chilling out on union jack ikea sofa

Ikea fun and little handy man

N is very definitely better at the physical thing than the whole drawing and art area.  Although he will sometimes pick up a pen and say he’s drawing a tractor or a person, and there may be a vague shape drawn, it’s mostly still scribbles.  Other children his age are already drawing pictures that definitely look like faces or people.

But physically  N’s really quick at picking up new things.  He’s a pretty fast runner, can kick a ball and dribble (his throwing does still leave a lot to be desired) and is spot on at clambering over furniture and working out what steps or chairs he needs to turn on lights and reach his snack tin.  It seems N’s gross motor skills are also matched by his fine motor skills as proved a couple of weeks ago.

As I need to find some space downstairs in the ‘dining’ room playroom so I can add my piano from my mum’s house, plus a couple of pieces of furniture, I decided it was time to get some toy storage for N’s bedroom.  At the moment our toy storage is limited to a bookcase/shelving system downstairs which is quite good, but there’s not that much room in it.  Books also look quite scrappy.  We have a couple of big buckets as well just to dump toys in, but it’s all a bit of a mess and does have a tendency to spread somewhat.

So we needed an Ikea trip.  With our nearest (3) stores about an hour away, we managed to coordinate with a friend to meet up with them for coffee/lunch.  She’s also a bit of an Ikea pro, while I’ve only ever bought market street bits and pieces, so I was up for getting some flatpack selfserve guidance at the same time!

N’s only been to Ikea a couple of times, but he decided that we were going to soft play as we were queuing to get let into the car park.  I suppose the building is like a warehouse, but could you imagine the size of the soft play area if it was the size of an Ikea?!

chilling out on union jack ikea sofa

We whizzed round to the kids area, and of course I had to drag N away from the dome ‘egg’ chairs.  He loves those and would happily try and hide away for as long as possible.  As for drawer systems – so many exciting bits and pieces for toddlers to play with in the store.

children's area at Ikea playing

Disappointingly there weren’t many drawers to choose from as stock was low, and we couldn’t quite get the combination of Trofast that I wanted, but we had enough to get us going with sorting out storage for N’s room.

Spot of meatballs for lunch, quick play and chat with our friends, and then it was back home to get the flat pack put up.

I don’t mind a bit of flatpack building myself, but having a toddler in tow didn’t make it easy.  Of course N wanted to have a go as well, so he had to put the screw in and start it off until it got too stiff and he’d let me take over.  He also enjoyed trying to put the dowelling rods in, but I was more concerned with trying to get it complete in the hour we had, and trying to stop him emptying all the screws and little bits over the floor.

toddler making flat pack furniture

I was impressed with N’s capabilities on the DIY front.  I just need to make sure he learns to read beforehand and check all the pieces are there, so he doesn’t end up being a man who just launches straight in without following the instructions.

We filled all the drawers and shelves, with me realising we needed maybe a separate higher one for a bookshelf, so we’ll need another trip for some drawers and an extra frame at some point.

I’m hoping at some point soon we’ll have as many of his toys stored away rather than just left out on show all the time.

What do you use for toy storage?

Love it? Share it


  1. Love IKEA, but boy is it tricky to get in and out of there. We use something similar to the expedit shelving for storage in my daughter’s room. She can pull the bins out herself and some of her other toys fit nicely in the cubes. We still never seem to have enough space, though!

  2. Oh, your post took me back to the old days! I used to take my twin toddlers to IKEA all the time as a play place, just to have an indoor spot to kill a few hours on a particularly hot or rainy day. They would sit on just everything, and they loved the kids’ area.

    1. Always dangerous taking toddlers to shops with sofas or beds on. Mine’s particularly bad in places like Gap where he can hide in the clothes rails, but Ikea’s all about hiding behind cupboards. Nightmare to track him down. Much easier when they’re small enough to go in trolley seats.

      Definitely a good place to take a break and give them chance to stretch their legs after a long journey, or on a rainy day as you say.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. I love a trip to IKEA! It’s so fun to just roam around and “ooh and aah” over everything. A friend and I are planning a “girl’s day” trip to our local IKEA soon! And it’s even more fun that you were able to share with your little one.

    1. It’s somewhere I also try and go with friends too. So much more fun shopping than with husbands as much more leisurely. Our online birth month board local members all met up at one not long after our babies were born, so it’s full of memories as well for me.

      Thanks for stopping by

  4. I love Ikea. My husband and I get a babysitter and make a day of it. Its just so much fun! It looks like N did a very good job!

    1. I’m liking the babysitter idea. There’s no way my husband would go, but I’m thinking it’d be good to go with friends as well.

      Thanks for stopping my.

  5. I love ikea, it looks like N did too 🙂 my son is in a lego phase so we use a bookshelf as storage for his completed pieces and a lego container for the rest. Stopping by from SITS girls.

    1. Ah, that’s a good plan for storing made up pieces on the shelves. There’s always more fragile toys that need storing out of the way, and we definitely struggle with that at the moment.

      Thanks for coming by.

  6. I don’t get to IKEA very often but I do love it… last time we spent the day there… including breakfast and lunch, and filled the car with all the goodies we needed for finishing touches after furnishing our new apartment. FUN!


    1. Wow, that is definitely a day trip. It’s got to be the best place when you’re starting out from scratch. The hardest thing is ensuring both you and your partner both feel the same about it (mine doesn’t!)

      Thanks for popping by

  7. How fun. We haven’t been to IKEA in a while – but maybe we need to schedule a trip. It really is a fun place to take the kids – and having the cafeteria makes it even nicer… shopping and lunch all in one.

    1. The only downside I see are the queues. Otherwise I love it. Probably because we rarely go, but it’s provided a lot of memories for me as our online birth forum group, met up at an Ikea. So handy with their child-friendly provisions.

      Thanks for popping by

    1. So agree with needing a plan for Ikea. I usually end up buying lots of little bits from market place that I ‘need’ but probably don’t.

      Hopefully soon N will have the confidence to go on his own into play areas. Handy for needing some child free shopping time.

      Thanks for popping by

  8. Sounds like he had fun, at least! I’m starting to try a toy rotation system, so that only a few toys are left out at a time and the rest are stored away. We’ll see how that works!

    1. That’s a good idea…plus a brilliant way of getting rid of unplayed with toys. I think N would just find them again. I keep putting toys away for selling, next thing I know, they’re out and being played with again. Grrr.

  9. Oh gosh, I love Ikea! It’s an exhausting trip though for sure–especially with little ones! Looks like you had a good time though! 🙂 Stopping by from the SITS Girls Comment Love Tribe! Have a great week!


    1. Thanks for popping by.

      It’s definitely a day trip – you don’t realise how much hard work it is shopping if you’ve never been to Ikea! By the numbers who go, it’s definitely seen as a weekend family day out. Depressing but useful.

  10. Someone looks like they had fun! We use mostly Ikea bits and pieces too, also those big plastic tubs that are ugly but come in bright colours, and fit absolutely loads in!

    1. We haven’t got enough room for the big tubs although once we swap over N’s chest of drawers, we might have. Think the OH would protest though

  11. I’ve just done an Ikea order online for yet more toy storage – Expedit downstairs for us! Our nearest Ikea is just over half an hour away but the things we needed had no chance of fitting in the car!
    I love how helpful your little handyman is!

    1. I love Expedit, but all our furniture is pine so it just wouldn’t suit our house (plus the OH wouldn’t have it). Handy that Trofast is in pine, although could have done with the pretty fabric boxes for downstairs storage for all my stuff.

      Ouch to the delivery charges though!

Comments are closed.