American Girl has been a staple in households since the first catalogue debuted in 1986. While the dolls, books, and crafts are great for introducing girls to historical and contemporary issues, many parents wonder if there are better alternatives. Parents complain about the hefty price tags (the lowest-priced doll is $130), emphasis on materialism, and lack of diversity. Here are three alternatives that can help you promote positive values and save money:
Hearts for Hearts Girls
Each doll/character in the Hearts for Hearts Girls program represents a real-life girl somewhere in the world. Hearts for Hearts Girls creates culturally diverse dolls at reasonable prices. The brand strives to “change the world, one heart at a time.” Each doll has a diary derived from the stories of real girls living in the character’s location. The dolls cost about $40 each.
My Life As Dolls
These dolls have diversity and realistic characters that promote hard work, not materialism. Buy dolls in a variety of professions, such as veterinarians and school teachers, to teach young girls the value of having a career. These dolls are fun to play with, and come with a variety of accessories and furniture. At Walmart, prices start at $27.97.
Family Christian Dolls
Since Mattel bought American Girl in 1999, many parents have noticed diminishing Christian influences. In the past, every American Girl story included one book about Christmas. As of today, there hasn’t been one with a Christmas story since 2000. If you want your children to embrace dolls with faith backgrounds, try dolls from Family Christian. They have blonde, Hispanic, and African-American prayer dolls for $19.99 each.