Waldorf toys are becoming more and more popular lately and Waldorf schools seem to be popping up in communities across the country. We thought we’d take a minute to explain just what is behind everything “Waldorf” and focus specifically on those infamous little Waldorf dolls that are always big hits with children.
A little history…
The “Waldorf” term originates from a school that was founded at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. The structure of this school’s curriculum was based upon the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner. He advocated practical and artistic learning with an emphasis on open-ended activities and imagination, imagination, imagination! Almost 100 years later, the Waldorf/Steiner approach to education has stuck and the term “Waldorf” remains widely used to describe a variety of high quality children’s toys and learning materials.
Waldorf dolls are used extensively in Waldorf education and they’ve been making their way out of the classroom and into the homes of children around the world. They are handcrafted and made of natural materials, including cotton stockinette and sheep’s wool. These little wonders are easily recognizable with their beautifully simple design and neutral features, which stimulate a child’s creativity and imagination. Their arms and legs are flexible and they typically have a full head of long hair (usually made of mohair or boucle).
The cream of the crop – Kathe Kruse Waldorf Dolls
Kathe Kruse is the exclusive producer of official Waldorf dolls. This German company has been making Waldorf dolls since the very beginning and it shows… These dolls are individually handmade and absolutely beautiful. They are warm and cuddly and have a realistic feel and weight to them (the natural materials contribute to this), making it nearly impossible to resist giving one a close snuggle. A Kathe Kruse Waldorf doll is a true gift to any child and certainly one that can be passed on to future generations (which only adds to its richness). We are very proud to carry a large selection of Kathe Kruse Waldorf dolls and clothing. Bring a little of the Waldorf experience into your home and watch your child grow!
Shannon Beery – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn