American Girl Specialty Accessories: Service Dog
Chocolate Chip is a service dog that comes with his own collar, training vest with tall handle for training, and pretend treats. The Service Dog is sturdy enough to stand alone on hard surfaces.
Note: All American Girl accessories were evaluated together--Hearing Aid, Service Dog, Allergy Free Lunch.
- Sharing the dog and the Allergy-Free Lunch and playing simultaneously with a friend can be encouraged. This also helps children practice sharing space and playing in close proximity.
- Eye contact can be promoted using the dog’s unmoving eyes as a focal point.
- Verbal dialogue is encouraged to talk about similarities and differences including food allergies, hearing aids and service dogs. Having the tangible play sets can help these often difficult, abstract concepts be more understandable.
- Go on a picnic with your American Girl doll. Serve an allergy-free lunch by making a real lunch using the Allergy-Free Lunch accessory as a guide.
- A caregiver can give a child commands to execute such as, “Sit”, “Stay”, “Lay down”. This can work on receptive language skills, following directions and bridge the gap between pretend play and reality.
- Use sign language to read a story to your American Girl doll, who is wearing the Hearing Aids.
- Create a low-tech communication board with pictures of the child’s doll and pictures of different things to do with the doll at its accessories. Have the child choose the storyline and activity.
- Early problem solving skills develop as children determine what to do when training and caring for a service dog.
- Eye-hand coordination is used when children pick up and feed their American Girl doll the food included in the Allergy-Free Lunch.
- Refined motor skills are required to insert the Hearing Aids with special attention paid to the small, removable peg.
- Play “Simon Says” to practice commands given to a dog. For example, Simon says, “sit” and the players sit. Simon says, “bark” and the players bark.
- Make a real lunch following the play pieces in the Allergy-Free Lunch. Talk about why certain foods, like peanut butter, may not be included in the lunch.
- Borrow a book from the library with simple sign language to use when playing with the doll that has hearing aids. This can also help the child teach her friends simple signs and increase awareness and acceptance.
- Caregiver and child can download service dog rules and guidelines to use while playing with the dog.
- Disability awareness, including social and emotional health, can be incorporated into play using the Service Dog, Allergy-Free Lunch and Hearing Aids which may help children understand others. This can help familiarize them for children so they are less foreign and frightening to a child who does not require special foods, equipment or assistance.
- Turn taking, negotiating and cooperating can be practiced during play with the accessories when used in social situations.
- The American Girl brand, including accessories such as the Service Dog, Hearing Aids and Allergy-Free Lunch promote positive self image and confidence within the child.
- For children who may have a fear of dogs, use this Service Dog to slowly introduce a child to a dog’s routine and how they can be helpful to people.
- Create story lines using the doll and its accessories to work through current events in a child’s life that she is uncomfortable with.
- Create a picture schedule for a day at the doctor’s office to familiarize a child with what will occur. This may help a child feel more in control and comfortable.
- Give the child space and time to explore the accessories on her own.
- Provide verbal praise when a child pets and interacts with the Service Dog appropriately.
- Model appropriate ways to use the accessories so a child is familiar and can learn from you.
Developmental Processes Promoted
- Language Development
- Fine Motor
- Hand & Finger Grasp
- Eye-Hand Coordination
- Life Skills
- Social Interaction
- Imagination/Pretend Play
- Finger & Hand Control
- Tactile Discrimination
- Two-Handed Play
- Wrist Rotation
- Motor Planning
- Self Esteem
- Social Awareness
- Approximate Price:
- Age Range:
- Levels of Play:
- Three Levels
- Self Storing
- Surface Wipe