As an ex-resident of Hackney I’m not sure whether to be pleased or jealous about fabulous new toy store Hop. It really is a treat. You’ll find all our old favourites: Brio, Vilac and Le Toy Van, plus pocket-money buys such as Jennie Maizels clothes plasters, Mouk notebooks and Schleich animals. They also sell cool Aigle wellies in red, yellow or navy and Earth Friendly Baby organic toiletries. There are so many delights that it’s hard to pick favourites, but here is my top three. Kid O is one of the best sources for designer baby goodies around and these stacking blocks (top), £11.95, totally live up to the hype.
What to do with children’s artwork is an eternal problem. This portfolio from Djeco is a brilliant idea, gorgeous to look at and a bargain at £7.25. Another brilliant purchase, if possibly one you might come to regret, is this retro-look Schylling accordion, £19.95. My grandpa was an accomplished accordion player, so this might just sneak into our house. Although, come to think of it, there are definitely less conspicuous toys around.
Hop also has an excellent wishlist service so your little one can avoid receiving six Gruffalo activity books for their birthday. Having said that, six Gruffalo activity books would probably go down quite well in our house. Still it’s a great way to let friends and family know what your child really wants.