Dolls are one of the most enduring children's toys. These toys probably date back to prehistoric times; researchers have discovered pieces of an alabaster doll dating from the Babylonian period, and archeologists have even recovered dolls from the tombs of the ancient Egyptians. Dolls have stood the test of time but also evolved to reflect changes in culture. For instance, the dolls available to children today might be very different than the doll that your grandmother played with when she was a girl (on both ends of the spectrum, we have Bratz and American Girl dolls.) However, the purpose of the doll remains the same: a toy that allows children to show affection and practice caring for others.
Dolls are so appealing to children because they allow them to use their imaginations and mimic their parents' interactions with their children. They can accessorize with clothing, and practice personal maintenance skills combing their dolls' hair or brushing their dolls' teeth. An affinity for dolls can be a life-long interest; for example, an adult might to continue to collect dolls such as those from the Madame Alexander collection well into adulthood.