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Waldorf Dolls and Boys

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a very "boy" 5 yo boy. I am thinking of getting him a Waldorf doll but I keep second guessing myself. They are very expensive to make a mistake with, kwim?? He isn't typically into dolls but every once in awhile he will play with a little baby doll we have. But then every time I read Heaven on Earth I start to think he really should have one.

Is 5 still a "doll age"??

Are dolls for 5yo boys a waste of money - A LOT of money?? (I am SO not crafty and am not up for making one )

Any thoughts? Experiences?
post #2 of 16
My son has 2 older sisters, so that thsi with a grain of salt.

My son LOVES his doll. I made him one for his 2nd christmas, and nearly 3 years later still loves his baby... maybe even more so NOW then when he was 18 months old! He doesn't baby his as much as his 1 sister (who's 7) does, but he is very protective, loving, etc towards his baby (I imagine he's gonna make an awesome dad someday - LOL!).

If you are not crafty yourself, and are trying to not shell out the $130+ i've seen for dolls retail at, you maybe able to find one more cheaply on Etsy.com... or even barter the price down a bit if you are handy in something else (I often done trades of craft stuff i no longer use for items i can use, or finished stuff I've knitted for sewn stuff that is too hard for me).

Anyways, being that he's 5, i think i would out right ask him the next time he is playing with the doll you have there, what would he think about having his own. I thought my oldest daughter was was to old for a doll (at age 9), but when i made the others for Christmas 3 years ago, she insisted that i make one for her as well, and she still loves her doll, and she is nearly 12 years old now. Could be a girl thing, but I remember i was still very attached to a doll, even into my late teens (esp if i was sick/upset)... and my brothers as well (well, stuffed animals, but i imagine if they had a doll as i did, they would have been). And we were a VERY mainstream family growing up...
post #3 of 16
I have a 6 year old boy who is not typically "boy"-boy (I know that means different things to different people.. but...)

anyhow, he does not have one. more because we came to waldorf inspired life a little later (age 3 or so) and the dolls were off my radar. Then the cost scared me away. Now it's true, I feel he's too old to get a lot of use out of something so pricey and carefully crafted.

For my son, it's more that I know he loves animal dolls more than people/ baby dolls. He has a huge cadre of stuffed animals on his bed that he babies and has lots of nice wooden animals figures as well. I think if I am going to spend the coin on something carefully crafted and Waldorf for him, I am going to spring for more wooden animals. That's his passion.

So I would think about what HE would realy cherish and get lots of time and imaginative play from in the coming years. Watch him. Ask him. If that's a doll - great! But if it's a fabulous castle set or truck or animals, that's good too. Not everything from Heaven on Earth or other nice Waldorf books can apply like a blanket to every family or child. I think we've found that we use what works and alter what does not. That's all ok.
post #4 of 16
My son asked for a doll for Christmas when he was in first grade. He brought it to school every Friday for the next 1 1/2 years. He has only stopped this year because he's started bringing other things. I know that last year, a number of boys in his class had waldorf dolls and the kids didn't think it was a big deal. Some played with them, some left them in their room at home, but no one said anything that I can tell. Not even older kids.
post #5 of 16
if there is a waldorf school or camp-hill village near you (or even not so near you), you can always write to them and ask when they have their fairs, because you can usually buy dolls (hand made by the kids and/or their parents) there for a really good price.

the school in kimberton had a number of them for $50-60 for big ones, and $30-40 for smaller ones. for hand-sized dolls, they were about $20-25. i think it depended upon how they were dressed (some had sewn clothes, some knit). anyway, they were nice, well made dolls, and definitely waldorf.

or, you might be connected with a crafty family who can help you out with one in trade for something else (eg, a friend of mine made noodles in exchange for a doll. i know that seems nuts, btu she's a great noodle maker).
post #6 of 16
I'm glad you posted this, because I've been debating the same thing. My son is 4.5 . Previous to now he has only been interested in stuffed animals, but he has frequently asked for a "boy dolly" lately. I really question whether he would use it or if he only asks for it because he has a younger sister who has dolls and he feels like he is lacking one. He sometimes does play with her dolls. It definitely is a lot to spend for something that doesn't get played with, though. I'm a bit torn about it as well.
post #7 of 16
part of it too, is this. What is the worst that can happen if he doesn't play with it in the long term?

the worst is that you pass it along to another family. perhaps it would even have a smidge of resale value if it is very unused.

