Empathy dolls are commonly (though not exclusively) used in a training, therapy or nursery environment. They are designed to improve the emotional well being of a child by encouraging them to explore their thoughts, feelings and emotions through the doll.
There are many different occasions when an empathy doll may prove useful. For example, if a child is behaving in an aggressive way to their peers, a doll may be introduced to help them think about how their actions could be affecting other children around them. The doll should be introduced to a child essentially as a 'real person' (compete with name and brief history). The child is then able to work through scenarios and explore their emotions through the doll, whereas confronting them head-on may lead to them feeling berated or victimised.
It many ways it's better to think of empathy dolls as being an approach rather than just a physical object. They have been mentioned in several Ofsted reports which can be found on their website. To learn more about this topic, we'd recommend you track down a particularly good book called Using Empathy Dolls. We've also listed below some toy shops where you will be able to buy one of these dolls that are produced by companies such as Rubens Barn and Joyk.
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