When choosing a toy for boys, the popular options that come to one’s mind are action figures, construction toys, bikes, and trucks. But what about choosing a doll for your little boy? Gifting dolls to boys comes with various advantages. The best dolls for boys can help encourage your child to engage in pretend play and stir their imagination as they assume different roles when playing with it. Further, playing with a doll can help make boys more empathetic and caring and improve their socio-emotional and motor skills.
As you keep scrolling, we hope you find the perfect doll that can engage your little boy for hours.
13 Best Dolls For Boys To Improve Socio-Emotional Skills in 2024
1. Best Washable:The New York Doll Collection 11 Inch Soft Body Doll
Encourage pretend-play in your toddler by gifting them this boy baby doll. The 11-inch huggable boy-friendly doll is crafted to let your little one hold it comfortably. In addition, it has realistic features and comes with detailed vinyl arms, legs, and face. Its mouth is slightly open to let your child place the doll’s fingers into it. The classic doll wears a removable and washable outfit for easy cleaning and maintenance and is considered safe for toddlers. And that’s not all—you can choose from a wide range of skin tones.
- Comes in a gift box
- Complimentary pacifier included
- Compatible with 11-inch doll clothes and accessories
- Safety tested for toddlers
- May be slightly stiff
- Joints may not be durably fixed
2. Best Hands-On Fun:Adora Sweet Baby Boy Peanut Doll
This adorable mini baby doll for boys from Adora is just what a child, aged one year and up, needs as a first best friend. The 11-inch Adora playtime baby doll comes with captivating blue eyes, a friendly face, and blonde hair color to appeal to your baby instantly, and its movable limbs, the crib-like box, and the complimentary nursing bottle encourage imaginative play. Moreover, its soft and cuddly body, cute and removable onesie and cap, and fresh baby powder scent make it irresistible to babies. This baby boy doll is machine-washable, hypoallergenic, and free of BPA and other harsh chemicals, making it easy to maintain and ensuring your child’s safety.
- Great for building empathy and teaching responsibility
- Toy can be air-dried
- Powder-scented vinyl
- Helps develop motor skills
- Box doubles as a crib
- Available in different colors
- Paint may peel over time
3. Best Role Play Fun:Barbie Ken Soccer Player Doll with Soccer Ball
Add this lifelike soccer player doll from Barbie and Ken to your little one’s toy collection to fire their imagination. The career doll with boy clothing style comes complete with a blue jersey, black shorts, black stockings, and play boots. Further, the set includes a classic black-and-white soccer ball. The facial features and hair of the posable doll for boys are articulative and life-like, along with movable legs and arms. This handsome footballer is about 12 inches tall.
- Easy to change doll’s outfits
- Role-playing doll for boys
- Age range – three years and up
- Collectible with different variants
- Joints may produce a squeaky sound
- May not withstand rough play
4. Best Expression Variety:JC Toys Caucasian 16-inch Medium Soft Body Baby Doll
JC Toys’ 16-inch medium-soft body baby doll has been hand-sculpted with attention to detail to attract babies aged two years and up. The doll is lightweight, easy to hold, and comes complete with a pacifier and bottle to encourage pretend-play in children. Its slightly opened mouth, chubby cheeks, delicate fingers and toes, wispy hair, sparkly eyes, and soft head, arms, and legs have been crafted to perfection, and its cute outfit with removable hat adds to its appeal. The pretty doll is available in different expressions and a wide range of skin tones and has been safety-tested for children.
- Fragrance- and BPA-free
- Can be used in preschools
- Tested and approved for safety
- Comes in different ethnicities and colors
- Includes a nursing bottle and pacifier
- Some may find the stuffing to be poor
- Head may be bigger than expected
5. Best Perfect Size:Playtime By Eimmie Soft Rag Doll
Your child will fall in love with this soft rag doll made of plush fabric. It is extremely soft and huggable and features detailed outfits that are removable and washable. The doll makes an ideal gift for any occasion and is an excellent toy for imaginative play. Furthermore, the baby doll measures 14 inches tall, which is the perfect size for cuddling. You can also get the full set of seven adorable rag dolls by the manufacturer to let your child engage in pretend-play with their friends and improve their social skills.
