Play is such an important part of a child’s life as it provides the opportunity to explore different roles when creating a sense of individuality. What a child identifies with at a young age can leave a lasting impact on the developing psyche. Preconceived notions can limit the imagination and create walls around exploration while an open approach allows the imagination to roam freely. Mattel is realizing this in their own power and has recently launched a new line of Barbie dolls to assist children in prioritizing self-care, inner reflection and mindfulness. The goal is to introduce these concepts that will stick with them through adulthood for a stronger mental space and relationship with self.
Barbie Wellness partnered with Headspace to provide custom meditation experiences for children. The dolls in this collection serve as a reminder to make time for ourselves—especially in the chaotic moments. For example, the Breathe With Me Barbie Doll lets children “press the button in her necklace to start one of five guided meditation exercises that kids can practice, too,” according to their product description.
Bringing a mindful approach to a toy that has been associated with giving young girls unrealistic expectations says a lot about the shift we are experiencing. As the collective continues to expand in awareness and vote with their dollar, companies have no option but to meet these demands.
The idea behind a doll offering guided meditations can feel inspiring and refreshing. However, the doll is just a tool. Kids are able to work with this tool and embark on meditative journeys while also expressing their imagination in the process of play. What story can they create for Barbie? How can they see themselves in this narrative? By offering a toy that encourages self-love and care, kids construct a reality based on a space from the heart rather than the mind or unhealthy perspectives.
It is true that children are our greatest teachers. The realizations they receive as our youth continues to evolve has the potential to shift the state of our planet as well as the mindset of older generations.
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