Dolls encourage children to engage in “pretend play” also known as imaginative play. Play helps children make sense of the world, encouraging empathy. Children put themselves in someone else’s shoes- whether it’s a parent, princess, farmer or saint (or in the case of some saints, all of those things!).
Allowing children to pretend play with saints encourages them to emulate and absorb those characteristics. Imagine being a solider for Christ with St. Joan of Arc, a princess feeding the poor with St. Elizabeth of Hungary, or a doctor and animal lover like St. Martin de Porres!