My daughter actually hates it when I use doll stands but I find them very convenient because it means I don’t have to hold everyone up. If you buy Barbie Collector dolls they all come with their own stands. We don’t use those. We use what are called “Leg Cuff” stands.
I keep all of our Character Players on stands at all times – so that they are ready to jump into scenarios on a moment’s notice. I also found a way to overcome Leah’s resistance. I guess when we first started using stands, I inadvertantly stopped touching the dolls when it was their turn to speak. This can get very confusing.
The best way to indicate which doll is talking is to touch or sort of pinch their shoulders lightly, as if you are holding them up, and if you want, sort of bounce them a millimeter or two up and down. This is kind of funny to say, but that’s how we did it when I was a kid and that still feels right today. Some people sort of shake them side to side instead of using an up and down motion.
If I am trying to do something else simultaneously or my body position is twisted and I can’t do it “right” sometimes just a finger on the top of the head will satisfy Leah. Sometimes it doesn’t and she says, “Mommy!! Play!!”
So that’s tip 4 – get some stands – but don’t forget to use your hand to indicate which doll is speaking.