Baby and Play: Bedford’s Independent Toy Shop

I am a big fan of supporting local and small businesses when I can. Sometimes it’s not possible but when it is I do what I can.
Baby and Play is an independent baby and children’s store based in Castle Quay, Bedford near Spaghetti John. The business was set up to offer customers a better deal than they currently get in the high streets. Also that the toys are affordable and practical. They are also working on eco-friendly, ethically made and organic to safeguard the future of our children’s planet.
Baby and Play Bedford
It’s owned and run by Adam and his partner Kirstie. They have five kids so they know their stuff when it comes to toys! At the moment, it’s a small unit. But following some renovation work, the floor space of the shop will grow and there will be more to see and to do. Watch this space, come the autumn there will be lots more to see.

Generally, I avoid toy shops with Jaxon. I know that’s he inquisitive and I will spend the whole time telling him to “look with your eyes, don’t touch with your fingers”. I would just end up getting stressed and worked up at him and he’d get moody at me (I swear some days he is a three-nager!) I’ve actually despatched the boys (Chris and Jaxon) off to the toy story at the retail park while I run errands in the other shops so that I can avoid going!

When we visited Baby and Play a few weeks back, I made the error of going on our way to get some lunch. I then had to tear Jaxon away from the fun he was having. We were made to feel so welcome and Jaxon had a lovely time playing with the toys. I think during this visit he was cautious about touching the toys as he thought I might tell him off.

When we visited again last week, he wasn’t cautious at all. We got through the door and he was off playing with the toys like he might do at home. We had gone with the intention that we would spend some of his birthday money so I was looking out for toys that Jaxon would like to play with at home too. This time I made sure that we were both fed and watered so that we had time to spend in the shop.

At knitting group, we got talking about how we liked to buy wool when we could see it in front of us because you can stroke it and squeeze it. I love that at Baby and Play, there are toys out to play with and have a feel of. Well this is obviously the Jaxon-friendly version of the wool shopping for me! There’s also a kid size table where there’s often a stack of paper and crayons so if the kids feel like doing colouring rather than playing with the toys the option is there too.


Recently Jaxon has been obsessed with numbers and counting. He reads the numbers on the buses and bus stops. He identifies numbers on books and other things, often shouting them out loud! His new one is to count people on the bus and cars that pass us when we’re walking. Either way, you know it’s a good toy when it spends more time out than in the box. If he does put it away, it’s often so that he can get his wooden railway or the ABC board out. Chris noticed that Jaxon has even started recognising the different shapes relate to different numbers and things like that.

Wooden clock from Baby and Play

Jaxon has also been playing with the ABC Board quite a lot too. That’s more about the shapes at the moment. But he can identify the letters in his name with a little assistance. I love wooden toys and how they get him thinking and learning without it even explicitly being learning.

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