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Monday, 29 May 2017

Where to Buy Wooden Toys.

As promised, I've composed a little list of places we get Montessori toys from. I've tried to include all of Violet's faves and my favourite places to pick them up. I'm always looking for new items to add to our rotation, which we change a couple of times a month. Especially as she's getting towards being one (how did that happen?!) we're looking at toys to add and new things for her to try. So let's get started...


Babipur & Baba Me

These two are my absolute go-to when I'm looking for something in particular or for a particular brand. I know I can easily access the likes of Grimms, Holztiger, Plan Toys, as well as being able to get my cloth nappy fix. I've made lots of purchases from these stores, particularly Babipur, they have customer service that's second to none and a great online community for discounts and advice to when stock is available. Our bright 6-piece rainbow was a Christmas present for V, from the lovely Babipur and the pastel rainbow was a little treat from Baba Me, when the new Grimms stock was released. Both were delivered quickly and I received a 10% discount, using the loyalty codes in their Facebook groups. 


Yes Bébé 

Yes Bebe is another fab company, that's a little smaller than the others but still a brilliant place to buy toys. We actually get our Holztiger animals subscription from this website. Holztiger animals are the most beautiful hand crafted wooden animals, but can certainly be on the  proper side. The subscription service allows you to build up a collection, with a discount, depending on which tier you go for. We're currently on tier 2 which gives us a 20% discount on the animals each month. There's no contract and you can leave at any time. We really love waiting to see what animals arrive each month!

Independent Shops 

Small, independent shops are a gold mine for picking up unique toys. I'm a huge fan of a little place called Hebden Bridge, which is packed full of independent retailers and has at least three toy shops. Most of Violet's instruments have come from smaller shops, it's really lovely for her to be able to pick up the items and decide what she'd like. The bells in the photo were a Hebden Bridge purchase, which were shook the entire time we walked around! Museum shops and art galleries are a good place to hunt for different brands too. 


Supermarkets

A lot of supermarkets or high street shops seem to have clocked onto the fact that wooden or natural toys are "back in fashion". We go for wooden and natural toys because they're Montessori friendly, kind to the environment and will last for year to come meaning V will be able to keep them and hand them down. Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and even Aldi and Lidl have developed their own ranges of wooden and traditional toys. This apple shaped bamboo plate was from Aldi, and although it's great to eat off (we got some other designs), it's also fab for sorting games or storing toys when they're not being played with. It's definitely worth shopping around, sometimes the supermarkets have some amazing bargains. 


Facebook Groups & eBay 

Facebook is turning more and more into a marketplace. Which is great if you're looking for something second hand and for a reasonable price. I'm in several Facebook groups for wooden toys, natural toys and Babipur have a buy and sell page too. I've picked up some great bargains for our collection. The crochet bowls and peg people were actually from a wooden toy Facebook page, they're hand made by people in the UK and sold for a reasonable price. They're a great alternative if you can't quite stretch your budget to new or branded products. 

Car Boot Sales & Charity Shops

There is nothing more exciting than finding a gem in a car boot sale or charity shop. In the past I've picked up some Plan Toys goodies for less than £1 when they retail over £15. A few weeks ago we headed to brilliant car boot sale and picked up some gorgeous wooden toys that have been stored away for her birthday, we will certainly be heading back in search of other bits in the next few weeks. 

They're my top picks for wooden/traditional toys, I hope I've inspired you to go take a look for yourself and don't forget to head to Facebook to find any discount codes before you buy. Happy shopping!

Katie xx

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