Now that you have dolls, it’s time to give them something to do.
To give them something to do, you need props. Props can be furniture, tiny food, pets, books – the same kind of things we interact with in real life. There are lots of used props around for cheap.
Tons of used barbie stuff can be had by buying someone else’s old collection. Someone else’s old barbie collection is a great way to get a jump start on clothing, furniture and other accessories with very little work or expense.
You can look for Yard and Garage Sales online using Craigslist. I feel like I see “Big box of Barbie stuff $40” listed on my local Craigslist site about once a month.
If you are more particular about what props you want to gather and you have a bit more money to spend then you’ll want to troll ebay.
Obviously you can also buy new playsets at Toys R Us, Target, KMart and other stores.
If you don’t want to buy things and you don’t know anyone who wants to give you their old stuff, make your own. Shoe boxes can be beds. Food cans can become tables and chairs.
However you go about it, be aware that the furniture, accessories and playsets you collect will drive the scenario that your barbege’s come up with.
Just like bored teenagers – if there’s nothing constructive to do your bavatarbies will get into trouble through, shall we say, “romantic exploration”.
I’ve made conscious decision to avoid certain types of playsets because I don’t want my daugther to want to play certain types of scenarios all the time. Playsets I avoid include Styling Salons and Clothing Stores. I don’t want my daughter to become a Trophy Wife so I don’t encourage her to play Trophy Wife on a daily basis.
I also don’t purchase barbie camping sets. I thought about it but decided against it. It’s not because I care if my daughter becomes a camping enthusiast someday. It’s because I don’t want her begging me to take her camping anytime in the next 14 years. I hate camping.
By the way, don’t jump to the conclusion that a huge Barbie Dream House is the best first thing to buy. Being at home can be very boring compared to being at the Ice Cream Shop or the Pizza Parlor. I made the mistake of buying a couple of huge Barbie Dream Houses right away and I feel they inhibit play more than they encourage it.
For one thing, they usually get set up and never change. Our scenarios almost always start out someplace other than inside a house and when things lead to the characters heading “home” they usually end up settling in to “watch a movie” – at which point, we can’t figure out what else do so we quit playing.
This is why barbie houses don’t need to be on your short list. Even a car will generate more interesting play than a house. When you do get around to buying a home consider getting one of the smaller fold out houses because these seem to be more fun. You can move them to different rooms in your own home or even take them along to friend’s homes or on vacation.
So – that’s step three – get some fodder for your scenarios – but remember to be thoughtful about what you get.