Exploring through play
Set up a doll’s hospital.
Children could organise and make labels for first-aid supplies such as bandages and plasters.
They could dress up as a nurse or a doctor, take the dolls’ temperatures, listen to their chests through a stethoscope and give them pretend medicine.
Children can look online or in toy catalogues for pictures of dolls made from different materials – china, plastic, wax, wood, fabric.
They could make a group collage or spider diagram showing the advantages and disadvantages of each material.
A simple doll can be made from almost any material.
Take a look at this peg doll from Preston Park Museum.
It has been made from an old wooden peg that was usually used to hang washing on a washing line. It would have been owned by a poor child more than 100 years ago.
What materials can children recycle into a doll? They could use an old-fashioned peg like this one, lolly sticks, pipe-cleaners, fabric scraps…
Don’t forget to give the doll some clothes. They could be made of paper, fabric or even drawn or painted on.
Our old peg doll seems to have lost her clothes. What do children think they might they have looked like?
What questions do children have about old dolls? Encourage them to think carefully about something they would really like to find out about this doll or an old doll in your classroom. They could take it in turns to hold a picture of a large question mark, and think of a question beginning with Who, Where, Why, What, When or How to share with the group or class.
Where could they find out the answers? They could: