Dolls - The History and Future of Fun For Children
Still as popular today in our current hi-tech, online world as they ever have been, a childhood almost isn't complete without one.
People from as long ago as the Ancient Egyptians have been enjoying them as toys - dolls have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2000BC - and they were also common in Ancient Greece and amongst Roman children.
Originally they were made from wood, but although all sorts of different materials including clay, bone and porcelain have been used, it wasn't until the development of plastics after the Second World War that they started to become both realistic and affordable.
Thanks to advances in technology, dolls have become much more than they once were.
Instead of being inanimate objects that only reacted through your imagination, they can now interact with its handler.
As close to the real thing as is suitable for your child, dolls nowadays can cry, laugh and sleep.
The dolls can help teach children about babies and give them vital social skills.
Many come equipped with items such as bottles and when fed the doll will be placated and the crying will stop.
Rough handling - such as throwing the doll around - will start the crying again and the child will soon learn not to act in such a violent manner.
Some dolls come equipped with dummies to help soothe and send them to sleep whilst others have working internals that mean when they get fed someone needs to clean up afterwards! Imagination is still key in playing with a doll.
Unlike computer games that tell a story to whoever's holding the controller, playing with a doll encourages storytelling and creating scenarios.
Accessories are available to facilitate this - prams and baby slings allow the child to take care of the doll outside and different costumes allow dress up games and picking clothes for the right occasion.
Young children and their dolls are often inseparable as the toy gets taken everywhere you child goes.
In bed it can often act as a comforter allowing a pleasant night's sleep and as the child starts to meet other people her age, they can have parties, where their dolls [http://www.
uk/toys/dolls-houses/cup-cake-baby-dolls/] interact and become friends.
Whilst many children are happy with just one doll, which they will continue to love and care for throughout their life (although perhaps devoting slightly less time later on in life) others become avid collectors.
This is not at all unusual and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London dedicates a branch to childhood with a large collection of toys and dolls from years gone by.