This post is brought to you by American Girl®. All opinions are my own.
I want to teach my daughter about friendship and mindfulness, being kind to others, doing good deeds and being creative! Like any other mom, I want my daughter to grow up with confidence that she can do and be anything. I want to teach her how to become a loving person and I find that creative play is one of the best ways to achieve these goals.
Kids just learn better when they’re having fun. It’s as simple as that! When you combine creative play with a doll that is designed specifically to help kids learn more about friendship, kindness and compassion, you have a win-win situation! That’s exactly what American Girl did with their WellieWishersTM. Who are the WellieWishers and how can they help my daughter learn about compassion? Read on to find out!
Who are the WellieWishers?
By now you must have heard about American Girl. Every little girl wants one! I know because my daughter wanted one as well, which was great because American Girl provided WellieWishers product to me for free for my review. The WellieWishers, which include Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson and Camille, are great new companions for your daughter. Their goal is to try to be the best well-wisher they can be. The 5 girls gather and play in a beautiful garden, using their imaginations while learning some of life’s important lessons, like empathy, being a good friend, and the importance of being kind to each other.
Each WellieWisher has her own personality, passions and talents. It is what makes them unique, just like our daughters. Each one has a special way she helps others as well. Whether it is encouraging others to love, care for and respect animals and nature, or knowing just how to throw the best surprise party for a friend, each girl has something special to offer.
Their colorful garden boots (wellies) help them to imagine and play. Stomping around the backyard, playing in the mud and just using their imagination is not an issue in these cool boots! Each one of these girls has the same big, bright wish: to be a good friend. There are so many fun ways to use dolls to teach kids kindness through creative play time. Check out a few of my favorites!
Teaching Kindness & Compassion through Imaginative Play
- Setting up a “what would you do” scenario. Give your daughter a chance to act out different scenarios using her WellieWishers and other dolls. Each WellieWisher has her own characteristics that would play out perfectly in different situations. For example, my daughter’s WellieWisher, Camille, is a secret keeper. While this is a great trait to have in some cases, there are some secrets that do need to be told. Play the role of a friend who tells Camille a secret that should be told (make it age appropriate, please) and help your daughter work through what to do in that situation to help a friend.
- Teach good sportsmanship. It’s hard to be kind and compassionate when you’re disappointed over a loss. Create an imaginative scenario where one of the WellieWishers is sad that she lost a big game or meet. Camille is an excellent swimmer, but maybe, just once, Willa outswam her! What should Camille say to Willa? How can she cheer herself up?
- Learn when to speak up for others. Camille is pretty content to go with the flow. While that makes her fun to be around because she’s up for whatever her friends want to do, like secrets, there are times when you need to go against the flow. With bullying such an important issue in schools today, teaching kids when and how to stand up for others is a major part of instilling a sense of kindness and compassion in them.
Camille has other wonderful traits that work perfect for creative play time. She’s a great listener, which makes her a good friend and confidant. My daughter loves Camille! She has blonde hair just like my daughter and they both love the water.
Being a girl is a very special thing, and having a WellieWisher as a friend to grow up with your daughter makes it even sweeter. The WellieWishers are a fun avenue to teach her the skills I want her to have. Having a best friend and learning about relationships and how to be a good person is something I remember while growing up myself.
Visit the WellieWishers’ page on the American Girl website to learn more about each of the girls, including all their wonderful character traits! While you’re there, make sure you locate the free WellieWishers app! You’ll also find excerpts from a few of the books.
How do you use creative play to teach your kids about kindness? Share in the comments!