Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waldorf Toys, Ideas and Dolly Faces

Waldorf principles and education and toys are relatively new to me but any search for wooden toys will bring you several toys labeled "Waldorf".  Guided play is central to early Waldorf education and out of curiosity I've explored the movement as it relates to toys.
Wooden Helicopter via Bella Luna Toys

 One principle is that handmade and artisan toys have a spirit that is felt by the child that plays with the toy. Another central idea is that play should stimulate the imagination.
Little Wooden Rabbit via jupiterschild on etsy
 I like the idea of handmade toys that carry the spirit of the maker with them  though my toys would not quite fit into the Waldorf idea as they are more decorated than the typical Waldorf type toy and I'm not sure that many toys labeled "Waldorf" that are mass manufactured would really meet the ideal either.  The Waldorf idea is that simpler toys give a child's imagination more room to play.   As a result, dolls have simple, barely suggested face.
Via Elijbeta on Etsy
 I confess I've shown this Etsy seller - Elijbeta,  at least 3 times on my blog. I'm clearly in love with her dolls.  This beauty has the barely suggested face, so her owner can imagine her happy, sad, sleeping, etc.  I'm not sure that works for everyone.  As I remember my beloved dolls, there were some characteristics I really wanted and some I disliked.  I loved dolls that had eyes that closed - especially baby dolls.
American Girl Bitty Baby
  Who wants to put your baby to bed and see his/her eyes still open.  Creepy!  I realize that the dolls I love the most, even now (do a check - most dolls on the web are NOT for kiddlets) have a pleasant, neutral expression.  I've always disliked crying baby dolls.
Berenguer La Newborn
Even as a pretend mom I knew crying was not good and like the Waldorf idea, it's hard to imagine the above doll doing anything else.  In the same vein, I don't like overly smiley dolls.
Ashton Drake So Truly Real Baby Doll
I want to be able to add a bit of my own imagination to a pretty doll.  What's your favorites?

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