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Amplification For Dolls


I'd like to share with you a delightful idea one mom used when her daughter was fit with her first pair of hearing aids. She ordered some toy hearing aids from one of the resources mentioned below and tucked them away. When it was time to go to the audiologists for her daughter to receive her first pair of hearing aids, her doll went too. This mom slipped the toy hearing aids to the audiologist when they arrived and the doll was fit for hearing aids first, then her daughter. Not only did it make the doll special for her daughter, but it helped her daughter better understand and cooperate with the fitting process.

Here are some ideas and sources:

  • Lakeshore Learning Materials , but they can be used for other dolls. I like to use these hearing aids on stuffed animals. Here is the info from their Early Childhood Catalog (the dolls pictured below are available separately). Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Page From Lakeshore Learning Materials Catalog

  • My favorite idea is to use dimensional paint (available in craft stores) to put hearing aids & earmolds on dolls.  The dimensional paint gives you precise control and you can match the colors quite easily.  I did one side at a time, allowing the first side to dry before turning it over to do the other side. Now even Barbie can wear hearing aids! I've used this technique to put hearing aids on Pokemon figurines, action figures, stuffed animals, Barbie, and even glass figurines.
  • My son came up with his own unique idea quite a few years ago. He took the yellow earrings that came with his Mr./Mrs. Potato Head and put them on the Potato Head as hearing aids. When I tried to put them on as earrings, he told me no, pointed to his hearing aids, and put them back on as hearing aids.

  • Tammy gives us a great idea:
    • When we first found out about our daughter's hearing loss, I sewed pink and purple pom-poms in the ears of her beloved "Bear Bear".  Since she is most attached to him and relates to him like he's a human almost, it seemed natural to give him "pretty ears" too.
  • I recently heard from a friend who made an FM system for their child's doll. I had never thought of doing an FM system for a doll. What a wonderful idea! Widget says:
    •  I put putty in the ears with a wire going down to the box.
  • You could use dimensional paint to put a Cochlear Implant on a smaller doll (such as Barbie). Make a small box out of something to make the body speech processor - I used FIMO. I made a small coil on a piece of plastic wrap with dimensional paint. My child has a Nucleus so I then used dimensional paint for the earpiece (same technique as for making a hearing aid). When everything was dry I glued the coil onto the hair, the speech processor on the waist, and glued some thick string in place for the cord. The first time I tried this, I had no problem getting the head coil to look right. This last time, however, I wasn't satisfied with how it looked. I ended up using a paper punch to punch a circle out of some heavy plastic that had been part of a package for something else. I used a brown Sharpie marker to draw in the lines of the headcoil. Then I just glued some heavy string to the back (for the cord to the headpiece) and glued the headpiece right on Barbie's hair.
  • If the child isn't too young, you could make hearing aids for your child's doll out of FIMO (or any other polymer clay available at most craft stores) and then sew them on. These would be for a doll that is for "show" only because the hearing aids would be not only breakable, but a small child could swallow the pieces. 
  • Contact your child's audiologist and see if he has some empty casings you can have. You could also contact the manufacturer and ask them also. Many times, when you explain what they are for, if none are available from either of these sources, they will be on the lookout for some for you.
  • My Twinn dolls can be ordered with hearing aids. Judy tells us:
    • When I ordered my daughter's My Twinn doll, the hearing aids were extra (think about $7-$10.)  They didn't want to stay in the ears, so my husband wound up gluing them in with super-glue.  I was thinking of going back and ordering just the hearing aids for other dolls (don't know if they'll do that though, but don't know why not.) 

I hope these ideas spark your imagination and help you create a truly unique friend for your special young one. Have fun creating!


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