There are so many toys out there, it is so hard knowing what to buy and where to get good prices for them. I am forever being told I am a bit old-fashioned with the toys I choose for small one, I love pretty much anything wooden and that doesn’t take batteries. So I thought I would share our favourite toys for this age category (2-3). We struggled to know what to get Amelia for her second Birthday and Christmas but, after some searching and research, I am so happy with our purchases and the added bonus that we did it on a budget! I have also Vlogged this if you would rather watch a video so head over to our channel https://youtu.be/lm79TWSI7xY (click subscribe while you are there if you haven’t already).
Firstly, and my personal favourite (luckily Amelia loves it too) is a picnic basket from JoJo Maman Bebe.
It is currently in store for £32 (YIKES) which is pretty steep, however if you sign up to their mailing list you quite often get money off (10% or 15%) vouchers or invites to their special events. This is how I managed to get this picnic basket for only £20 in their Christmas event which is a lot more reasonable (plus we got a free gift).
Next up is the Ikea Mala easel. Amelia is a big fan of drawing but we weren’t sure if an easel would ever actually be used, having searched high and low for a reasonably priced easel (how Mothercare can charge £50-£60 for one I will never understand) we found this one.
This is only £16 in Ikea and is also available in pink, green and blue for a slight increase to £19 (so you even get change for a cheeky plate of meatballs and chips while you’re there). The tray on this can be removed easily for flat storage- which originally was something I was looking for, however it is used so often I’ve never actually put it away! Ikea also sells the paper reel, chalks and whiteboard markers to go with it, the only fault compared to some of the more expensive ones is it doesn’t have paint holders, although for the price difference you can buy a whole other unit for paints. I can’t recommend this easel enough for anyone who has a little art lover.
Also from Ikea, Amelia and I are big fans of a train set. Small one is forever talking about trains but I had no idea if a train set would be a one hit wonder, I therefore didn’t want to spend too much money, for only £8 you really can’t go wrong with the Ikea Lillabo train set.
We have the 20 piece basic set but there is also a tunnel set which is 12 pieces (also £8) and 10 pieces of track which are £5. I am certainly going to be buying small some additional pieces of track as she absolutely loves, setting it up with her farm or zoo animals round and pushing the train round the track to see all the animals.
Every child loves a baby! I was super keen for Amelia to have a Baby Annabel, it’s what I had as a child and I just thought it was the most amazing doll ever. I then realised the price!! Tesco currently have her at £52 and John Lewis at the lower price of £40. So why have I added her in the mix of toys on a budget? Well my answer is wait!, keep an eye out for the sales and special offers, I got Baby Annabel for £20! during September 2016. She was on sale in Tesco however I was making an order from Mothercare so made the most of their price match! This is a brilliant way to save money on delivery charges if you shop online. Shop around, find the cheapest prices and if at all possible purchase from the one store rather than individual stores.
Baby Annabel came with a few additional items such as the bottle, a dummy and a nappy. The nappy loses its stick very quickly, so this I have replaced with supermarket own brand premature baby nappies, which you get a lot more nappies for a fraction of the price. I am also taking Baby Annabel on our next shopping trip to find which human baby clothes size fits her as the Baby Annabel branded outfits can set you back another £15+.
Bonus parenting tip: If your child is getting or already is attached to a certain toy, go and buy a second one and rotate them! Amelia has had her Doggy toy since the day she was born and has needed it to get to sleep every single night since. As soon as I realised this was ‘THE TOY’ I went and bought a second. When one is in the wash the other comes out, this also allows for if (God forbid) we lose one- even if temporarily- nap and bed times are less of a challenge and she will never even know!
So there we go, there is many many toys out there (half seem to be in my house) but these our my favourite purchases and Amelias most played with toys which can be bought on a reasonable budget. Let us know if there are any toys you have found are must haves and where to get them on a budget?!