Waldorf dolls are a particular style of doll that are simple in their appearance and usually hand made from natural materials. The idea is that they encourage creativity and imagination whilst also being calming and comforting.
One of the key differences between Waldorf dolls and other soft dolls is that they deliberately have simple features so as not to limit a child’s imagination with fixed expressions. They will generally have simple eyes and the suggestion of a mouth rather than a big happy smile. This means when playing children can imagine them with any expression or feeling they wish.
When Can You First Introduce a Doll?
The wonderful thing about soft dolls made from natural materials is that you can introduce them at a very young age. A baby in their first year could be given a Waldorf inspired blanket doll to cuddle and suck on that will act as a comforter. Or there are many other options for dolls that are suitable from birth.
We love the Threadbear Knitted dolls. They are suitable from birth and would make the perfect gift for a new baby. They look and feel gorgeous. And they are perfect for those that want to provide a Waldorf inspired environment for play and development as they get older. They are more formed than a blanket doll but just as wonderful for cuddling.
Other wonderful options for new babies include the Grimms dolls which are very much Waldorf dolls or the absolutely delightful Mini Eco-Buds by Rubens Barn. The Eco-Buds are a little different to many Waldorf Dolls as they have more detailed embroidered eyes which give them wonderful character but are still simple enough in their expressions to encourage imaginative play.
By the time they are 2 or 3 toddlers are more able to understand the concept of a doll and want a doll they can cuddle and carry around with them. The Eco-Buds and Rubens babies are both perfect for this age, with the babies being particularly popular as they are anatomically correct and weighted making them great empathy dolls and a real hit for little ones that are getting a new sibling as they can change clothes and nappies just like mum and dad.
Over the age of three there are lots more options available and we love both the Rubens Barn Original dolls and the Threadbear Rag Dolls. It is around the age of 3 or 4 and above that children really start to get into role play games and will start playing house, giving their dolls tea parties or taking them on magical adventures. So by this age, a dress-up doll that can be given lots of different outfits is perfect and also helps them to develop their dexterity and fine motor skills.
For many children having a doll that is similar to them is appealing when they are little, meaning that little boys may be more drawn to boy dolls and visa versa. The Rubens dolls have a great range of skin and hair colours so children have dolls that look like them or completely different. It’s up to you.
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