What Age Is Old Enough to Really Enjoy an American Girl Doll?

Updated on July 28, 2012
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
12 answers

mine are 4 and 2 and don't own these. But its birthday time and I'm doll shopping

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answers from Kansas City on

My youngest got the Bitty Baby for her 4th Birthday and she loves her! She is the only doll my daughter plays with now. I will not get her the AG doll until the reccommended age of 8+. That way she will appreciate it more and take great care of her AG doll.

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answers from Chicago on

You could get them Bitty Babies, but I would not get an AG doll when they are so young.

My SD got one when she was 5. She did not know how to take care of it nor did anyone help her so the doll is ruined. There's marker on the doll, her eyes don't open and shut correctly and the hair is all knotted. My SD plans on sending her to the doll hospital someday.

Also, my SD's half-sister is 5 and she received an AG doll this year for Christmas. She dropped the doll and the doll now had a scratched-up face. She also cut the doll's hair.

My SD really did start enjoying the dolls around age 7, which is the suggested age. A mature 6 year old that can take care of her things could enjoy one too.

$100 is too much money to spend on a doll that might be mistreated! Especially something so special as an AG doll.

The Bitty Babies are more durable, so I would go that route or opt for one of the knockoff dolls from Target. The Journey Girls dolls are also lots of fun!

The AG dolls also have very tiny accessories, so I would be careful with your 2-year old.

Happy birthday to your girls!

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answers from Portland on

4 and 2 are much too young. An American Girl Doll is expensive and is a collector doll. Your girls are too young to appreciate the story that goes along with them and too young to be able to take good care of the doll.

Perhaps 6 or 7 but only if they're interested in keeping the doll nice and would enjoy the story that goes along with her.

There are much less expensive dolls that your 4 and 2 yos would enjoy. I suggest that giving them an American Girl doll now would be for your enjoyment and not theirs.

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answers from Dallas on

I wish, WISH, my girls wanted an AG doll. Either one of them plays with dolls. :( They are 8 and 5.

I remember really wanting one when I was in 3rd grade.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Don' buy one now. The great thing about the doll is for your daughter to be able to CHOOSE the one she wants. If you buy it now, you might just
a) waste your money on a doll they don't love or want and
b) risk getting it destroyed (markers, messed up hair due to carelessness, etc...).

My daughter is 8 and became very interested in them at age 7. She was sad most of her friends had them and she didn't. I fought this a really long time. I can't stand how expensive it is. What a racket.

But as I saw that it IS a lovely doll (and more child appropriate than sorta sexualized Barbie) I've become a fan.

The first doll she wanted was the RETIRED ELIZABETH doll. She's been asking for one since she was 6.5 because her friend had one and she loved it. I didn't know what this doll was so I ignored this request for a long time, hoping she'd forget about it. Elizabeth is actually my favorite doll now because she is so beautiful and her hair is SO long (some girls apparently love this feature).

We were in the store last summer and I ended up getting her her first doll a "just like me" doll that kinda sorta looked like her. I wasn't expecting to buy one that day and I just got suckered into saying yes. Weeks later she realized she didn't love the doll because she still just wanted Elizabeth with her super long hair. Ugh. We were going to sell it on Craiglist, but now she wants to keep it. Fine.

Another thing to know is that the girls REALLY want and enjoy the experience of going to the store and picking out the doll themselves. So it's best to shop with them if this is their gift.

I ended up getting her Elizabeth on Ebay for Christmas. You can still find Elizabeth on Craigslist if you are patient.

I have a friend whose daughters are 12 & 8. She amassed a ton of gently used doll clothes through yard sales so her 8 yr old has a ton of stuff. That's where my daughter learned about how much she loved Elizabeth. I've heard the more clothes you have, the more the child will play with the dolls.

My daughter had some money saved up and just bought a JULIE doll at the store. So she has 3. I think we are DONE shopping for these dolls. Now I'm hunting down for clothes.

American Girl Clothing
I don't like the variety of clothing at the store. First, it's too expensive and not that pretty and everyone has the same outfits.

Etsy has an amazing collection of people who sew and make their own adorable AG doll clothing. It's also less expensive than the store.

This woman sells outfits for $12 plus $3 shipping.

For now, I'd get your girls some inexpensive baby dolls or Target versions of the same size AG dolls and see how they do with those.

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answers from Hartford on

It depends on the child. My best friend's daughter has had them since toddlerhood because other family members get them for her. She doesn't have many dolls except for these and a few Barbies because she's a tomboy, but she does love them.

My daughters are all dolly girls. They adore dolls. They have a houseful of dolls and can account for every single one they've ever had. They take good care of them. HOWEVER because American Girl Dolls are expensive we consider them a milestone gift. My eldest got one for Christmas just after her 10th birthday. She had been begging for one for about two years. She's almost 12 now and that doll has a place of honor on her bed and she still plays with it and brushes its hair when she's upset. She got interested in the era the doll is from (Julie, 1974) and even did a project on it in school (she got an A, Title 9).

My middle daughter turns 10 this year and we're probably going to do the same for her as long as my husband is working by Christmas. She has wanted an American Girl Doll since she was a toddler. Same with my youngest.

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answers from Houston on

My daughters recieved an AG bitty baby first. When they were 2...maybe younger. 4 when they received the first AG (my oldest chose Felicity). My youngest was closer to 5 yrs old...we waited just a little longer for her because she was a little tougher with her dolls. We started her out with a target American Generation Doll first.



answers from Los Angeles on

At 4 and 2, I don't think they would enjoy AG dolls. I would think they would prefer "baby" dolls. AG does have Bitty Babies, so maybe that's a good compromise. Plus they are pricey!

My daughter got a Our Generation doll at about 5 or 6. And then got her first AG doll from Santa at age 7. She loves them. But, be prepared - the accessories are pricey too!



answers from Washington DC on

Personally, I'd buy a cheaper doll for girls so young. My girls are 8 and 10, and they LOVE their American Girls (got them when they were 7 and 9, I think). My 10 year old will be turning 11 in August and she made a whole list of AG accessories for Grandma to choose from. Sometimes I wonder if she's to old for dolls, but honestly, she does the cutest things with these dolls. She makes all these "set-ups" for them (she has 3!) in her room, she uses the boxes they came in to create beds or lockers, she changes their clothes constantly. It's really sweet. I know a lot of girls her age have moved on though. I like that she still plays with them. But I really think the ideal age for "most" kids is 7 -10 years old. They really are cute and great quality.



answers from Chicago on

at what age will you be ok with them cutting the hair, marking on with a marker and tearing the clothing off of a $100 doll? american girl dolls are expensive and if your not ok with any or all of those things happening to them then they are not old enough lol. I would stick with a soft babydoll for now.



answers from Honolulu on

Those dolls are expensive plus with all the accessories.
Your girls are young, thus, the dolls will get, played with and handled a lot and not kept brand new looking. If you are fine with that, then fine. The girls can play with it as they wish.
But if you expect the dolls, to stay in brand new condition, then no. I would not get it.

But, the dolls will either be liked or not or played with or not.
My friend's daughter, who was 6 at the time, wanted an AG doll. Then her Grandma got her one for Christmas (and she got the one that the girl, chose and wanted). And you know what? The girl, does not even play with it. It just sits in the box, still.
Even if the girl, said she wanted one so badly.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Mine were 6 & 9 when they got ther first American Girls. And tey both enjoy them.

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