It's always fun to see other folks "take" on my designs. Such was the case with an email that I got from Ginger. It seems that she has set out to make 3 Maggie Bean dolls for 3 very deserving young girls who have gone through very sad circumstances.
In the process of making the dolls, her own child, who is pre-school aged decided that he wanted one of the dolls, so a fourth one is now in the works. In planning the doll for her child, Ginger allowed him to dictate how his doll would look in terms of types of eyes, (in this case googly eyes) & other customizations. Which brings to mind my own children and how they used to co-design my puppets & dolls with me.
Having worked with children and young teens in the mental health field for about 18 years, I can not stress enough how imortant it is to a child's creative development to let them help. Yes, I wanted my puppets & dolls to be the way I wanted them to look, as oftentimes I was making them to sell. I didn't always practice what my college education, motherhood & growing up in a creative household taught me. Still, when time & materials allowed I tried to include my children when they expressed an interest.
Other than just having fun with your child, you are validating your child's ideas as being worthy and good. In addition you are promoting creative expression, positive self esteem, and sometimes a little problem solving as well. And no, you don't have to turn your 3 year old loose with a glue gun or needle and thread. In fact PLEASE don't do that. Just allow the child to say that he wants "googly" eyes, maybe even 3 of them on his doll. Or that his bunny should have a pegleg & tattoo and should be a pirate, (more on that later).
As I climb off my soapbox and get back to Ginger and her dolls, I have to commend her for allowing her son to help and for knitting up 3 dolls for 3 little girls, in hopes of helping to bring them a little cheer and comfort. Ginger has promised to send me final photos of the dolls. Here's what she's done so far...
Love the hairdo on this little doll!! I am looking forward to seeing Ginger's progress as she is working towards a Christmas deadline.