6 Ways Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child’s Development

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How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development

This sponsored post is in partnership with Baby Born Surprise. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Between having two kids in preschool and the developmental therapy that my son Emmett received as a baby and toddler for his epilepsy, I’ve learned a lot about the different things that affect a child’s development. Most of them have little do with academics and more to do with play. One of the things that the development therapist talked a lot about to us was the many ways that playing with dolls can have positive effects on littles ones as they grow. Both my kids love nurturing and playing with their dolls, but my daughter especially enjoys it. This, of course, makes me really happy, because it’s a double win to see her having so much fun with toys that I know are good for her. I know many of your little ones enjoy playing with dolls as well, so I’m very excited to be teaming up with Baby Born Surprise, Essley’s current favorite dolls, to share some of the ways that playing with dolls can be beneficial.

How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development
How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development

1. Playing with dolls helps develop children’s imaginations.
Any kind of dramatic play – which is exactly what kids are doing when they play with dolls – helps develop a child’s imagination. I watch both of my kids come up with elaborate pretend scenes and situations with their dolls, both alone and together, that are not only endearing (and often hilarious), but also incredibly creative.

2. Playing with dolls together (child and parent) helps set up success for future relationships. 
Like most families, we are always busy. Taking the time to play together, especially with a child’s favorite toys (like my daughter’s Baby Born Surprise dolls), creates bonding time together that will ultimately help them in their relationships and social skills as they grow. When I first got these adorable dolls for Essley, we sat together as she unboxed them. (Surprise toys are her absolute favorite!) It was exciting for both of us to unwrap the bundles of surprises together and discover the cutest swaddles (a mermaid, a pink poodle, and a white bunny), the dolls’ eye colors (two blues and a “green like mommy!”) and darling hair colors/styles, and their fun color changing diapers. We then filled out the birth certificates each doll came with and played the games on them, and just spent some quality time together playing. She told me that night before bed that it was the best day of her life, so I’d say our bonding time was a success. We have continued playing with her Baby Born Surprise dolls every day for the last couple of weeks. It’s pretty awesome to know that our time together is also establishing a foundation for her future relationships.

How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development
How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development
How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development

3. Playing with dolls helps children learn empathy and compassion.
I distinctly remember my son’s developmental therapist pointing out what a wonderful step that was to see him picking up a doll and nurturing it by wrapping it in a blanket and pretending to feed it. She said that this type of caring for a doll was a building block for him feeling empathy toward other humans. My daughter is constantly wrapping her Baby Born Surprise in their swaddles and blankets, feeding them water in their bottles, and changing their diapers. (The three water surprises that come with these adorable dolls might be her favorite part – she can use water to open baby’s eyes, feed baby, and after baby “pees,” her diaper changes color to reveal a pattern. So fun!)

4. Playing with dolls teaches children about the world around them.
Play in general is how children discover the world around them and learn skills that they’ll practically use in the future, and role playing with dolls is one of the best ways to do this. My daughter has three Baby Born Surprise dolls, and loves to act out scenarios where they’re sisters going about daily life. She has so much fun doing this, but subconsciously, it is also preparing her for the real world.

How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development
How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development

5. Playing with dolls can help children with fine motor skills.
The act of playing with hands on toys like dolls can help develop and improve a child’s fine motor skills. I watch my daughter use her hands and fingers to carefully swaddle and unswaddle her Baby Born Surprise dolls, feed them with their little bottles, and change their little diapers, and know that in addition to her having fun, she’s working on her fine motor skills without even knowing it!

6. Playing with dolls helps children to learn about emotions and feelings.
I remember my son’s developmental therapist talking about how children often express or work through emotions through their dolls, which is an important way for them to learn about their own feelings and the feelings of others. Both of my kids use their dolls to act out emotions from sadness to joy to grumpiness, which is subconsciously helping them learn to express their own emotions in healthy ways.

How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development
How Playing With Dolls Benefits A Child's Development

I have to say, one of the most interesting and magical parts of being a parent for me is discovering just how much my kids are learning and developing through everyday play. If your little one enjoys playing with dolls like mine do, I highly recommend getting them a Baby Born Surprise. It’s been such a pleasure to see how much my daughter adores playing with hers. And if you know of other ways playing with dolls benefits a child’s development that I might have missed, I’d love to hear about it!

This sponsored post is in partnership with Baby Born Surprise. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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GIVEAWAY! Win a $200 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions Clothing

GIVEAWAY! Win a $  150 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions Eco Clothing

Spring is two days away and we’re in the mood to celebrate! So we’re teaming up once again with our friends and long time Bubby and Bean partners Gaia Conceptions for another incredible giveaway! One lucky Bubby and Bean reader will receive $ 200 to spend in Gaia’s online shop, which features endless styles of truly stunning eco-friendly clothing made by hand in the USA. They have hundreds of styles to choose from, each one of which is custom created to your size, color choice, and fabric selection. They’re truly some of my all time favorite pieces of clothing. (Scroll down to enter!)


