Why Faceless Dolls Are Changing Playtime

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As a doll lover myself, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of Waldorf dolls. I’m particularly fond of the little needle felt dolls without faces. Something about them is just so precious and I love how they seem to be waiting for their story to be written. Kind of like the child playing with them, in a sense. 

I’m sure some people will hear “faceless doll” and get a shiver down their spine. But, please, bear with me. These little dolls are the best. 

I decided to embark on the needle felting path, so I could create my own. There’s something so special about a handmade gift. I love being able to give my daughter a gift that I made, special, for her. And, let me tell you! These dolls have become some of her favorite toys. She never lets them too far from her side and they’ve become a source of comfort for her.

The first set of dolls I’ve begun making her are meant to symbolize the four seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. 

Spring Faerie – Because, when I picture spring, the first thing that comes to my mind is playing in the gardens and talking to the faeries that may be living in the flowers. 
Summer Mermaid – Other than unicorns, my daughters favorite mythical creature is definitely the mermaid. Which I felt (Pun Intended) fit perfectly for the Summer season! 
Autumn Toadstool Fae – Toadstool Fae are probably among my personal favorite fantasy creatures. Mushrooms themselves are such a neat fungi, add some little arms and feet to them and they enter into the next level of cute-ness 
Winter Ice Queen – I chose an Ice Queen to symbolize Winter for a couple reasons. First, because when you think of an Ice Queen, you probably imagine a bitter woman with a cold heart (or you might picture Elsa, thanks Disney). Winter unfortunately gets a bad rap, it’s cold, the weather is miserable, the days are short. Winter’s reputation goes hand in hand with the idea of the Ice Queen image. But, on the other hand, Winter is strong, powerful, just like a Queen is strong and powerful. 

Now, if you’re new to the Waldorf method, you may be wondering why they don’t have faces. People say the eyes are the window to the soul and you can read a person’s thoughts or emotions by the look on their face. So, if you subtract the facial expressions and they dramatic eyes you see on so many dolls, you subtract the presumption of who that doll is. Thus, opening the doors for the child’s imagination to create the doll’s story.

I know this idea can seem a little questionable. Does it really work? Do children really use their imagination more, when there’s no face tied to the doll?

I can’t speak for everybody, as every child is vastly different. But, I can say with 100% certainty that in my experience, yes! It does work! LOL dolls are huge in our home. My daughter LOVES them. No matter how invested I am in the Waldorf method; I will never take those away from her. But, when she plays with them, they are always the “mommy” to her other toys. The reason for this? They look like me! They have the crazy hair and makeup that her mommy wears. And the unique clothes that she’s so used to seeing her mommy put on. So, in her three-year-old mind, LOL Dolls are what mommy’s look like. 

It’s a whole different experience when she only plays with her faceless needle felt dolls. They are just friends with nameless and faceless families that may or may not play any part in their story. They have backstories that aren’t similar to our lives at all. It’s so neat to see how drastically different the way she plays with them is, as opposed to other dolls she has. 

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14 thoughts on “Why Faceless Dolls Are Changing Playtime

  1. Beautiful craftmanship on these dolls! I like what you said about their faces being blanked, waiting for their stories to be written.

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