English: Logo of Ikea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Unlike a lot of my demographic, I have very mixed feelings about Ikea. On one hand, I'm a big fan of a lot of the aesthetic, and I love walking through the store and checking out the model rooms. However, I often end up disappointed and a little bit angry when I check out items up close, as the quality, particularly of the furniture, leaves a lot to be desired. I know it's unusual these days, but I really want furniture that looks like it's made out of wood to actually be made out of wood, you know?
That said, Ikea is the undeniable king when it comes to some things. So, after a hiatus of a few years, my little family recently made the hour or so trek to our nearest store. Our intended prey? The Antilop. For those not in the know, the Antilop is Ikea's cult favorite economy high chair. While it's not the world's most attractive thing, it is easy to put together, a snap to wash (it's all plastic, so it can literally be hosed down), and costs only $25 with the tray.
Antilop Highchair with tray, Ikea, $24.99
Since we were there anyway, of course, we looked around. And, as usual, I saw a lot of things I liked from far away and liked less up close. However, I did notice that there were a number of inexpensive items in the children's section I liked all the way around. None of them were things we need right now, so I didn't bring any home, but I picked out a few to share with you:
I've always liked the textiles at Ikea, and found them to be totally reasonable quality, especially for the price. The babies' and kids' textiles, though, are even better than the adults'! It was hard for me to narrow down which ones to show you, since there were so many cute options, but I especially liked the mix of green plaid with bunnies and hedgehogs on the Vandring Igelkott set; the graphic bears and wolves of the Barnslig Ulven set (which also comes in red/white); and the mellow colors and fun tracks and animals on the Vandring Skogsliv set. Each set (a duvet cover and a pillow case) is $15-$20.
While we were checking out the Antilop, I noticed a few other things in the kids' feeding section that were worth noting. The first is the Kladd 5-pack of bibs. We were gifted a set of these a bit back, and they are great--simple white terry bibs with colored piping, perfect size, easy wash, and holding up well. Only $3.99 for 5! Another good deal I spotted was the Smaska 6-piece baby spoon set, which includes 3 short-handled spoons and 3 long-handled ones for $2.99.
I have to admit it--the high point, for me, was the toys! I had no idea Ikea had such cute toys, and the prices were really reasonable. Again, it's difficult for me to narrow down my favorites, but I know I liked the Klappar Cirkus finger puppet set ($4.99), the awesome Mula wooden magnetic truck ($14.99), and the Duktig fabric vegetables ($7.99 for a 14-piece set). I'd seen the extremely economical Mula stack & nest cups before and knew they were great ($2.99). My biggest temptation, though, was the amazingly cute Leka Cirkus fabric book ($7.99). I'm kinda sorry we didn't buy that one.
Finally, I have to give a shout out to the Måla art easel ($14.99)--I can't wait until my kid is old enough for one of those!