Doll House Games With A Twist: Building Language Skills Through Play

doll house games for speech and language development


If you have come in search of online doll house games you have come to the wrong place.  The games I am going to share with you are meant for real dollhouses with real dolls.  Children learn best when they play with physical toys and interact with others (peers, family, friends, etc.).

In this article you will learn how you can help your young child develop and fine tune language skills simply by playing with a dollhouse.  The dollhouse can be big or small, wooden or plastic, it doesn’t matter. As long as you have some small dolls and accessories you are good to go!

If you are the parent, caregiver or teacher of a boy or girl, this article is for you.  All children should be given the opportunity to play with a doll house.  This toy should not be gender specific.   In fact, we bought my daughter a dollhouse for her 3rd birthday.  She would only play with it if her dad or I were playing along side with her.  But, when my son was about 18 months old he discovered the dollhouse and couldn’t get enough of it.   He played with that thing everyday!

Doll House Games For Language Development

These games are meant for children ages 3-6.  You may have to adjust the complexity of these games based on your child’s age and skill level.

At the end of this article I will share some general language development tips that can be applied when playing with a dollhouse.  And if you have a boy who is determined not to play with a dollhouse, check out this alternative!

Moving Day

Empty out the entire dollhouse.  Talk to you child about moving (assuming they have never moved before).  Find a toy truck or make one out of an old cardboard box.

Place the contents of the dollhouse into the truck.  Depending on the size of your truck, the move could take several trips.

Talk with your child what items should be moved first, how to take care of fragile items, how does everyone get to choose their new rooms, etc.

You can make this game as simple or complex as you want.  If your children are older, give them the idea and let them come up with the rest!  You may be surprised by their creativity and imagination.

doll house games moving day

Sleepover

Talk to you child about what would be involved in having a sleepover.  If they haven’t slept at a friends house, maybe they have slept at a relative’s house.  If that is not the case either, then take this opportunity to teach your child about sleepovers.
Think about where the dolls could be going for their sleepover.  What will they need to bring?  Will they drive, walk or maybe even fly there.  Depending on the age of your child, the 2 of you could come up with quite an elaborate scenario.

Hotel

This is similar to the sleepover above but instead of going to a friends house you (I mean the dolls) are specifically going to a Hotel.  Move some of the furniture around and pretend that there is a reception desk.

Where is the hotel?  Somewhere tropical or maybe the North Pole? What will you do while staying at the hotel?  Perhaps you can check out all of the different rooms available.  Discuss how you will need to rearrange furniture in the dollhouse to make it look like a hotel.

You could even make a sign to hang on the front of the house (aka hotel).

♥ You Might Also Like: The 5 Best Kids Play Kitchens: They Will All Encourage Language and Learning! ♥

Haunted House

Of course before you start with this scenario, you will want to make sure the kids won’t actually be scared.  But since Halloween is coming up (October 2016) this would be a great time to turn your dollhouse into a haunted house.

Will furniture get moved around?  Would you (or your child) notice that the furniture has been tampered with?  You can turn this into a memory game as well.  Take turns studying the furniture and then the “ghost” will come along while you aren’t watching and make some changes.  Do you think you will be able to spot what’s different?

doll house games haunted house

Restaurant

The dollhouse is now a restaurant.  Use your imagination as to what type of restaurant it’s going to be.  For example, a fast food restaurant with a drive thru?  Or maybe it’s a fancy sit down restaurant with waiters and waitresses.

You could make a menu with a list of items being sold.  If your child is able to (or interested in) writing, have him make the menu himself.  Of your child can tell you what you should write on it.

What will you order, how will you pay for it? You get the idea.


Be sure to check out the amazing selection of dollhouses on Amazon!

dollhouses on amazon button


Language Development Tips for General Dollhouse Play

The following are general areas that can be targeted while playing with a dollhouse.

Verbs
Eat, drink, sleep, sit, stand, wash, walk, run, etc.  There are more verbs than this that will probably come up during play with a dollhouse.

Social Skills
Social skills that can be worked on while playing with a dollhouse include:

Turn Taking – everyone gets to take a turn having the dolls do something
Pretend Play – if your child is having a hard time with this talk about everyday activities that could be acted out with the dolls.  For example, the bedtime routine, making dinner, getting ready for school, etc.

Vocabulary
Label everything you see in the dollhouse, including the people.  If your child doesn’t have many words yet, labeling the items in the house is a great way to introduce new vocabulary.  But don’t forget to use verbs as well since we don’t talk using only nouns.

Following Directions
Depending on your child’s language level, he can either give the direction (if he’s speaking in sentences) or he can follow your direction.  You can give 1 step directions such as “the baby is tired, put her to bed” or if that is to easy for your child, try a multi step direction.  For example, “ “dad is thirsty, put him in the chair and then make him drink some water”

Prepositions/Concepts
So many basic concepts and prepositions can be targeted during doll house games.  Here are a few examples:

Prepositions: In, on, under, off of, beside (next to), in front, behind
Opposites: Big/small, hard/soft, up/down
Colors: Talk about the color of furniture, clothes, etc.
Shapes: See what shapes you can find in the dollhouse.  For example, a table might be round (circle), while the window is a square or rectangle.

Sequencing
Come up with a scenario such as going to bed.  Ask your child what steps are involved in the bedtime routine.  Encourage her to act out the routine with the dolls while she is verbalizing what is happening.

Parts of a Whole
Talk about the different parts of various pieces of furniture.  For example a bathtub has the tub, water faucet, drain and maybe even feet.  Or you can talk about the whole house and what is in it.

Categorization
Categorize objects by group, such as food, furniture, animals or by attributes.  For example, find all the things that are round or green or that you can sit on, etc.


It’s As Simple As That

Isn’t it amazing that a toy as simple as a dollhouse can help support and teach language skills!  I have only discussed 6 doll house games in this article,  but as you can see, these are very easy to come up with.  An older child should have no problems coming up with even more games and pretend play scenarios.   Do you have any games you can add to the list?

If a dollhouse isn’t your child’s thing, but you want to take advantage of all of these language and learning opportunities for your child, be sure to take a look at this great alternative to a traditional dollhouse!


4 Comments

  1. jschicanha

    Thank you for the information about the dollhouses for kids. I have a daughter who always gets bored. I tried buying a toy puppy for her but she doesn’t seem interested in it. I actually just got her a doll house which she seems to be more interested in. I hope that this will really help with her language development

    Thank you!

    Jose

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Sorry to hear that your daughter wasn’t interested in the puppy you bought her. Perhaps this article will give you some tips What You Should Know About Your Toddler’s Stuffed Animals!

      I am sure she will love the dollhouse, especially if you take some time to play with her!

      Reply
  2. Patrick

    Loved this article. I have a 4 year old daughter who is constantly asking me to play with her and her dollhouse. As a father, playing with dolls has taken a bit of getting used too, but anything for my daughter. With these new tips, I know we can add a lot of new fun and learning to our adventures and help keep daddy interested as well. Thanks again. This was perfect.

    Patrick

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Patrick! I am glad to hear that you have been inspired to find more ways for you and your daughter to play with her dollhouse!

      Reply

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