In a world where emotions can sometimes be difficult to understand, especially for young children, dolls can be a powerful tool to help identify and manage different emotions. By using dolls in play, we can give children a safe place to explore and express their inner world. Here are some concrete tips on how you can use dolls to support the child in his emotional development.

1. Process difficult events with the help of dolls

Children often use role play to process their own experiences. By role-playing different scenarios with dolls , children can explore their feelings in a safe environment.

You as a parent can guide the play by letting the dolls represent different people or situations that the child has been involved with. Then give space for the child to recount the event and to express feelings.

Ask open-ended questions such as "How is the doll today?" or "Why do you think the doll is sad?". This helps the child verbalize their feelings and understand them better.

Tip: Let the play take its time and do not pressure the child to express his feelings if the child is not ready.

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2. Dealing with fear and anger but with the help of dolls

When children experience emotions such as fear or anger, they may have difficulty expressing these emotions. Dolls can then act as a channel or a tool to release the emotions. Suggest that the child talk to a doll about how it feels. This can help them gain distance from their feelings and find ways to articulate them. Sometimes it can actually be easier to talk via a doll .

3. Build self-confidence with the help of dolls

Playing with dolls can also help children build self-confidence. When a child takes care of his dolls and takes responsibility for their well-being, the child feels competent. This leads to a stronger self-esteem and better self-confidence in other areas of life.

Tip: Encourage your child to take care of their dolls by feeding them, dressing them and putting them to bed. Praise them for their care and attention.


Doll play is not only a fun activity but also a powerful tool to help children understand and manage their emotions. By integrating dolls into children's play, we can support their emotional development and help them grow into empathetic and confident individuals. So the next time your child brings out their dolls, see it as an opportunity to help them navigate their emotions in our complex world.

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