Saturday, April 30, 2016

Family History for Kids: Historical Paper (Felt) Doll

Paper dolls were a favorite toy in times past. Talking to children about old fashioned toys and telling stories as you play is another way to connect young children to family memories. Other toys like jacks and marbles or card games, etc. also work in the same way to start a conversation with children.

Story: When I was nine years old (in about 1969) my best friend's mother helped us make what she called a "Clorox" doll. Sister Wright cut up an old Clorox bottle and cut a doll shape out of the plastic - one for Jody and one for me. She helped us cut and glue flesh colored felt to the plastic body and a colored felt swimsuit on top so that they were modest! She helped us make and attach yarn hair and draw a face. Then she demonstrated how to trace around the doll shape to make simple clothing out of felt. If not too heavy, the felt clothing clings to the body of the doll and you don't have to worry about tabs on the clothing. She gave us more colored felt, Elmer's paste, bits of lace and ribbon, sequins (for buttons) and turned us loose. We had a grand afternoon and I had a lovely toy to take home.

The doll could be made as a regular paper doll as well, using cardboard instead of plastic and the beautiful printed scrap booking paper for the paper clothing. Just don't forget to add tabs to the shoulders to hold the paper to the body of the doll. For our doll, Miss Abigail and I made felt clothing that would be historical and/or ethnic to further connect to ancestors and memories.

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