Review: My Book of Little House Paper Dolls

I’m not very keen or very good at writing reviews, but I thought I’d do a review of some of the products we are using this summer.  You’ve been warned, it probably won’t be a very good review.  My goal is to show you what the product contains, how it can be incorporated into a study of the Little House on the Prairie and whether it was worth buying in the first place.
This week I’ll be showing you the Little House Paper Dolls (the book you receive is in the left of the photo):

All the treasures to be found in one little book
All the treasures to be found in one little book

The book is about A4 size and contains push out cardboard dolls of each of the Ingall’s family.  They are, as you can see, dressed modestly rather than being naked, and being made of a card are likely to withstand a moderate amount of play.  The rest of the book contains sturdy paper (not card) dress up clothes and miscellaneous items, grouped together according to the occasions they would have been worn.  Each occasion, for example ‘doing the chores’, has a small paragraph giving information about the clothes as well as mentioning the jobs the Ingalls  might be doing.  I cut out these cards, to read to A4 before she played with them.  I have plans to use them as a sorting activity, where-by she will match the clothes to the activity/occasion.  Each item of clothes has to be cut out, which I did in an evening whilst watching a DVD.  Whilst the dolls could probably stand up to B2’s rough play, the clothes definitely couldn’t.  Within minutes they were crushed.  A4 was old enough to handle them carefully and fully understood how to operate them.  I would say they would be good for a child age 4 up, or slightly younger if mature enough.

The girls playing with their new set.
The girls playing with their new set.

The clothes are beautifully drawn and very attractive on.  A4 has loved dressing the dolls and undressing them.  Each doll has a standing frame, and for me this is the only thing that lets this product down.  They are simply not sturdy enough to do the job of standing the figures up over many play sessions.

T11 showing everyone how the standing frames work.  Even the older girls enjoyed playing with these.
T11 showing everyone how the standing frames work. Even the older girls enjoyed playing with these.

Included in the pack is a reversible scene, one side showing the house in the woods, the other showing the interior of the house.  These are made of sturdy cardboard and stand very well, as do the cot and table which come with it.  If the dolls stood as well this would have been a fantastic addition.  As it was the stands began to rip within a day of playing with them, rendering the cardboard scenes superfluous to requirement.  I think had I got to the stands before they ripped I could have strengthened them with tape.  Here is everything set up prior to the ripping:

The interior scene of the Little House
The interior scene of the Little House

Would I recommend them?  Yes, I would.  There’s a whole lot of very pleasant learning to be found inside this book.  I had bought them as a replica toy for A4 to play with during her quiet time.  She has quiet time for an hour and she has really enjoyed playing with them and they have captured her attention for the whole hour.  In addition one could play a matching game, matching the clothes to the occasion where they might be worn.  They are also a great starting point for chats about how dress has changed through the century and are also a great prompt to some very imaginative story making, even from my four year old.  I would recommend strengthening the stands using some see through tape or by laminating them.  Our plan is to keep them in a basket in our remodelled Little House, alongside other toys we will make, as a sort of ‘toy basket’.

All in all, they have been a great addition to this summer’s Little House project.

C10 has her first post up about clearing and painting our Little House


  1. It looks great! They look as if they are a good size for the older ones to handle too. I can imagine there will be some great storylines invented. xxxxxxx

  2. The boys used historical paper dolls a few years ago and we reinforced them all with clear contact paper. I knew they would not stand up to the rough handling of boys. It does look like a cute set. I love how you are able to immerse everyone in the subject you are studying.

      1. Not that i would recommend copyright infringment but color photo copies might be useful for future paper dolls. 🙂 I laminated dolls for my daughter when she was younger and used velcro circles to hold the outfits on. That was less frustrating for her. Making them stand up would have been a bit of a challenge but I never tried that.

      2. Oh, I love some paper! Paper, along with cardboard boxes, is something I have to stop myself from hoarding. I have way too much of it even though I don’t actually scrapbook and have moved to digital for making my greeting cards. I have a huge stash of digital papers too… I’m Stephanie and I’m a paper addict.

  3. We just completed a unit on The Little House in the Big Woods back in May. I really wish that I had known about these paper dolls. We had to make our own scene and …uhummm …with 2 my sons as the designers our scene was very interesting! I think we will need to read some other books from the series so that I can buy some paper dolls and make a cool scene too!

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