The brand teamed up with educational resource provider iChild to bring Baby born into nurseries and schools across the UK and celebrate its 30th birthday.
The occasion marks the third partnership between iChild and Baby born, seeing 500 participating nurseries and schools being sent a Baby born Magic Doll, a birthday banner and an activity pack, created in partnership with iChild. A further 1300 childcare providers opted to view and download the resource pack, meaning over 20,000 children have helped Baby born to celebrate its birthday milestone this year, developing their own key skills through play with the doll. Out of the 500 nurseries, preschools, reception classes and SEN departments involved, 100% agreed that Baby born supports imaginative play.
The activity pack focused on planning and preparing for a party, getting dressed for a party, party games, party friendships and saying thank you. Each activity was designed to help children develop key skills through play. Early years specialists used the doll and accompanying resource pack to discuss a range of topics with children in their care, including birthdays, growing up, celebrations in different cultures, as well as daily routines, care skills, empathy and the arrival of new siblings.
Children in the 500 nurseries spent a staggering 75 minutes a day playing with the doll and. On average, 99.2% of respondents said they would recommend a Baby born Magic Doll to other teaching and childcare professionals, and 98.4% said they would recommend it to parents to extend role play at home.
One respondent said: “Some of the children have never been to a birthday party after the last couple of years we have had. They loved being at a birthday party and celebrating with Baby born.”
Another added: “One child has welcomed a baby brother. We used the Baby born to help prepare him for his new sibling. We talked to all the children about how babies need extra support, and how we must teach them how to play kindly, gain independence and talk. We also set up a hygiene and water play activity where we gave our babies a bubble bath. The children enjoyed washing the babies and a naming their body parts. They also shared their experiences of bath time at home and their favourite toys to play with in the bath.”
Staff found that the Baby born resources encouraged the children’s imaginative play, developed their language and provided opportunities for them to add narratives into their play.
Many respondents noted how the doll play was enjoyed by both boys and girls. One commented: “We have been delighted that the boys in the setting have had just as much enjoyment from playing with the Baby born Magic Doll as the girls.”
Almost 90% per cent of adults caring for children with Special Educational Needs said that they believe Baby born to be a useful or very useful means to support their education.
“It certainly helped a little boy in my class who doesn’t speak and does not engage with other children,” said one, while another commented of their pupil: “It was fantastic to see the communication between him and another little boy. He had not engaged physically or verbally with another child up until then.”
Following these results, Baby born Magic Doll has been awarded iChild Recommends status for the next 12 months. The full range of activities from the Activity Pack is hosted on www.ichild.co.uk and available for all members, including educators and parents, to download and use at home and in the classroom.
For more on the brand, visit www.baby-born.co.uk.