19 November 2015

My boys play with dolls

Stargazer Lottie comes with telescope, astronomy books (and the cutest hat ever)

You may or may not have noticed that I am trying (possibly in vain) to raise my boys to be kind, gentle, caring men. I cringe when they play rough, tough, testosterone fuelled aggressive games and cling onto the hope that this is just a phase. I hope that our constant reaffirming of gender equality and the importance of kindness and emotional intelligence will eventually turn out the kind of men we want them to be (even if they spend a few years "killing each other's heads off" first).

This week I read about a start-up company which shares my vision of  boys being encouraged to play in a way which encourage their nuturing and sensitive sides, and also provides aspirational role models for girls. Lottie Dolls are small, perfectly formed dolls with interesting hobbies, a refreshingly balanced use of pink and boy dolls (called Finn) with a marked lack of guns or muscle. We were sent some samples to review this week. I had high hopes for these dolls and I wasn't disappointed.

The postman came at bedtime, he doesn't wear pyjamas all day!!

Things to love about Lottie and Finn

The Big Idea

I basically love the idea behind Lottie and Finn dolls. 
Lottie having a telescope, and a book about women in astronomy? YES! 
Superhero GIRL which isn't a girl version of a superhero boy? YES!
Finn has wholesome, gentle toys like a fishing set, no guns, no axes, no weapons. 
Lottie wears really nice clothes which aren't tutus or creepy, figure hugging grown-up clothes. 
For my 3 year old boy, I love the fact that Lottie comes as a pirate, a fossil hunter and a karate kid. It's nice to have someone, other than me, giving him the "girls can do anything boys can" message.

The size

Lottie and Finn are child proportions, with absolutely no nipped in waists, unnatural abs, bulging biceps or pointy high-heel ready shoes. They're 18cms tall which written down seems quite small, but is the perfect size for little hands to carry around and fits in a large coat pocket or the side pouch of my change bag. I liked that changing their clothes was quite tricky for my 3 year old, but not impossible. Fiddling about getting their tiny shoes on and off seems like great fine motor skill practice to me!

The style

The clothes are just like clothes I would buy for my children. They're made of real clothes fabric which feel lovely and could easily have come from Next or H&M. I love the fact that my boys swapped Lottie and Finn's clothes over and now we can't remember who came with what. Finn looks awesome in shorts with Lottie's leggings underneath and Lottie looks pretty cool in Finn's shark t-shirt.

Lottie fixing the drains and star gazing, while Finn eats cake and fishes.

The only minor thing I could find to criticize

Looking at Lottie and Finn's faces we noticed that although on the website, the makers of Lottie proudly declare that she doesn't wear make up, her eyelashes are much more defined and she has different coloured lips to him. Umm... girls don't have bigger eyelashes than boys. I'm just saying.

Minor, minor niggle aside, I am besotted with these toys.The boys are both attached to their dolls already, they have to come with us everywhere and they both love putting them to bed, feeding them and changing their outfits. Not to mention the endless squabbling we have "between Finn and Lottie" as the boys fight (on behalf of their doll) for the telescope! It has been so refreshing to see my little testosterone fuelled 3 year old show such a desire to play sweet, nuturing games. I nearly died of cuteness when he made Finn his own dinner tonight... 

"You didn't make Finn any dinner Mummy, so I have made him some"

I really hope they expand the Finn range as, try as I might, my older boy aligns himself exclusively with other male figures at this stage of his development. He would love a Finn with blonde hair (like his own) and I'd love a pony riding Finn for example. There are other clothes sets that could be for either doll and I think the boys would like the body boarding set, and the scooter set especially. 

If you want these adorable dolls for your boys or girls, they are available on the Lottie.com website or Amazon as well as a few high street retailers. Don't forget to join Club Lottie for 10% off your first purchase.

My other favourite thing about the Lottie brand is #whereslottie, a monthly competition in which you send in a picture of your Lottie doll being out and about "being bold and having adventures". I can't resist staging a photo with dolls in it, so entered this beaut, in which Finn has got blown into a tree when flying his kite and Super Lottie comes to the rescue...

I'll let you know if I win! If you want to enter, you can send your pictures to whereslottie@lottie.com and see other entries on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter

Lottie and Finn were sent to us for the purposes of this review but all opinions are honest and my own. 

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