We had a lovely busy workshop here on Saturday - how better could a rainy cold Saturday be spent than sitting around a large dining room table with a fantastic group of crafty women, drinking cozy cups of tea, sharing tips on life and parenting...and being productive yet relaxed at the same time. So many skillful hands working at once, it felt like an old-fashioned quilting bee!
The session was on making Waldorf-inspired dolls. A huge range of Waldorf dolls are readily available online, but they are generally quite expensive (understandably so, as they are handmade using good quality natural materials, and are beatifully crafted). We decided, why not learn to make our own, and brought in Amaryah from Sew Oiseau to teach us!
Typically Waldorf dolls are lightweight, have an imaginative shape and are made with only natural materials. They are great to cuddle with and are the perfect size and shape for babies and young children to hold on to. Their heads are filled with pure sheep’s wool, which is known to absorb scents easily the dolls will absorb comforting scents of home, of its parents, things that are familiar for baby. Wool is inherently anti-bacterial, so theyare safe to chew on with no fluff to inhale. These dolls are popular in natural/eco-minded parenting circles as they are not only non-toxic, made with natural materials like wool, but the neutral faces are intended to inspire creativity and imagination in the child who plays with them. The dolls we made were a very basic design, not nearly as elaborate as some (see Bamboletta, for example), but were easily finished in about 2-3 hours, so a satisfying project to complete in short order.
Waldorf education is a whole well-established philosophy, and is based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The Waldorf schools focus on bringing to life the following attributes in children:
- Creative thinking permeated with imagination, flexibility, and focus
- Emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-esteem
- Physical vitality, stamina, and perseverance
- Spiritual depth borne out of an abiding appreciation and responsibility for nature, for work, and for their fellow human beings