- Carefully embroidered features
- Makes a great travel companion
- Removable clothes
- Plush doll is lightweight at just 4.8oz
- Can be used for story-telling sessions
- Available in different colors
- May not withstand rough play
- Hair may pose a choking hazard
6. Best Empathy-Building:Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Jordan Boy Baby Doll
Melissa & Doug’s Mine to Love Jordan boy baby doll comes complete with a soft huggable body and realistic features. The classic baby doll with accessories can suck its thumb or the complimentary pacifier, encouraging your child to engage in imaginative play and develop empathy. This 12-inch doll is the perfect size for cuddling and can be carried by your child wherever they go. Moreover, this empathy-building doll for boys is dressed in a soft, removable, and matching cap and is lightly scented.
- Can be paired with other accessories
- Eyes open and close upon rocking
- Comes in a washable romper
- Weighted at 1.26lb
- Some may not like the scent
- May not be stain-resistant
7. Best Soft Body:Cabbage Patch Kids Parker The Puppy Cutie Baby Doll
Cabbage Patch Kids’ Parker the Puppy cutie baby doll forms part of the cuties collection including five other dolls. It is a cute little farm doll that can suck its thumb, and the nine-inch toy dog is perfectly sized for little hands. The baby doll features a soft body and a plastic head with the adorable and sweet Cabbage Patch Kids look. Parker the Puppy, dressed in a super-soft and non-removable onesie with an adjustable hood and a red bowtie, is irresistibly cute.
- Realistically painted features
- Comes with a birth certificate
- Doll is durably made
- Makes a perfect travel companion
- May not be easy to maintain
- May have a peculiar smell
8. Best Hands-On Learning:Playskool Dressy Kids Boy Activity Plush Stuffed Doll
Here’s a doll that you could use to teach your little child how to dress. The plush doll toy comes complete with buttons, zippers, ties, and a pair of shoes with a buckle and lace for your child to get the hang of them. The boy doll with educational elements is lightweight and includes a portable clip to let your child carry it wherever they go. Moreover, the stuffed doll designed for children aged two years and up is extremely soft and cuddly. So, get your hands on this educational toy for kids and teach them basic dressing skills.
- Soft doll is travel-friendly
- Helps improve fine motor skills
- Toy is machine-washable
- Zipper may not be durable
- May be smaller than expected
9. Best Skin-Friendly:Aori Reborn Baby Doll 22 Inch Realistic Baby Boy Lifelike Doll
Aori’s realistic baby doll is 22 inches tall, weighs four pounds, and comes with lifelike features, making it an ideal first best friend for your toddler. The safety-tested boy doll is made of soft and skin-friendly vinyl and comes with realistic facial features, high-quality hair and eyelashes, hand-painted fingernails and lips, light blushing on the cheeks, hands, and feet, matching outfit, and more. Its cute face and soft, huggable body make it extremely endearing to children. Further, the baby doll with boy hairstyle set includes a plush and adorable teddy bear, a magnet pacifier, and a feeding bottle to let your child engage in pretend-play.
- Manually implanted eyelashes and brushable hair
- Weighted doll
- Realistic features
- Meets ASTM F963 and EN71 safety requirements
- Joints may fall apart over time
10. Best Articulated:L.O.L. Surprise! OMG Guys Cool Lev Fashion Doll
The OMG Guys Cool Lev Fashion Doll by L.O.L. Surprise! lets your child unbox up to 20 surprises and give the doll multiple looks. The poseable doll’s outfits, multiple accessory pieces, skateboard, headphone, doll stand, bag, etc., encourage your child to engage in pretend play, and the packaging can be converted into a play space. The outrageously cool doll makes an ideal gift for children aged four years and up. It is a great toy for your child to carry along during sleepovers and engage in hours of imaginative play with their friends. The colorful and articulated doll for babies measures approximately ten inches from head to toe and instantly grabs children’s attention.
- Lightweight at just 0.04lb
- Articulated to encourage pretend-play
- Unisex design
- Poseable body
- Teaches children about fashion
- Age range – four years and up
- Hair may be prone to shedding
- Small parts may pose a choking hazard
11. Best Durability:Haba Snug Up Till Soft Boy Doll
Here’s a simple yet well-made and functional boy baby doll that your child will hold on to for years. The cuddly and soft baby doll is made of polyester material that is extremely soft and is dressed in removable blue overalls with a hook-and-loop fastener, oversized front pocket, and sewn-in shoes and hat. Till’s embroidered face with a captivating blue eye color and freckles make him extremely endearing to children. Moreover, the doll is ten-inches tall, extremely lightweight, machine-washable, and durable. The boy character doll also makes an ideal gift for young children on special occasions.
