Shaping A Kinder Christmas

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According to a 2018 study by Cambridge University, 90% of people’s empathy is learned through upbringing and environment while only 10% is genetic. So, what’s better than starting early on?

Up until Christmas, we will be focusing on practical ways of teaching empathy to our children during this season of kindness and sharing. Follow us as we feature 4 different parents, each Advent Sunday, who will be sharing their insights and experiences of ways to practice empathy through play with their children.

At Rubens Barn our mission is to offer a handmade friend for developing compassion and understanding in order to shape a kinder future. To provide some inspiration, we’ve compiled a few play exercises and ideas to try out this season!


  1. Emotional development: dolls can support children on an emotional level by being a friend for them to talk to.
  2. Compassion: dressing and caring for a doll is a way of learning self-care as well as caring for others e.g. younger siblings. Additionally, it’s a good way of practicing hand movement and fine motor control.
  3. Social skills: dolls can increase children's communication and social skills by directly interacting with the doll through play.
  4. Calming and comforting: a doll can help calm a distressed child. A simple method is to take a few moments hugging the doll.
  5. Capturing attention: a doll can be good for capturing the attention of young or disabled children. The best results come from giving the doll an engaging personality.
  6. Guidance: children can learn good behavior and guidelines by watching a doll's example.
  7. Confidence for reading and speaking: children unwilling to speak or read out loud may feel more encouraged to talk or read to a doll.


We would love to hear how you teach or plan to teach empathy and kindness to your child(ren)! Share your thoughts on Instagram OR Facebook till 25th Dec, 23:59 CET. We will select 1 winner on the 3rd of January 2019 who will receive a Rubens Barn of their choice!


We will be sharing some of our favorite stories from you on our Instagram and Facebook. All you need to do is:

Post a photo of your child (ren) with their Rubens Barn. Add a short text about how you teach empathy to your child(ren). Hashtag #shapingakinderfuture!