy to avoid any choking hazards. The clothes the doll wears are removable also, and interchangeable, making Jessicake a fun companion for kids above the age of three years old. Measuring 10 inches the doll is a fair size and wobbles her head to make her come to life and eat her cupcake for hours of giggles.
Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid Doll
Bring magic to life with Barbie
Barbie fans can make a splash with the magical mermaid doll that features a rainbow tail that lights up when it takes to water. The doll comes with its very own light show to mesmerise children and keep them entertained for hours. Barbie’s purple gem necklace doubles up as a button to activate her colourful display that works whether the doll is on land or in the water. This colourful water-friendly doll makes the perfect bath time pal for little ones in the tub who can easily fall in love with Barbie’s pink streaked hair and a fixed princess tiara to complete her mermaid look.
Cry Babies Lady The Ladybug Doll
An adorable playmate to warm the coldest of hearts
This ladybug doll cries actual tears like a real baby giving little ones an insight into having a little sister or friend to look after while promoting imaginative play. Sweet cuddles and her dummy will help soothe her tears as well as laying her down, which also encouraging problem solving techniques. The toy comes with a changeable animal print onesie and a dummy that is attached, so no loose parts are at risk of harming the child. The adorable playmate is for children over the age of 18 months and is part of a set for collecting.