Unsplash | Suke Tran

Mom Removes The 'Stigma' Of Dolls By Making A Line Specifically For Boys

Emily McWilliams 18 Apr 2019

While many parents are choosing to be more flexible when it comes to gender norms for their kids, a lot of toys are still heavily gendered.

This is especially true when it comes to letting boys play with dolls. That's why one mom decided to make a line of dolls specifically for boys.

Find out why dolls are beneficial for all children to play with, and the positive impact they can have in a boy's life.

Laurel Wider was inspired to create a line of dolls for boys after her son announced that, "boys aren't supposed to cry."

Twitter | @WonderCrewToys

Laurel was shocked by his statement but soon realized that her son was repeating the messages we tell boys all the time.

"But I soon realized that, of course, these messages and pressures about what it means to be a boy or a man exist everywhere. Of course my son would be affected, too,” she said in an interview with HuffPost

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Laurel is a psychotherapist and wanted to develop a line of toys for boys that would encourage their imagination and develop empathy.

Strangely, toys that are marketed to girls primarily encourage traits like friendship and love.

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Using her background in psychotherapy, Laurel knew that doll play was extremely beneficial for all children — not just little girls.

Playing with dolls helps children build social-emotional skill sets and teaches them how to nurture and care for others.

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Many boys are interested in playing with dolls, but are afraid to explore them because they think they are gender specific.

"Boys are interested in playing with dolls, yet for many parents and some boys there's a stigma attached to this type of play and the word 'doll' itself is a barrier," said Laurel in an interview with HuffPost.

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Laurel eventually developed The Wonder Crew. Each doll comes with a matching child-size outfit to encourage imaginative play.

There are also a number of different outfits available outside of the standard superhero. Boys can dress up their buddies in a number of different career-themed outfits.

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One thing is for sure — there was definitely a need for this doll in many little boys' lives.

You can find the Wonder Crew on Amazon, and many parents have left positive reviews for the product.

"[I] love that there is actually a doll for a boy. My son has been asking for one of these for a while now and he's getting it for his birthday in April. I love this product," said one review.

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Many parents have reported that their sons love playing "Daddy" with their crewmates.

This photo from one customer is melting my heart. Too precious.

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The dolls also come in a diverse range.

There's a Wonder Crewmate for every little boy out there, and this allows them to build self-esteem and see their culture reflected in their play.

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While some people still find it controversial for boys to play with dolls, Laurel and her Wonder Crew could change all that.

The dolls were awarded the 2018 Doll of the Year by the Toy of the Year Awards, and as more parents discover how much their sons love these toys, it's only a matter of time before every little boy wants one.

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