Last weekend we celebrated two whole years of George. Two years since Gorgeous George came into our lives and filled it with love and mess. Don't get me wrong, there have been hard times too and sad times and lonely times. I don't think either Rob or I would reflect on the last two years without a nod to those but, overwhelmingly, the last two years have been happy.
It feels like two is a bit of milestone for all of us. George is definitely no longer a baby. He's a toddler who knows his own mind: his current favourite phrase "not like it" is used liberally, he is insistent on wearing socks at all times and his love of diggers just goes from strength to strength. We are no longer parents of a baby. We are parents of a little boy and therefore should probably have our sh*t together when it comes to the parenting game. I think we do, most of the time: we know our boy, we've settled into a routine (although it's not always easy now I'm working four days a week - I often feel like the Countdown timer is playing in my head whilst I try to get everything done!) and it feels like he's been part of our lives forever.
Two also feels like the start of something a bit exciting. I am excited about play time with George, way more than I ever was as a baby. I think it's because play gets so much more interactive as children grow. One of the reasons I set up The Busy Box Company was to address that feeling and help make playtime more interactive with more stimulating, high quality toys from an earlier age.
To celebrate George turning two, we invested in (and were gifted) some amazing new toys and books. Some of them are from favourite brands who we return to time and time again, some of them are newbies to us and a few are definitely on the lust list for The Busy Box Company in the future! They have all gone down a storm with Georgie and I thought I'd share them (as I spent lots of time researching and looking for the perfect gifts for a two year old)...
The first thing I invested in was some new books from Smallprint (our favourite book shop and lovely brand partner). I picked "Under the Ocean", which is a beautiful, pop up book and "Counting Things" and "Touch and Learn Numbers", which are both tactile, interactive books designed to help with counting. I always try to add to our book collection at birthdays and Christmas and these were the perfect addition.
One of the gifts George's Auntie Laura, Uncle Tom and cousins bought him was a crane for his train set. The crane came from Big Jigs, which is where the rest of George's train set came from. I love the quality of these toys (we have a few other wooden toys from this brand) and the massive range of options you can get for train sets. George is obsessed with his train set and, although it's really for age 3+, I can already see he's enjoying the role play aspect and benefiting from the fine motor skills/problem solving children can learn by putting the track together. Role play is definitely an area I am interested in developing through the website... any requests let me know!
I have had my eye on a luggy basket from gorgeous brand Olli Ella for AGES so my Grandma kindly bought George one. I bought it on her behalf through Scandiborn, an online children's boutique I've used a few times now and I have always been really impressed with their speedy deliveries and great range of products. I opted for the natural basket because I liked the warm, natural look and it will probably live in his bedroom so that colour way will match the colour scheme in there. George has loved putting his toys in it and pulling it round behind him.
George's other Aunties and Uncles clubbed together to get him a dinner set from Liewood - I love its Panda design and amazing texture, which comes from the bamboo its made from - and a PlanToys work bench.
I mentioned to my sisters a while ago that I though George would like a work bench and they chose this one. I love this brand for everything it stands for because it's all about sustainability and creating toys that will engage, entertain and educate children (PlanToys products feature across the Busy Box range and I sell individual products too). This was the perfect choice for a work bench, which is definitely an investment toy. The work bench is a portable size (although the size of our skirting boards are a bit deceiving here - it's bigger than it looks in this picture!) and it comes with a good range of tools/nuts and bolts.
The main present we bought for George was a Micro Scooter. I did lots of research into scooters and the outcome was a resounding vote in favour of this brand, for both quality and toddler friendliness. I actually bought it through the Micro Scooter shop on eBay, which was the best price I found. It came really quickly and so far George loves it. Now we just need some good weather to enjoy it in!!
As you might imagine, we are a bit obsessed with playtime in our house! When choosing gifts, wherever possible, I choose to support small, independent brands, which I mostly find and follow on Instagram, and I always opt for high quality toys which I think fit in with our lifestyle and our home. George is always very lucky to get lots of toys at birthdays and Christmases because he gets bought lots of presents by his wider family - to balance that we try not to go crazy and tend to opt for a few carefully chosen presents (plus George has the full Busy Box range so I try not to overwhelm him).