When I was a little girl, my absolute favourite toy was my paper dolls. I spent hours engaged in elaborate imaginative play with them, changing their clothes for balls, for tea parties, for swimming lessons, and so on. My mum and I used to spend quiet afternoons making our own clothes for them; cutting and drawing and colouring them just the way we wanted. I even remember that in the summer I turned 5, we made a whole wardrobe of brown and yellow clothes, as my mum was trying to convince me that brown and yellow were such pretty colours together - since those were the colours of my upcoming school uniform! (She never did quite convince me on that!)
Anyway, the girls and I made these cute paper dolls a while back that I've been meaning to share with you. They were super easy to make and kept the girls busy for ages.
Simply cut out a human-ish shape from thick paper or cardboard (or print from a template), then draw around the shape to make whatever clothes you like. Remember to leave tabs around the shoulders, waist, hips, and legs to hold the clothes on. Then cut out the clothes from patterned papers or use plain paper and have the kids design and decorate the clothes themselves. Or if you prefer, you could use felt and fabric scraps to decorate the clothes. You could add some yarn for the doll's hair, or even have your children design their dolls to look like themselves, as I remember doing at school when we were 6.
This is an easy multi-age activity to do, as older children can do all the cutting themselves, while younger ones can do the colouring of the clothes to suit their tastes. It's also great for fine motor skills development - careful cutting for the older ones, drawing and colouring, and working with the tabs to attach the clothes to the dolls.
Did you make paper dolls as a child, too?