Use the form below, and/or, because the main methods of entering this giveaway (worth the most points) involve Instagram, you can also enter directly on IG, right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through this Thursday (March 21, 2019), and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after the end of the giveaway.

Thank you to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another gift card to their amazing shop. Good luck!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Good Boy Dog Beer

Houston bar owners have launched a line of non-alcoholic beer for dogs, containing vitamins and minerals to supplement their regular food. No word on whether or not there’s a green variety for this weekend, but I suppose you could just add food coloring? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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2019 Iditarod: We Have a Winner!

Peter Kaiser arrives in Nome, winning the 47th running of the Iditarod. Here’s the rest of the top ten, as of 4:30 pm ET on Wednesday, 3/13/19: 1 Peter Kaiser (9) In to Nome 2 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (28) In to Nome 3 Jessie Royer (14) In to Nome 4 Aliy Zirkle (19) Out of […]


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Spring Home Decor Refresh (All Under $25!)

A Spring Home Decor Refresh : All Under $  25!
1. Round Metal Wire Basket ($ 17.99)  |  2. Gold Mirror with Fringe ($ 24.99)  |  3. Metal Bookend ($ 17.99)  |  4. Cotton Storage Basket ($ 24.99)  |  5. Canvas Cushion Cover ($ 5.99)  |  6. Stoneware Plant Pot ($ 19.99)  |  7. Bergamot Scented Candle ($ 12.99)  |  8. Leaf Print Tablecloth ($ 24.99)  |  9. Daisy Linen Blend Table Runner ($ 17.99)  | 10.  Marble Candlestick ($ 24.99) 

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our recent family room redesign. And while it’s only been finished for a couple of months and we’re still basking in it, it’s made me realize how much the majority of the other spaces in our home could use a sprucing up too. Aside from the big (like, very big) remodeling project we know we need to get to but have been avoiding (oh hey, kitchen), along with the upstairs bathrooms, there isn’t any thing major (other than some areas like our weird yellow hallways) that needs to be changed. But a few pieces of pretty decor can really change the look of a room, and I’ve got the pieces above on my mind. They’re all really lovely, and affordable too; every piece is under $ 25.

Anybody else feeling the need for some simple refreshes with springtime around the corner?

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First ribbon

I took Poet the whippet to the puppy fun match in Austintown today. We won the hound group in his age division!

winner poet ii

winner poet

Natural History

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Cock of the Walk

cardinal audubon

Spring comes in softly at first. Then, it rushes in hard and warm, like water gushing from the faucet into a dirty sink.  The birds start their singing when it starts in softly. The cardinals are among the first to lift their voices high among the skeleton trees. The testosterone flows hot in their red-feathered forms, and they begin to set out their breeding territories for the year.

All winter, they have moseyed morosely with mixed flocks of hens and cocks. They have flitted at the feeders as comrades against the cold and the hunger, but now, the primal pursuits of carnality take over. And the cockbirds turn violent against those former friends, and by the time, the first warm days of April come slipping along, they have set up their fiefdoms. And all through the warm months, they will patrol their lands, ready to do battle against any interloper.

This year, a particular male cardinal, all resplendent red, chose a piece of territory near a fine home with nice English garden. It also had a well-built garage.  That garage possessed a large window and along the wall where the window was located was was well-manicured flower-bed.

The cardinal had done a good job driving out all the bachelors, poachers, and Lotharios from his land, but every time he inspected that part of the territory near the garage, the bright red form appeared in the window. And oh it would enrage the cock cardinal!

How dare that poaching lowlife appear on his land! How dare he!

And the cardinal would attack the red form in the window. He would think that his orange beak would lay a hard blow against his rival feathers, but each time he banged into the window.

And he would get angrier and angrier. He would spend hours fighting the phantom bird in the glass. He would sometimes tire and fly along the walk leading to the garage and mutter little cheeping sounds at its rival.

He was the cock of this walk. No one else will ever be!

The owners of the house would have thought this whole display rather charming. However, during all those hours of fighting his rival in the reflection, the male cardinal dropped copious white feces all along the walk.

The woman of the house hated cleaning up the bird poop and regularly let her husband know about her displeasure. She wanted something done and done soon.  A shotgun could solve all their problems.

But the man of the house was more circumspect. He liked living where cardinals could flit and sing all summer, and further, he was fully aware of a federal law protecting songbirds.

So he tried setting out scarecrows in the flowerbed and along the walk. And for a day, they kept the male cardinal from coming in to war and poop.

But those primal urges were that strong, and the male cardinal returned to give up a good fight.

He fed his mate and his growing chicks, but every day, he had to spend hours fighting his rival in the window. And the feces kept piling up.

One day, the man rose from the house. He cradled a 20-gauge rabbit gun in his right arm. He waited until the cardinal gave him a clean shot, and nothing was behind the bird. And then he raised his gun. And broke the federal law.

And the red bird fell hard and lifeless to the ground. The man picked up the cardinal and threw him in the trash.

No evidence of the crime was left. It was just over with a single shotgun blast. No one knew any the wiser.

Modern man likes to live near nature, but even in the most banal of conflicts, nature must yield to man’s desires.

No concession could be given to the cardinal. His chicks in the woodland starved. His mate found a new lover among the Lotharios, and the new mate was not as aggressive about pecking at his rival in the garage window.

And so the summer went on. The cardinals sang and caught grasshoppers and ate summer wheat and August corn.

And their lives went on in the wild, minus the cock of the walk that dared to fight his own reflection in the window.

 

Natural History

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GIVEAWAY: What do YOU carry when you walk your dog?

The favorite part of my day is dog walking time. Every morning and every evening, I head off on a dog walk, usually 30-45 minutes in length. When we’re on a day trip or overnight getaway with…



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DogTipper

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Review: New Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet Sweeper #SwifferLovesFur

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Swiffer at Walmart. The opinions and text are all mine. Spring is coming. For all the joy of sunny days, blooming flowers, and happy…



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DogTipper

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Mashed Potatoes and Other Small Victories

Thank you Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes for sponsoring this post. Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes are real potatoes, real easy, delivering homemade taste on demand.

One of the greatest lessons in parenting I’ve learned over the last five years is that you need to celebrate the small victories, because very little goes as planned. Sometimes a small victory can mean simply getting the kids dressed and out the door in time for school, even if they’re wearing mismatched clothes and have knots in their hair. When my kids go right to sleep with limited fussing or fighting (key word being ‘limited’ rather than ‘no’) that’s a small victory. Sometimes a small victory can mean watching my kids stop in the middle of a major sibling fight and hug each other. Other times it just means getting to go to the bathroom by myself.

When it comes to small victories though, I don’t know if it applies anywhere in my life with little ones quite as much as it does to meals. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was absolutely certain she would only consume the uber health conscious foods I provided her, and that she would eat exactly what we were eating, just in smaller portions. (I was a phenomenal parent before I became one.) Well, that did not work out. Then I had a son who actually loved eating what we did, enjoyed trying new foods, and preferred fruits and vegetables to sweets. Unfortunately, that only lasted until about year two, and then he followed in his sister’s footsteps. Not only do my kids almost always want to eat different foods than we do, they also want to eat different foods than each other. So when we find a food that we all love, it kind of feels like a miracle.

There are only a few foods that every single person in our house loves to eat: black bean tacos, cheese pizza, smoothies, Thai food, apples, and mashed potatoes. For me, mashed potatoes is probably the winner of all of these, because it can be served along so many other dishes and therefore made multiple times per week. There is a slight problem with mashed potatoes though – they take a lot of time to make, and time isn’t something we have before weeknight dinners. This is why I was so stoked to discover Idahoan® Mashed Potatoes. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Idahoan Mashed Potatoes are not just a small victory, they’re a huge one.

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes are made from 100% real Idaho® potatoes, so they have incredible taste and texture. They even earned the title of “America’s Favorite Mashed Potatoes,” which was well deserved if you ask me. But here’s the best part – they are ready in just minutes. I mean like prepared and on the table in less than ten minutes from start to finish. So whether I’m serving a perfectly prepped, elaborate meal (which let’s face it, maybe happens once every other month) or whipping up something simple in just a few minutes, it’s easy to make Idahoan Mashed Potatoes a part of it. Even when my kids complain about the rest of the meal, I know they’ll love and happily eat them. And obviously, my husband and I will too. (I like eating them alone for lunch or a snack too. Mashed potatoes forever!)

Having kids is admittedly much different than I envisioned before I became a parent. It’s awesome and wonderful in ways I could not possibly have imagined, and I am incredibly grateful for every single part of it. It’s also hard. Really hard. It’s exhausting and dirty and sometimes feels a little soul sucking if we’re being honest here. But that is part of what makes it great, because it allows us to so deeply appreciate those small victories. And whether it’s getting a toddler to take liquid medication without barfing, realizing your older child’s barely worn soccer shoes fit your younger kid, or discovering a food that everyone in the family loves that can also be be made quickly and easily, a small victory is reason to celebrate.

If you’re looking for a super convenient way to serve up a small victory in your house via the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever had, go grab yourself a bag of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes. We love the Buttery Golden Selects (so rich and tasty), but they’re also are available in Buttery Homestyle®, Butter and Herb, Bacon & Cheddar Chipotle, Roasted Garlic, and Four Cheese. Yum!

Have you had any small victories in your house lately?

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