Windmill in Mont Albert
Windmill Educational Toys and equipment is a wonderful toy shop located at 591 Whitehorse Road, Mont Albert/ Surry Hills in Melbourne Currently there are also Windmill stores in Adelaide and Tasmania. It is a family run business that has been supplying quality educational toys and equipment for 41 years. The website is: www.windmill.net.au
Originally the aim in 1977 was to source and supply good products that met a variety of educational needs and enriched the lives of the children. The owners, Annabel and Roger Richards annually visited Toy fairs in Melbourne, Europe and Hong Kong and had an expert understanding of the types of products that were available. Having three children of their own they saw a need for better products with educational value to be available in Melbourne at that time.
Roger and Annabel built their business up and at its height it was providing a wide range of products to parents, kindergartens, child care centers and schools throughout Australia. Windmill stuck to its goals of providing for educational needs and they developed a very good reputation with specialists such as physio therapists providing a range of products that cater to a variety of individual special needs such as autism and different physical and mental handicaps.
Windmill also has its loyal customers and the shop has provided for generations of families looking for good quality presents at a reasonable price. Many of the present day customers have fond memories of receiving toys from Windmill when they were children. The shop staff are always ready to suggest a product that will suit a particular age and type of child.
There are a great many products to choose from in different categories including: art materials and craft kits, outdoor playthings and sports equipment, toys for babies and early years, vehicles and train sets, construction sets, dolls and accessories, doll houses, puppets, animals, play sets, percussion instruments, math and literacy teaching aids, science kits, special needs products and play furniture, including children’s stoves and lovely wooden Australian made children’s tables and chairs.
Here are some suggestions of products that are usually available at the Mont Albert shop. For a new born baby sensory toys such as the Rainbow Sensory Ball make a nice gift. The Hape Melodies Pound & Tap Bench (pictured) is a popular toy for 12months+. It has a removable xylophone that plays as the balls roll down it.
There is a range of walker wagons and different things to ride on for toddlers. Windmill also sell sturdy trikes for 2years+ age.
There is a good range of puzzles and games suitable for toddlers through to 10 years +. You can also choose from a great range of different types of construction sets such as “iRiNGO”. iRiNGO is popular for ages 4-9 year olds. It was developed in Korea and is a versatile and transformable construction set that comes with ideas booklets and also allows for the children to invent their own structures. Sets come in a range of sizes.
Windmill have a good range of drawing pencils, crayons, and markers. There is also craft materials, easels and craft kits for a wide variety of ages and creative activity including weaving, threading, and creating with a variety of materials such as plaster, paper and modelling clay.
For the 8-10 year olds there are some very good science kits such as solar powered vehicles, robotic sets and chemistry, circuit sets, solar system models. Windmill is also a member of the independent Toy Specialists of Australia (ITSA) and there are many great new products in the Windmill shop that were specially selected by the ITSA members for the Christmas Catalogue.
Windmill still tries to focus on education and as well as fun and stimulating toys there are a number of teaching resources to help develop children’s, reading, writing and mathematics and other cognitive skills.
The Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart Windmill shops each have friendly experienced managers and a team of competent staff who are always willing to help customers find suitable products. The business is still owned by the original owners and who run it with the help of their daughters. Although the world has changed a lot since 1977 and the shop has had to adjust with it, the team at Windmill still try to stay true to the original commitment of providing quality educational Toys and Equipment.