Thornewood Treasures – Not a business.
We are not a business.
We are a family: a mom and a dad who create by hand toys and hands-on learning materials for our four children. We do not just sell toys. We handmake childhood TREASURES with love and care and then package them up and send them out to other families all over South Africa who share our values about play and joy and family and our vision of creating the most beautiful childhood for each of our children.
If you stand in our wood workshop in the late afternoon with the sun’s last rays casting golden shafts of light, you may think that it is sawdust you see dancing in those beams. But I tell you: it is sheer magic! It is a potion mixed of childhood dreams and belly laughs, of wood grain and wonder and love and playfulness; of simple joys and life-giving family traditions. In our workshop all these magical ingredients come together to materialise in the most beautiful of handcrafted toys.
Our emblem is a tree. It speaks of safety and rootedness and stability. We as parents have the indescribable privilege to shape for our children childhoods that are like solid, life-giving trees in which they can play and grow strong, explore and expand and develop into their full potential. Then, when the day comes for them to fly, they can stretch their wings wide and take to the skies with confidence and strength and joy! But they can also look back fondly at that magical childhood tree and cherish their time in its beautiful branches.
We are here to help you create such a childhood. We make beautiful toys from natural materials and use only non-toxic, lead-free, water-based paint, stains and sealants on all our products. Our toys are open-ended and multi-dimensional, inviting creativity and problem-solving, cooperation and communication. Our hands-on learning materials originate in our own family’s ongoing homeschooling adventure: we have been educating our children at home from the start (going on to 7 years now) and know first-hand the value of teaching from concrete to abstract. We only make and sell what we use ourselves.
Our customer-friends are parents, teachers and therapists who:
- Highly esteem relationship with the children in their lives and use our handcrafted toys to nurture connection with their children.
- Value family time and family traditions as roots to give their children a solid foundation for life.
- Are deeply committed to the creative, cognitive, emotional, social and physical development of their children.
- Are intentional about supporting local small businesses and craftspeople
- Embrace the tremendous benefits of unstructured, open-ended PLAY on the healthy development of their children
- Research and apply the benefits of hands-on, concrete-to-abstract learning.
“Wonderful correspondence and the most beautiful, unique toys. I’m so glad I decided to order! I’m IN LOVE with my hide-and-seek rainbow.”
“Grietjie never fails to deliver beautiful, hand-painted treasures and it is impossible not to be aware of the love and attention each products receive before it is shipped. From products to packaging to the friendly voice behind Thornewood Treasures, I cannot recommend them enough!”
“I used to make my own Waldorf treasures, but since my first Thornewood Treasure arrived in my home, I have sold my woodworking tools. Nothing compares to the attention to details that you get from a Thornewood Treasure. They are each lovingly made – you can feel the love and care radiate from them. I would recommend these treasures to everyone! You will not find such value anywhere else.”
“I absolutely love every single thing they make. Great products, great service and wonderful people.”
“Thank you for our amazing Rainbow Stacker. The children at Bright Light Montessori are besides themselves with trying to figure out new ways to build. I have even spent many hours already building with them!”
“I had looked for a wooden nativity and advent countdown for years. I wanted one like I remembered having as a child for my own children to grow up with. I was so thrilled when I found Thornewood Treasures and their products. The workmanship is generations-ago-quality. So much care went into it. Theses are heirloom pieces our family will have for decades. Well worth the investment.”
“We bought various products from Thornewood Treasures, but the favourite (one that the kids scramble to first lay their hands on!) is definitely the Rocker! They read, play, do school and play board games on it. And don’t think it is limited to only the little ones…oh no! Our almost 15-year-old spends quite a bit of time in it, to the dismay of his younger sister. Not only can you be certain of endless hours of fun (and learning) when buying products from Thornewood Treasures, but you will invest in something that will last generations! Something your children will treasure and keep for their children.”
“Fast, friendly service and WONDERFUL products made with love.”
“I got two beautifully crafted slope boards for my boys to ease their posture at the table. They are so well made and a great idea!”
“I have been wanting to order one of the rainbow stackers for a while now, and I was giddy with excitement when our pastel version arrived two days ago. I’m not sure who is enjoying it more: me or my two boys! The quality is excellent and the service was very friendly and efficient. I hope to add more things to our collection from Thornewood Treasures in the future.”
“Super friendly and efficient service – even added another item in at last minute! Great quality! So happy to not have to import!”
“Ordered the rainbow stacker for my 1 year old. I cannot say how much I love it. It is beautiful, not a cheap-looking plastic toy, but a handmade piece that doesn’t get hidden away in the toy basket, but has a proud spot in my living area. I love it so much! I will be a returning customer and I cannot recommend this highly enough.”
“Fantastic service, amazing products. My daughter is in love and so are we.”
“Wonderful service and the most amazing product (rainbow stacker) It will for sure give us hours and hours of creative play. Baie dankie, Grietjie.”
“Mooiste houtspeelgoed van hoë kwalitiet. Ma en Pa speel net so lekker saam en daar gaan nog baie ure se plesier wees. Wonderlike kliëntediens. Baie dankie.”
“A beautiful collection of open-ended wooden toys. From ordering to delivery, the service was outstanding. My little girls love their rainbows. Thank you Thornewood.”
“Beautiful, natural, open-ended toys – enjoyed by our whole family!”
“Thornewood Treasures creates natural & durable open-ended toys that delight the senses and are enjoyed by the whole family.”
“Oakdale Montessori first starting ordering products from Thornewood for our Montessori Birthday circle – Grietjie was more than happy to custom make our Birthday Sun Circle to celebrate the birthday ritual of a child in a Montessori classroom with space for a candle and the months of the year. After that we purchased their Thornewood Rocker and Rainbow Stacker and their beautiful hand-crafted South African bird sets for nature study. The service has always been excellent, the products are made to a high standard and I would recommend them for any classroom or home setting.”
“I am so impressed with the amazing quality of the items we purchased! The little birds and houses are just too precious! We are also beyond pleased with our pastel rainbow and look forward to a good few years of creative play with it! We’ll certainly be ordering again soon!”
“Open ended toys and play prompts allow children to be active participants in their play, to build, to dream, to explore and to become captains of their own play adventures. We certainly don’t want our astronaut’s rocket ship to break down after one mission to Mars… well-made and durable toys that can grow with your child and their ever-expanding imagination is key! Thornewood Treasures’ locally handmade wooden open ended toys have been a wonderful addition to my sessions. Here’s to more play adventures to come!”
“We bought a few items from Thornewood Treasures. They are all beautifully made, amazing quality and are great toys for open ended play. My daughter has had such fun with these beautifully crafted wooden toys, especially the rainbow stackers. We had amazing service from Thornewood Treasures, answering my questions and even custom making a few things! Definitely a business I would support and buy from again!”