The implicit message I want to
give to children is:
'Look, here is
a villa made just for your children.
The villa is sturdy, mobile and made from sustainable design
materials. No expense has been spared; on the contrary. If your
children - the dolls - are happy, this contributes to your own happiness.'
In the field of child psychotherapy, the villa is used for
therapeutic play to facilitate contact with children, to make diagnoses,
and even as a form of treatment. A Dutch health care
psychologist confirms this: "The doll’s villa is good for
perception and treatment”. While they play, children reveal
‘hidden information’ about themselves.
During my visits to Astrid Lindgren
Children‘s Hospital in Sweden and to Beatrix
Kinderziekenhuis in Groningen, I observed that children
use pretend play as a method to reduce their
psychological fears of medical procedures. For example,
hospital play specialists get children to pretend to
perform a surgery on their doll, and in the process,
develop a positive mind-set to receive treatment
"We believe that the stifling of play has dire
not only for children but for the future of
The dolls villa is being used in
more then hunderd Dutch primary
schools for the stimulation of the social-emotional
development of [young] children.
EXACTLY WHAT WE
The Astrid Lindgrens Stockholm children's hospital is using the
dolls villa for creative therapy: "Seriously sick children,
we observed, do not look at other people, but usually at the
floor. For many years we had been looking for something that
could stimulate contact between children. The dolls villa is
exactly what we needed."
RIAGG Dutch Institute for Ambulatory Mental Health
NEW PLAY THERAPY WITH DOLLS VILLA
'DOLLS VILLA BENEFITS UNDERSTANDING
■ Health psychologist Stankiewicz writes in the RIAGG 2008 annual report: ”The
dolls villa is an excellent channel for making contact with children; certainly
with children who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. The villa is
used for many different problems: from attachment problems, abuse, and behavioural
problems to neglect".
■ Child psychologist Jeurissen:
"The dolls villa is a very good and practical
instrument that I have already been able to use with various clients. It's great
for initial contact with the child, but also to be able to observe the child at
play [copycat behavior, imagination, teamwork] and to recreate certain
'difficult' home situations for the child. Basically I'm just really happy with
■ Adolescent psychologist Weckx:
"Even teenage girls in my caseload look at our
gorgeous dolls villa with big eyes: Oh!".
■ Play therapist Hoogeboom: “Toddlers and young children are
usually barely able to articulate their problems, if at all. They often express
their feelings and experiences far better in their manner of playing. For
example, the dolls talk or fight with each other. A play therapist plays with
the child, and through this play he or she helps the child express itself and
process certain experiences. As a child grows, dialogue takes a more central
In 2003, the director of ASCO Educational Supplies in the
UK, Tom Marshall, said:
"Yesterday we delivered our first dolls villa here in
Leeds. As it
was a local customer we agreed to assemble the villa for
them. It is the first time I have assembled one and I just want to say that I
am very impressed with
the way it fitted together, the clarity of the
instructions and the quality of the finished article.
The customer is one of a major chain of nurseries
and they were absolutely delighted with it."
MORE QUALITY TIME
Doctor Swaans is a
general practitioner with a practice in Bunde, the Netherlands: "Ever since we put the LILIANE dolls villa in my waiting
room, I have been able to spend more quality time with my adult
patients. Their children simply prefer to keep playing with the villa! They even beg to be brought back for another
visit. I also regularly find fathers, mothers and grandparents
crouching around the villa. This product really helps create a
relaxed atmosphere at my practice."
ACT OUT DOCTOR - PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
A doctor at the university hospital in Maastricht: "When
we first got the
dolls villa, I was amazed to see children actually playing
together in the waiting room. They act out the doctor -
patient relationship. Every time they come for a check-up
they head straight for the villa!"
CHILD WELFARE |
TREATMENT AFTER VIOLENCE AT HOME
"The Practice" foundation in
the Netherlands offers help to children with development and|or psychiatric problems. Orthopedagogue Anne Maaskant: "The dolls villa has
since been used intensively
– for both diagnostic and for therapeutic
objectives. The quality of the material is splendid. Our
findings and experiences so far are positive."
The Otradnoye orphanage in
Moscow received a complete LILIANE leading dolls
villa as a gift, an initiative of Richard Doumen. The villa
was a donation made by 35
participants in the economic mission to Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod
in 2008. An orphanage in Murmansk received a
dolls villa from an entrepreneur.
moved the dolls villa to the children's reception group. All of the children arriving in Otradnoye Center first
enter the reception group and stay there for a few weeks.
