Paper dolls lend themselves to a variety of themes, and we have over 100 printable paper dolls for different occasions.
Did you play with dress-up dolls when you were little? I remember enjoying these simple toys immensely, not least because I could customize them with costumes of my own making.
Fast-forward to the present, as a mother and a teacher, I still like paper dolls. We often use them when studying history, geography, sociology – sometimes even science, like with these anatomy dolls! Dress-up dolls have great potential for teaching all kinds of topics to children.
The paper doll templates can include costumes from different historical periods or different cultures, as well as little tools and accessories. Our printable paper dolls also usually include information sheets that describe the peculiarities of a certain costume and any facts that may be pertinent to wearing it.
Is it important to know what the button MOM meant on the costumes of Apollo 11 astronauts? Or what Frida Kahlo’s traditional costumes said about her personality? Yes and no. It may not be the most important information that you can find on the subject, but I find that those are details that bring history to life and make and people behind it personable and relatable.
Over the last few years, I have created over a hundred printable dolls to use in our classroom and share on the blog. I hope you will also find them both entertaining and educational.
Most of our base dolls and costumes are interchangeable, so every new set builds on previous ones. Don’t hesitate to visit back for more! We still have a lot of ideas and plans for more in the future.
Benefits of Printable Paper Dolls
Depending on the topic of the set, printable dress-up dolls can be used as a supplement in a variety of subjects – history, geography, science, or literature. Besides that, printable paper dolls come with a few universal benefits!
1 — Combine cutting practice with operating tabs on clothes, and paper dolls provide a sufficient workout for fine motor skills. The challenge can prove to be too great for younger children, and in that case, you can tone it down by turning paper dolls into magnetic dolls, as shown below.
2 — Cheap to make and easy to store. On the one hand, I want each topic that we tackle (be it Ancient Egypt or space exploration) to be memorable for children, and lots of creative play and hands-on exploration decidedly make learning memorable. On the other hand, we have already got a lot of toys. They are good, but even good toys take a room in the house, and so I grew to like educational components that don’t take up very much room while providing inspiration to creativity. For that reason, I like paper toys quite a bit! Not to mention that they’re easy to recycle, once we’re done with them…
3 — Playing with these dolls gives a boost to creativity and art skills. All of our dolls come with optional sets of clothes that can be colours. Once that’s done, it’s impossible for kids to not engage in making their own dolls. And once made, dress-up dolls provide endless opportunities for creative play.
4 — Finally, because paper dolls are printable, you can make as many copies as you want!
Paper Doll Templates
Historical Paper Dolls
The Famous Women doll set features costumes of twenty inspiring women who have changed the world. They are scientists, explorers, artists, activists, and more. They come from different social classes and from different parts of the world. What unites them here is that each of them did something extraordinary—and they worked hard to get there.
Celebrate Black History while making a set of printable dress-up and magnetic paper dolls of fifteen inspiring people who changed the world!
Study the history of space exploration by looking at a selection of influential space suits and making astronaut dress-up dolls!
Paper Dolls in Science
This printable anatomy doll set is a playful and hands-on companion to studying anatomy with kids. Each of the eight layers showcases a different human body system!
Multicultural Paper Dolls
For more diversity, select a paper doll that looks from a new big pack of paper doll bases. This free set of base paper dolls works with all of the other sets.
Join our paper dolls in getting ready for school and find out what school uniforms around the world look like!
One of the first printable paper dolls I made, the Canadian dress-up doll set was designed as a supplement for studying Canadian history and culture with children. It includes four costumes — Anne of Green Gables, an RCMP officer, a hockey player and an Inuk.
Introduce children to Christmas traditions around the world with nineteen gift-bringing characters from different cultures! From the famed Santa Claus to the mysterious Olentzero, from the sweet Christkind to the horrifying Krampus—the world is full of interesting and unique traditions, associated with the season.
Everyday Dress-Up Dolls
Everyday paper dolls can be used to instigate interesting discussions with children, related to everyday events and social situations – such as the weather, the change of seasons or going to school.
With this set, you can get your dolls ready for the autumn or spring weather.
This set prepares paper dolls for winter with a selection of warm and festive winter clothes!
In this set, our dolls are getting ready for the summer.
And this set sends our dolls to school.
The emotion paper doll comes with fourteen expressions and five poses. Instead of dresses, she changes faces and exhibits a wide range of emotions! Here is the girl set.
And this is the boy set.
Fantasy Paper Dolls
These paper dolls are good prompts for creative storytelling and loyal companions to books.
If your children are fascinated by mermaids, this is a perfect set for them. Like in the famous Little Mermaid, these mermaids can be turned into human girls.
Ahoy, mateys! Pirate paper dolls are ready to accompany you on an adventure.
What other paper dolls would you find useful in your classroom?
The Artful Parent has a set of simple printable paper dolls to make and colour. Clever Poppy has a set of free printable paper dolls as well.
Share your ideas in the comments!
I loved playing with paper dolls as a child. I would love to share this fun with my 10-year-old granddaughter.