Readers, meet Tommy! Tommy was once some of Jarvis's too small clothes, a ball of wool, a cushion insert and an ancient pillowcase. My sewing skills are truly rubbish, but with very little skill and a lot of love I managed to create a little friend as a gift for Jarvis's first birthday :) He's soft and friendly, and pretty much indestructible. I had Jarvis test him for me, before he had hair or a face, just to check that his head wasn't going to fly off!
Jarvis is pretty pleased with his new friend. He's starting to drag him around the house, and take him for rides in the back of his bike & his wonderful birthday trolley.
I'm a big fan of a lot of the child development ideas of Rudolf Steiner. His philosophy aims to help children grow up naturally, creatively and holistically - perfect for people who are looking for something different than the mass produced plastic toys you see so much today, that whiz, flash and do (terrifying) things all by themselves.
Simple dolls are a pretty cool toy for any little person - as children grow older they start to recognise the doll as a human form, and it becomes real for them. Little girls tend to treat their dolls like their babies, little boys make theirs into a second self. It's a lovely way for children to imitate the care they receive in their family :) Pretty nice, really.
Tommy isn't exactly a Steiner Doll, he's wearing little wee clothes from when Jarvis was a baby, he's not made from 100% natural fibres (I'm all about recycling!), but I'm all for taking a great idea & making it work for you!
And, most importantly, Jarvis adores him and I'm sure as he gets bigger he & Tommy will have some pretty wonderful adventures :)
PS - a wonderful book, if you're interested in finding out a little about creative play from a Steiner perspective, is Christopher Clouder & Janni Nicol's book Creative Play for your Baby (Gaia Books, 2007). It has loads of wonderful ideas for simple toys you can make yourself, and these are the kind of toys which your child will treasure for years, specially as you've made them yourself :) I think I got it from fishpond?