It may seem tiny, but to a child a dollhouse is a giant space filled with tremendous possibilities for creative play. There is something special about children having their own house to organize and decorate just the way they want that opens them up for all kinds of learning and most importantly, it helps them to make sense of the world around them.
If you had a dollhouse growing up, perhaps you remember that feeling of outsized pride in making that little house your own. The feeling of being bigger than everything for a change and being able to process things that were happening around you in your own special way with your own ideas for conflict resolution.
These tiny houses are a real work horse in the developmental play area that encourage growth and learning for years to come. When you provide these kind of open-ended toys to your children they in turn become open to talk and explore without the fear of being right or wrong.
Once they begin dollhouse play, children will make up familiar scenes they see around them on a daily basis. Perhaps they will reenact birthday parties, having friends over, doing chores. As they get comfortable with dollhouse play, they may even retell familiar stories they hear at bedtime or make up new and wild adventure stories with their dollhouse friends.
As they move furniture in and out and throughout the various rooms, kids will navigate spatial relationships and learn what fits where and also what makes sense in each room for a particular lay out. When things don’t fit, they will learn to problem solve and determine what will work better.
When kids play with a dollhouse with their siblings or friends, the stories will become more elaborate as they take on more narrators. Sharing the dialogue and crafting stories together will promote social-emotional growth, storytelling skills and the ability to take turns.
Making a dollhouse a home for your child is one of the best parts of this type of play. There are so many fun and creative ways to inspire creativity by adding accessories to a dollhouse like making small rugs, tiny paintings for the walls, and even bringing natural materials in like acorn caps for bowls.
A dollhouse can also reflect the growing interests of your child. Are they developing a love of baking? If so, you can add more accessories to the dollhouse kitchen. Are they developing an interest in gardening? They can create a fabric backyard oasis for their little people. Perhaps they are beginning to do chores and so introducing little brooms and other cleaning supplies will encourage them to have their dollhouse friends help too.
So open those tiny doors and let them play with all the little things including the kitchen sink! Dollhouse play will not only ensure deep play and imagination but will fill your bigger home with even more heart.