Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Something interesting happened in my classroom yesterday. The lead teacher led a discussion with the students, all four years old, about what to set up in the dramatic play area. She suggested setting up an ice cream stand as the weather is getting warm. One of the little boys said he would like to set it up as a place to take care of babies. Others agreed, boys and girls alike. When they arrived this morning the area was set up as a baby hospital with cribs, bottles, clothes, scrubs, and medical tools. The space was filled to capacity for the entire morning with children feeding, rocking and dressing the dolls. They took turns being the doctor and giving them check-ups and sometimes medicine. Even more interesting was that the girls spent very little time in this area. The boys thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t help but think that this is likely because the girls have dolls to care for at home while the boys do not. If only these boys had their own dolls to play with at home, they could have the experience of caring for something on a daily basis. My hope is that gender-neutral dolls such as Baby GoGo will help to make it the norm for boys and girls to have dolls to help them develop the ability to nurture.