Do you think the little girl in your life might enjoy a new doll? Here are some types to consider.
Cloth dolls are great for older babies and toddlers because they are soft, light to carry and won't hurt if your little one accidentally bangs it into her own face. Some have attached snaps, zippers, laces and buttons so children can practice the fine motor skills needed to dress themselves.
Vinyl or rubber dolls
Cloth dolls aren't very realistic. For that, you need a vinyl or rubber doll. They come in a wide range of sizes. Some have bald heads, while others have rooted hair. Other features may include open and shut eyes or the ability to drink and wet.
Many dolls have a soft, fabric body with vinyl arms, legs and head. These are great for girls who want a more realistic looking doll, but still want to be able to cuddle with it.
Dolls with very high technological capacities are available. They recognize voices and keep track of the time. They can talk, walk, giggle and imitate many functions of a real baby.
Barbie is the most famous fashion doll, of course. She has quite a bit of competition on the market now, though. There are Bratz, Liv, Moxie, Monster High and many other lines. All have a wide range of accessories, clothing, cars and play sets. .
Older girl dolls
Once girls hit elementary school, they are often pulled in by the American Girl line. They are 18 inches tall and look like real girls - not babies. American Girl dolls are high quality and beautiful, but extremely expensive. They start at around $100. Outfits cost $30 and up.
Fortunately there are alternatives to American Girl dolls. Target sells a line of similar dolls called "Our Generation" by Battat. Most of the major department stores, such as Toys-R-Us, Walmart and Sears, have similar lines.
A doll doesn't need to be expensive for a little girl to fall in love with her. Check out thrift stores and garage sales if you're on a limited budget. Ebay is a great source if you're looking for something unique, such as a vintage or ethnic doll. Don't forget to pick up a change of clothes or two for your girl's new friend.