Do Toddlers Play With Barbies? – Our Guide Lets You Know!

We’ve had a few parents write to us, asking “Do toddlers play with Barbie dolls?”

Yes, toddlers do play with Barbie dolls, but you need to know the answers to these three questions –

  1. Do they still put toys in their mouth?
  2. Do they like playing with dolls?
  3. Do they have a spot (like a dollhouse) to play with them at?

We’ll take a look at each of these points and make some recommendations we noticed with our daughters.

Our oldest daughter (now 5-years old) starting playing with Barbies at 2-years old, and her younger sister was playing together with her Barbie dolls at 18 months – adult supervised.

Let’s get started!

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Does Your Toddler Put Toys in Their Mouth?

Every toy with small parts is going to have a warning on it, saying that kids need to be at least 3-years old to play with it. There’s no denying how serious of a point this is to keep in mind.

There’s no magical transformation that happens at 3 years if your child is still putting toys in their mouth at 2 years and 364 days old.

It’s up to each parent to evaluate their child and determine when their child is able to play with small toys without putting them in their mouth.

If Your Toddler NO LONGER Puts Toys in Their Mouth

Our oldest daughter didn’t start playing with Barbies until after we could safely assume she was done putting toys in her mouth. For her, this was a few months after her 2nd birthday.

Though we were confident she wasn’t going to put the small pieces in her mouth, it’s important that you don’t trust your toddler to be perfect 100% of the time.

Even the best-behaved toddler can still slip up and pieces can find their way into their mouth.

Anytime they are playing with small toys, it’s important that it’s all done under adult supervision.

Almost every single Barbie doll comes with small pieces, like shoes and other accessories for them to wear or hold.

If not properly supervised, these small pieces can pose a danger.

If Your Toddler SOMETIMES Puts Toys in Their Mouth

If your toddler still puts toys in their mouth, but not on an everyday basis, you can still get a Barbie doll but not give them the small accessories.

Every Barbie doll comes with –

  • The doll
  • Some clothes
  • Shoes/accessories

Usually, the accessories are the small pieces that can pose a choking hazard.

Most clothes are fabric and relatively large, but make sure there are no small pieces, like a button or bow, that can fall off.

As long as the doll and clothes have no small pieces, your toddler can play with those. Take any shoes and accessories away and put them up high where they won’t be able to reach them.

Actually, a good first Barbie is the Barbie Made to Move Doll (see at Amazon). She comes with no shoes and her clothes are basic.

Barbie Made to Move Doll [Amazon Exclusive]

This is a good Barbie doll for toddlers that sometimes put toys in their mouth.

If Your Toddler ALWAYS Puts Toys in Their Mouth

If taking toys out of your toddler’s mouth it’s still a daily occurrence, our advice is to NOT buy them a Barbie doll.

Wait until they reach a point that they no longer put toys in their mouth, which could be before or after 3-years old.

Does Your Toddler Like Playing With Dolls?

We’re sure that if you’ve read this far that your toddler does like playing with dolls.

Really, though, it’s the type of play that we want to look at.

There’s a reason that baby toys are built solid, either from wood or plastic, or soft and fluffy. All babies and young toddlers play quite rough with their toys.

They need to be durable in order to withstand the wear and tear of normal young toddler play.

If Your Toddler Plays NICELY With Dolls

Barbie dolls are marketed towards older girls because of the way they’re designed and how most older girls play with them.

A Barbie doll’s hair soft, allowing a girl to brush and style her hair.

A Barbie doll’s shoes and accessories are small and delicate, allowing a girl to change and style her however she likes.

Plus, Barbie dolls are meant for interactive and storytelling styles of play (part of the reason why there’s 100’s of Barbies to choose from).

If your toddler is gentle with her toys and you think she would enjoy playing with Barbie dolls in this way, it could be a great gift idea.

If Your Toddler Plays ROUGHLY With Dolls

If your toddler is still working on their finesse when playing with their baby dolls, you may want to hold off on getting them Barbie dolls until they learn to play a little less rough.

Although their soft vinyl Barbie bodies can withstand a lot of wear and tear, some of the newer and cheaper Barbie dolls are made from thinner plastic.

These newer Barbie dolls could potentially break.

Save yourself the heartache and wait until your toddler gets a little bit older before buying them Barbie dolls.

Does Your Toddler Have a Spot to Play With Them At?

Although no formal home is needed to play with Barbie dolls, having the right type of dollhouse can really enhance the educational and interactive benefits of playtime.

A properly sized dollhouse, along with the right furniture, will help your daughter create a home and imaginary world for her Barbie dolls to live in.

She will learn social skills as her Barbie dolls interact and play with each other. She will also begin to mirror the things she sees you do at home, such as caring for her.

Most toddler dollhouses are built too short and too small for Barbie dolls to play inside. If you think your daughter would enjoy playing with Barbie dolls, now is a great time to “graduate” her up to a new dollhouse.

Best Barbie Dollhouse for Toddlers

The right Barbie dollhouse for toddlers is not only tall enough for Barbie dolls to play inside, but also durable enough for normal toddler play.

KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse

KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse

We really like the KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse (see at Amazon) because of its style, durability, and overall affordable price.

Although this dollhouse is rated for kids up to 12-years old, it’s really perfect for toddlers and their Barbie dolls.

Fun Style

The Sweet Savannah dollhouse is very cute, decorated in all sorts of fun colors and designs that your toddler is sure to love.

It has a covered patio with a rocking chair, a balcony off the bedroom, a four-post canopy bed, and even a spiral staircase leading up to the top level.

KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse

In total, your daughter will receive 13 pieces of furniture with this dollhouse (perfect since you probably don’t have any Barbie furniture yet).

Durable for Toddlers

Most of this dollhouse is made from wood, helping it withstand some bumps and knocks while your toddler plays with it.

One big feature is that all of the furniture is made from wood in a slightly oversized, chunky-type design. The furniture can get dropped or tossed with minimal risk of breaking.

KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse

The dollhouse is also quite heavy, weighing just over 25 pounds. Your toddler won’t be able to move this dollhouse as easy as some other options.


Compared to the officially-licensed Barbie DreamHouse, the KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse (see at Amazon) is about twice the size and roughly half the cost.

Plus, Kidkraft dollhouses are made from safe, child-friendly materials.

If you’re looking for an even cheaper option, the KidKraft Penelope Dollhouse (see at Amazon) is about 30% less, smaller, and comes with less furniture.

Overall, we feel that the KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse offers the best balance between size and price.

It makes a great holiday or birthday gift – check it out!


As you can see, toddlers do play with Barbie dolls. Both of our daughters start playing with Barbie dolls well before the 3+ year recommendation by Mattel.

Before you decide to get a Barbie doll for your toddler, make sure they’re a good candidate based on the recommendations above.

If they are, and if you’d like to get them a fun and exciting place to play with their new Barbie dolls, the KidKraft Sweet Savannah Dollhouse (see at Amazon) is hard to beat. If you’d like to see more choices, check out some other Barbie dollhouses we reviewed.

When choosing to give any small toys to a toddler before the age recommendation, it’s always important to err on the side of caution. Also, make sure that you properly supervise them during playtime.

Our toddlers love their Barbie dolls and we’re sure that yours will too!