Rag dolls have a wonderful history over centuries of family life and child-rearing. Mothers in the 17th and 18th centuries would save cloth from sewing projects to make into dolls for their children, earning the doll's name. Each doll's body would be stuffed with rags, while the clothing would be made of cloth scraps. Rag doll faces would be stitched into simple happy smiles by the mother or even painted on by the children themselves.
Today, we rarely make rag dolls by hand, but rag dolls still serve an important role in early childhood development.
Rag dolls play an important role from a very early age. A baby's first soft toys become essential to their comfort and sense of safety. When a baby sleeps with a rag doll, it acquires a familiar scent, just like their blanket. The doll can be used to provide familiar comfort when traveling and make a new crib feel like home. Babies are comforted by the presence of a beloved rag doll. When your child is old enough to sleep on their side or stomach, a rag doll becomes a snuggle buddy, and less bulky than a typical stuffed animal.
Rag dolls can be made to be safe for infants and young toddlers by minimising the small or detachable pieces. Rag dolls without hair and with stitched instead of button features are safe to snuggle in the crib.
One of the wonderful things about rag dolls is their simplicity. Young children need simple toys that inspire open-ended play. Young children are learning how to think, imagine, and explore. Their toys can become anything or anyone - provided they are not too specific. This is why young toddlers love toys like blocks and soft dolls that can become anything they want.
Rag dolls typically have simple features, often without even requiring a gender for the doll. This leaves everything to your child's imagination. Rag dolls provide a companion and a prop for many adventures, from their first game of House to riding on the back of their trike as your toddler grows up.
Dolls are an important part of play for both boys and girls. A doll is a pretend person who can play the baby in a game of House, the patient in a game of Doctors Office, or the damsel in a game of Super Heroes. A doll can live in your child's block castle, ride their largest stuffed animal, or become their closest friend to tell their secrets to. Rag dolls, with their friendly yet simple design, let your child write them into every role-play adventure.
Finally, rag dolls can make bedtime easier for children from babies to elementary school. A comforting soft toy helps to ward away nighttime worries, provide something soft to snuggle, and that familiar smell that means "my bed" for small children. A rag doll can stay with your child for years as a favourite bedtime toy, even after they stop being a part of daytime playtime.
Are you looking for the perfect set of toys for your baby, toddler, or preschooler? A rag doll can provide comfort, imagination, and companionship for a young child by letting them write everything except the snuggly softness of the doll itself. You can find a wonderful collection of handmade, organic, and baby-safe rag dolls at Kidzinc. Explore our selection to find the perfect rag doll for your toddler or a young child in your life. Not sure which doll is the right choice? Contact us for pointers from our natural toy enthusiasts.