When I’m looking for natural, handmade, ethical and sustainable items for my kids, the first place I go is Spiral Garden. Run from Tasmania by the lovely Lauren + Oberon (and their delightful little trio of owlet ladies), the store is a wonderful collection of natural and fair-trade goodness for all.
I know they put a lot of effort into finding beautiful items that fit those categories, and it saves me a lot of hassle researching or trying to find the pieces individually. They’re a bit of a one-stop shop for me, with anything from art materials, toys, books and musical instruments, I’m sure to always find what I’m looking for. And I have a wishlist a mile long.
I asked Lauren and Oberon a couple of questions to find out what drives their passion for natural living and eco-friendliness, which spills over into their store. Their answers, of course, are amazing and terribly inspiring. I’ve also put together a little gift guide if you’re still stuck on what to get your little ones this Christmas.
1. Mahogany cooking set: Mahogany trees are grown around rubber plantations to protect the young rubber trees. They are harvested after around 10 to 15 years. The timber of these trees is used to make these beautiful products. Made using natural, non toxic materials and compliant with or exceeding the Australian/NZ standards of safety. Designed by a team in Melbourne and produced in Vietnam under a fair trade scheme. $46
3. Finetec watercolour Kinder set: Six bright, highly pigmented opaque watercolours in a durable box with paint brush. Paint discs are 44mm in diameter, making them a perfect size for small children to work with. Made to last and fabulous quality. CE certified and Non-toxic. Made in Germany by Finetec. $10
4. Pure Beeswax: Beautiful pure beeswax ingot brought to you by Owlet, using pure beeswax from a local Tasmanian apiary. Suitable for many purposes such as candle-making, making your own crayons, lip balm, ointments or polish. Each ingot is approximately 6cm long, 4cm wide and 3cm tall and weighs 50g. $4.
5. Periodic Table Building Blocks: (not gonna lie, I’ve not been so excited about a product this Christmas as I am about these! SO amazing) The entire periodic table of elements on 20 hand-crafted wood cubes. This set of blocks is crafted from sustainable Michigan basswood, then printed with a colorful range of non-toxic inks. Each block contains six element images with their atomic number, symbol, and name. $69.50
6. DAS White Modeling Clay: Air hardening, non-toxic modelling clay. Use it to make gorgeous decorations, beads etc. and add colour with our Giotto Decor Materials pens. Fine even texture that is easy to manipulate and smooth. $8.
7. Farm Barn: This gorgeous and sturdy farm play set includes all the accessories for a pretend farm play. From the beautiful barn to tractor, farm animals, wood pile, stock yards and much more. Set includes 1 tractor, 8 farm animals and a small pile of wooden logs. It measures 60cm x 40cm x 22cm. Made of plantation timber, using non toxic materials and compliant with or exceed the Australian/NZ standards of safety. Designed by a team in Melbourne and produced in Vietnam under a fair trade scheme. $105
8. Round wooden drum: This quality wooden drum produces a range of soft but tonally distinct percussive sounds. Ethically made from environmentally safe rubberwood. $25
9. Peppa Doll – Lynn: Peppa dolls are a beautiful collection of hand made cloth dolls, made using all natural materials. Drawing on techniques used in traditional European doll making, their appearance is intentionally simple, helping to stimulate and develop the imagination and creativity of the child playing with them. Peppa dolls can sleep, laugh, cry, be happy or sad in any moment, which is why a Peppa doll will soon become your child’s favourite friend. These adorable dolls are made with 100% Cotton that has been dyed with safe azo-free dyes. The 100% sheep wool filling absorbs familiar scents easily, providing comfort and familiarity. They are beautiful to hold, cuddle and play with and will be a favourite in your home for years to come.
Offering different skin types and ethnic backgrounds, Peppa dolls appeal to all children. Each doll comes with its own outfit (as pictured) that can be removed. Peppa Dolls are hand made in India, under a Fair Trade scheme. $55