Giving your child a Waldorf doll is like giving your child a box of crayons and a blank piece of paper, instead of crayons and a coloring book.
Your child is still going to color, but instead of just coloring inside the publisher’s lines, your child is going to use their own imagination and originality to create their own art.
And that’s what we as parents want to do: stimulate our children’s imagination and creativity.
In the doll world, Waldorf Dolls are those ‘blank pieces of paper.’ They have sweet and simple faces. Dots for eyes, a small stitched smile.
A Waldorf Style Doll
In theory, a few days after receiving their new Waldorf Style doll, your child will have unleashed his or her imagination and will have created a whole personality and ‘story’ for that doll.
And that’s the beauty of Waldorf style dolls.
The Cat in the Hat plush character doll
What could your daughter tell me about him if I gave her The Cat in the Hat plush Character doll above?
Would she tell me he’s funny? He’s bad? He loves to play games? Would she tell me a story based on the book by Dr Seuss or the movie version? How much of what she told me would be based on what she’s already learned, and how much would come straight out of her imagination?
A Waldorf Style Doll
Here’s a Waldorf style doll. Waldorf dolls are the opposite of Character dolls. Waldorf dolls come without a back story and without a character. Their faces are practically featureless, the bare minimum of a suggestion of eyes, nose mouth. Why?
Because that’s the concept behind Waldorf Dolls… that you daughter will create her doll’s personality herself, out of her own imagination. She’s a ‘blank slate.’
I think it’s a pretty interesting concept, although I’m not sure it’s a scientifically proven concept – I don’t know how you could prove that a particular doll style forces a child to be more creative! But since I love the simplicity of Waldorf dolls like this ‘Simply Willow’ by North American Bear, I don’t worry about the psychology behind it.
I think that children are equally imaginative in their doll play whether it’s a character doll or a Waldorf doll, that the stories they make up during doll play disregard the ‘character’ in character dolls anyway. If the Cat in the Hat is one of four dolls in a ‘tea party,’ he’s there as a doll, not ‘in character.’ Do you agree?