Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy made their debut in 1915 and three years later starred in their own book. Created to look like an old-fashioned rag doll, the toy was an instant success, a reminder of the good old days when the world was turned upside-down by World War I.
Barbie was introduced to the world in 1959, named after the daughter of Ruth and Elliot Handler. She was tall and glamorous, fascinating little girls' hearts everywhere who bought clothes, houses, and campers. Ken, named about Ruth's son, joined Barbie in 1961. I remember playing Barbies with the neighborhood girls in the 1960's.
When we studied the 20th Century, we played with Raggedy Ann during our 1910's study and Barbie and Ken for the 1960's. For boys, G.I. Joe Action Figures were marketed in 1964. I often used friend's brother's G.I. Joe as an extra Ken doll. G.I. Joe is a soldier with very cool weapons and vehicles. Boys love to play with them, but don't call them dolls--they are action figures.
One thing that's fun with Barbie dolls is to see how fashions changed during the second half of the 20th Century.
Even today, 100 years later, you can still purchase Raggedy Ann dolls and Barbies for little girls.
Dolls go all the way back to the beginning of history. Adam probably made dolls for his daughters. Paddle Dolls were found in Ancient Egypt archaeological digs. The Ancient Romans used clay, wood, ivory, or rags to create dolls for their children to play with.
Pioneers and Native Americans made dolls from dried apples or corn husks. During the nineteenth century porcelain dolls became popular. Paper dolls made a comeback too in the Victorian Age. Paper dolls have been popular at various times in history.
Barbies from Different Decades
My girls loved to play paper dolls when we were exploring the Victorian Age. We played with Little Women paper dolls, as well as Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna.
Most homeschooling moms of daughters are familiar with American Girl Dolls and their storybooks set in different periods of time. Children read about a character like Molly from the 1950's or Felicity from Colonial Days. When they finish the book, they get to play with the dolls.
American Girl Dolls are adorable and fun to play with, but you can create the same fun in your homeschool by reading the Raggedy Ann stories and playing with Raggedy Ann or play with Anne paper dolls after reading Anne of Green Gables.
Dolls and teddy bears can join girls for tea parties around a festive table filled with treats from the time period you are studying.
So, don't forget to use dolls, or action figures, to teach history.
History is so fun and exciting to study. It's fascinating to learn about other places, periods in time, people, and thrilling events.
I like to feel that we are traveling back in time to experience what life was like back then. Playing with dolls can help us do that.
Other ways we travel back in time is to have special fun times like Medieval Banquets, Archaeological Digs, and Ancient Greek Olympic Games. We also love to cook and bake our way through time. Timelines and unit studies bring joy to our schooling--especially when we learning about history!
If you would like to check out our history resources, visit us at our website: PowerlineProd.com and find our Teach History the Fun Way page or click on the photo. We have had so much fun learning history together and we want to pass that on to you!
Be blessed in every way!