These Golden Daze is a family-owned small business located here in Newcastle. We specialise in natural play-based learning products and resources for children, and supporting families in integrating meaningful nature play experiences into their homes. The idea for These Golden Daze came shortly after my son was born and slowly transformed into what it is today. Observing my son discover the world around him in wonder and awe was like a return to the innocent, 'golden days' of childhood for me. Time slowed down, our days filled with greater intention, presence and feelings I endearingly likened to a beautiful motherhood daze. I knew I wanted to immerse myself into these golden years of childhood and provide my son with what I knew best; creating quality learning experiences that support the holistic development of the whole child. Transitioning from my classroom teaching role at the end of 2019 saw me step into this business with a greater capacity, and I began sharing my favourite toys and products with others by stocking a small range online and sharing my favourite play setups and resources. I have always wanted to start my own business doing something really heart-centred and authentically me, so These Golden Daze seemed like the perfect expression of this!
At its core, These Golden Daze serves to encourage and support parents in providing their children with opportunities to engage in what they do best; play. One of our favourite quotes we live by is from the educational philosopher Maria Montessori, who describes play as being the "work of the child", and we could not agree more! We know that children learn best through play and our goal is to help support families in bringing meaningful, engaging play experiences into their homes. We specialise in bringing our customers a range of early learning nature-inspired resources and thoughtfully curated play kits. It is important to us that the products we stock in our store are made using natural materials and fibres, as close to nature as possible. In addition to our values of play-based learning, we also value sustainability and eco-conscious living practices. We only stock eco-friendly products and are plastic free, with most of our toys and play equipment crafted from wood or plant-based materials. Some items are even foraged from the local area and repurposed into something new, such as our Mini Tree Hammers and Wooden Tree Stamps. We are proud to stock a range of our own hand made and curated products, as well as a few collections from Australian-owned family run businesses who also share our values. Our range is intended primarily for toddler and preschool aged children, with an aim to foster natural curiosity and love of learning during the golden years, all while targeting key developmental skills such as fine motor, speech and language, and social and emotional development. One of our best sellers is our natural play dough range, handmade by us using non-toxic, food grade ingredients, and always accompanied with a selection of locally foraged seed pods, shells and dried flowers. It's incredible what our children can create with a ball of playdough, some gum nuts, a rolling pin and an endless imagination! We've also recently started combining our years of experience in education with our love of nature play, to launch a series of weekly 'playgroup' style workshops where parents and their children can experience a morning of sensory-based play without the effort of set up or clean up. We set up a selection of activities, such as sensory rice play, painting, play dough fun, mud pie making, water play and more, while you enjoy being present and creative with your little one! Our goal is to bring some simplicity back to education and foster a love and respect for the natural elements that are all around us.
These Golden Daze is underpinned by the learning philosophies of both the Reggio Emillia and Steiner educational approaches. We value children as capable, resilient learners, with an innate curiosity for the world around them and discovering their place within it. Both approaches consider the child as a central component of the learning process, where learning experiences are derived from their own natural interests as opposed to a prescribed curriculum. We know that when children are innately curious about the learning topic and are actively supported in being the driver of their own learning direction, the outcome is a much deeper and enriching experience. We are also huge advocates for open-ended learning, whereby children are able to use their imagination and critical and creative thinking, rather than closed learning which has an expected outcome or result. The ability for one toy to be used in a variety of ways and purposes is a criteria we use when selecting products for our range. For example, a bag of Mini Wooden Tree Rounds transforms into a series of stepping stones for a fairy garden, a stacking tower, counting discs, log stacks for transport play, craft rounds for painting, and much more! Whilst there is a definite value for toys with an expected outcome, such as puzzles, shape sorters and board games, which allow children to master a specific skill and build confidence in performing challenging tasks, there is often an abundance of these in comparison. Our approach aims to balance out this offering and bring children back to the forefront of their learning.
We are so grateful to have you here and thank you for stopping by!
Owner and Creator of These Golden Daze