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About us

AMouseWithAHouse Toy Store is a family owned business based in Perth,
Western Australia. We sell educational and other toys Australia wide.

Why Educational Toys?

Let us start by talking about how we came to decide us to focus on Educational Toys. We would like to quote the famous psychologist Carl Jung who said: “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.”

We believe that kids should play, play and play. Educational Toys are a great tool in combining the play instinct with learning.

Within this journey AMouseWithAHouse we learned so much ourselves. It was like a whole new world opened up to us just by researching toys and their educational benefits:

Algebra, which is one of the five primary strands of mathematics.
Babies can already start to learn about Maths. In actual fact most babies already do. How is that you think? It happens without the adults even realising it but once they do it can be supported.

Lilly loved to pile tins of cat food on the floor. She would stack them, make little piles, rearrange them just to start it all over again. She would also line them up and then balance on them whilst walking from one end to the
other and back. She would clonk them together and try out ways to make different noises with them. She would role and throw them.

At first, we thought how cute that is and how much fun and that was it. No further thoughts. But then we learned that she was actually solving her first mathematical tasks. Sorting a small or large number of items is part of understanding patterns and relationships which is called Algebra. It is part of understanding structure which again is a basic part of solving mathematical problems.

She was starting to learn about tones and how she can create them. How physics work when she roles or throws them. It was as if a variation of school subjects had been covered.

How amazing that we could than support this playful learning by adding toys that support the educational benefit.

That Puzzles would be considered Educational Toys was clear to us but why? We knew that Puzzles train the cognitive skills by having to solve the problem.
They also train the emotional skills as putting a Puzzle together requires a lot of patience. Fine motor skills are being trained. Depending on the type of Puzzle, for example a wooden Puzzle their senses are being triggered. How does the wood feel compared to other materials? What does the picture on the Puzzle show?
An animal? A construction scene? A car. He or she will recognize the picture as something he/she has seen in other circumstances. At home, in the street, in a picture book. The brain wiring happens while the picture is being created. Colours will be recognized. Maybe the favourite colours for the child are born in the first Puzzle.

There are so many aspects that we actually might not even think of. How amazing that our choice of toys we gift our children with might have such a big impact.

Therefor we came to believe that it is essential to choose toys for the play but also for the educational benefit.

We also just speak about the children and their connection to the world and the world of learning. But what about our connection? Doesn’t it often seem like kids and adults come from different planets?

What happens when a wooden train comes into the picture? All of the sudden parents get engaged and will sit for hours with their kid/s playing with the train set.
They will problem solve together, have fun, cuddle, enjoy their presence and the day will be remembered for a long, maybe a life time. Why will it be remembered? Because of the connection that was created through play.

Many families love to puzzle together. It is a multi-generational game. How do you approach the Puzzle? Do you first sort the pieces by colour, the corner and border pieces, who takes which part? Again, a wonderful example how connection works.

We just love to be part of this adventure called parenthood. We enjoy researching the latest trends of educational toys and making them available to our customers. Parents often send us pictures with their kids playing with the toys they purchased from us. That warms our hearts and gives us smiles on our faces.

One day we had an idea

A few months after our first child Lilly was born and started to explore the world, we realized that we are surrounded by plastic;
plastic in the household, plastic in the office, plastic in toys – simply put, plastic everywhere!

Presents were wrapped in air bubble plastic (although it is still fun to pop each air bubble) and of course that is the first item she reached for. Some toys were not only made from plastic, but they also smelled like a chemistry lab. What is not from plastic is the dogs drinking bowl, the cat, the bin and much more. However, we are not keen on her trying to chew on those things either!

But there are a lot of great products out there. With Lilly, we have become experts in finding Eco-friendly and chemical free toys (and food, cleaning articles, cloths…). We have become passionate and focused about this new task and decided to turn it into a business. We decided to open up an online store for toys based in Australia –AMouseWithAHouse

How we started

As Europe still leads the way in toys, including wooden toy safety (European Standard – EN71), almost all our toys are from German and European toy companies and toy manufacturers sourced from their Australian distributors or from Germany directly. We have spent endless nights (when the small one was asleep next to us) going through catalogues, searching the internet, having Skype meetings trying to make sure we pick the toys that our customers will like.

We went back in our memories as to which kind of toys we loved to play with. What were the toys we were looking forward to playing with most when we woke up in the morning. We also asked our friends, people we worked for, customers at the nearby café… what kind of wooden toy they loved and therefore they passed on to their children/grandchildren.
We heard many lovely stories, but also heart-breaking stories. We had no idea how emotional childhood memories can be.

The other question we asked ourselves is how we want to set up our online toy store. Not having been the “typical girl” ourselves we wanted to ensure that our store is not set up with toys for either girls or boys. We try to be gender neutral which is hard given the fact that already the packaging of kids toys is often directed to either girls or boys. The girls can usually be found on the toy kitchen and the boys on the toy cars. Not how we would have done it. For us, all toys are for girls OR for boys. They are for both. Or for parents. Who knows.

How we pack

he next question came more or less when we started ordering in the first batch of wooden toys. The truck arrived at our storage, the 15 cardboard boxes were unloaded, and we had the joy of unpacking the toys.

Once we had unpacked the 15 boxes we found ourselves surrounded by cardboard and by plastic bubble wrap. We were stunned and wondered what to do with all this rubbish. The cardboard we brought to the local recycle station. But what about the plastic bubble wrap. What to do with such huge amounts of them. We wondered if we could give it away for free but felt that no one would come to pick it up as it was tons of little pieces. So, with a bad feeling we filled up our yellow recycling bin. When the next delivery arrived the same dilemma. The delivery after this one left us again with a filled yellow bin. At this stage I raised the question if we could use it for the packaging of the wooden toys we send out to our first customers. We were hesitant thinking that customers might find that we don’t hold our promise. However, at some stage we realised we are actually not holding our promise if we throw all the wrap away. Instead we started keeping it and using it to safely wrap the toys we send out. We also started recycling cardboard boxes.

We hope we have given you an impression about the history of our online toy store

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