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Barbie in pre school ?

  • 1.  Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-08-2021 08:27 AM

    I recently visited a classroom where the children were playing with Barbie and Ken dolls.  I have only seen baby dolls, puppets and stuffed animals in a preschool classroom.  What are your thoughts on having them in the classroom?

    Thank you




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  • 2.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-08-2021 11:58 AM
    I don't know the "right" answer but have often thought  about the same thing. I prefer the baby dolls in dramatic play and the other toy people figures for other play areas.  Barbie and Ken dolls  can bring out some play and language that we might not see during typical dramatic play. The biggest problem I see is the perfect body image and the lack lack of cultural diversity they show. The dolls were not originally designed for preschool children.  For myself, there are many  better choices of people figures to use. I would ask the teachers about them and how the children use them. I would want to know if they only have white dolls, if there have been discussions that not everyone looks like Barbie and Ken and why the teachers decided to include them.

    Kay Witmer
    Chambersburg PA

  • 3.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-08-2021 01:30 PM

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  I agree with you about the diversity in the Barbie's which I did not see much of.  I will ask the classroom teachers what the purpose of the dolls were.  Thanks again

    Andrea Cox


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  • 4.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-10-2021 06:09 AM
      |   view attached
    Just recently I found Barbies that celebrate diversity and inclusion, in Dollar General to be specific. I think it would be a great asset to the environment. I attached a picture of them.

    Sharen Maxwell
    Teacher Assistant
    St Petersburg FL

  • 5.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-10-2021 10:15 AM
    Another downside to Barbie and Ken dolls is that the clothing and shoes are very tricky to manipulate, so that young children will not gain any fine motor skills that are valuable in the process of dressing and undressing dolls. There are so many more developmentally appropriate options- let families provide Barbie and Ken if they wish at home!

    Hilary Laing
    Orono Early Learning
    Orono MN

  • 6.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-11-2021 12:02 AM
    I just started a small collection for practically nothing in means of price.  I feel the need to change materials out and keep children interested is a must.  It is something I will eventually introduce to the children in my classroom, until they loose interest.  I can think of so many ways to use them, in all domains of learning. I feel that any resources we can collect can be used purposefully and should be valued.  Some educators have a scarce supply of materials in the classroom and dollar store items may be the only thing readily available to teach diversity.

    Sara Canterbury
    Lead toddler teacher
    Jewish Community Center & Preschool
    Reynoldsburg OH

  • 7.  RE: Barbie in pre school ?

    Posted 04-11-2021 11:28 AM
    When I first started teaching I was surprised to see Barbie dolls in the classroom. That was many years ago and the naked Barbies (as Hilary mentions they are difficult to dress) were the classic large breasted ones. It was when I heard the children calling them the Mommy dolls that I realized that they played with them differently than they did the baby dolls.
    Recently I observed my grandchildren playing with their contemporary Barbies whose bodies and faces are much more realistic. "I'll be the driver", said my 8 year old granddaughter as she placed her favorite Barbie in the Barbie car she had just gotten for her birthday and "I'll sit here," said my almost 5 year old granddaughter as she placed her Barbie in the passenger seat.
    I'm not advocating for or against Barbies in the classroom but I do think it's interesting to observe the different roles children take on when they play with different types of dolls.

    Margery Heyl
    Chicago IL