Safety is of utmost concern when choosing the right plastic doll for your child. Make sure that the plastic doll has been painted with non toxic, lead-free paint; this is of higher concern with old or vintage hard plastic dolls, as lead was often used in past decades before government regulation intervened. Still, if shopping for an infant or toddler, avoid electrically operated plastic dolls small enough, or have parts or pieces small enough, to get caught in the throat. Moreover, glass or button doll eyes also pose a concern. Children around this age may taste, chew, or suck on their doll; this is a normal part of learning, exploring, and teething.
If shopping for an infant or toddler, opt for a large plastic doll that is easy to clean and sanitise, as everything around this age, whether edible or not, goes straight to the mouth; this helps keep germs to a minimum.
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Even though Horsman was an innovator in developing vinyl dolls, they also made dozens of models of their Bright Star line, originally composition dolls, in hard plastic in the early '50s. Bright Star had glassine sleep eyes and a saran wig. Other important hard-plastic doll makers of the postwar era include Arranbee Doll Company, which created Nanette; Robert Doll Company; Royal Doll Company; ; and Nancy Ann Storybook and Style Show Dolls.
Children begin to develop fine motor skills in their infant and toddler years. Therefore, consider a plastic doll that appeals to the senses. Sight, sound, smell, texture, and taste are sure to arouse your child's curiosity and help keep them entertained while you take care of household chores. Consider a brightly coloured plastic doll that squeezes, or a Strawberry Shortcake doll with fruit-scented hair. Children three to four years of age enjoy playing dress up, therefore, consider small plastic dolls such as Barbie dolls that come with a large array of accessories, including clothes, hats, and shoes, and encourage child creativity and exploration. Still, older children who may find themselves outgrowing plastic baby dolls, are sure to find interest in American Girl Dolls. These plastic dolls not only come with a wide array of accessory options, but also allow children to customise hair colour and skin tone. Many also come with their very own book.