For a back-to-school craft, make a set of printable paper dolls with a wardrobe that will take them through a school year!
Transition for going back to school can sometimes be tricky, especially for young children, who aren’t used to spending so much time away from home, so make them as fun as possible. After a happy summer of playing mermaids, our paper dolls are preparing to go to school. They are updating their wardrobes with new clothes for school and getting their backpacks ready.
What do dolls wear to school these days? The same as the kids, of course. Boys wear jeans and shorts, and girls wear the same – or put on dresses, skirts and leggings. There is a PE uniform included that is the same for both boys and girls, and there are tights, socks and shoes for when the days get a little chillier. They will get a lot chillier here in Canada before the school year is over, but then I’ll have to update them with winter outfits. These are the choices for now.
For most schools here in North America, there are no uniforms, so you can really exhibit your sense of style at school! Personally, I’m pretty fond of those red tights. I had a pair like that when I was younger.
Some schools do have a general dress code. For instance, in Southern Ontario, where we lived once, a few schools chose white and navy as preferred colours for the kids to wear. There are other schools that recommend a white top and dark bottom for everyday wear. But school uniforms around the world is an entirely different – and actually quite fascinating! – topic. I’m working on a separate set of those right now. For now, here is one outfit that would satisfy that general white-and-navy requirement.
No school experience would be complete without a gym class, so here are a couple of sport outfits.
And, like always, besides the colourful outfits, there are colouring pages of the paper clothes, so that kids can customize them to their liking. And just like that, our paper dolls are ready for school!
Back to School Paper Doll Set Features
- four kids (two boys and two girls)
- eighteen pieces of clothes and accessories to wear
- both the kids and the clothes are available in colour-your-own versions
Why Play with Paper Dolls?
If you played with dress-up paper dolls while growing up, you probably remember how much fun it was! From an adult’s perspective, we can also see how useful this activity can be for a child’s development. Here are a few important skills that making paper dolls and playing with them can encourage:
- Fine motor skills. Think scissor cutting practice! Operating all the tabs is a useful challenge, as well. Truth be told, tabs may turn out too challenging for very young children. If so, you can make magnetic dolls instead.
- Creativity and art skills. Because who wouldn’t want to make some additional costumes for the dolls? All the dolls and the costumes also have a colour-your-own version, so there is a lot to do for children who like to colour, as well.
- Storytelling skills. The dolls act as great storytelling prompts!
They are also really easy and cheap to make. It’s just paper, after all. By printing the designs, you can make as many copies as you want, so it isn’t a big deal if a doll gets torn.
How to Make Paper Dolls
- Print the templates on sheets of card stock.
- Cut one or two dolls from the pages with the base dolls. Note: This set is primarily meant to be used with the girl dolls, but parts of it can be used with the boy dolls.
- Cut the clothes out, using scissors or a hobby knife.
With this pack, you can make either a classic paper doll with new layers attaching by paper tabs or a magnetic doll to go on a fridge or magnetic board. In order to make the doll magnetic, you can either print it on special magnetic sheets OR print it on standard paper and adhere little strips of magnet tape to the back.
For extra long life, laminate the clothes and the dolls before gluing magnets onto them.