The Importance of Play

Playing is important for every child's learning and development. By playing, children develop their social, cognitive, emotional, and communicative skills.⁠ We at Rubens Barn believe that children should be children for as long as needed.

Our goal

Has always been to give every child a comforting friend that would last a childhood of play. ⁠Playing for us is about creating and exploring, succeeding and failing, yet above all, it's about having fun!⁠ Each Rubens Barn doll was developed to help increase creativity and empathy as well as to enhance self-awareness through play.

Creativity

Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and new connections between ideas as well as finding ways to solve problems. Without it, it would be hard for us to solve problems in our daily lives. Encouraging children’s creativity at an early age helps to strengthen their problem-solving skills and raise them up to be more independent. Play gives children the opportunity to practice creativity and it is also a valuable way to trigger their imagination. Dolls can be used as teaching tools as they have a playful appearance and a visual power that catches children’s attention. They can be also used for encouraging simulations and role-playing games, which has also been studied by many researchers. Children who play together can also learn from each other by trying new things and observing each other

Empathy

Research confirms that playing with dolls activates regions in the children’s brain that allow them to enhance empathy and develop social understanding, even when playing by themselves. By pretending to put the doll to sleep or feed it as well as taking it along as a friend on adventures means that the child has the desire to share things and moments with others.⁠ While role-playing with dolls, you can also help your child to think more deeply about how the doll feels in different situations. By making your child aware of the feelings of different characters, you can help them to think about other people’s situations and feelings. This in turn can encourage the child to be more compassionate and kind to others.

Emotional intelligence, empathy, and kindness are essential and highly appreciated qualities that can be instilled in children at an early age. Children with well-developed emotional intelligence can also better understand how they feel and identify the causes of emotions as well as understand others’ emotions. Role-playing with dolls is a great way to teach children to identify emotions, helping them to understand why they get these emotions, and then teaching them to regulate their emotions. When playing, you can for example show how to comfort a sad doll or calm down an angry one and explain more about these emotions. As parents, we are also role models for our children. Try to always find the time to talk to your child about their own and others’ feelings and don’t forget to be a good listener too!

Self-awareness

Research confirms that playing with dolls activates regions in the children’s brain that allow them to enhance empathy and develop social understanding, even when playing by themselves. By pretending to put the doll to sleep or feed it as well as taking it along as a friend on adventures means that the child has the desire to share things and moments with others.⁠ While role-playing with dolls, you can also help your child to think more deeply about how the doll feels in different situations. By making your child aware of the feelings of different characters, you can help them to think about other people’s situations and feelings. This in turn can encourage the child to be more compassionate and kind to others.

Emotional intelligence, empathy, and kindness are essential and highly appreciated qualities that can be instilled in children at an early age.

Children with well-developed emotional intelligence can also better understand how they feel and identify the causes of emotions as well as understand others’ emotions. Role-playing with dolls is a great way to teach children to identify emotions, helping them to understand why they get these emotions, and then teaching them to regulate their emotions. When playing, you can for example show how to comfort a sad doll or calm down an angry one and explain more about these emotions. As parents, we are also role models for our children. Try to always find the time to talk to your child about their own and others’ feelings and don’t forget to be a good listener too!