- Age range – 18 months and above
- Lightweight yet durable
- Makes a great first doll for children
- May be smaller than expected
12. Best Sensory Playmate:June Garden 15.5″ Dressy Friends Lucas
Here’s yet another doll on the list that you could use to teach your child how to dress. Dressy Friends Lucas from June Garden comes with a zipper, buckle, Velcro strap, snap fasteners, belt buckle, sewed button, and shoelace knot to let your child practice wearing their dress through various fun activities, all while improving their sensory and motor skills. The safety-tested toy, measuring 15.5in, is the perfect size for children to cuddle and comes with a clip to let your child carry it with ease during travel.
- Meets ASTM and EN71 safety standards
- Vibrantly colored to excite children
- Available in seven colors
- Can be used in Montessori schools
- Buttons may not be durably stitched
- Velcro may not stay intact
13. Best Imaginative Playtime:Baby Alive Dino Cuties Doll
Transport your child to the Jurassic period with this Stegosaurus dinosaur doll by Baby Alive. The dino-inspired doll comes with a removable onesie, matching hood, and endearing facial decoration. Further, the egg-shaped bottle and a diaper allow your child to engage in imaginative play and feed the doll or clean it. So, gift this doll set to your child to let them engage in imaginative play for hours. You could also purchase the Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex Baby Alive Dino Cuties dolls separately to make your children’s pretend play sessions more fascinating.
- Suitable for children aged three years and up
- Helps teach children about dinosaurs
- Teaches children how to be responsible
- Can be gifted on any occasion
- Comes packaged in a recyclable box
- Doll may be prone to scratches
- May not be mold-resistant
How To Choose The Right Dolls For Boys?
Consider the following points when choosing dolls for boys.
- Purpose: Know the purpose of buying the toy for your boy. For instance, determine whether you would want your child to engage in pretend play or learn a new skill, such as learning how to dress.
- Size: The doll you choose for your boy should be perfectly sized for cuddling and should be easy to hold. Moreover, it should also be lightweight and portable.
- Age range and safety: Consider your boy’s age when choosing a doll for him and check the manufacturer’s age recommendation, as some dolls may come with small parts that may be choking hazards for toddlers. Besides being age-appropriate and approved by a child development expert, the doll should also be safety-tested and free of BPA and harsh chemicals.
- Features: Always opt for a boy doll with realistic features that look lifelike, as your child would be able to connect with it more easily. You may also consider dolls that represent different ethnicities and cultures.
- Maintenance: Ensure the doll you choose is washable by machine or hand to keep it clean and germ-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. At what age should a child stop playing with dolls?
Children usually enjoy playing with dolls up to the age of ten or twelve years. Once children reach adolescents, they like to copy adults’ mannerisms and play games with friends instead of playing with inanimate objects (1).
2. How should I fix baby doll hair?
Regularly combing through tangles can help you fix your doll’s hair. You may also clean any deeper stains using dish soap or fabric softener before combing the doll’s hair strands.
3. How should I clean a baby doll?
You can use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to wipe down plastic dolls. When it comes to soft fabric dolls, you can hand wash them with warm water and detergent.
4. How do baby doll bottles work?
Bottles meant for baby dolls come with two chambers. Tipping the nursing bottle can transfer the content to a hidden compartment, creating the illusion of the baby doll drinking the milk.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Priti Bose is a seasoned product writer and reviewer who writes extensively about gifts and toys for children. She has compiled this list of the best dolls for boys after comparing and analyzing various products across the market. The products listed here are non-toxic, durable, educational, and easy to maintain. They will help stir your child’s imagination, encourage pretend play, make them more empathetic and caring, and improve their socio-emotional and motor skills. Moreover, Priti has also considered several user reviews to offer you an unbiased list and help you choose the right product.
With this comprehensive list and handy tips at your disposal, choosing a doll for your little boy becomes a walk in the park. Further, choose a doll based on your child’s personality and likes and dislikes so that the toy keeps them engaged for hours. The doll you choose should also be easy to clean and come with additional accessories to keep your child engaged. Also, note that the dolls on this list are equally worthy gift options for girls—after all, toys know no gender, do they?
Infographic: Tips For Choosing The Right Dolls For Boys
To buy or not to buy a doll for a boy? It’s a question that pops up in most parents’ minds when they purchase toys for their little ones. So, check out the following infographic to learn more about choosing a suitable doll for your child.
- Growth & Development: 6 to 12 Years (School Age)