08 February 2011

My baptism doll

The Baptism lesson was the lesson I presented during my Godly Play training course. It’s also the lesson that seems easiest to furnish from a flea market or charity shop! So one of the first items I bought for Godly Play was a baby doll.

Finnish flea markets are like big supermarkets. The sellers are not present: all the stuff for sale is just labeled with a price and a stall number. The customer pays for their goods at a cash register by the exit, and the market itself keeps track of what was bought from whose stall. The disadvantage, I suppose, is that you cannot haggle – the price on the tag is the price you have to pay. But a big advantage to my mind is the lack of hassle! You can pick up an item and carry it around with you until you find a better one (or a cheaper one) in somebody else’s stall. And then you can put the first one back.

I started browsing for dolls. Funnily enough, it hadn’t occurred to me how many dolls have hair. I wanted a smooth head that would be easy to dry off. Soon, though, I found a nice bald doll wearing a little track suit. Then I started hunting through the stalls of baby clothes, trying to find a white dress or shirt that might work as a christening gown. Nothing seemed right – they were all too big for the doll, not fancy enough, and otherwise unsuitable. Imagine my delight then when I came across a stall selling doll clothes (brand new – this seemed to be a stall rented out by a seamstress)… including a range of christening gowns!

I stripped off the track suit to make sure the gown would fit and – Oh. It’s an anatomically correct doll. Ok, I’ll take one pair of bloomers as well, thank you!

(It’s not just a matter of propriety. It’s that I would like the children to be able to imagine the doll as whatever they want it to be, boy or girl. At least until the first time a child takes its bloomers off.)

Ah, Finland. A land where so many babies are baptized that there’s a good market for dolls’ christening gowns, and where the dolls are likely to have, um, all their parts. :)

To read about my other Baptism materials, click here. In July 2012 I bought another doll for our church to use, and mused on a couple of downsides to this doll. You can read that here


  1. Hi Storyteller, What a nice blog you've started here! I'm excited to see how you will develop it. I'm so glad that more people are starting to blog about Godly Play. Blessings, Sheila


  2. Thanks for reading, Sheila, and thanks for your encouraging words. I've enjoyed your blog particularly because we're both Anglos in Europe, and both adapting Godly Play to special circumstances.

  3. and where the dolls are likely to have, um, all their parts. :)

    giggle ... it's great isn't it?


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