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5 Reasons Your Boy Should Play with Dolls

One mama tells us why dolls are a must in her son’s play.

5 Reasons Your Boy Should Play with Dolls

*We collaborated with eeboo to celebrate their new Hue Do You Love Plush Animal Series and to show how breaking traditional gender molds can start with something as simple as playtime.

I had the best intentions to raise an open-minded, caring individual when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I read all of the books, heard all of the stories and witnessed examples of childhood behavior that I stored away in my brain for some time, waiting for the right moments to use this knowledge. But when my son came home from Pre-K one day telling me that a classmate said that he couldn’t like a certain toy because it was for girls, it confirmed that I was kidding myself in ever thinking I could prepare myself for motherhood.

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And I realized that this was only the beginning of these gender conversations I foolishly thought we liberal parents were immune to since we were, of course, visibly excited by the request of ponies, or a pink and purple leopard kitty, from my then truck-obsessed kiddo.

I realized then, we’d need to commit ourselves to keeping that gender conversation open. To constantly remind my son, myself and everyone around us who would listen that there is no such thing as boy stuff and girl stuff. That there is no such thing as acting like a boy or a girl because every child is an individual.

Now this isn’t happening overnight. But taking the gender labels off toys -- and especially off dolls -- really helps. I’ve seen the effect playing with dolls has on my son. Doing so has taught him so much, and taught us so much about the endless possibilities when you open your home to genderless play.

Here’s a few reasons we think all boys should play with dolls.

1. Imagination. The beauty of a doll is that you can watch a child’s imagination go where it wants to without limits. Some days that doll will be a baby, others it’s an airplane, or even a ball (being hit by a lightsaber that he is pretending is a bat, of course). Introduce a friend in the mix and the possibilities are endless.

2. Empathy. Playground bullying is real. And while I don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad kid, there is bad behavior. I want to raise a boy that is empathetic and can put himself in someone else’s shoes. A doll can be a great way to roleplay situations, talk about feelings or simply learn how to care for something.

3. Language. When you introduce dolls at a young age, it can be a great way to help your baby learn new words. Act out a scene for your child, teach your baby where certain body parts are, or even let him have a conversation with his doll in a language all his own.

4. Comfort. There’s something so sweet and wonderful about watching your child create an attachment to a doll or lovie. His little sidekick will have the power to help him be brave on that first day of daycare or scare away those monsters under the bed.

5. Breaking Gender Walls. There’s no such thing as boy toys or girl toys. I repeat: there’s no such thing as girl toys or boy toys! Let’s all say this to our boys and girls and watch them flourish to their fullest potentials.

Stock up on eeboo toys for Fall! Use code WRNYPLAY20 for 20% off $25 or more through 8/31!

Lifestyle photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded NY.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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