Should little boys be ‘allowed’ to play with dolls?

As a lot of you will know I set up RagHeroes as I have two little boys who wanted their own dolls to play with, but after searching high and low they did not see one they liked.  They were all too girly, so we made some together, more boyish ones, and RagHeroes was born.

As a mum of two boys and also partly influenced by my career in counselling, psychotherapy and play therapy, I strongly believe that all little boys should have access to toys which promote and nurture their caring sides.  I believe wholeheartedly this is an essential part of their development, if we want them to grown into teenagers and men who are able to express how they feel and deal with ‘difficult’ emotions.  I think allowing them access to toys, such as dolls for boys will encourage them to explore this side of their personality and to embrace it.  I’ve recently been looking at the work of Sandra Crosser (Ph D) who has studied the language development of young children.  In one of her articles when observing language development, she states, “Neither boys nor girls spoke much when playing with the toy vehicles. The most language interaction and exposure occurred as children played with dolls”.  This shows how important role play with dolls is for our children.  Delays in language development can cause problems with children not being able to express themselves, and in turn having difficulties when their needs are not fully met.  Little boys especially are known to talk later than girls, so there may even be more of a benefit in giving a little boy a doll to play with.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had some interesting feedback, mainly positive, especially from Mums and Dads.  They agree that there is nothing wrong with boys playing with dolls at all and agree that it helps them to develop their caring side.  I have also had feedback telling me how my idea for RagHeroes won’t be accepted by society just yet as people are not ready to let their boys play with dolls, and that men will not let their boys out of the house with them.

I was really thankful for some feedback from The Real Supermum and her many followers on twitter.  The Real Supermum asked her group, of over 1000 women, if they thought boys should be able to play with dolls and almost all who answered agreed.  However, some of them did say that they thought their husbands would have an issue with it, but it would not stop them from buying one.

So my question is, ‘what do you think?  Should little boys be allowed to play with dolls?’

As always I really appreciate any feedback you may have.

Maria x


  1. Yes, Yes and YES! My little boy has a big sister, and we have let him play with whatever he wants to from an early age. He was at a distinct advantage as we already had dolls for her…but if we hadn’t I would have bought some anyway!

    • Thanks Helen, great to hear!

  2. 100% yes, if they want to. We shouldn’t be restricting what our kids play with based on gender. We don’t have any dolls in the house, purely because neither of the boys have expressed any interest in wanting to play with them, but Mister loves playing with teddy bears in much the same way I did with dolls when I was a kid. It’s great to see the loving, caring side of a kid through this kid on play and it should definitely be encouraged!

    • Thanks Vic, I agree…lots of boys have teddy bears too – so whats the difference in a having a doll? thanks for your comment, Maria 🙂

  3. My boy liked I push the pushchair around in our local play and chat session so a friend of mine gave him one of her daughters with a doll and he loved it, I was pregnant at the time and it helped him learn how to look after and hold a baby before our baby was born. Daddy didn’t have a problem with it either, we both bought it was cute. The pushchair and doll has been put away now for our youngest to play with 🙂

    • Fab! We had a pushchair too which was loved by both boys, but they played with it so much it eventually got broken. It’s Jacobs birthday at the end of this month and guess what he’s getting replaced!

  4. Pickle is 13 months old, and has had a baby doll from early on. He loves “Baby”, is very vocal & nurturing with him. He sees his girl friends playing with their dolls, and his Daddy plays with him, so as his parents, we only want to encourage him to continue developing this side of his personality.

    • Thank you, it’s really nice to hear from other parents who feel the same 🙂


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