Since her brother was born earlier this year, our four-year-old daughter is excellent in her role as a big sister. She loves to help with all aspects of taking care of him, even though she is a little too young – and he is a little too big – to do everything she wants.
As such, she was very excited when her own baby was recently delivered – although I would clarify that "baby" means "doll" and that the delivery was via the mail carrier rather than a midwife. The dock in question was the newly launched Baby Born Soft Touch Doll, which was delivered together with Baby Born City RC Scooter, a helmet and a change of clothes.
My daughter has not really owned a "real" doll before, so I looked forward to seeing how she would move on with one that was designed to be realistic and lively. First impressions were really positive. The packaging and presentation had a "wow factor". I was impressed by the number of doll accessories and the various interactive features on both doll and scooter, which was great for helping imaginative games.
After taking the items out of the boxes and looking at the instructions quickly, it was gratifying to see that the minimum setting was necessary. The dock was good to go and did not have to do anything, but the scooter needed less assembly, namely turning the windscreen and attaching the luggage sleeve. Finally, it was the important task to name the doll – after some deliberation, my daughter decided on the name Jaz, which we wrote on the accompanying birth certificate.
Over the past few weeks, my daughter has been playing Jaz a lot, so we have got a good idea of what the doll can do functionally and how it helps her imaginative game. Some of the features include moving extremities, a soft touch and eyes that close when they are laid back and opened when upright. However, that is not all. The dock becomes more interactive and lively when presenting water and food. The doll can drink water from a bottle and be spoon fed "porridge" (which comes as a powder in a bag and mixed with water). This, in turn, allows the doll to cry tears when the upper body is clumsy or to go for a wee / poo when the navel is pressed down. These interactive features make the dock real and provide a better way to play – but it can get a little messy when water is involved!
We also tried out Baby Born City RC Scooter, which allows the doll to "ride" its own mode of transport. The dock can sit on the seat and have its hands attached to the handlebar and then drive around the house with the remote control. The pink scooter comes with stabilizers to facilitate control, indicators flashing when the current button on the remote control is pressed and two sheets of stickers to match the outside. I have been impressed by how durable, robust and well-done the scooter is – it's good given how often it has crashed into the furniture in our living room, even though my daughter's driving skills have definitely become better with training!
Something I'm always eager to do is find ways to let my daughter's imagination flourish. Having Jaz has definitely given her an extra creative outlet for doing that, which she has tended to do through two separate role-playing scenarios – (1) being a parent and (2) being the friend. Through the features of the dock and accessories, she can act scenarios where she is responsible for taking care of her baby. For example, she gets dressed, changes diaper, gives her a bottle, settles her with a dummy and makes her ready for the bed. This is interesting – and very sweet – to see as it often reflects what she sees us doing with her baby brother.
The second scenario is where she plays with Jaz as a peer. She sees Jaz as a friend and they go on a lot of adventure together – often with RC Scooter as a mode of transport. For example, they have packed their bags and went on vacation to France (AKA on the other side of the living room) and they have worked together to save some of their nice toys from a monster lair (AKA washing machine).
At £ 35.99 for the doll and another £ 42.99 for the scooter, these toys are not the cheapest around. But I really think you get what you pay for and I have no problems with features, quality, building or life span. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you're looking for a realistic interactive doll that can be used to help imaginative play and social skills, you will not be much better than this!
Zapf Creations gives away a Baby Born Soft Touch doll and a Baby Born City RC Scooter worth £ 78.99
To enter, just reply to the following question in the comments field below:
What is your favorite feature in either the Baby Born Soft Touch Dock or the Baby Born City RC Scooter?
The competition closes at 10 o'clock on Tuesday, November 6th. For terms and conditions, click here.
Limitation of Liability: This post is sponsored by Baby Born.