About Bambino

  • Bambino is a one woman show – began as a physical store and now online only
  • Bambino delivers to your door the sweetest baby products from the best baby toy designers in Australia and Europe.
  • Bambino specialise in the highest quality, safest and well-designed gifts for baby showers and new borns.
  • Everything in our lovingly curated range is chosen to enhance your child’s emotional, social, physical, and/or cognitive development.
  • We specifically choose playthings that offer long-term play, learning and enjoyment.
  • All are designed to encourage your child’s natural curiosity and echo your child’s developing abilities which builds their self confidence.
  • The brands we choose are ethically made (many are Fair trade) the wood is sustainably sourced and all the paints are baby-safe and earth-friendly.
We believe in teaching children to think for themselves & be responsible caretakers of their local environment & our planet. We think this begins with non-plastic toys, of great quality and beauty, that are worth taking care of.

Where Bambino Manly began….

What began in 2009 as a crystal shop (Wonders of the World) with intentions of helping people with minerals and crystals- beautiful natural products from the earth, evolved slowly into a store that focussed on naturally made toys.
The gradual change to children’s toys began once I added Amber teething beads to the crystal selection. I began to feel that a more practical offering like natural toys may, in fact, be of more direct benefit to parents and children than collecting crystals. I added more wooden toys and after two shop moves – Narraweena to Freshwater -and then from an arcade in Freshwater to the main street in Freshwater- “Wonders Toy Shop” emerged as a place people could find interesting, natural and curiosity-inspiring toys for babies to 12yo.  We stocked Grimm’s, Grapat, Qtoys, OB Designs, rainbow ripple blankets, fair trade toys and dolls and LOTS of wooden toys.
When the building in Freshwater was to be demolished, due to a new development, we moved to Sydney Rd, Manly Beach, down the hill from Freshwater.  I renamed the shop “Bambino Manly’ and decided to only stock items for 0-4yo to double down on those early years where choice of toys and playthings are crucial to a child’s sensory, cognitive and motor skills early development.
This was then able to reflect my interest in children’s cognitive development – acquired during my B.Sc Degree (Psych) which I had completed as a single mother with two bubs under 3yo.
Firstly, I chose to focus on baby/toddler years, because this is the age of so much development plus the time when bubs put everything in their mouth, as part of natural sensory learning and speech muscle tongue development as well as teething relief, so non-toxic teethers and sensory toys are vitally important.
These first couple of years of a child’s life are such an important age for learning and confidence development and in the age where even babies are given technology, I felt it was REALLY important to make sure children were holding onto blocks, banging physical things together, creating the range of sounds that come from physical play and feel the range of textures in their hands, in their mouths and against their skin.

So each toy or bib or blanket or doll or teether etc that I choose is based on your child’s needs now and the best interests of their future planet.

During the approx 10 years of trading as a bricks and mortar shop – I had the most amazing, dedicated, intelligent, friendly and wonderful staff – Grandmums, Mums and Daughters they all cared for about our shop , and you, our customers, in ways I know you appreciated and in more ways than I can ever thank them.

But now online, it is a solo (introverts dream) journey.
(That is – if I don’t count the support of fantastic suppliers, above and beyond Australia Post workers, my now-adult children who lend me an ear to both rant and rave, my mother, whose infinite patience is mysterious and my sister and brother who also run their own businesses who are always ready to chat about the good, the bad and the ugly)

Wooden toys
Non-toxic wooden, tree rubber, bioplastic, wool, silk, cotton, children’s toys are a no-brainer if you care about your child’s health, their future planet, the ocean, the air we breathe, etc which I am going to assume you do.   When your kids are older and ask you why you gave them plastic toys, which have harmed sea-life, the quality of the air, and the health of the soil and thus our food, you cannot say you did not know. We know.

Dolls and plush toys
are very important for social development and emotional security. This is why we offer such a varied and fantastic range.  Soft Dolls and plush toys are great because children are able to cuddle, carry, squish, hug, talk to, cry on, argue with and are soft and safe for a toddler to sleep to provide security and company through naps and nighttime.

Sensory toys
sounds like a buzz word – but what this refer to is a toy that is made for a stimulating a child’s developing senses. So that it will have different textures or types of fabric, rough, smooth tags, some wood, some teething rubber, some scrunchy parts, it might dingle, jingle, squeak or rattle once  child takes an action such as shaking, squeezing, turning, touching etc. This is when a child learns their actions lead to a result.  They exert influence, control -power – watch out!  That is confidence and self awareness development right there. Examples of this are Grimm’s bead grasper, Manahattan Toys Skwish, OB Designs plush teether rattles, and their sensory balls,  Alimrose squeakers and rattles, Hape Rice-made rattles and teether sets, etc. Look in Sensory Toys for more of these – babies and toddlers need a variety of these.

Blankets
– security and warmth now, link to the past as they grow. Our blankets are cotton, organic cotton or cashmere blends. Many are fair trade, all are handmade and all are safe and beautifully made for your baby to love now and forever.

Swaddles, Muslin Wraps
– security and closeness for soothing and relaxing a baby, becomes a comforter as they grown and handy for everything you could image(burp cloth, breast feeding cove, shade cover in stroller, pram or car, place on top of any “change mat” for anywhere – the park, a friends house, the mall, the back seat of the car – wherever you need to suddenly change a nappy, or lie baby down. All bubs and their parents need lots of swaddles. and there are so many lovely ones to choose. Cotton, Bamboo, muslin fine, jersey stretch or larger or smaller. Natural fabrics breathe and provide warmth in winter and are cooler in summer. They get softer with washing (throw them in the machine) and dry quickly for quick turn-around.

Benefits of wooden, rubber and other natural teethers 
  1. They are organic
  2. Wooden teethers and are non-toxic because they do not contain any BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, or any other potentially harmful chemicals.
  3. Wooden baby teethers and toys are antibacterial because they are made out of wood – studies show that wood is the most effective antibacterial qualities vs plastic.
  4. They look beautiful – and children deserve beautiful things, this leads to appreciation of the things they own.
  5. Back to the Earth When they do eventually end their life of use – they simply crumble back into the earth – like any part of a tree, they don’t sit in landfill for thousands of years or end up choking a turtle.

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