It isn’t surprising that with all that is happening in these times, children worry about things more than they normally would.

Did you know that a Worry Doll is one solution to this issue? It helps a child deal with any worries they have and helps them handle the big emotions they experience?

Early December last year, Rebecca Sparrow wrote a Facebook post about our worry dolls and prompted a lot of interest. As a result, we supplied lots of customers with our worry dolls. A councillor from a Grammar School in Victoria purchased 18 to help children in her school. We think they’re a great idea and obviously many other people do too… What do you think? Have you ever had experience using worry dolls – we’d love to hear from you if you have.

What is a Worry Doll?

I first heard about worry dolls last year. I was looking for a small product I could sell at markets. The worry doll story made me think of children I knew who could benefit from having one of these.

A worry doll is a small hand-crafted doll usually made by Mayan artisans in Guatemala. They have an ancient tradition that helps children overcome their anxieties and have a restful night’s sleep.

The story goes that the Mayan Princess Ixmucane had been granted the gift of wisdom by the Sun God. It made her able to solve any person’s problem. Later, people began creating dolls that represented Princess Ixmucane with whom they’d share their problems. Because the worry doll represents Princess Ixmucane, it has her powers. The children would tell the doll their worries at night and place her under their pillow while they slept. By morning their worries would be gone. Or they would have the wisdom they needed to deal with whatever it was they were worried about.

How might a Worry Doll help a child that is worrying today?

Have you ever not been able to sleep because you’re thinking of something you need to do? I do it all the time and I’ve learned to write it down before I sleep. That way, I know I’m not going to forget to do it the next day and it helps me sleep. A Worry Doll works in a similar way. It helps children to offload their worries before they sleep by telling their Worry Doll, their ‘trustworthy listener’.

Child psychologists and therapists often use worry dolls to help children articulate their worries. The worry doll acts as a go-between adult and child.

Studies show that the simple act of putting worries into words and transferring them to a worry doll, rather than keeping them bottled up inside, can hugely reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Saying their problems out loud can be an effective way to help the child process their problems and ultimately find a solution. As adults, we know that sometimes just the act of telling a friend our problems can be enough for us to figure out what we need to do next regardless of whether the friend has any useful advice or not.

Also, giving your child a worry doll to talk to can also help them practise articulating their worries which may mean they are better able to communicate their worries to you in the morning.

Introducing our Worry Dolls

Our little worry dolls are beautifully hand-made by the Garcia Lopez family in Guatemala

In addition, 50% of the profit is donated to The Fig Tree Children to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and youths in Sierra Leone.

Generic Worry Doll
to show anyone how much you care

A slightly more intimate Worry Doll
for someone you love