It's time to step back and look at our centers! Join me over the next several weeks as we review different centers in our classrooms and discuss why we do what we do. It's makeover time!!!! Today we will start by discussing your dollhouse center.
You probably already know how much preschoolers love playing with doll houses, but have you really considered what is in your doll house center?
Go right now and take a look at your doll house center. For you over achievers, take a picture. Then come back and read the rest of this post.
...Seriously, go take a look or a picture. I’ll wait…
…Take your time…
Alright, now that you have a fresh idea of what your doll house center looks like lets talk about it.
First of all, this isn’t a post about organization of your center. It is important to be organized in your centers, but that isn’t my goal today.
My goal today is to talk about the actual house you use, the pieces in your collection and the figures you have made available. This may vary some for you depending on if you are a mom reading this or if you are a teacher reading this.
Teachers, I’ll get to you in a second…
As a mom, I have chosen the dollhouse that I knew my daughter would connect best with. I also was willing to spend a little more money on it because it is just her that plays with it and she's very respectful and careful with her toys.
For home I chose the Loving Family Dollhouse made by Fisher Price. Not only do the colors match her room extremely well (happy accident), but I loved the little people and the realistic furniture. My daughter loves to do chores around the house to earn money and buy new things. This doll house gave her the opportunity to save money and buy a room at a time.
I love that this house comes with a mom, dad and boy and girl twin babies. Since we are a caucasian family I chose the caucasian family for her first people. Another thing I love about this set is that you can choose the race of the family. They not only carry the caucasian family, but they also have an African American (I love the mom's hair in the big set!) and a hispanic family. It does not appear to have an Asian family yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will soon. You can also purchase the dolls separately if you have an interracial family (rather parents or adopted siblings). I love that you can make the family resemble your own. I have found several of our figures on eBay for really cheap. The furniture is very realistic and there are a TON of pieces to choose from. I just noticed as I was writing this that they have added a bunk bed! My daughter is going to be so excited! She has wanted a bunk bed forever!
As a teacher, I chose a much more sturdy dollhouse that was gender neutral and would hold up to rough play. I also wanted it to be as basic as possible so that I could change it to fit each theme. I chose a very basic wooden house that matched my wooden block set. This set also has some cute sturdy furniture that you can buy one room at a time as your budget allows. Don't forget to check out the darling playground set (adding that to my wish list!)
For the people I chose to use Pretend and Play people. I chose a mom, dad, brother, sister, baby and grandparents of caucasian, african american, hispanic, asian decent (they also carry Native American, which I don't own those yet). We also recently added community helpers as well. My plan is to eventually add the diverse abilities set that includes a variety of people with various disabilities. I hope someday they update the look of the characters. They do appear to be stuck in the past, but the kids don't seem to notice or care. They are stiff characters that don’t move, but they hold up really well and have so many options I couldn’t pass them up.
I love changing this dollhouse to match our various themes. My boys love when I add foam flames and a fire truck during our H is for Helping Our Community Themed Unit!
Since this dollhouse matches our wooden building blocks so well they are able to build other structures to match whatever they are playing.
The main takeaway from this is that you want your kiddos to have a figure that looks like them and their family as well as high quality accessories that that can open them up to a variety of play opportunities. You will learn a lot about your kids and their home life by watching them play, but remember, you are not a therapist and shouldn’t try to over analyze their play. Let them have fun and do very little if any directing in this center.
What is your favorite dollhouse? What fun things have you done with your dollhouse center that you would love to share?