at best, the kid will love it and take it to university (i kid about university, but you know, it's all about what we think about it in the long term).

it is true that not everything works for every child, and that you shouldn't just get things because you think they will work out for the kid, but also, don't not get things because you think they might not work out for the kid.

you know? if he seems interested in dolls--or you can ask--then definitely consider one. even if he plays with it for only two years or three years, that's ok.
post #8 of 16
I really like boatbaby's advice about just watching your son and figuring out what he would truly cherish. I made my now 4-year-old two different waldorf dolls, and I have to say that they don't get any lovins' at all! But, he plays daily with the fabulous castle set that my dh built him. Just because something is "waldorf" doesn't mean it's the best fit for every kiddo.
post #9 of 16
I made DS a doll when he was 18 months old. He's almost 4 now. He has gone through about 1 week a year of really playing with Charlie! He played a lot more with the smaller velour dolls, but not a lot. It's just his personality! I made him a dollhouse, but usually horses live in it for a stable. He uses his play kitchen a lot, but usually making food for his horses---or hiding his horses in the kitchen. Blocks build fences for horses. Can you tell he likes horses?? I could have skipped it all except for a very small number of horses and a "bedtime animal" = stuffed animal.

I went a little crazy in the natural toy conversion. And 70% of what I got were things *I* wanted. (And I intend to keep them long after he's outgrown them!!)

If I were going to start from scratch, I'd do it much differently...but hindsight and all that!!

OP, at this age, unless your DS has really shown an affinity for a doll, or if you'd be comfortable if it sits on the shelf and just looks pretty, I wouldn't make a huge investment in one.
post #10 of 16
my son (nearly 5) has had one since birth but has had more of a connection with a teddy bear who has travelled the world with him. He babies the bear and has a very strong relationship with him. The bear lives. I have not encouraged him as much as I could have to play with the doll, and he has a younger brother to care for as well, but interestingly he has just recently started playing with it. It wasn only since we named him a couple of months ago! Oddly enough we just never found a name for him and DS never seemed to want to name him. Perhaps I should have helped the process more rather than just let the name come. I wonder to myself if I found it some clothes and actually had a little cradle and such (or just find a shoe box again - I knitted it a blanket and it has a pillow) - perhaps he'll start taking more interest. I think it very likely.
Sometimes it depends on the child, others it depends on how you present things to the child. It's all a gamble.
I've just decided not to get a dolls house because I'm guessing he won't want to play with one, but we're getting a wooden doll's treehouse which can double as a dolls house (though not quite as homely and enclosed, but plenty of opportunity for more adventurous play).
post #11 of 16
i think you know what is best as to whether or not to purchase a waldorf doll. my dd is 6 years old and she always gravitated towards her stuffed animals much more than her doll. With the addition of a baby brother that changed and she loves to play with her dolls. She really has connected with her dolls now and brought life to her "babies". I think it is important for a child to show care and love and bring something to life, whether it is wooden animals, stuffed animals, dolls or a block of wood.
post #12 of 16

My 7yo son 'adopted' Jenny when I brought her home from the school auction last spring. His younger brother 'adopted' Phia at Christmas 2 years ago when he was 2. My older had little interest in Phia at first and it was really the younger's doll. I've been quite surprised that my older took to a doll when he was older. My older son is very 'boy', loving all things trains, trucks, swords. My younger son can keep up with his brother, but also loves pink, Hello Kitty, the doll house and his dancing skirt.

 

Dolls are friends and it doesn't seem to matter to my two!

post #13 of 16
http://shop.mysiblingdolls.com/

My grandson has asked for a doll since kindergarten since his sister has gotten an American Girl doll. I found this wonderful sight that has many, many boy dolls that look as well made as AG and they are really boy, boys. Additionally they are made by a sheltered workshop for developmentally disadvantaged kids and adults. And it is half the price of AG. I think this one is a winner.
post #14 of 16

My son is 5.5 and he loves his doll. And he's very boyish too. There are some kits from Weir Crafts that make it really easy to make your own. If you make it, even though it won't be perfect, it will be cooler to your son.

post #15 of 16

DS1 never got into dolls. The only wooden toys he cares about are his wooden train set and his wooden sword.

 

DS2 loves dolls. He's very cuddly and likes to play imaginative games with them.

 

Totally depends on the kid!

post #16 of 16

I have made dolls using the Magic Cabin Waldorf doll kit (which I think they don't sell anymore) and my little boy just adores them.  My daughter at that age, not so much.

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