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Unpreschoolers, favourite toy shops
We asked on the Unschool Australia group what everybody's favourite places to source toys for unpreschoolers were and came up with this list.
Should mention that quite a few listed 'the recycle bin under the sink', 'the garden' or 'the local nature reserve', plus other great outside environments our kids love to visit.
Target, Kmart, BigW, Toyworld and Ikea also got a mention, as did Ebay.
And local community markets were popular for finding quality home made toys from wood or fabric.
Favourite toy shops
Eco Toys: "Australia's leading expert in sustainable kids toys. Family run business deeply committed to providing quality, wooden toys, natural & non-toxic organic baby toys made from certified organic, natural, recycled & sustainable materials."
Head Heart & Hands: Natural fibre toys and crafts and Waldorf Dolls. Run workshops in Nairne, SA to be creative using all natural materials as well as puppet shows during the school holidays.
Windmill Educational Toys: "sources and supplies the best products to support educators in homes, childcare centres, preschools, early learning centres, playgroups, special schools, primary schools, toy libraries, hospitals, and the general public. Many products are suitable for people with disabilities and special needs."
Spiral Garden: Shop online for inspired, creative toys and gifts, including beautiful wooden toys, hand-made dolls and more, as well as running permaculture courses for kids. Run by a home educating family.
DragonFlyToys: "provide a wide range of unique products along with friendly, personal and efficient service, continually searching for new and exciting things to add to the range - striving to offer you a genuine alternative to mainstream shops by presenting a large selection of toys, games, books, music, art & craft materials, clothing and products that parents and their children will treasure."
Honeybee Toys: supplying Australian families with the very best handcrafted wooden and natural toys for imagination, wonder and joy... Childhood is a magical time to be honoured and nourished. Selection of toys, curated for over 16 years with some of the world's best toy makers, is inspired by Waldorf Education and designed to nurture the imagination and the whole child."
Mad About Science: for all ages really, Mad About Science "is passionate about bringing the world of science to all young Australians, and making it FUN! Science Inspired toys and STEM products for home and school."
Scrap Cabbage and Co: "Bespoke Treasures and Toys Sewn from Precious Scrap Fabric, hand made baby carriers, dolls, wipes, pads and wraps by earthslings".
Schloss Good Ol' Toys and Collectibles: "make beautiful eco-friendly wooden toys, collectables, household items and furniture - Pop up Castles, Puzzles, Hopping Kangaroos, Season Trees all to delight creative imaginations! Swords, Viking Axes, Shields & Scabbards for imaginative play, costuming and cosplay or as great wall decorations."
Games Paradise: "the very best board games, toys and jigsaws online, available for sale throughout Australia and New Zealand."
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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