Friday, March 4, 2016

Let's Play Princess Dress-up

Almost two years, I wrote a post about the Disney Magiclip Dolls that had become a favorite of mine at home and at work.  All this time later, they are still a huge hit amongst the kids I work with and my almost 6 year old daughter.  I'm happy to report that they have been used hundreds and hundreds of times (literally) and have stood up to the beating they have gotten.

A few weeks ago, while trying to kill some time between clients, I stopped into a little toy store in the city and discovered a new line of Disney Princess dolls by Hasbro that grabbed my attention.  They looked a lot like the Magiclip Dolls mentioned above, but as an OT, I noticed that there was a bit more to them that would help improve fine motor and manipulation skills.  These Disney Princess Little Kingdom dolls and accessories have become a favorite of my almost 6 year old daughter.  I'm sure I've mentioned it before here, while my daughter doesn't receive therapy, she does have some weakness in her hands and has a terrible pencil grip so I am always on the lookout for toys that will help her in that area. Since she adores all things princesses, I knew that these dolls would be perfect at hiding the fact that we were working on something that she doesn't like to work on with me.  These princesses are easy to play with and all the outfits are interchangeable amongst the dolls.  The skirts and the bottom of dresses kind of slip on and off and the tops get pushed into a little hole on their chests.

You can buy a big set of the dolls or get them individually.  Some of the sets come with pets or other kinds of things (Anna has a bike that my daughter loves!).  Additionally, you can buy castles or some kind of home for them which is great for working on play and language skills.  Each of the dolls are only 3" tall meaning they don't take up a lot of room!  Excellent news for parents and therapists on the go.  As already mentioned, the outfits and accessories for each of the dolls are interchangeable so each time kids play with them, they can make different outfits.  My daughter has loved swapping the outfits  or having them wear just part of the dress and making it into a skirt instead.  Once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite simple to remove and replace all the different parts of the outfits. My favorite part of the dolls is the itty bitty accessories that come with each of the sets that you can use to decorate the outfits.  This is the part that is great for working on improving fine motor and manipulation skills.  Remind kids to use their "pinchers" when picking up the small pieces and pushing them into place!

In addition to working on fine motor skills, the Disney Princess Little Kingdom work on improving bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, motor planning and executive functioning skills such as focus, attention and organizational skills.  The best part is that they are reasonably priced, especially when you think about the fact that you can use all the outfits and accessories with any doll.  I found a really good selection of them at State News on the Upper East Side of Manhattan but have also seen them at other local toy stores (I always like to support the mom and pop toy stores before going to Target or Amazon).

If you are on the lookout for an affordable, fun and portable toy (think restaurants, car/airplane rides, etc.), Disney Princess Little Kingdom dolls are the perfect thing.  If you have any questions, be sure to email me...I am only a click away and love hearing from you all!

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