Waldorf DollsFor generations, children have played with dolls across all corners of the world. Dolls are a wonderful way for children to learn about themselves and the world around them through imaginative play.

There are a wide variety dolls to choose from these days, many of which are mass produced and sold in department stores. But one doll you will not find in any department store or advertised on TV is the Waldorf doll. A growing number of savvy parents are catching on to the superior quality and benefits of Waldorf-inspired dolls and choosing them over manufactured, plastic dolls.

The Origin of Waldorf Dolls

Waldorf Inspired DollsThe inspiration behind Waldorf dolls started with a different approach to education, developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner back in 1919. A Waldorf education is based on a humanistic approach to teaching. According to the Association of Waldorf Schools of America, Waldorf education is based on a “profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child.” 

The curriculum is designed to meet the various stages of child development. Teachers at Waldorf schools strive to deliver an education that nurtures the whole child- heart, hands and head- rather than focusing on the mind only. The popularity and success of Waldorf education has encouraged and ignited the growth of Waldorf toys.

What Makes Waldorf Dolls Unique?

Waldorf DollsWaldorf dolls are different. They are made from natural, eco-friendly and organic material like wool, silk, cotton and wood. These natural materials make the dolls aesthetically pleasing, warm and comforting to touch. Each Waldorf doll is a high-quality handmade heirloom piece, crafted with love and care, to be enjoyed for generations.

The facial features of Waldorf dolls are intentionally made to be quite simple, consisting of two dots for eyes and a thin line for the mouth; similar to the way that many children start to draw faces. The simple features with natural, pleasant expressions are designed to inspire creativity and imagination. Children are free to transfer a range of emotions into the doll while playing

Children love to dress and undress these dolls. The clothing is made child-friendly to be easily taken on and off. Kids can express their sense of choice, creativity and aesthetics by playing dress up.

Where to Find Waldorf Dolls?

Kathe Kruse’s official Waldorf-endorsed dolls can be found at Hazelnut Kids in many different forms. Kathe Kruse dolls are individually crafted in Germany from natural materials. She makes a diverse range of Waldorf dolls for children ages three years and up, each doll is as individual as the child and made with care.

Waldorf Doll ClothingWaldorf dolls are safe, free from chemicals and synthetics. They are soft and cuddly and the natural wool and cotton fibers absorb heat, making them warm when held near the body. As one of the best choices of natural toys for kids, Waldorf dolls allow kids to develop many important skills, such as cognitive development, fine motor skills and self helping skills.

Children use play to understand their world, using dolls to re-enact interactions with people, practice caring and nurturing and even preparing for a sibling. Loved by children and adults alike, Waldorf dolls will be adored and cherished for years.


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

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