Friday, September 19, 2008

An Excerpt from Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion

HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR CHILD TO DOLL COLLECTING
An excerpt from Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion

by Debbie Behan Garrett

Collecting dolls is both exciting and rewarding for the young and old. Most adult collectors began this hobby based on the hunt for a doll previously owned during childhood. Others were introduced to doll collecting through association with other collectors. Others had their hearts warmed by a doll as an adult, which incited in them the collecting passion. Collecting dolls and possessing an overall appreciation for them can also begin during childhood. There are several ways to introduce your child to doll collecting and a general appreciation for the dolls they own.


Within the home setting, teach your child an appreciation for dolls at an early age. Teach her the importance of taking care of her dolls through delicate play and appropriate display after playtime ends. Delicate play includes gentle hair restyling and redressing, if desired. Maintaining a doll’s hair, its clothing and accessories are all important facets of doll collecting. Purchase extra outfits for redressing and teach the child to maintain and properly store all dolls’ original outfits. Use plastic storage bags or other see-through containers to store outfits and accessories together. Write dolls’ names on the outside of storage bags for easy identification. Use free-standing bookshelves or wall shelves to display dolls in your child’s bedroom when playtime ends.


If you are a doll-collecting parent, your child may automatically become interested in collecting dolls based on your interest. If you are not a collector, introduce your child to other collectors through a local doll club or through a scout’s organization. Most doll clubs and many scout troops have junior collectors’ divisions. Encourage your child to associate with other young collectors often. Attend local doll shows with your child to provide exposure to a variety of collectible dolls. Doll storybooks and subscriptions to doll collecting magazines will increase your child’s interest in doll collecting. Visit bookstores or your local library and browse the doll-reference book section. Purchase or borrow a good doll reference book on the type of doll your child collects or desires to collect.

A focus on one type of doll is best for the young collector. Begin with fairly inexpensive dolls, which can be found at local and online toy stores. Cloth dolls, which can be easily cared for, can be an initial focus. Small vinyl dolls, baby dolls, doll series, or dolls with books are also excellent doll categories on which young collectors can focus. After establishing a doll budget, maintain it. Add additional dolls to the collection after your child exhibits the ability to properly care for and display her dolls. Then gradually add moderately priced to high-end dolls to the collection at your discretion.


Your gentle parental guidance and instruction will help introduce your child to the wonderful world of doll collecting – a worthwhile, constructive hobby and balance between school and idle play. After your child establishes a keen interest in doll collecting, allow her to collect the types of dolls she desires to collect that are within your budget. This will ensure that the experience is as rewarding as possible for you and your child. A happy, young collector is one whose dolls truly warm their heart whose parents derive pleasure in experiencing and contributing to their joy.
Copyright © 2008 Debbie Behan Garrett. All rights reserved.

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