Founded in 1979, Corolle has played a significant part in the history of dolls, but these dolls aren’t just for collectors. Created in France and very much part of the baby doll tradition, Corrole’s many delightful creations are designed for practicality. A wide range means there is a doll for every child, no matter what their age, race or gender. Durable materials and careful construction mean the doll is designed for play, not to sit on a shelf and be admired.
Dolls have been a part of childhood since ancient times. They have been found in Egyptian tombs almost 4000 years old, and as a result many regard the doll as the oldest known toy. Roman children played with dolls with movable limbs and there is evidence to suggest that, just as today, they dressed their dolls in fashionable clothes.
The dolls of ancient times all had one thing in common; they were made in the form of adults. It wasn’t until the mid 19th century that baby dolls first appeared. By the end of the century the market was filled with realistic dolls in the form of babies and small children. It is to this tradition that Corolle dolls belong.
Many parents buy dolls for small babies and only then realise that hard plastic fingers are unsuitable. Corolle solve this problem with soft cuddly dolls from the babi-Corolle range. These include rag dolls only 9 inches tall and a couple of charming Elfs, soft bright colored dolls that jingle and are easy for tiny fingers to hold on to. In those first months of life, a baby is really looking for something to cuddle, but babies slowly start to mimic their parents behaviour. At that point the mon premier range is ideal. This range has a wide variety of clothes which little fingers can practice taking on and off. There is also a selection of accessories designed to make it easy for any child to make believe they are taking care of their very own first baby.
Psychologists believe that dolls play a very important part in a child’s development. Initially providing comfort, the roll of the doll changes over time, becoming something to care for and nurture and eventually a friend and confidante. While a few believe that the best friend role is something which should, ideally belong to humans, others see many benefits in a friend who provides constant love and support without criticism. Corolle dolls were among the first to acknowledge that every child needs a doll/friend who looks like they do. Calin Yang is one of Corolle’s most popular in the ‘mon premier’ baby range This beautiful Asian baby doll has a cloth body with vinyl head, hands and feet. The Corolle range includes both boy and girl dolls as well as Asian and black dolls.
In keeping with their role, Corolle doll’s clothes are made as carefully as the dolls, and prove that the company understands one of a doll owners major pleasures; dressing the doll in pretty outfits. Sadly many manufacturers either fail to provide a suitable variety of clothes, or their construction is so poor that dressing and undressing rapidly destroys the stitching and fastening. Corolle clothes, like the dolls, are built to last, and since they are French, they also have an additional flair much of the clothing of other manufacturers seem to lack. All are based on current styles for babies and toddlers.
Both Piaget and Montessori saw imaginative play as essential to a child’s development. Like Margaret McMillan (author of Education through Imagination) they believe that the imaginary aspect of a child’s world is of vital importance in developing skills, imagination and overall learning. Dolls are an important part of a child’s imaginative life and development, an ideal and thoughtful gift at any time of the year.