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Adventures with dad: bonding through doll play

With Father’s Day fast approaching on 19th June, what better time to explore ways for son, dad and daughter to bond through doll play? From as young as 18 months old, little ones start getting to grips with their world and using their developing imagination, much of which is based on the adorable parent-child relationship they have so much trust in. That’s why dolls naturally feature so heavily in their early exploration into roleplay – they provide opportunities for them to act out the nurturing trait they’ve come to know from you so well.

Imaginative play not only fuels creativity, but allows fathers and male role models to observe many wonderful characteristics in their children. Here, we outline ways dads can get involved in the fun and develop those traits further.


Nurturing play

Mini nurturers learn how to process emotions through their doll play. Listen carefully to what they’re saying during the play and you’ll probably hear them empathising in some way or another with their baby. Here, they’re laying the groundwork for growing up into a caring person.

For fathers who feel a little tentative when it comes to doll play, the good news is that you don’t have to do much to encourage younger children – their lively imaginations will cover that! All they need is their doll and perhaps some accessories. With 10 amazing lifelike functions including drinking water, crying real tears and controlling their wee and poop, BABY born Magic Boy and BABY born Magic Girl are the perfect dolls for nurturing play.



And if toilet jokes are more your thing, you’re in luck! The BABY born Bath Poo-Poo Toilet is a fun, interactive way for dads to bond with your little one over their nappy changes and toilet training, while incorporating doll play into the mix. All you have to do is step back and let your little one lead the play for insight into what they’ve absorbed of their surrounding world. It’s a great way to watch their imagination blossom – and a real window into their emotions. But, importantly, it’s a lovely way for fathers to bond with their children in a little light-hearted fun.


Super styling

Perhaps the first thing that springs to mind when considering fun things to do with dad and daughter or son is playing dress up. But this activity isn’t just great fun – it also contributes to their sense of self-expression! From make believe and storytelling to playing grown-ups and parenting, becoming the life and soul of the party or just relaxing, playing dress up enables a period of discovery where little ones can explore different aspects of their personality and test out new scenarios in a safe environment. And how much fun must it be when they can get daddy involved?!

For hours of styling fun, BABY born Sister is the ideal playmate! With a hair brush, hair clips (including two with coloured hair strands) and hair bands, her long brown locks are just perfect for whipping into different looks. Finish off the lovely outfit with her bracelets and fresh white shoes, and she’s ready to walk in her own fashion show!

Want to earn some serious dad bonus points? Select a fashion category (such as streetwear) and get dressed up in your own category-fitting outfit before encouraging your child and BABY born to do the same – there are so many outfits to choose from! Then you can walk in your own homemade fashion show together. It’s a great way to instil a sense of confidence and pride in them. Plus, there’s no better sight to little ones than seeing daddy all dressed up and taking part in their strut-their-stuff game!


Adventures galore


Whether they’re tucking their favourite doll in for naptime, pretending to be a shopkeeper or running around being a superhero, little ones simply think they’re ‘playing’ – but they’re actually doing so much more. Through imaginative play, they’re embarking on the most incredible journey – one in which they can explore all kinds of scenarios without being limited by the physical world.

Dads: think back to your own childhood spent playing with action figures or dolls, and get creative! Whether trekking through the ‘jungle’ (garden), going on a road trip or simply making a cosy den at home, re-living your childhood adventures with your child and BABY born Brother makes for an exciting and memorable bonding experience. With six lifelike functions and a cheeky glint in his eye, BABY born Brother is such a fun companion!


We’re going to catch a big one!

Whatever the weather, exploring outside is always a ton of fun. If it’s raining, embrace it with a ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’ adventure – the rain adds to the excitement! Encourage your little one to dress BABY born in the Deluxe Rain Set before donning their own raincoat, so that you can all splash around in puddles together, and even enjoy getting muddy, all the while looking for the shiny, wet nose and big furry ears of the bear hidden in his cave! For extra inspiration, our outdoors activity sheet has all kinds of inspiring suggestions. Then, when playtime is over, it’s bathtime! Get your little one excited for their own bath by helping them get their favourite baby doll clean again in the BABY born Bath Bathtub or Walk in Shower.


And adventures don’t always have to involve being outside – one lovely idea is to set up a duvet fort in the living room for a spot of warm and cosy indoor camping with BABY born. But what to do when you’re snuggled up in your tent? Try a spot of colouring in using our free colouring sheets or gather your little one’s favourite books for an extra-special story-time!


Picnic perfection

Perfect for warm, sunny days outside and rainy days spent inside, a tea party is a great excuse for son, dad and daughter to enjoy some delicious treats (whether real or imaginary!) together and dress up for the event. Your little one will love to put BABY born in this pretty flower dress, and will no doubt want the rest of the guests to also put on their Sunday best… That goes for you too, Dad! Don’t forget that BABY born can drink real water, so she’s just perfect for lifelike picnic play!


After more inspiration for father-son activities or games for dads and daughters? Check out our play ideas, and don’t forget to share your adventures with us on Facebook and Instagram!