During this initial period, the children require more
support and we need ways to create a safe environment
for them. There, the sitting room has more space so the villa
can be moved into the centre of the room
when children want to play with it, and it can then be
rolled back into a safe corner during the rest period.
The children have made carpets
and some other small things for the villa, which makes it
very cosy and domestic. They spend a lot of time
playing with the dolls villa."
"We realize now that this gift from the Dutch mission
really special and very helpful in the rehabilitation
process of our children."
WORKING WITH A SICK CHILD
Rijnmond South Medical
J. Vos-Kuizenga: "We are delighted that MCRZ is the
first Dutch hospital to receive the LILIANE dolls
villa as a gift from two donors. Psychologists from the
MCRZ Paediatric Department use the villa as an
observation tool. This enables us to see how a child
experiences his illness and his admission into
At the Clessiedra psychotherapy
clinic in Rotterdam, the LILIANE dolls villa is often used for
therapeutic purposes. Young patients can reveal incest experiences through their
play with dolls.
FOR HEALTH CARE
Medical child psychologist
and expert on incest, Prof. Wolters, PhD: "Child psychiatry, in particular, makes frequent use of
doll's houses. Playing with dolls allows children to
cope with their [traumatic] experiences.
In a relaxed atmosphere, they
can let the dolls go through the experiences they
themselves wish to avoid. The features of the
dolls villa, its size, its durability and its mobility make this
product very suitable for hospitals, [medical] day-care
centres and children's rehabilitation centres".
Spaander, the contact person for Out of school care says: "When we
provide tours to educational professionals who are thinking about setting up an
Out of School Child Care Centre, their eyes light up when they see the
villa. Our children love to play with the dolls villa, it encourages interaction
among the children. And it's extremely durable: after almost a year of daily
use, all the parts are still intact."
FOR INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
In the autumn of 2000, the
villa was the winner of the Dutch National Award for
It was the first time in the 30 years of the
Dutch Trade Mart that a toy had been awarded this prize.
PLAY WITH THE VILLA TOO
toys actually deliver to child care centres what the manufacturers promise?
Every month the trade journal for the day-care sector publishes a
short survey in which day-care centre staff review toys or
from four to about six or seven years of age play with the
dolls villa a lot. Boys play with the villa too. They use
it as a garage for their cars. The villa looks great and the kids can access
it from all sides. Toddlers love it too. They play with the building itself
and the furniture rather than the dolls. The accessories from the villa are also used
in other kinds of games. Sometimes the villa is used as a climbing frame. It
is sturdy enough. So it’s thumbs up all around. At first, we were afraid
it would be too big – but because it’s easily movable, it’s never
really in the way."
editor Marike Vroom: "LILIANE is highly
recommended for out of school care. Pre-schoolers
also enjoy it.
The dolls villa is beautifully finished and its design is sound and
DONATION TO DUTCH WOMEN'S SHELTERS
All women's shelters as well as
social shelters in the Netherlands
will receive a
dolls villa. In this way, the
sponsor is contributing to the
renewal of contact between mothers
and their children, victims of
The Federation of Dutch Care Centres:
"The centres are very impressed with
this sponsor's gesture. The
dolls villa is an addition to the
help available to children at the
centres. However, it's not just for
children, the villa also invites the
mothers to play. This relaxed
contact between mother and child is
essential for both of them. The
dolls' villa is also used to observe
children at play, establish a
rapport with a child and to recreate
difficult home situations so that
painful experiences can be handled."
translated from Dutch
| Director of the Dutch Federation of Shelters [Federatie
"The Federation believes it is of vital importance to invest
in children in shelters [6,700 each year], as this can
help prevent problems in the future. Often, the children
themselves become perpetrators or victims of violence, domestic
and otherwise, later down the line. No stone is left unturned to
give these children a positive new start and a dolls villa
such as this can certainly help. It helps teach the children how to
play again, how to play with their mothers, and helps build an
ideal home where there is no violence. These are all fantastic
things that the children have not often experienced.
This process rebuilds the basis
that gives the children the freedom to be a child again. It
allows them to grow up in the way that every child should. By
investing in this dolls villa, you are investing in a better
future for these children."