Gone are the days when dolls relied on a child’s imagination to come alive. Today, dolls come in an array of electronically enhanced styles, from talking stuffed animals to animatronic dolls that seem like living babies themselves. And not all dolls are made for girls, either. Boys of various ages can find something to enjoy in this category. But when you’re browsing the toy aisles, finding an age-appropriate toy is of vital importance, particularly when you’re shopping for a very young child.
When you start to consider which electric doll is best-suited for your child, there are a number of factors to consider. Most of them hinge on your child’s age and play style, which makes sense because your child will be the ultimate judge of the toy’s utility and value.
If your child is less than a year old, you definitely don’t want to give him or her a toy with moving or small parts that pose serious safety hazards. When it comes to older children, you want to find a toy that will stimulate and entertain them, so simpler “squeeze-my-tummy” style dolls are often not quite enough. And don’t judge a toy simply by the suggested age on the box; it’s up to you to determine, based on the toy’s functions, whether a toy is age-appropriate for your child.
The kinds of interactive features you should look for will vary depending on the age of your child. Younger children are satisfied with simple dolls that have simple features, while older children need a variety of functions to keep them entertained. Find out whether the doll talks and moves based on a simple action, like pushing the doll’s stomach, or a more complex action, like a voice command.
Design is yet another aspect that hinges somewhat on the age of your child, and the design of a toy is a key safety concern. Are there sharp edges or hard pieces that could injure the child? Is the battery compartment sufficiently child-proofed? Is there a switch that allows the child to accidentally disable the doll’s interactive features, forcing the child to interrupt playtime to seek you out to fix it?
The best electric dolls – for older children, at least – do more than just talk. They dance, wiggle, swim or walk. Some react to voice commands for an advanced level of play. Some are even capable of playing games with your child, allowing for hours of entertainment.
After you consider your child’s maturity, cognitive needs and play style, it should be relatively easy to pick out an electric doll that is perfectly suited for your child. And with a variety of styles at numerous price points, it should be a breeze to find one that fits your budget. If you need some help getting started in your search, check out our reviews for a detailed list of doll features, functions and styles.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™