The play scenarios your barbégés come up with will be based on who they have to interact WITH. For this reason, you need to have characters that drive the kind of play you want to encourage. The So-In-Style line’s mentoring theme that paired Chandra and Zahara, etc is a great start. The scenarios Leah came up with for her SIS & Little SIS sets were based on her adoration of her teenage cousin Payton.
I also wanted older characters – one’s that I could use to model mothers’ relationships with their college and high-school aged daughters. Leah likes to pretend that Trichelle is in college and I like to pretend I am her mother, reminding her to study hard and keep boys in perspective.
Since Leah wants her bavatarbie to have best friends and each of those friends to have boyfriends I try to build out a diverse group of friends and encourage scenarios that have them doing “productive” and not “reproductive” activities like sports and music-related activities.
When Leah wants a doll to get married I immediately shift the focus to children and playgroups. Again, to help her avoid getting too stuck on romantic relationships between the dolls.