The founders of Third Door spent much time researching what equipment and toys to launch our Nursery with that would fit the requirements from an Early Years perspective and also what their budget and vision would allow.

Luckily, pharm they discovered how great the children’s department was at Ikea and stocked up on their soft furnishings, furniture and toys as they found that they were both great value for money and also fitted in with what was needed. Currently in the Nursery, we have cushions, rugs, tunnel, tents, train sets, dressing up clothes, tables, chairs, highchairs and many other items from Ikea. The only item still missing, eight months on, is the Ikea easel which is obviously very popular as it is always out of stock!

Being big fans of Ikea products, imagine our delight when we received an invite from Ikea to their exclusive Mummy bloggers event in January. The purpose of the event was to share their findings from a study on Play across four continents conducted at the end of 2009.

Guests were taken on a tour around the children’s department in Ikea Wembley before the findings were shared. However, it was more than just a show around. We discovered that each toy sold in Ikea is thoroughly researched and developed to stimulate, teach and entertain children to its maximum potential. Ikea works with the world’s leading experts to test how different play stimulates different areas of development and then uses this knowledge to create their own toys. The toys are finally tested by children to test their suitability, a bit like Tom Hanks’ job in the film Big (surely every child’s dream job)!

Ikea states that ‘Children are the most important people in the world’ and this certainly made much more sense after we had been on the tour and realised how much effort is involved before each toy hits the shelves.

At Third Door, we know first hand the importance of play in developing skills for both babies and young children. So it was interesting and worrying to learn from the Ikea Play Report that only 9% of children think play has to involve toys despite all the effort involved by a company like Ikea to create their toys!

The Play Report also looked into the importance of play to a child’s development and wellbeing. Topics including ‘What is Play?’, ‘What is Play for?’ and ‘What does Play do?’ were researched across four continents with over 11,000 interviews conducted with both children and parents. The results demonstrated how Play has a huge role in a child’s development and learning – long before they even take their first steps. When asked, 93% of parents agreed that ‘play is an essential and important part of the way a child develops’. As most of us are very aware, Play helps children master new skills, increase social interaction, creativity and most importantly, is good for them!

Take a look at The Play Report for yourself.

Additionally, these further links will bring out the Big kid in yourself as well your little ones…

http://bit.ly/toystories
Children can write their own story with themselves as the main character

http://bit.ly/doorfridge
Enter the children into Ikea’s weekly ‘Your Fridge Door’ competition