Since schools were closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns, parents had to homeschool their kids, and many children were missing their friends and routine. Teachers are affected by the changes too and had to adjust to taking their classes online through video calls but this doesn’t achieve the same intimacy as a traditional classroom.
This Dutch primary school teacher Miss Ingeborg Meinster-Van der Duin was missing her students so much that she crafted 23 knitted dolls, representing them. Meinster-Van der Duin is a primary school teacher at the Dr. H.Bavinck school in Haarlem, Netherlands, and ever since her school closed its doors, she’s struggled with not being able to see her beloved students every day. She said: “It was all up and running that the school closed. It all hit me like this. The children were no longer in school. And I miss them so much.”
After seeing a similar knitted doll project on Pinterest, Meinster-Van der Duin decided to create tiny, textile versions of her 23 students. Each cute doll features an impressive amount of detail, and has an outfit, according to the student’s style in real life, and Meinster-Van der Duin has even included glasses, hair bows, and other accessories for some.
And she even dedicated a kitten doll representing herself as a teacher.
She was able to give each of her students their doll after they recently returned to school (one by one) to collect the belongings they had left behind pre-lockdown. Each child was delighted to get their “mini-me,” and Meinster-Van der Duin has already committed to knitting dolls for her new class next year. Even some of the other teachers at the school have asked Meinster-Van der Duin to knit dolls of their students, but the busy crafter has had to decline by saying, “No, there’s no time for that.”