What are the best IKEA products for ages one to three?
April 27, 2013 11:44 AM   Subscribe

We are making a rare trip to IKEA tomorrow in part to get a table and chairs for our one-year old. What are other IKEA items that we should look at for him?

The last time we braved IKEA, Young Master Xalf was just three months old. I was impressed by the selection in the kids section, but that was a while ago and I didn't have the perspective I have now that he's one.

So, what are your favorite things for kids from IKEA? I'm willing to consider anything they sell: furniture, toys, meatballs, etc. I put ages one to three in the title because I hope to not go back for at least a year or two.

We already have the awesome BUSA tunnel. Here it is in use.
posted by Xalf to Shopping (25 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Stepstools! They have a couple of sturdy little models as I recall, and you'll want them for your sinks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:49 AM on April 27, 2013 [6 favorites]

They make "toy dishes" and "toy silverware" that we used as actual children's dishes for both our kids. They are made of stoneware and metal, not plastic, and my kids loved having dishes that were more like Mom and Dad's.

Also, they have a hanging tiered stuffed animal holder that is the only thing between me and an enormous, acrid pile of burning plush.
posted by KathrynT at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

We had the igloo, but the CIRKUSTÄLT tent is just as cute. We used it for years - in the living room she'd play in there a lot, and it was fun in the backyard, at the beach, the cottage...when she got older she'd crawl in there to look at books and sometimes fell asleep. We finally donated it, after eight years of use, to the kindergarten where it's a quiet reading space in the classroom.

We had, and loved the Antilop High Chair with tray - it was washable, and portable enough to come on trips.

posted by peagood at 11:57 AM on April 27, 2013 [3 favorites]

I agree that the kids' dishes & cutlery are great - we use them every day with our little one.

I can also recommend the Trofast toy storage system. It's a modular system of frames & bins to store toys. They are affordable and perfect for all the strange sizes of toys you end up with.
posted by barnoley at 11:58 AM on April 27, 2013

I like the cute wall lights: Here

(I like the heart and the flower, but the blue start is cool!) I don't have kids but wanted some for myself. Also you can see if the stuff you want is available in your local Ikea from their website. It's pretty helpful, then you can make a list of stuff to check out before you go.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:01 PM on April 27, 2013

Best answer: I didn't think we used that much Ikea kid's stuff until I started putting this list together. We use their bedding (duvet, sheets, pillows) for our four-year-old, plus bath mats, etc. But the things here are the BIG WINS for us.

The stepstools are WONDERFUL. Lots of uses, and the kids can carry them around themselves. Get multiples, you won't regret it.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80159519/ (tall)
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60248418/ (short)

The tub mats (here is the round one, we use for the shower) are super-cheap and great

The green training "potty" is so cheap, easy to clean, and great to keep around (like in the car, trust me) for potty training time.

These bibs have held up, daily use, for years. machine washable.

Best highchair ever:

Super fun kid-safe nightlight (battery and/or AC adapter options)

We get lots of use out of this "doll bed" for a variety of toys

Ridiculously cute, sturdy, useful kid-sized chair. outdoors or in.

Oh Ikea...
posted by nkknkk at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

The wooden train sets are inexpensive, mostly fit with other popular sets, and are AWESOME!!!
posted by jbenben at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by Sassyfras at 12:19 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would start looking at beds if you want age 1-3 stuff, depending when you plan to transition out of the crib (if you use a crib). They have this fantastic reversible bunk bed that I covet. Flipped one way it's a low kids bed with a frame above to put fun canopies or hang things. Turn it upside down and it becomes a loft bed with a cute nook underneath or a bunk bed if you have the mattress on the floor.

Also seconding the kids cutlery and tableware. Cups, bowls, plates etc.
posted by Joh at 12:25 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The beds and the stepstools and the tiny stuffed animals all come to mind right away. IKEA is an excellent place for buying kid-sized stuff.
posted by SMPA at 12:35 PM on April 27, 2013

the pop-up hampers and Fangst hanging fabric mesh thingies. They've got them other places now, but they are handy and have a long use life. The Apa storage box is also nice for toy storage--it can be easily painted/decorated to suit and is a popular item on IKEA hackers. The little finger puppet sets are also tü küte!
posted by drlith at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2013

We have a cloth barn toy from there that is truly endless fun.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2013

We have a 12 year old BEKVÄM stool that seems indestructible. We use ours in the bathroom as a stepstool and also just a place to sit while doing hair/makeup.
posted by vespabelle at 1:36 PM on April 27, 2013

Seconding the Antilop high chair. One piece and so, so easy to clean. The circus-themed stuffed animals they have this year are pretty cute too.
posted by jquinby at 1:41 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like the Ikea training potties better than other, more expensive ones. They're ridiculously easy to clean, they only have one part, and they're cheap enough that you can get like five and put them all over your house and one in the car.
posted by linettasky at 2:04 PM on April 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: These bibs are fantastic! We used them during art projects as well as eating because they did such a good job of protecting sleeves & shirt.

The roll of drawing paper is a good deal, compared to similar products I've found locally.

The $35 crib mattress is a great deal & has held up well.
posted by belladonna at 2:07 PM on April 27, 2013

Response by poster: Goodness, I have a MUCH longer shopping list than I started with. Thanks everyone!
posted by Xalf at 2:50 PM on April 27, 2013

Oh, the roll of paper comment reminds me that we have a fabulous easel from ikea. One side is a whiteboard, the other side is a chalkboard. There's a holder for the aforementioned giant roll of paper, which you thread through the top and down over one of the sides for endless drawing.
posted by Joh at 2:54 PM on April 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Our easel and paper get used daily by our daughter, and by every kid who comes over - with Ikea art smocks as well.

Same with the BEKVAM stool.

The train set is also good.

I love their kid's diningware as well.

(And we're looking at beds and possibly a tent, thanks people!)
posted by geek anachronism at 3:37 PM on April 27, 2013

Best answer: Oh hands down the best thing for that age from IKEA is a blue, red, or black Sparka stuffed (soft) soccer ball! It supports the point that often the very best toys are the cheapest ones.
posted by Dansaman at 4:18 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The egg chair, for sure. My daughter is ten and tall and can't fit inside hers at all anymore, and hasn't been able to for years, but she won't let me get rid of it. I've never seen a kid that didn't love it.

Mula stacking cups!! My daughter has been playing with them for 9 years. She still uses them if she takes a bath. They look the same now as they did when I bought them.

Last time I was at Ikea I saw this wooden crane and loved it. All the toys in the Mula series look amazing.

We used their colourful plastic cups, bowls and cutlery for years. For a while we had these step stools in every room of the house. I still have one under my desk where I am resting my feet right now.

One thing I DO NOT recommend is the Mammut stool. Those effers are tippy. And we have an older version of the Mammut dresser and the drawers don't stay closed at all, which is a pain in the ass. Also, if you open more than one drawer at once, it tips forward, which it did once when my daughter was five or six and it was pretty terrifying for her.
posted by looli at 4:41 PM on April 27, 2013

The kid bowls and cups and spoons, without a doubt. My kid is almost 5 and we still use them daily.
posted by k8t at 7:46 PM on April 27, 2013

The wooden train set is awesome. The pieces are so cheap that I just told Mr Architeuthis to get "enough" track, and then add three more ten-packs of track, which actually has been enough.

We got him the Tarva chest, stained it, and then put on a variety of animal knobs (sourced elsewhere) that he loves. It makes it really easy to tell him, "get a shirt out of the elephant drawer" and have him run do it. We just got it because it was the least expensive "real" dresser, there's nothing specially kid-centered about it. But it is sturdy and non-tippy, and now that we've anchored it to the wall it's survived some climbing attempts well.

We have the Kalas plates, bowls, and cups, and although we originally got them just to have some cheap unbreakable tableware for him, having all the colors has been great-- when you can ask if he wants the blue or yellow bowl, it matters much less what you're putting in it.

The stepstools and easel are great.

The Duktig toy food is a big hit here. We don't have room for the toy kitchen but I wish we did.

The Landet farmhouse and extension sets of animals are a favorite now that he's getting into imaginative play, and I really love that they all store inside the farmhouse.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:49 PM on April 27, 2013

There are a lot of great suggestions here. One thing I haven't seen yet

These Trofast storage units are cheap, ubiquitous, and really useful.

And the colourful plates and bowls are great for teaching colours too.
posted by sauril at 8:33 AM on April 28, 2013

Response by poster: So I marked best answers for everything we bought. We will be back for pretty much everything else, though.
posted by Xalf at 4:21 PM on May 9, 2013

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