Observe the child in doll play with props, such as a bottle, blanket, etc.
Introduce the doll to the child along with various props. See what the child does spontaneously with the doll. If needed, suggest the doll is hungry or sick.
The child demonstrates behaviors that replicate her experiences with nurturing. Feeding, diapering, bathing, putting to bed are all caring behaviors.
Having an opportunity to practice nurturing helps children transfer what they have experienced to others. This is the beginning of positive social relations and empathy. Help early childhood educators and parents understand the importance of role play with dolls (even boys) and with adults, peers, and siblings.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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