By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you’re not buying for youngsters this holiday, you may not realize how dolls have changed. Since Betsy Wetsy in the 30s drank from a bottle and then wet its diaper, dolls have become more interactive.

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In a Wall Street Journal article on December 7th, Ann Zimmerman remembers that a while back, Elmo wanted to be tickled. Today hand him musical instruments so he can play and sing along with them. The Fijit doll utters 125 phrases responding via voice recognition to 30 commands.

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The market is moving from “watch me” dolls to interactive ones, and while families are responding to their kids’ requests, the movement for play and creating is growing quickly too.

Building with blocks, seeing the consequences of their actions, and maybe revising, not only builds skills but can make hundreds of different fun structures that kids can call “mine.”

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Think about it. Blocks have excited kids for years.