Claire Russell On The Benefits Of Doll Play

This brand new series of Not Another Mummy Podcast kicks off with a brilliant chat, brought to you by Barbie who are kindly sponsoring this episode. 

My guest is Claire Russell, early years specialist and author of the book The Play Hooray Handbook. Claire is an expert in all things play and can be found sharing easy and low-cost ways to play with your kids – indoors and outside – on social media as @play.hooray

On this episode, Claire talks to me about the importance of play – how it’s not just something the children do to pass the time, but it’s vital in their development. We discuss the research commissioned by Mattel, the makers of the doll brand Barbie and led by Cardiff University, Exploring the Benefits of Doll Play through Neuroscience which is the first scientific study using neuroscience to explore what impact doll play has on children. 

The study monitored the brain activity of children ages 4-8 as they played with a range of Barbie dolls and playsets and incredibly, it found that doll play activates parts of the brain that allow children to develop empathy and social processing skills. Read more about the study here. And you can watch the TV ad we talk about on the episode here.

Follow Claire on Instagram and check out her book The Play Hooray Handbook.

If you enjoyed this episode then please leave a rating or review - and you can subscribe to ensure you don’t miss future episodes.  Thank you!


Not Another Mummy Podcast is brought to you by me, journalist and author Alison Perry. I'm a mum of three and I love interviewing people about parenthood on the podcast. You can check out my other episodes and you can come chat to me on Instagram: @iamalisonperry or on Twitter: @iamalisonperry. You can buy my book OMG It's Twins now.


Music: Epidemic Sound

Artwork: Eleanor Bowmer

Support this show

See for privacy and opt-out information.