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Why Every Boy Should Have a Doll

We're often asked (usually in a very quiet tone) should boys have dolls? The answer is a very loud and resounding yes. We want our boys to grow up to be equal partners in the nurturing and care taking of their own children. Taking on the "role" of Dad in pretend play is as important for our sons as it is for our daughters to play Mom. Having a baby doll is also the way kids work out issues they're dealing with in their own world. To a toddler on the way to daycare or dreamland, a doll is a comfort connection between home and the unknown. Through pretend, preschoolers can take charge, try on roles and words they cannot say in reality. Dolls and teddy bears say whatever your child wants them to say and they are good listeners, too. You'll often hear your own language being repeated when your child takes on the parental position in their pretend play. Being able to express concerns, emotions, fears - are obviously equally beneficial to boys and girls. Shutting this outlet down to boys by only presenting them with stereotypical "boy" toys - excludes them from working on their ability to express a wider range of emotions. As much as we talk about the importance of girls having STEM toys so that they can grow up being capable scientists, engineers - the same can be said for making sure boys have toys that allow emotional development.

Unfortunately, the choices in toyland for boy dolls are rather limited. These are our favorites:

North American Bear Baby Hero Doll

(North American Bear Co $24.99 each) Here he is ready to right wrongs, to rescue those who need rescuing and fly into the face of whatever she must do! You can say that about either Baby Hero Dolls—the boy version or the girl (not shown). Both Baby Heroes are done up with masks and capes as all proper heroes must be Made of several fabrics with different textures; their bodies, capes and high red boots are done in velvety velour plush while their other clothes (unremovable) are of lovely silky satin. Of course the idea of superheroes will be lost on very young children, but this might even be a good comfort toy for early school aged kids who are dealing with health or social challenges.

Age: Preschool. Platinum Award 2015

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Manhattan Toy Groovy Boy Asher

(Manhattan Toy $15 each)

We are always on the lookout for boy dolls and this a great example. Asher is wearing khaki shorts and a blue and white striped shirt with a skull and bones. He has brownish yarn hair and his clothes are removable. With stitch features, he's totally safe for younger players.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Platinum Award 2015.

Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Boy Doll

(Manhattan Toy $35 each)

Baby Stella Boy is the same adorable boy baby we told you about in 2012. The only thing new about him is the packaging. That said, he's still a good choice. In his deep aqua blue and white one-sie with licks of bright yellow and a dinosaur, this all fabric huggable with stitched features and a tuft of yellow fabric hair on top, is a sweet first birthday gift. Like all Baby Stella dolls he comes with a pacifier that has a magnet sewn inside so it sticks on with little effort and no danger. He's part of a line of adorable first dolls. This boy doll would make a good big brother doll for young big brothers. This season there is also a Sweet Dreams Stella ($45) in Lavender print pajamas. Ready for bed, this doll has a big fabric bottle and a small cuddly lamb in her arms. She has a matching Bunkie with a magnet sewn inside and unlike others, this one is scented with lavender, which may be pleasant, but we usually avoid scented toys since they can tick of allergies for some. 12 months and up.

Age: Toddlers. Platinum Award 2015.

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