For people who are just getting started as Barbie-Playing-Mentors, I like to offer the steps I think are most essential. Please click on the step titles to get a full write-up of each step in the process.

These steps are:

Step 1: Get a Bavatarbie – a doll that celebrates your barbégé’s unique beautry (in other words – unless your daughter has a boob job, dye job, spray tan and wears mini-skirts and heels to the grocery store, don’t by a BBBBarbie)

Step 2: Get that gal some friends and family. But not just any friends, the kind of friends you want her to have in real life.

Step 3: Get her something to do…like an art studio or a car she can use to take meals to shut-ins. If all you buy is a doll, two things are going to happen. That doll is going to get her hair brushed a lot and she’s going to end up naked. There’s really nothing else to do. My daughter does not brush her dolls’ hair or take off their clothes. Why? Because her dolls are so busy putting out fires, teaching school, ruling the world, hosting dance contests, and a multitude of other activities.

Step 4: Get some stands…because it is SO much easier to play when you don’t have to hold up three or four dolls at a time.

Step 5: Use weights and magnets…okay some people think this is overkill but my daughter loved using the glue gun and the mechanical engineering that went into thinking about how to make things level and where to place the weights.

Step 6: Spice things up with some Villains…not for everyone – in fact, we don’t even use them that often but they did breathe new life into our playtime at a point when I was getting bored.

Step 7: Don’t worry that if you play with your kid they’ll never learn to play without you…I probably should have made this step one, but I didn’t realize it was a problem for some until people told me so.  The fear is real, and very logical but I think it should be overcome because there is so much to be gained in terms of making your values known to your child(ren) and letting them teach you what they already know and might need help with.

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