Girls’ doll and dream universes

Until they reach 3-4 years of age, little girls are particularly interested in functional dolls, e.g. baby, pretty lady, Mummy, little brother, etc.

The girl doll or adult female character doll begins to play a role in the girl’s dream universe when she is 4-5 years old. The appeal of these dolls is to distinctly feminine concepts, such as:

  • dialogue
  • “the aesthetics of beauty”
  • love/hate
  • compound and identifiable developmental story
  • invitation and mirroring

For older girls from the age of six, chat, conversation and dialogues about mutual relationships become the primary topics of play. Play with dolls gives girls an opportunity to discuss, analyse and experiment with their mutual relationships and situation.

In a typical small girls’ game, several girls play together in a small group and they play out situations and episodes from everyday life.

If the girls are 5-6 year olds, they will typically form close friendships or dyads through which they confirm each other’s identities and admire each other’s personal/intimate qualities.

The dolls become the girls’ “friends”, children, babies (see below) for whom the girls definitely feel they have social responsibility within the game which focuses in particular on mutual relationships, problems and opportunities.

The following describes the girls’ four universes which in turn are divided into four universal spheres, each of which outlines the content of the girls’ play and dreams.


(fantasy universe)


Girls aged 6-8 years and upwards


1. modern adult woman

2. roles of the adult woman

3. dream of “adult career”

4. soap realism

5. toy example: the world of Barbie


(fantasy universe)


Girls aged 5-6 years and upwards


1. princess, fairy, flower fairy

2. roles of characters in fairy tales

3. fairy tale dreams

4. drama, fiction and folk tales

5. toy example: Polly Pocket



Border between fantasy and reality



Border between fantasy and reality



(real universe)


Girls aged (5)6 years and upwards


1. girls, adults and children

2. girls’ roles and functions

3. adult dreams

4. soap realism

5. toy example: LEGO SYSTEM Belville



(real universe)


Girls aged 0-2 years and 3-6 years


1. Mummy, Daddy and Baby

2. baby and mother roles

3. dream of  “the family”

4. social realism

5. toy example: classic dolls’ house




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