Discovering Waldorf :: Dolls in Early Childhood - The Magic Onions

Discovering Waldorf :: Dolls in Early Childhood

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Discovering Waldorf is a weekly series of articles written by ‘everyday’ Waldorf families. The contributors to this series share their ‘real-life’ insights and inspirations on all kinds of Waldorf topics. This series is not meant to be Waldorf philosophy in its purest form, but rather a snapshot of how we can all incorporate Waldorf ideas into our lives to help nurture and encourage the magic that is in our children. If you have a topic you wish to learn more about (or want to share) on Discovering Waldorf, send me an email at vined(at)ymail(dot)com.
The Importance of Dolls in Early Childhood
By Samantha Disch {Lodgepole Peace Farm}
The act of playing with a doll, is like no other act. Nor is it like any other type of play that happens in the early years of our little ones. Giving a child a doll, is like giving a child a tool from which he can express himself and give himself full range of the many facets of adulthood that he can mimic and weave into his learning experiences. The nurturing and caring feelings that arise in a child are also easily shared by all who are involved the child’s life. Watching the sweetness that ensues after a good doll playing afternoon is like watching the soul of a child’s little body uplift and arise to the many comforting situations in his childhood. For when he is ill, or is upset, what better a tool for healing than a warm and simple companion made of natural cotton and stuffed with warm and soft wool? 
The traditional Waldorf doll is made of cotton and stuffed with wool, it has simple facial features, mainly a few small stitches representing it’s eyes and mouth, it has wool or mohair for hair, often it has no hair at all and a simple hat will suffice. The doll it’s self is a simple open-ended play thing allowing the child to decide for himself if his companion is happy or sad, mad or glad. That is exactly the way the doll should be made and how lovely is it for the mother herself to pick up a few yards of cotton, some stuffing wool, and some embroidery floss and spend an afternoon on the floor sewing a doll while her child looks on in amazement. A friend emerges and the child now has an amazing, and enchanting friend for his adventures! Made by his mother he is happy and proud. 
A Waldorf doll is a great plaything for the young (and older) child alike! And of course making a Waldorf doll is a very rewarding and pleasing experience for all who those involved in the process!
Samantha Disch is a wife and mother to four little boys whom she home schools using Waldorf and nature based methods. She and her family just bought a farm in Colorado and is working on getting it organic and biodynamic certified, she blogs about her family’s experiences and often writes about Waldorf crafts, homeschooling, farming and doll making. She is also a Waldorf doll maker.
You can read her blog at::
You can find her shop::
Thank you, Samantha. What beautiful dolls you make!!
Please visit the other wonderful articles in the Discovering Waldorf Series.

Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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