Play Better #12: Life Lessons with Dollhouse Play

PLAN TOYS Chalet Dollhouse

We previously discussed the importance of pretend play in early childhood development on this segment; but today, we will be focusing on a specific subset of it: dollhouse play.

While dollhouses have many pretend play benefits that range from language to social interaction to communication and more, there is one single attribute about it that other pretend play toys cannot replicate: the re-enacting of daily household scenarios under one roof. Children can sequence the day’s events by acting out typical routines from morning to evening; or reorganize their living space in order to accommodate more people (grandparents/new baby/or even a new pet!).

Dollhouses engage children in a unique type of imaginary play that simultaneously works on  3 important aspects of development: social, emotional, and cognitive. When children are engaged in dollhouse play, they are given a platform to freely investigate and explore life in a safe environment; and in the process, acquire the confidence and self-awareness required for independent learning.

caravan-dollhouseDJECO Caravan Dollhouse


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Dollhouses also give us a fantastic platform to create various ‘What If?’ situations that require lateral thinking and problem-solving skills. For instance, everyone in the family is now home and all want to watch different programmes on the television. Can they pick out another activity which will allow the family to bond together as a unit instead?

The next time you sit down with your child for some dollhouse play, try extending its play value with the following activity suggestions:

  • Ask children to sequence events in a day by acting out typical chores and activities from morning to evening. This is a great way of teaching routine and order, which helps in providing a sense of security and developing self-discipline.
  • Challenge problem solving skills with interesting (and very plausible) real-life scenarios: a new baby is on the way; grandma is coming for a long stay; a new pet is about to arrive – how can the dollhouse be effectively reorganized to accomodate more family members?
  • Similarly, throw out all kinds of potential family situations that require them to solve problems by developing an awareness for self and others, hence working on their compassion and ability to empathize. Both brother and sister want to play with the same toy – who gets to go first? Mommy needs to do the laundry but clothes are waiting to be ironed and the floor needs mopping – can anyone help her? PLANTOYS and DJECO’s dollhouse range keep an impressively detailed array of accessories add-ons, allowing us to engage in a degree of play that is highly meticulous and innovative in nature.
  • Dollhouse play is a bonanza for language development – from vocabulary expansion to verbal communicative skills. Encourage sequential storytelling that contains a beginning, middle, and an end – this not only helps improve speech and grammar, it also pushes the need for logical reasoning, as well as creative and imaginative thinking.
  • Explore basic math concepts with simple scenarios: the table is set for four but daddy has invited three friends to join us for dinner – how many tables and chairs do we now need? There are three carrots in the vegetable garden and mommy requested for one – how many carrots are left? (The Vegetable Garden set is available under Plan Toys’ range of accessories add-ons!)
  • It’s time to get crafty! Search around the house (your real one!) and use various items  to refurbish the interiors. Cotton balls make great bed pillows; wrapping or scrapbook paper make great wall decor – mommies can even help sew tiny doll clothes for the dollpeople if she likes!

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Inspired? Check out our top dollhouse picks to get started!


victorian-dollhouserPLAN TOYS Victorian Dollhouse

If you’re looking for a true, classic heirloom-quality dollhouse that will stand the test of time, look no further. This monumental Victorian Dollhouse from Plan Toys is guaranteed to impress both the young and old alike.

A winner of Play Matter’s Good Toy Award and the Practical Preschool Silver Award, this elegantly crafted solid rubber wood dollhouse opens up to three storeys of splendid goodness, with charming details like front door columns, winder staircases, and working sash windows. It is even designed to encompass an additional basement level which can be purchased separately, offering opportunities for further expandability and excellent imaginative play.

PLAN TOYS Terrace Dollhouse 

A Winner of the Silver Parents’ Choice Award, this impressive Terrace Dollhouse from PlanToys is the perfect pretend play piece that will showcase your kids’ imagination and decor creativity to their highest abilities.

Made from preservative-free rubber wood, this beautiful three-storey home comes with sliding partitions and movable window and door panels, inspiring endless imaginative play as kids explore ‘living’ in different layouts each time.

DJECO Cubic Dollhouse

Dollhouse play just became so much more stylish, thanks to Djeco’s brand new Mon Petit Home range which found its way into the market only just last year.

Mon Petit Home, which translates to My Little Home in English, is a fun and challenging design project that fuses childhood pretend play with modern architecture. Inspired by signature works from great modern architects, the Djeco team embarked on a special collaboration with various architects and building professionals to create these uber contemporary wooden houses with uncluttered, minimalistic layouts.

Designed in France and manufactured to the strictest quality and safety standards, Djeco’s Cubic Dollhouse features a glazed roof, a double-storey living area, and an outdoor terrace – all in a sleek and sharp apartment layout that most of us will likely be able to relate to in today’s living context. Its clean geometric lines, large glazed surfaces, and bright, colourful interiors provide a refreshingly chic and unique play scape for endless imaginative play, and is a welcoming change from traditional-looking dollhouse play.

Supported with a whole series of equally on-trend doll people and furniture accessories, Djeco’s Mon Petit Home range is designed to let the pretend play run riot alongside today’s latest styles in modern architecture and furniture design.

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There’s no greater time to start on dollhouse play than NOW! Whether you’re looking to revamp your doll home, add new members to the family, or shift to a bigger unit; you’ll enjoy a whopping 20% off our full range of dollhouses, families, and accessories all this month!


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