Dolls have always been popular toys for children. Expensive European-made dolls were not affordable for most of New Zealand’s early European settlers. Even when dolls became more affordable and available in the 1950s, many New Zealand children continued to play with home-made dolls. Simple dolls crafted from wooden spoons or clothes pegs and scraps of fabric were common.
In 2011, Te Papa acquired a selection of peg dolls made for a competition organised by Small Acorns, a home-ware design store. The dolls reflect a general resurgence in the popularity of home-made toys and crafts in New Zealand. They also represent the lives and interests of many of New Zealand’s children in 2011.