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Barbie is more than just clothes and Ken. Here’s how the doll is actually educational

The wait is almost over for the highly anticipated Barbie movie. With so much talk about the beloved doll, you can’t help but feel nostalgic for your favorite childhood toy. Often discounted as a frivolous, girls-only toy, former teacher and owner of Learn to Play, Kelli DeLarue says the doll actually goes much deeper.

She says the Barbie doll falls into the category of small world play, a concept DeLarue explains as children acting out everyday life in a small world setting. By acting out their everyday life through toys, they’re able to grasp real-world concepts and explore their interests. Children also sharpen their fine motor skills through changing Barbies clothes and shoes.


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“When presenting Barbie to your child, make sure there is one for you and one for your child,” says DeLarue. “Model the type of play you want to see your child do.”

Kids will jump at any opportunity to re-enact real life through their play. “Barbie has stayed so relevant throughout the years because she evolves with our culture,” DeLarue says.

And with Barbie being everything from a mom to a doctor to the President of the United States, she teaches kids, especially girls, the value of dreaming big. So play on, Barbie girls and boys.

Read more about DeLarue and her business in this story from the inRegister archives. And find more information about Learn to Play here.