It started last week. Dolls. It is growing in ways teachers hadn’t imagined. We rotate our dramatic play area frequently, and it’s been a while since it was our traditional housekeeping area with a play kitchen and dolls. Hey, we went to space and turned dramatic play into the inside of a spacecraft. Then, we had an Indian market with beautiful gold items and peacock feathers. Then, we had a robot building area.
Out of the blue, Lachlan asked about the dolls. He wanted a doll. As soon as we brought out our two dolls, everyone wanted to play with them. We had to use a timer and give children turns. Two dolls were not enough. Even adding Gloria to the dolls didn’t solve the problem. At lunchtime I told Lachlan about my dolls at home- my childhood Raggedy Ann and Andy, and my daughter’s Cabbage Patch dolls.
“Jennie, If you bring them in, I can take care of them.” My goodness. Of course I brought in my dolls! I can’t remember the last time children were so engaged.
As I showed children my Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, James said, “Jennie, Gloria has the same socks.” Yes, she does! Harry said, “They have the same black eyes as Gloria.” Yes! Children always notice first.
Lucy and Maya were the first to reach out and embrace the dolls.
Then, the classroom became a school for the dolls. It started as Lucy School. She pulled chairs over to the easel for the dolls to go to school. She used the pointer. Other children wanted to go to Lucy School, too.
Teachers stood back and watched what was happening. Give children opportunities, and the world becomes their oyster.
Hannah wasn’t at Lucy School because she was loving the dolls.
Love. Dolls. Lucy School. Isn’t it wonderful?
Playing with dolls in a ‘full-hands-on’ way, must help children deal with siblings in so many ways. Once they make the comparisons between the dolls and their living contemporaries, what they learn is invaluable. Thank you! xxx
You are exactly right, Joy! Thank goodness Lachlan asked for the dolls.
I love how they just reach out and find fantastic opportunities for us to teach!
I know!! It is so wonderful. 😀
How adorable. It´s amazing how dolls can bring out the maternal/paternal instinct in children. I loved Raggedy Ann and Andy, and my daughter had cabbage patch dolls too. Does anyone remember Holly Hobby?
Dolls are great teachers of love and kindness. I remember Holly Hobby!
Yes, and of care and responsibility. I recall my daughter tucking her cabbage patch preemie doll into her little buggy which was placed beside my daughter’s bed. She would actually get up in the night and check that the doll was OK.
Awww… that’s so wonderful! Don’t you wish all children had these experiences? We would certainly have a kinder world.
I remember Holly Hobby!
This reminds me of how much I loved my dolls when I was growing up. ❤️
I’m so glad! 😍
Yes, it is wonderful! I love the video with the sounds of children at play.
I love, love that video! Thank you, Liz.
You’re welcome, Jennie.
it’s wonderful seeing the children so engaged. and it is amazing how obervant they are…
You would think after a gazillion years of teaching that I would not be surprised by children. Nope, they continue to amaze me. It’s really wonderful.
it is nice to get such joy from your job every day!
This was just heartwarming.
Thank you, Marlene!
That would be my kind of special day at school if I were a child again! Lovely Jennie.
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Jennie, Yes! It is absolutely wonderful!
Thank you, Charles!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Please enjoy another example of excellent teaching from Jennie!
Thank you so much, Charles!
Yes it is!!
How wonderful they’re loving and teaching the dolls all the wonderful lessons you’ve taught them about love and life. This makes me want to pull out my dolls give them a hug, and say hello. 😍
I gave my dolls many hugs today and yesterday! Stepping back and watching the children take over was every teacher’s dream. Thank goodness Lachlan asked for the dolls to get the ball rolling.
You can see how much children witness when they interact with their dolls.
You are exactly right!
Adorable. I loved my own Raggedy Ann, even after my mother removed her hair to wash her and took forever to sew it back on.
Oh, no! Mine has never been washed. I’m so glad you liked this!
All very wonderful. Thanks, Jennie.
I love how they notice the details we might miss. A reminder of how sharp their observation is, and how it can diminish with age.
Best wishes, Pete.
Yes! Children continue to amaze me, even after all these years. My observation skills are fading quickly. Best to you, Pete.
I love it when kids nurture dolls. A lovely share, Jennie. The dolls in your classroom are well cared for. 😀
They bring out the best in children! Thank you, Diana.
So glad to see Gloria made two new friends and The Raggedys (as my bro & I called them) made a new friend (of Gloria!)
My Raggedy Ann got so beat up-loved that she fell apart. I boxed her up back in the day and just this past year found her nicely packed, but she really needed to be ‘put to rest’. I did lay her to rest – but first, I had to perform heart surgery…her heart is ever with me now…
Does Gloria have a stitched ‘I love you heart’ like the Raggedys?
Gloria was delighted! She played with her new friends. I love your Raggedy Ann story, Laura. And her heart is now with you..❤️ That is just dear! No, Gloria does not have that stitched heart. 😞
I think that stitched heart is what made the Johnny Gruelle dolls soooooo special – in addition to them being Raggedy’s.
I think so, too!!
I absolutely LOVE this post! I have enjoyed a lifelong love of dolls and Madame Alexander Dolls have always been my favorite. My collection began at the age of five and still continues to grow. Beatrice (born Bertha) Alexander’s philosophy was one that you understand : “Dolls should contribute to a child’s understanding of people, other times and other places. Dolls should develop an appreciation of art and literature in a child.” Thank-you so very much for sharing this sweet story!
My childhood friend had Madame Alexander dolls. I love your story, Ellen! And, that philosophy is spot on! Thank you so much!
It’s lovely to see children using their imaginations. I would have sat back and enjoyed watching Lucy School.
You would have been in seventh heaven! It’s every teacher’s dream to watch children take the ball and run with it- in their own way. Thank you, Pete.
This is adorable, Jennie!
I made my biracial daughter a Raggedy Ann for her first birthday who had her skin tone and made them matching dresses. She loved that doll her whole childhood. I had to add new limbs, new chest and make new clothes from time to time. Fortuitously I had a bag with the scraps from the original doll to do repairs. I had no idea that that doll would be THE ONE among all the others she loved and abandoned over the years. Dolls are terribly important and I have no idea why they would ever disappear from a nursery school classroom.
Such a wonderful story, Elizabeth. Yes, dolls are truly important. When we turned our dramatic play area into other things, we should have kept the dolls, no matter what. See, an old dog can still learn new tricks. 🙂
Hope you keep it now.
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Thank you, Michael!
Looks like so wonderful, and now Jennie, they only need also you as a puppet. Whats about the MIT and a 3D scan with a printed out figure of you? :-)) xx Michael
That’s so nice, Michael. Thank you!
How darling-Oh dolls are wonderful for childrens’ play-so much learning, going on.
Thank you, Michele! Dolls are the best for children’s play and learning.
Dolls are like characters. Can become anyone in children’s minds.
I loved dolls and my daughter loves dolls. Whole world’s have been created by us both… the creativity, joy, exploration, visualisation, excitement, possibility and fun with dolls is just fantastic. In case you haven’t guessed I still love dolls!! 😄
That’s so cute. It reminds me some of my wonderful teachers of primary school 💓