Can dolls be empowering toys for girls?
When they include rolls models of strength, curiosity and perseverance, we’d say yes. The dolls we’ve selected here are empowering toys because they give girls a way to imagine themselves doing great things.
As I talk with my daughter lately (she’s 5), I realize she’s soaking in more than I can imagine during her days. I’d like to add as many empowering and strengthening ideas as possible in this receptive time.
I’ve been surprised since having a daughter how often I confront my own biases – I’ve found myself nearly saying “he” when talking about a doctor or pilot, just out of reflex. This is embarrassing to me – especially as a mother who founded and runs a business, I feel I should know better! I hope the stereotypes will be less prevalent in my daughter’s mind.
In that spirit, I bring you these picks of empowering dolls for girls – they’re great examples of character and ambition for my daughter to see. This post contains affiliate links I may earn a commission for qualifying purchases.
Our Picks for Empowering Doll Toys for Girls
I Am Elemental Dolls – Each of these superheros represents a different character trait such as Bravery or Persistence. The company’s motto is, “If you give a girl a different toy, she will tell a different story.™” and these female action figures tell a story of strength and power.
Lego – Lego has female mini-figures as scientists, snowboarders, paleontologists… just about any activity is represented.
Project Mc2 Dolls – Project Mc2 is a new show on Netflix “where smart is the new cool”. The four teenage girls in the show use their science smarts to be secret agents, saving the day.
I loved finding a doll that can encourage my daughters fledgling love of science. She is a “girly girl” and was so excited to see these cute dolls doing cools projects (each kit comes with a STEM activity like making a glow stick, building a mini skateboard or Lava Lamp).
Lottie Dolls – Lottie is one intrepid little girl doll – doing everything from fossil hunting to pony club. She is cute, age appropriate, and you find find her with a variety of hair and skin colors, as well as costumes and accessories.
Barbie – I admit Barbie did not come to mind right away when I thought of empowering dolls, but I have changed my tune. Barbie has done nearly any career you can think of and you can find Barbies to represent this. Barbie builder? Check. Barbie as robotics engineer? Yes, in fact they’ve teamed up with Tynker so fans of Barbie can begin learning coding! How about Barbie entomologist? animal rescuer? dentist? Yes, you can find all of those and many many more.
Mini American Girl Dolls – You have probably seen the large sized American Girl Dolls. Each one comes with her own story – and there’s nothing like historical fiction to transport you to another time and place and get you wanting to learn more. These mini dolls can be a fun way to start out with the American girl dolls – they’re little, far less expensive than their big sisters, and perfect for kids who enjoy playing pretend with a collection of small figures. They each come with their own mini book too.
Veterinarian Laura is an 8″ doll who comes with a kit of tools and medicine to take care of any stuffed animal, horse figurine or imaginary pet. You can also get a vet tech doll who comes with three toy animals and a really cool mobile vet clinic toy with this line from Breyer.
What empowering toys for girls do you know about? Leave me any recommendations in the comments!
Need more ideas? You may also be interested in these gift lists:
- Creative Gift Ideas for 8-10 Year Olds
- Percy Jackson Fans Greek Mythology Gift Ideas
- Awesome Family Board Games
Alissa Zorn is an author, and founder of the website Overthought This. She's a coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa is certified through the International Coach Federation and got her Trauma-Informed Coaching certification from Moving the Human Spirit. She wrote Bounceback Parenting: A Field Guide for Creating Connection, Not Perfection, and is always following curiosity to find her next creative endeavor.