Arklu, the makers of Lottie Dolls, reached out to me to write a blog post in exchange for a doll of our choice. We chose the Kid Activist Doll. All links to Lottie Dolls in this post are affiliate links.
We know that play is vitally important in childhood. It’s how children learn best and make sense of the world around them.
Yet, in the UK, once children move from the Foundation Stage into Key Stage One there is less and less time for play. It’s slowly removed from the timetable in favour of more academic work. The only chance children get for free play is their playtime outside each day. I taught in Year Two, which as UK parents will know is when children do their first SATs tests; there is absolutely no time for imaginative play indoors as every moment of the year is gearing up to these tests.
A huge undeniable benefit of home education is that children can continue to play for as long as they wish to. Imaginative play is something my daughters engage in together every single day. They’re 9 and 7 now, and at school they wouldn’t be able to do this. For my eldest, it would be discouraged as being babyish too which I find terribly sad.
We Love Our Lottie Dolls!
We first discovered Lottie Dolls back when E was only 5, so 4 years ago. Since then we’ve amassed quite the collection of dolls, accessories and outfits. They’ve even got a tree house and I’ve made them a few outfits myself too. Back when we started to buy them, Lottie was the only option. Now there are a whole host of diverse dolls which I absolutely love.
What first struck me about these dolls is that they look like children. With real human proportions. They’re inspirational too. Four years ago I wrote a couple of blog posts for Arklu about how our Kawaii Karate Lottie (sadly discontinued) had helped our eldest with having the confidence to go to her first karate lesson.
All of these dolls are doing things that my daughters actually want to do. Like digging for fossils, dressing as superheroes, pretending to be astronauts (although Lottie really did go to space!), jumping in muddy puddles, stargazing and playing guitar.
(But Aren’t They Made Of Plastic?)
Yes, Lottie Dolls are made of plastic and I know that a lot of parents are trying to stay away from plastic as much as possible. I get it, we’re the same too. But actually, I’m willing to make an exception for Lottie and her friends because being plastic is what makes them so durable and able to stand up to the adventures we take them on!
Our Lottie Dolls have been on so many days out with us, even on holiday, and they’re still looking great. They’ve been to the zoo, on the beach, been chucked into paddling pools, taken up trees, dropped in muddy puddles… A few of them have even withstood a much smaller P having a munch on their legs. She was terrible for chewing everything when she was 3!
Play Invitations with Lottie Dolls
I love to set up play invitations for girls, particularly on days when we don’t have much planned. If they play with stuff, great, but if they don’t want to that’s fine too. Lottie Dolls and accessories really lend themselves well to setting up this kind of thing. The girls often have hours of fun playing together and using their imaginations to act out all sorts of things!
We’re officially Not Back To School on Monday and P has chosen a dinosaur topic for us to start with. So our fossil hunter Lottie is going to be the star of some small world play invitations, along with some of our dinosaurs. I think they’re going to love it! I’ll share some photos next week over on Instagram.