Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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The Waldorf Doll January 8, 2009

Filed under: Family Culture — Rachel @ 5:10 pm
Tags: , ,

redhead-dollChloe has arrived!  No, I didn’t have a baby… Aria’s handmade Waldorf doll arrived!  She’s the sweetest doll, and Aria is just thrilled.  She named this little redhead and has been sleeping with and toting her around ever since.  Now, I know she’s just a doll, but I’m getting attached to her too.  Her woolen hair is incredibly soft and she’s so pleasantly huggable and sweet all over.  Yesterday I crocheted her a shoe.  Let’s hope that tonight I can recreate my pattern to make a matching one!

What constitutes a “Waldorf” doll?  Waldorf theory recommends that we surround a child with open-ended, beautiful and natural playthings.  As this pertains to a doll, they suggest that he or she be made of natural fibers like cotton and wool.  Unlike hard plastic or clammy synthetic fabrics, a doll made like this will be soft, cuddly and warm to the touch.  Another key feature of the Waldorf doll is a fairly neutral facial expression.  Why not a big smile?  We want the child’s imagination to be free to impart the doll with  many emotions, from happy to sad to angry.  This type of play can help a child work through current issues and try out a multitude of behaviors in an appropriate way. 

Rainbow Baby Teether

I don’t remember becoming attached to a doll as child.  In fact, I used an incredibly tame and patient cat in the place of a doll.  My cat, Speckles, would let me dress her in clothes, lay her on her back in a crib and even give her an empty bottle – I know, crazy!  But, I digress…   The point is, I can see why a child is so much more likely to fall in love with a soft, natural doll in the Waldorf style.  They’re so much more cuddly than mainstream hard plastic (vinyl!), blank-staring versions.  Plus, they look more like a child.   While it’s wonderful for a child to practice nurturing play with a baby doll, a childlike Waldorf doll is more like a friend.  For a little girl of 4, she’s a safe, ever present companion with whom she can share her adventures, feelings and even her bed.  

Now, I should point out, that Waldorf would recommend that a child’s doll match the child’s developmental stage.  For example, a baby will relate to only the face of a doll.  They will be best served by something as simple as the Rainbow Baby teether.  A toddler, who is beginning to recognize his or her body as separate from others, is suited to a very simple, soft doll shape like the Nicki Baby. 

Rainbow Baby

Nicki Baby

After two, the child may be ready for a more traditionally shaped baby doll, and only in the later preschool years on through 6-7 would a child doll like Chloe be appropriate.  In general, the shape and detail-level of the doll reflects back to the child his understanding of himself.  At ever stage, we want to affirm the child with a beautiful toy, full of natural beauty and made with love.

P.S.  Waldorf dolls can be quite expensive.  You can buy the materials and instructions to make your own doll here or contact Amy of BabyRobots, who made our Chloe at a very reasonable price.


One Response to “The Waldorf Doll”

  1. Miranda Says:

    Those dolls are beautiful!

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