Little girls, ages 3-6 love dolls. They are old enough to start playing “mommy,” caring for their dolls and developing their imagination through role play. My daughter has always loved playing with her dolls, everything from pretending to take them to the mall, to caring for them when they are sick and setting up birthday parties for them.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a doll for play is its durability. Dolls are meant to be played with and sometimes the more basic dolls are the ones that get the most play.

My recommendations for the best dolls for girls ages 3-6 are:

Bitty Baby by American Girl

Bitty Baby is a girls’ first best friend! My daughter got her Bitty at age 3 from Santa and the two of them have been best pals ever since. Even now, as she is about to turn 11,  Bitty Baby is still her favorite and has been on trips all over the world. Bitty Baby dolls are 15″ tall. They start at $50 and can be ordered directly from American Girl.

Bitty Twins by American Girl

The toddler version of Bitty Baby, the Bitty Twins have longer hair that girls can brush and style. That is part of their appeal. The Bitty Twin accessories are also geared more toward the Preschool/Kindergarten age and include a bed, kitchen, potty training set, and more. The Twins are exactly the same size as Bitty Baby – 15″. You can order the Bitty Twins (who come in a variety of skin color combinations and there is also a boy twin) directly from American Girl and the starter set is $105.


Waterbabies Giggly Wiggly

A classic baby doll is back for a whole new generation of girls to enjoy! Waterbabies are 10″-13″ baby dolls that can be filled with lukewarm water to create a lifelike and very comforting baby doll that is sure to become a favorite friend right away!  Priced at under $20 and available at Amazon and other major toy retailers, Waterbabies is my #1 pick for this holiday season. (Read a more detailed review of Waterbabies here.)

Corolle dolls

Corolle is definitely one of my favorite doll manufacturers! They are known for their impeccable quality and trademark vanilla scent. We have a few that we have had since my 14 year old was 3 and they still have their scent! To this day my daughter has such fond memories of Baby Judy and her friend. The Corolle Tidoo Bright Doll shown here is completely water tight and lightweight which makes her a bath safe doll. Actually the entire Tidoo line are crafted specifically so they can be taken in the tub and dry quickly. See a large selection of Corolle dolls here.