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Is It Okay for My Son to Play With Dolls?

I have boy/girl twins and my son wants to play with my daughter’s dolls. Should I encourage him to stick to his own toys or let him explore?

Re:

I have boy/girl twins and my son wants to play with my daughter’s dolls. Should I encourage him to stick to his own toys or let him explore?

The Bump Expert

Let him explore! Walk into any toy store and it’s pretty easy to figure out which section is for boys and which is for girls. But you don’t have to have separate aisles at home. Free play is a chance for kids to use their imaginations. Allowing each of your toddlers to be exposed to a variety of toys can help them develop interests and explore new ways of playing and thinking.

So if your son plays with a doll, for example, it can help him to learn how to be more caring and nurturing. If your daughter plays with trains or trucks, it can open doors for creativity. (And how cool is it when a man is a nurse or a teacher, and a woman is a mechanic or an engineer?) Often free play is a chance for children to express themselves in a wide variety of ways, and may even help them become caring, well rounded adults. Nothing bad about that!

More from The Bump:

The Best Toys for Toddlers

Weird Toddler Behaviors (That Are Actually Normal)

Wacky Parenting Methods... That Work!

Preeti Parikh MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York (and mom of twins)