Open 7 days at 287 High St, Northcote

Birch and Bear proudly service the Malvern and surrounding areas. Birch and Bear is a curated hub of handmade, vintage and unique treasures for play and for gift. If you are looking for beautifully handcrafted ethically sourced children’s toys that are friendly, fun and Australian made, you will be satisfied with the collection we provide at Birch and Bear.

Why Purchase from Birch and Bear?

Birch and Bear understands and appreciates the quality that Malvern customers want. Birch and Bear respects it’s clientele and we know that there is a high demand of people who want Steiner dolls in Malvern, though based in the heart of Northcote we service and provide a quality, educational childrens toy to Australia. We are constantly updating our range of products and with each season we exceed all of our previous expectations.
We have children of our own and understand the importance of our young children’s minds to be nurtured and nourished.
Birch and Bear are proud of the products we provide to our Malvern customers and the beauty is that we do offer delivery for those who can not make it to our store to see us on a regular basis but who enjoy our products. If you are looking for a gift or toys for your young ones that the bigger stores just don’t carry, we have a huge range of beautiful, sweet items that you will just fall in love with.

What is Birch and Bear's mission?

Sisters and Founders of Birch and Bear Kim and Donna are collectors and makers of beautiful things. The small Birch and Bear team of makers collaborate together to develop original designs from a range of skills, this includes felting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, woodwork and pattern making.

Sisters and owner Kim and Donna love to use natural materials and care very strongly about recycling. To reuse and upcycle objects and materials, creating something new and unique.
Kim and Donna are influenced immensely by traditional Waldolf Steiner dolls, ethically sourced timbers, detailed and handcrafted by independent makers and artisans. Birch and Bear range draws inspiration from many educational/learning philosophies including Steiner dolls Malvern, Maria Montessori Malvern, Reggio Emilia Malvern, Forest School and Play based learning Malvern.

We believe that to nurture a whole child we need to appreciate that all children learn differently and deeply through play and other outlets. Unstructured play in particular provides opportunities for the child to naturally investigate and engage with the world around.

We feel like more green time and less screen time has never been more important and a lot of our Malvern customers agree. Nature is the ultimate classroom and play based learning connects the child to nature and connects the child to each other and their immediate environment. Child directed learning builds resilience, resourcefulness and creativity.
When creating a safe and inviting environment inside and out. Children feel safe to initiate and explore at their own pace. We set the intentions that we value the child’s imagination, mindfulness, curiosity and creativity.

By letting the child choose their own toy and materials, this leads them to freedom to play. You would be amazed by the rich and diverse way in which children interact, construct and engage when play is self directed. It creates the space for the child to grow independently.

At Birch and Bear we believe in
Quality over quantity
Handmade over mass production
Local over imported
Open- ended over close-ended
Imagination over screens

Unplug, unhurry, connect and embrace a more simplified natural childhood and family life… Your children will thank you for it.