How to Make Them and How to Play with Them By WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH
A FEW months ago I first heard of a little old lady who had invented a new kind of play for children. It was play with Bottle Dolls.
A friend of mine was staying over night in a small town in Kansas. Somebody who learned that she was interested in young people began to tell her about Mary Lowe, who used to live there, and who was a wizard with children. You know how weary most of us are of the "genius" who inhabits every village. So my friend manifested but a languid interest. After supper, however, some of the children came to her room bringing some of their dolls. They engaged in some lively story-playing, and after my friend had been reminded once more that it was three years since any of them had seen Mary Lowe and that they had gone on telling her stories and making up new ones ever since, she began to sit up and take notice.
What kind of play was this that should engross all the small folks of a village with no adult to inspire or make suggestions, and that should wax rather than wane as the months went by ? To make the story short, she came East, announcing that she had found a Great Educational Discovery.
Bottle Dolls are older than Mary Lowe of Salina, Kansas. I have since learned that they were used by Italian children in the sixteenth century. They do not differ in principle from the gourd-dolls that have been played with always by children, white and black, down South.
But Mary Lowe does seem to have found a new kind of play.