As an occupational therapist, I am very critical of toys and baby products. I prefer simple toys that are aesthetically pleasing but, more importantly, I search for toys that help babies and children grow developmentally. Ikea’s toy section might be one of the best-kept mom secrets out there. They not only have beautiful toys and equipment, but they are extremely functional and safe as well!

I don’t work with Ikea and don’t get any benefit from sharing these, but you do deserve to know!  Here are my 10 favorite children’s products from Ikea:

  1. Mula stacking rings: Simple ring stackers are one of the best toys you can buy your baby. They help to develop your child’s fine motor skills from a young age and kids love them! Ikea’s version is beautiful and made of wood, which is always a bonus in my book (wood provides texture and is great for developing sensory systems!).
  2.  Mula Abacus: This toy is great for kids of all ages! They start playing with it as a toddler and grow with it into childhood, creating complex designs and patterns. It provides endless opportunity for creativity while promoting STEM, logic and math skills.
  3. Busa Play Tunnel: Tunnels are great to promote crawling and develop your little one’s gross motor and balance skills! Kids also love the feeling of being inside the tunnel. Ikea’s tunnel is not only adorable, but it also fold’s up for easy storage!
  4. PS Lomsk Swivel Chair: I must tell at least one parent a day to buy this chair; it is one of the best tools I know of to help provide sensory input at home! Your child can sit in it and spin or can shut the top to create a little hideaway and a perfect spot to calm down after a difficult moment or just a long day.
  5. Leka Baby Gym: Anyone who knows me knows that I think most baby equipment is completely unnecessary. One piece of baby equipment that I do love is a good baby gym. Putting your baby on a mat with a baby gym is the perfect thing to do to promote development of gross and fine motor skills. I love Ikea’s sleek design, and the quality of their baby gym is top-notch. It’s also a great price!
  6. Duktig Play Kitchen: It is important to give your little one plenty of opportunities for imaginary play, beginning from the time he or she is very young. A play kitchen is the perfect toy to encourage your child to develop the social play skills necessary for childhood and beyond. I love that this kitchen grows with your child and is easily cleanable.
  7. Bunso Children’s chair: Okay, this might be a holy grail chair for me! Ikea markets it as an outdoor chair, but I love using it indoors for everything from circle time in school to simply reading books on the floor. There are so many overpriced floor chairs out there marketed at helping kids pay attention and avoid “w” sitting, but sometimes the best chairs are simple. Often times, kids don’t have the postural support to sit alone on the floor. This chair is perfect because it is low to the ground and provides just enough postural support to help your little one succeed.
  8. Ekorre Rocking Moose: Could this moose be any cuter?! It is functional too! A rocking horse (or moose in this case) is great to help develop your baby’ s sensory system, and to develop a sense of balance while having fun!
  9. Langur High chair with tray: The key to good baby products is keeping them simple! That is why I LOVE Ikea’s high chairs. There is no need for any bells or whistles. This chair provides babies with the postural support necessary to start exploring foods while being aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean. As a bonus, it grows with your child and becomes a junior chair!
  10. Ikea PS 2014 Balance bench: Ikea provides yet another great toy to work on balance and gross motor skills! It is perfect for preschool-aged children and will provide tons of opportunities for fun.

Alright mamas, happy shopping! But first, one more quick secret… do you know that many Ikea products can be found on Amazon now? You don’t even have to leave your couch!

Featured Photo Courtesy: Courtesy IKEA
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