What to buy for a two-year-old?

presents
Mollie Rabbit by Jenny Causebrook Moss.

When I’d completed the annual purge of toys ahead of Freya’s second birthday tomorrow she still had enough to fill her own toy shop – although, it has to be said, the majority of them are pre-loved.

This year, rather than randomly adding to the plastic mountain, I decided to take a step back when it came to our presents and look at what she actually needs.

The trouble is, she’s two. She doesn’t need anything (apart from some winter clothes). In fact, you could give her a cardboard box and some packaging paper and she’d be happy (I do this, often).

Then I remembered that ages ago I had read some blog reviews featuring the work of talented illustrator and writer Jenny Causebrook Moss who immortalises “young children’s first favourite toys in one-off, original portraits”.

I loved this idea at the time – although originally thought about getting my teddy done – but looking at Freya’s beloved Mollie Rabbit recently I thought this might be the ideal present for her, just in case the bedraggled bunny isn’t with us for much longer.

She’s been washed so many times but still comes out looking just as grey as when she went in, despite trying all sorts of home remedies to get her clean(er). And she’s not even allowed outside very often (we have Bear Grylls for that).

I made his outfit myself!
I made his outfit myself!

Not like my Mickey who is almost 40 and doesn’t look a day over 35 in my opinion (unlike his owner who looks every inch of her 39 years!). He has been around the world, had many different outfits and, aside from a slight musty whiff, still has lots of life left (unless Freya somehow gets hold of him).

Mark also still has his favourite childhood teddy (his is a polar bear, creatively named polar, with strange eyes that follow you around the room) and even before she was born I was determined that Freya would have one to keep.

I tried getting her attached to all sorts of bears and animals but when a friend bought her a dog lovey it became all she wanted.

In a rare moment of forward thinking, we attempted to buy another Dog Dog (we carried on the creative naming), just in case anything should happen to him, but couldn’t find any so got Mollie Rabbit instead.

FullSizeRenderOver the months Freya has gradually transferred her love from Dog Dog to Mollie and now there is NO SLEEP unless she can stroke Mollie’s ears as she pirouettes into dreamland.

Thankfully we have now successfully bought a back up Mollie but Freya is well aware they are different and refuses to have anything to do with the new one (she’s not daft).

While I hope that Mollie 1 is with her forever (and before she gets too bad I plan to put her away in the keepsake box), thanks to this beautiful picture Freya will always be able to remember her first teddy. The painting is something that will live on long after she’s done with her plastic toys*.

You can see Jenny’s other toy portraits and find out about pricing etc here, if you’re interested.

*Ok, I have actually bought her a cash register as well as some winter clothes. If you see her, don’t let on!

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20 thoughts on “What to buy for a two-year-old?

  1. What a gorgeous gift. We always had back ups of special toys. Sometimes it backfires though…the other night my friend’s daughter (9) cried herself to sleep as she could only find five of her collection of seven identical rabbits! Insert own rabbit cliche here.

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  2. What an absolutely beautiful gift Tara! She will love it forever.

    We always had to have back up toys when the girls were little but it did go wrong when they changed Pudsey’s eye patch ha!

    Have a lovely day tomorrow and happy birthday Freya xx

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    1. Thank you. We were supposed to be going to a wildlife park but the weather looks terrible tomorrow so we all went today instead. We had a brilliant time. Going to take her swimming instead (might not even need a pool if everywhere floods!)

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  3. Books. I buy kids books, whatever the age.

    Somewhere around here I’ve got a box of toys I had when I was a child as well as the stuffed toys Boy had when he was little.

    We also had creative names. There was Big Ted, Little Ted, Lelo Ted and then Blue Pig and Red Pig. They are waiting patiently for their time to come again.

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  4. Such a lovely gift! I am now going to interrogate my mother over where my beloved chippy went?? Rather sweetly both parents bought me bears for Dubai, I have Berlios the cat and Neuhaus the penguin and then Bond bought me Tuxedo the other Penguin. Turns out you’re never too old for a teddy! My friend has one that goes everywhere with her and it nearly got lost on holiday and she was distraught – when the hotel found it she couldn’t even find words for how happy she was! xxx

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    1. I hope you are able to find Chippy. Maybe he’s tucked away somewhere safe 🙂 I would be gutted if Mickey ever went missing so I can understand your friend’s pleasure at finding her Ted.

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      1. Apparently he is safe in a box! Good news! It seems as a child I frequently forgot him and they had to go and retrieve it…a habit I wish I had grown out of but I still manage to leave the house without things! Mands was saying what she would save from a fire and it really made me think what I would rescue and it’s all sentimental stuff. It’s funny the things that become so important to us even though they aren’t expensive their value is huge!

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