How to braid hair, build an awesome den and extract chewing gum from long hair are just some of the things dads of daughters have mastered, according to a survey conducted by Mattel and Barbie.

The recent study of 7,300 fathers with little girls revealed the top 20 skills dads are a dab-hand at. Knowing how to give the perfect cuddle, make a pair of fairy wings and understanding what a pirouette is also feature on the list – and their enthusiasm has heartwarming effects.

“By joining in with activities such as cartwheels, playtime and dancing, dads are showing their daughters just how much they matter and that everything they do is important,” said Isabel Ferrer, EMEA Marketing Director for Barbie.

The importance of shattering stereotypes was also highlighted, with dads agreeing that girls like to play football, get messy and enjoy building dens and climbing trees. Further to this, 72 percent of dads say it’s important to show their daughters that being kind and brave is more important than being pretty.

A brilliant 62 percent of dads tell their daughters that they can be anything they want to be, while 73 percent think encouraging their daughter’s confidence is one of the most important life lessons they can teach.

Indeed, for six in 10 dads, empowering their girls to become strong young women is of utmost importance. Among the life lessons they strive to impart are letting her make her own mistakes and teaching her the value of money at an early age.

“A huge part of a dad’s role is to empower their daughters to be confident, imaginative and sure of who they are,” says Ferrer. “Global research shows how time spent in her imaginary world is an investment in her real world and the importance of nurturing the father-daughter relationship to raise the next generation of girls to know their limitless potential.”


Top 20 things dads with daughters know:

  1. How to give the perfect cuddle.
  2. How to make her feel special.
  3. How to dance with her on your feet.
  4. Girls like getting dirty too.
  5. How to play with dolls.
  6. Glitter can get everywhere.
  7. Girls play football too.
  8. What a pirouette is.
  9. How to make everything better.
  10. How to dance.
  11. How to braid hair.
  12. How to stop a nightmare.
  13. How important it is to colour co-ordinate.
  14. What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone.
  15. How to roller skate.
  16. Girls want to learn how to build a den and climb trees.
  17. How to ice skate.
  18. How to face paint.
  19. How to get chewing gum out of long hair.
  20. How to cartwheel.