5 Really Non-Traditional Uses for Children’s Dolls

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post  on five traditional uses for dolls that got a lot of interest. Today I’d like to talk about five uses for dolls that are ‘non-traditional.’

1: Good Touch – Bad Touch

antomically correct Asian Boy doll

It doesn’t surprise us, but it does make us feel sad every time The Pattycake Doll Company receives an order of anatomically correct dolls from a Social Services Agency. For children, it is easier and more comfortable to talk about it happening to a doll then it is to themselves.

2: Aromatherapy, Relaxation and Bed Warmer Dolls.

A Microwavable Aromatherapy and Bed Warmer Doll

A Microwavable Aromatherapy and Bed Warmer Doll

Filled with Flax seeds and herbs instead of fiberfill and foam, like these childrens heating pads, are just as soft and cuddly as a traditional teddy bear or other ‘take-to-bed’ doll. But you can put it in the freezer and then between the sheets as an ‘air-conditioner on a hot summer’s eve, or in the microwave to release the delightful aromatherapy and bed warming benefits.

3: Teaching and Representing Diversity

Using dolls to teach diversity

Using dolls to teach diversity

You know that more than half of America’s Children are children of color right? Gone are the days when the only dolls in America’s schools were pink.

4: Comfort Babies

a reborn doll

An example of reborn doll artistry by doll artist Donna Lee

For some people, a ‘Reborn,’ Realistic Doll can fill a void in their hearts. Empty Nesters, widows and widowers, people who have recently lost a child… are all examples of people who have used a doll as a surrogate to attach to while working out their feelings.

Most successful reborn doll artists have had the request to create a doll “exactly like…” a recently deceased child.

5: The Potty Training Dolls

Aquini Boy Doll on doll's potty

Drink and Wet dolls have been around for a long time, but Drink and Wet dolls sold in kits with the potty as Potty Training Dolls, especially the boy version, are a very recent variation.

How to use a Potty Training Doll


The Aquini Potty training doll by Gotz

The Aquini Potty training doll by Gotz

Potty Training Dolls work. But I’ll tell you a secret. Almost any doll will work  – it’s the method, not the doll.

But potty training dolls work better. So there is that.

Bet you want to know how, right?

(We’re assuming you’re needing to train a child. If not, let’s just assume that you’ll need to train a child sometime, okay? Otherwise, unless you have some kind of potty obsession yourself, why are you reading about Potty Training dolls? Do you really think it’s that interesting?)

OK, Here’s how potty training with a doll works:

First, you and your child are going to teach the doll to go potty. This is where a Potty training doll can be better… especially if it’s a drink and wet doll – meaning a hole in the mouth and hole you-know-where. And double-especially if the doll has the holes AND it’s own potty!

At any rate back to the narrative.

You and your child take the doll to its potty. You take off its diaper or lower its pants. You sit it down. You and your child talk about ‘what is the doll doing?’ ‘Is it going potty?’ ‘What does this mean going potty?’ Maybe you squirt a little lemonade under the doll for #1. Or place a few chocolate chips in the doll’s potty for #2.

Now you and your child need to come to an agreement. ‘Has the doll gone potty?’ ‘How do we know?’ Do this five or ten times. We’re teaching the doll to go potty!

Now here’s the critical step. After the fifth or tenth time, it’s time to celebrate! Yay! The doll has learned to go potty! Let’s give the doll a little ice cream, or maybe a half a cookie. Something that your child would like to have also! Yay! Lets party. A Potty Party! Make it a big deal.

Oh!?! You want a potty party too? Well of course! Just go potty like the doll did! When you’ve gone five or six times, we’ll give you a potty party too!But yours will be better! Maybe some balloons… or hats… or both! Make it a really big deal! Going potty is great!

Works like a charm.

PS: Most kids start at around two. Some before, some after. They’ll let you know. Don’t push  it.                                                                                                                             PPS: In the event of relapse just repeat the process. No potty party ’til you’ve successfully gone potty five to ten times again. You get it right, we’ll celebrate!