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Whats a Doll Doll is a childs toy made to look like a human being Dolls vary in size from about 1 centimetre tall to life-size or larger They may be made of almost any material including cloth plastic and wood Children throughout the world enjoy playing with dolls But dolls also appeal to adults Many adults collect antique and costume dolls as a hobby and a way to learn about the people of other times and places There are thousands of private and public doll collections around the world One of the most famous doll-lovers was Queen Victoria of England who had more than 100 dolls Dolls fulfill many needs of children They serve as playmates and objects for childrens affection Dolls can also provide an outlet for a childs hurt feelings anger and other emotions For example youngsters upset by a scolding might scold their dolls in turn How children play with dolls may thus reveal their inner needs fears and desires For this reason psychologists use dolls to help them identify and treat many problems of children Playing with dolls also enables children to rehearse the roles they hope to perform as adults Dolls as we know them--that is mainly as toys for children--probably did not exist before the 1700s Most doll-like figures from earlier periods were not toys but magical or religious objects Ancient peoples made human figures as idols or fetishes objects with magic power Later Christians made doll-like statues and images of saints The toy dolls that existed before the 1700s served chiefly as playthings for adults as well as for children At that time adults and children were more alike in their attitudes and interests than they are today and childhood as we know it did not exist Youngsters were regarded as little adults and expected to act like them They shared the work of supporting the family
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