Our Story

Myriad Natural Toys & Crafts is a small family run business. We have since our humble beginnings in 1998 aimed to offer families a real alternative to mass-produced soulless toys. Our ethos remains the same as then: to offer environmentally responsible playthings that encourage creativity, imagination and meaningful play. Over the years we have added art & craft materials, musical instruments, books and more, to offer a comprehensive selection of products for family life inspired by Steiner Waldorf educational ideas.

Your shop is undoubtedly the best in the world. I just adore it.– V.C

myriad natural toys & crafts

Our range is chosen with care and we source from conscientious companies who share our values. The integrity, purpose and meaningfulness of each item really does matter here at Myriad.

It was our own children’s play with simple natural objects and toys that sparked our interest and respect for the real value of creative play. From there we found our way to Steiner Waldorf education with its deep regard for the kingdom of childhood and the natural unfolding of the individual. Like the story of the man who tried to break open the cocoon in order to “help” the butterfly, forcing development prevents us from “flying”.

Myriad is small enough to care and offer a personal service, yet big enough to be professional! When you call us, you will speak directly to a team member who knows the products and can answer any queries you may have. Our team will take care of your order from start to finish!

Our Ethos

Our range is chosen with care: we source from conscientious companies who share our values.
The integrity, purpose and meaningfulness of each item really does matter here at Myriad, and we select products with the following criteria in mind:

encouraging creative play

Our range of playthings is chosen because they are conducive to creative, imaginative and meaningful play. Creative, imaginative play is vital for children’s wellbeing and is the most effective form of learning in early childhood, supporting optimal growth on all levels: emotional, intellectual, social physical, and spiritual.

A good toy sparks a child’s imagination – instead of giving the child set answers. Creative, open-ended toys are adaptable to the free flowing nature of imaginative play.

natural, beautiful & sense nurturing

Natural materials such as wool, wood, cotton and silk, stimulate the growing child’s senses in a healthy way, contributing to their overall development – synthetics can never do this!

The Myriad range of handcrafts and hand finished toys are shaped and coloured to please the eye and nourish the senses. We choose playthings that are beautiful because they enhance a child’s sense of wellbeing and contribute to their aesthetic awareness and appreciation, lifelong.

Natural materials have touch-worthy qualities: silk has its own unique fine floaty texture, wool radiates warmth and is airy. Different types of wood have different grain and textures. Unvarnished wood has a wonderful scent and it satisfying to hold and handle.

genuine quality, durable & safe

Our natural wooden toys and natural fibre soft toys are finely crafted and made to last. Most of our wooden toys are finished with natural oil mixes, colours are water based and non-toxic. All our toys and playthings comply with European safety standards.

We source our products from conscientious companies who share our values. The quality of design, integrity, purpose and meaningfulness of each product really does matter to us at Myriad.

Handcrafted and hand finished toys that are beautiful and a pleasure to touch and hold, will encourage children to look after their things – they sense the care and attention that has gone into the making of the toy and will feel inspired to take good care of it. This is an important value to foster in todays throw-away consumerist society.

environmentally & socially responsible

Most of our range is made in low-impact workshops in Europe, the UK and North America, with some fair trade exception. Our toys are made by skilled crafts people paid a fair wage for their skills, working in clean and safe environments. Myriad also supports several special needs communities in the UK, Germany and Sweden. The work of many of our suppliers stems from Rudolf Steiner’s educational impulse, placing children and their development at the centre of their work – in particular, the wooden Ostheimer figures and sets .

Natural materials are sustainable, good for the environment and the best choice for children! Petroleum based products eg plastic take a huge toll on our environment and there are growing safety concerns. The wood used in our products comes from indigenous European forest plantations, and the by-products are recycled or used for heating. The colours and dyes used are water-based and the finish is natural oil blends or shellac. Our soft toys are natural both inside and out.

age 
appropriate

We buy from companies who are dedicated to the value of healthy creative play. Many of them work alongside organisations researching children’s play.

Our suppliers spend considerable time researching age appropriate play so that their toys are suitable for a particular age group, supporting children’s play and challenging them in their development without frustration.

We have compiled a simple guideline list of toys for different ages to help you choose what is right for your child at what age.  Read more here.

our core values

Underpinning Myriad’s ethos and the criteria we use to select products to be part of our carefully selected range, we have indentified the following core values:

hand, head & heart

A holistic and well-rounded approach to childhood encompasses a recognition that early learning comes from doing, that thinking and intellect is best developed through doing, and that the heart and soul are best served through real experiences.

“The very young preschool age child comes to know the world and others through physical, sensory activity. This is an immediate, participative way of knowing, by which the child, through physical activity and above all through imitation, emulation and play, comes to know and make the world its own.” Rudolf Steiner

imagination, play & creativity

“Without this play with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable” Carl Jung

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand …Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein

integrity

At Myriad we believe in offering products that are worth purchasing, whose value is intrinsic and not dependent on fashions and fads, but instead are inspired by the impulse to create a good product that there is a need for, whether that be a hard wearing plaything that allows for imaginative play, or art materials with rich colours and textures for a fulfilling experience.

the natural world

“He (man) can have no relationship to the synthetic products he takes in. These remain alien to his nature, and are unable to evoke a direct response from him life forces, his soul, or his spirit. Man, animal and plant have followed the same path of evolution and have a common foundation which is life.” Dr Otto Wolff

natural play essentials and Steiner Waldorf education

Sustainably sourced natural materials are our first choice for children and the environment.  Toys should be age appropriate and open ended. Myriad Natural Toys and Crafts is inpired by the principles of Steiner Waldorf education.

why natural materials are preferable

At Myriad we firmly believe toys made from natural materials are the best playthings for children of all ages! Our reasons are listed below, and as you will see, the child and the environment both benefit from natural materials.

read more

myriad play essentials

Those new to the Myriad range and approach often ask us “What would Myriad recommend?”. Here is our list of basic playthings your child will come to again and again – transforming them into whatever their imagination calls for! Most of these toys are suitable from the age of 2, and will be fully utilised when the child enters the imaginative play years, 3-6 years. These play essentials have proved favourites of both our own children and those of our customers over many years.

read more

principles of 
Steiner-Waldorf education

Steiner Waldorf education respects the essential nature of childhood, enabling each child to develop their inherent capacities and self-confidence in a caring, child-sensitive and structured environment.

read more

which toys for which age

There is a great value in choosing age appropriate toys. Here are some suggested toys for various age groups.

read more

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