I read a question this morning on the forum I was looking at; a mother wanted to know if it was a good idea to get a 4 year old an American Girl doll. That got me thinking. It's been quite awhile since I had a 4 year old girl, but when Ula was that age she loved looking at the American Girl catalog and would tell me which doll and what clothes she wanted.
There was no way we could afford a doll that was that expensive, so when Nika was 4, I made 18 inch rag dolls for each of the girls. They were the same size as the American Girl dolls so they could wear the same clothes if we wanted them too. It is also easy to find doll clothes patterns in that size, so I made the girls and their dolls matching dresses and night gowns.
I made the dolls out of unbleached cotton muslin and stuffed them with wool, so they would be soft and warm. The hair was made of mohair yarn ( some of the hair for Blaze's bendy dolls is leftovers from the rag dolls).
I also made some furniture, although we also bought some pieces, like the brass bunk bed that we found in an antique store.
Part of what makes American Girl dolls special, is the books that come with them. My answer to this, was to take pictures of the dolls doing a variety of activities that would be meaningful to the girls, so that we could put together our own stories.
We never got around to writing down any stories, but I still like the pictures and the girl still cherish their dolls.
The one with the curly blond hair is Diana (named for the goddess of the moon). She is Nika's doll. The redhead is Freya ( named for the Norse goddess), who is Ula's doll.
The girls and their dolls on Super Bowl Sunday, 1996, all dressed up for the "Teeny Tiny Tea Party" and annual event in Palestine, Il. for girls and their dolls.
Hunting for Mushrooms:
This doll slumber party was on a night when I had let the girls stay up late to see a comet: