With long days to fill and a baby in need of entertainment I have enjoyed places I never would have visited before or shops I have always dashed in and out of as quickly as possible in the past. So over the last 18 months or so among other things I have discovered that I love a garden centre (a great place to get great coffee, incidentally), my local library is the ideal place to while away the time with a baby and you can clock up 10,000 steps daily quite easily!
I have also spent many an hour wandering around the shops for longer and slower than I used to and in doing so I have unearthed some great baby toys along the way that haven’t cost the earth so I thought I would impart some of my favourites…
Wilko – on a regular visit to buy cleaning products (the glamour of it) these lovely traditional wooden instruments in bright bold colours also found themselves in my basket. Perhaps it was sleep deprivation or a lack of forethought but with hindsight buying noisy toys was not necessarily the cleverest thing to do as a new and sleep-deprived parent! That said, they all cost less than £10 and are really well made – she still gets plays with them now and I’ve learnt to shut my ears. It’s also an excellent place to pick up art/craft supplies cheaply – for Daisy’s first flight this week we have packed a little doodle pad and crayons from Wilko into her bag to keep her amused.
Ikea – anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of the big blue and yellow store and since having Daisy my love of it has not lessened. Aside from giving some great affordable interior inspiration, Ikea also happens to be really baby friendly, especially in the depths of winter when you need a warm place to kill a few hours! After feeding Daisy in the restaurant, in the early days I would often wander around the store as the lighting department would dazzle her into an afternoon sleep and then I would no doubt religiously pick up a picture frame every time – I’m hoping I am not the only person who does that!
I always knew of the nursery range and of course the little wooden kitchen that every toddler has (I cannot wait to get her that) but I wasn’t aware of the baby toys they stocked so several visits later Daisy has a veritable collection of Scandi toys from there. Wooden and bright like the Wilko instruments (with less noise) they are purse-friendly too. On a side note, I also highly recommend these racks for displaying their books as they are a great height for little hands to access and can be painted to suit any colour scheme (something I plan to do soon).
Tiger – I am yet to go into this shop and come out empty handed. It’s an absolute Aladdin’s cave of treasures offering everything from stationery to vases and picnic hampers in between – I love it. I bought these classic stacking boxes and little fruit toys a while ago thinking that if she didn’t play with them for long it wouldn’t matter as they weren’t expensive. Fast-forward 6 months and she still plays with them now so I have more than enjoyed my money’s worth. Each time I pass the store I have to go in – the party decorations are already inspiring me for birthday parties to come…
This post was not sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own.