girl play

My daughter is 21 months old. She loves everything from blocks to boats, and from cars to castles. Yet, I never really thought about her play pattern as it relates to traditional girl toys and dolls. She has her favorite Lambie and loves to run around with her miniature Doc McStuffins figurine. Yet, most of the toys we have in our home are gender neutral and perhaps a bit boy-leaning. Not a surprise since my son is my first born, so most of the toys in our house have been bought with him in mind (cars, trucks, and trains are the common theme!)

Yet, now that my daughter is getting older, I can see she is starting to take a more active role in her own play, and, as a result, in the things she wants to play with.

My first clue, if you will, is when I took my son over to a preschool friend’s house for a play date. It was a female friend so most of the toys leaned to doll houses and dolls, with a smattering of trains and trucks. They played well together, and little sister tagged along. The older kids payed her no mind as she sat on the floor next to a Calico Critter dollhouse and a Fisher Price Doll house and proceeded to try to get various Barbies in the front door of each. She enjoyed her play so much that she wouldn’t let go of Barbie and her dream house when it was time to go!

So the question is, when is it too early to introduce Barbie (considering, of course, that some are recommended for kids ages 3 and up due to small parts). When did your daughter get her first doll house? And which one did you find had great play value? Because, apparently, with her second birthday just three months away, I may need to start shopping!

About the author

Charlene DeLoach

Charlene DeLoach

Charlene DeLoach is a contributing editor at The Toy Insider where she primarily covers parenting topics. Charlene has been featured in print and on television more than 100 times. Before joining The Toy Insider, Charlene was an attorney, real estate broker, and interior decorator. In her current life, she has vowed to get grownups using toys as decor and to teach parents and toy companies to think outside the toy box at her websites and Follow Charlene on Instagram where you'll see that her account is mostly dedicated to pics of her cute dogs, kids, and fun finds.