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Waldorf Dolls

Natural Toys, Play, Sarah's Silks, Sunday With Sarah, Waldorf Dolls, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys

Best Waldorf Toys: A Teacher’s Top Five Picks

I am often asked by parents who are waiting to transform their child’s playthings from commercial plastic toys to more natural Waldorf toys for my recommendations of the most essential Waldorf toys. This week on “Sunday with Sarah” I share five of my top picks and discuss the play value of each.

Keep in mind that if you are limited by budget some of these toys can be handmade or built oneself!

Video Highlights: 

1:00  Heavy Baby Waldorf Dolls
2:30  Play Silks (Playsilks)
4:00  Ostheimer Wooden Toys
5:16   Waldorf Play Stands (Playstands)
6:35   Wooden Play Kitchens
7:23   Waldorf Rocker Board
10:09 Upcoming Giveaway – Win a Waldorf Rocker Board!

Giveaway!

Mark your calendar and be sure to come back next Sunday (August 25, 2013) for a chance to win a Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board from Bella Luna Toys.

Do you or your child have a favorite Waldorf toy? What would be on your top five list? Anything you think I’ve omitted? Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions here!

 

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Waldorf Dolls

Breast Milk Baby Doll: Delightful or Disturbing?

Have you heard about the new Breast Milk Baby doll?

It’s a toy stirring up lots of buzz and controversy. It’s been the topic of much discussion on Bella Luna Toys’ Facebook page in recent weeks, as well as on major news organizations websites, salon.com and on a number of popular parenting blogs, generating hundreds of comments.

Breastfeeding Doll

The Breast Milk Baby doll originated in Spain as “Bebe Gloton” (yes, that translates to “glutton”). It’s a baby doll that allows little girls to pretend to breastfeed. When a child holds the doll up to the flower-shaped nipples on the enclosed “fashionable” halter-top, the doll makes realistic sucking noises and wiggles.

Berjuan Toys, maker of the doll, states on its website (which, interestingly, claims that “God supports The Breast Milk Baby“:

“The doll lets young girls express their love and affection in the most natural way possible, by simulating natural nursing.”

So, what’s not to like about a doll that seeks to promote breastfeeding as normal and natural?

Well, lots, if you ask me.

Some critics claim that it encourages the early sexualization of young girls, and that it isn’t appropriate for them to be breastfeeding dolls.

I think that it’s normal and healthy for children to imitate breastfeeding (especially if they have seen their mother nurse a younger sibling), and I have observed many children, both girls and boys, doing so over the years. But at the same time, I don’t think that a young child needs to become aware of the mechanics of breastfeeding, or conscious of the purpose of her nipples at such a young age.

I recall one sweet boy who was a student in my nursery class many years ago. This boy loved to pretend to nurse one of our Waldorf dolls, which was frequently tucked under his sweater (even while simultaneously sword fighting with a friend!). I think of how the necessity of wearing a nipple halter-top to nurse his doll might have precluded the nurturing gesture of his play.

Plus one should ask the important question, “What else can this doll do besides breastfeed?” Babies don’t always eat. The less formed a doll is, the more a child can use his or her imagination to pretend the baby is laughing, sleeping, crying, playing, and so forth.

Now, I breastfed both my children until they were nearly three-years-old and you won’t find a bigger proponent of breastfeeding anywhere.  But I don’t think that children need a special doll to normalize breastfeeding. Just give a child a beautiful baby doll.

Waldorf Dolls

She doesn’t need a nipple halter-top and real sucking noises. All she needs is her rich imagination.

What’s your opinion? Love it? Hate it? Or are you somewhere in between?

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Play, Waldorf Dolls, Waldorf Toys

Waldorf Dolls: Lifelike or Human?

After writing my recent post on Waldorf dolls, I remembered a photograph I took at the New York Toy Fair last February. (Yes, those are dolls in the top photo!) Who, I wondered, would ever buy such a distressed looking baby doll for a child? It would be hard for even the most imaginative child in the world to imagine one of the dolls in the top photo being happy!

Realistic Baby Dolls

Now look at the doll in the photo below. I ask you: Which doll is more human?

There is a big difference, I find, between being lifelike and being human.

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