What Are Guatemalan Worry Dolls?

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Guatemalan worry dolls are a great parenting tool to help children with anxiety and worries. 

A few months ago I bought some fantastic Guatemalan dolls for my daughter Sylvia. Worry dolls are fantastic for helping children to talk about their worries and feelings and can really help them to settle down at night and sleep.

Purchasing the dolls was super cheap, however you can make your own DIY worry dolls using materials such as sticks and pegs, small scraps of fabric and wool.  

Today I will share with you everything there is to know about Guatemalan worry dolls and share some fantastic resources so you can use these crafty peg dolls to help your child. 

How to Use Worry Dolls?

Do you know how to use these Guatemalan dolls? It’s super simple! 

Children share their concerns with their dolls and put the little characters under their pillows at night. This allows a child to pass his or her worries to the doll so they can sleep at night.

Using a worry doll is a traditional Guatemalan practice that I learnt about from my daughter’s birth father. He lived in Guatemala for two years and had a set of DIY worry dolls in his memory box. 

Our Experience With Guatemalan Worry Dolls

Sylvia has used her Guatemalan dolls a few times and (most importantly), I’ve been able to listen to her worries that she  told her dolls. I’ve then be able to use this knowledge to help her.

For example one night Sylvia told her dolls that she was worried about being late for school. She had been late once or twice and felt rushed by when she couldn’t find her shoes. 

After knowing about her concern, we started to prepare her uniform, school bag and shoes each night before bed time. I also gave Sylvia her own little clock. This made all the difference and she always knows what time it is and where her things are.

what are guatemalan worry dolls?

Where to Buy Guatemalan Worry Dolls?

You can buy worry dolls on Amazon and in a number of places online. 

I would recommend purchasing fair trade dolls as they are made by struggling families in Guatemala. They only cost a few pounds or dollars, however the dolls can break quite easily so need to be looked after carefully.

Don’t Feed the Worry Bug

If you’re looking for more support to help your child with their worries and anxiety then why not try this book? Don’t feed the worry bug is a great children’s book by Andi Green.

I used to use this book as an Early years educator to help children with worries to open up and talk about their worries more. The story is super cute and the book was a great resource for helping children with anxiety.

I’m sure you will love this.

don't feed the worry bug

Making Your Own DIY Worry Dolls

There are a few great tutorials online to make your own worry dolls at home. You may love the post on making your own dolls over at My Little Poppies.

We also have some fantastic crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Whilst these are not worry doll tutorials, crafting can be therapeutic for kids and a great way to get them to talk, open up and talk about their feelings. 

Check out the following!

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worry dolls helping kids with anxiety

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!

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  1. Thank you so much for linking up and putting my badge in your post! I haven’t even figured out how to HTML my badge yet. I am a computer whiz in progress lol. Love this idea as well…I have one starting kindergarten this year *tear*

    1. Your welcome 🙂 It’s a learning game isn’t it. We just have to learn one thing at a time. I only signed up to twitter in April! Before that I used Facebook. Now my world has changed!

    1. Cool Becky! I only found out about them when I was researching about kids worrying. Sylvia had a bit of a hard time when we moved houses and schools last year and I wanted to find ways to help her. She’s sorted now and well settled. They really did help!

  2. How sweet! I love that these dolls open a window of communication between child and mother. Lovely post, Angela! Xx

  3. I had worry dolls as a child and they really are a great way just to simply stop and think about what has been bothering you. I hope they continue to be of help to your daughter. #SundayStars xxx

    1. Thank you Katie for visiting my blog. The dolls certainly helped a lot when we moved house and school. angela x

  4. I had worry dolls when I was a child and loved them. They were a great part of my childhood and I look back with fond memories when I think of them. I’ll definitely be buying my girls some when they’re older. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  5. a great way to know your kids inner thoughts… lovely idea and the dolls looks so cute too! #lovelythings

  6. I had worry dolls as a child. Your picture brought back some memories! I don’t remember what I used to worry about as a child but I remember they were really cute and in a little hessian bag. You’re on to something there. It’s a great idea! If you want to stop by I have a link up called Life Loving Linkie that I’d love to see you at.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  7. This is a really nice idea to help children vocalise what they’re worried about. I think my son maybe slightly too young at the moment, but I think I need to remember this for the future thanks for sharing #lovelythings

    1. Oh thanks Laura. Yes I think kids need to be a little older to be able to express out they feel to the dolls. Like you say it’s good idea though for the future.

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