Shared Difference #BarbieProject

I am the youngest of 7 children, and by youngest I mean – by a lot. My brothers and sisters are 14+ years older than myself. So, growing up, it was like I had many parents and oftentimes it felt like I was an only child.

By the time I was of school-age, I was the only sibling living at home, and close bonds were made with neighbouring friends or my nieces and nephews who were close to my age. As I said in last months #BarbieProject post, I spent a lot of time playing with my collection of Barbies. In fact, this period is my most vivid childhood memory. 

Yet while my sisters were much older than me, they were still very much apart of my ‘Barbie play’. Yet, not in the traditional way that you’d expect …

My one sister, Terri, is a ‘handy’ sort of woman. Even in her late teens she would often be seen sewing, crocheting or needpointing.

So, guess who made the bulk of my Barbie clothes when I was little?


I smile thinking back to the dozens of outfits she made for my dolls. All sorts of styles, colours … I still think it’s quite remarkable how creative she is. While I wasn’t actually involved in the making of these clothes {and even accessories like purses}, I loved to help her design each look. I admired and treasured her creations as much as the dolls themselves.

As I watch my twins girls play Barbies now, I can’t help but to think of my sister and I, and our non-traditional way of play. We still connected through creativity, imagination and fashion, despite not actually ‘playing’ roles with the dolls like my girls do now.


Since I didn’t have this type of dynamic with my own siblings, I’m so fascinated with my girls unique relationship and connection. Their play always starts with, “How about we’re sisters and …”. When the twins play – they are never are just friends, neighbours, strangers or co-workers. Always sisters.

Even when I get down and play with them {which I have just started to do recently and highly recommend it}, I am always their sister too, and never ‘the Mom’. It’s likely the only time during play that I’m not ‘just the mom’.


It’s like they consider me their equal. One of them. I love this time, when they speak freely, share their adventures and write their new sister into their story. I also notice that when they play Barbies with their friends, they also suggest they all be sisters as well. This sisterly bond is so strong with them. 

The other day during our play Katie said, “How about we’re sisters and we’re fashion girls… “. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to tell the tale of my kid-self and my own sister, true fashion girls from long ago.


Of course this sparked many questions about why my sister was older, why we didn’t share a room or go to school each day together. Through play the girls were able to learn more about me, my childhood and that all families are different. I really don’t think they would have been this interested to hear about ‘the old days’ if my story didn’t spin off from our Barbie play. The timing was perfect. 

What does your Barbie history look like?




I am apart of The Barbie Project and I receive special perks as part of my
affiliation. The opinions are, as always, my own.
  . .




  1. I also grew up playing Barbies. I remember sitting on our front step playing Barbies with my cousin for hours. I love doing their hair and trying on new outfits and making up elaborate and sometimes scandalous scenarios for them.

  2. I have always LOVED Barbie! I remember countless hours spent playing, doing her hair and my brother even would play with me! We would drive our Barbie cars through the had tall grass and was awesome!!!! Happy times!

    1. So true Crystal, I’m learning all sorts of things about my girls by just getting down and playing with them. It’s remarkable!

  3. Wonderful story.. My mom was very crafty too and made some of my barbies clothes. I also mad my daughter barbie and doll clothes with left over material from the clothes I would make her.

  4. Barbies were a big part of my life, I am an only child so that is all I had was my barbies when I was at home, and my grandmother made me some awesome outfits for my barbies as well

  5. Barbie and I do not have a history as my mom was a huge feminist and I was not allowed to play with them. My girls have been able to play with them and they love them.

    1. wow, and do you play with them? I’d love to know more about your view on that and what made you decide to go the other direction …

  6. I had a few barbies when I was a kid…I bet my mom still has them! And I know my daughter has many in her closet!

    1. Thanks Scott! Recall the toilet paper roll covers? The Barbie dresses ones? Yep – we all had those thanks to her too! lol

  7. This is awesome. I grew up playing Barbies for HOURS straight. The stories we came up with were better than soap operas. LOL So great that you get to play with them!!!

    1. Isn’t that the truth!! Perhaps that’s where soaps writers get their stories from, they all play Barbies as they write!! lol

  8. I was in fact an only child and boy did I play Barbie for way too long… I can hardly admit it out loud! Will always bring back awesome memories! My mom made me some Barbie clothes too, so awesome!

  9. The sister thing is just precious! I used to make my own Barbie clothes from my mom’s sewing scraps and I have such fond memories of that.

  10. That’s really neat that you have those old Barbies and handmade clothes. I never really plaid with Barbies, but when I did I use to love to play with their hair the most. So I’d always choose Barbies with really long hair.

  11. My sister and I would spend hours playing with our Barbie dolls . Favorite memory? Giving our dolls a haircut and finding out later that their hair would never grow back!!

    1. Ha! I never, ever cut my Barbie hair. Funny how I cringed at the thought of messing with it, and still to this day would cringe if my girls do it …

  12. My sister and I would spend hours playing with our Barbie dolls . Favorite memory? Giving our dolls a haircut and finding out later that their hair would never grow back!!

  13. My sister and I played barbies a lot growing up. We had that pull string hotel and the barbie car. Skipper was always my girl to play with…..ah the memories. 🙂 I also played barbies with my girls growing up. Add a few princesses to the mix of course.

  14. I was an only child, so I spent time playing with Barbies alone. I was able to pass most of my Barbies down to my daughter, who loved them as much as I did.

  15. I loved Barbie as a kid, and yes our mothers crocheted clothes for us. We had amazing Barbie wardrobes. I wish I kept them all.

  16. It’s funny. I never liked Barbies, or any dolls, as a kid. But my girls love them. They pay with them all the time. They play that one is the mom or that they are sisters. It is always around a family dynamic,

  17. Love this post! I had 3 brothers. My Barbie time, was my time and tended to be something I did in private. I was big on BIG dolls, just Baribies. I only had about 3, including Ken. My mom made some clothes or bought the homemade crocheted clothes from craft sales etc. My best friend growing up lived quite a distance away and she had the best Barbie collection. I was so happy when I was invited over for the entire weekend. It was all we did and nevermind, I was in grade 8! So it was “our secret” and today I love playing Barbies with my niece. Her little sister isn’t much of a fan!

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