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If I was to give my son a baby doll today, he would hand it back to me with a "no thank you, Mommy," and continue playing with a car or truck. I know this, because I've tried it. This just tells me that

  1. I did a good job drilling manners into him. Did you read how polite that was? Go me!
  2. He's just not that into dolls.

But he's not a baby. And the latest research from the University of Western Sydney has found that young boys (around 5 months) prefer objects with faces (like dolls) rather than cars and trucks. In fact, they prefer them just as much as girls do.

And that makes sense to me. When my son was born, we got him a giant monkey, who he still adores to this day. I find the two of them playing cars "together" sometimes and it makes me smile. (I have a soft spot for that monkey and am often the "voice" of it.)

When he was about a year old, my son developed an absolute fascination with cars and trucks that has held to this day. He (and I) can list out an insanely long list of construction trucks, service trucks and a variety of cars. (Seriously, I can identify a vactor and tell you what it does.) He can play with his cars for hours and he has that amazing innate ability to make engine noises (I totally can't do that.)

So, what does all this mean? Well, for me, it means that the next time I am getting a gift for a new baby - whether a boy or a girl - I am going to hit the doll aisle first.

What was your favorite toy growing up? Tell me in the comments.

Let's take this relationship to the next level - go ahead and follow me.

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Comment by Lauren Markman on January 15, 2014 at 9:43pm

Then mine is in route to become the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. And dinosaurs.

Comment by Marcia Fowler on January 15, 2014 at 1:49pm

Dolls. I loved dolls. I'd put out National Geographics all in rows, put my dolls behind the magazines and play school with them. Later in life, I taught overseas. Ha ha! Guess you CAN figure out what kids will be from what toys they play with.

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