Background on the lesson: I was able to save a few of my childhood dolls. Miss J has taken a particular liking to my Cabbage Patch doll, Meggie. She gets so excited any time we pull her out. Besides being a way to get her to stop evening screams, she is learning a lot. She took interest in this doll right around 7 months, and the bond has only grown stronger.
Science lessons learned by playing with a baby doll
- Anatomy!! Ask about, describe, and point out parts of the doll's body.
- Miss J's favorites are the doll's nose, toes, and belly button.
- Big bro, J, is joining in on the fun and knows that the belly button is where babies were attached to their mommies and how they received food while inside their mommies.
- J likes to help her identify body parts and will even sing songs (ie. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, the Hokie Pokie, etc.) with her and the baby doll.
- Have them teach: Babies like to show you what they have learned. Ask him/her to point to the body part on the baby doll, him/herself, and you.
- Relationships and conclusions: Deciding what do do once you know a result is important. Ask your baby what to do if the baby doll is cold/tired/hungry/grumpy/happy/excited. How would the baby express if she is tired, happy, grumpy, etc.?
- Miss J loves to cover her baby with a blankie, giving hugs, tickling the baby, cheering with baby, clapping the baby's hands, giving the baby a binkie, etc.
- Order and direction: Science is full of order: you do this, then this, and then that (ie. put on bib, eat food, and clean up).
- In science, skipping steps can lead to bigger problems. Equate it to bathing your kid and then giving them that big giant bowl of chocolate pudding. Some things you just don't do out of order.
- Show order while playing with the baby doll. See if your baby catches you doing something out of order or not what is expected.
- Do something silly like put the baby doll's shoes on before her socks.
- Of course, discuss it with your child! Communication is key in science.
- Practice: Retention (remembering how to do something) is important in science, so practice skills!
- Miss J loves putting bibs on Meggie and then pretend spoon feeding her.
Just in case anyone was wondering, Big bro, J, also played with a doll at an early age (no gender bias here):
What science lessons can you learn by having simple childhood toys around?