Presents for little people don’t come much better than this; visit the home of the widest range of crocheted and knitted toys in the UK.

Buying beautiful, ethical and long-lasting baby toys is a whole lot easier once you have Best Years in your life. For 10 years, this charming, Northamptonshire-based company has been selling handmade soft toys with a difference. Presents for little people don’t come much better than this.

Best Years claims to be the first people to have introduced knitted dinosaurs to the world, which most kids would agree is a glorious gift in itself. The dinosaur collection is wonderfully extensive and includes baby dinosaur toys, soft dinosaur rattles, giant knitted dinosaurs, natural rubber dinosaurs, dinosaur cards and more.

As well as this handsome haul of dinosaurs, Best Years stocks the largest selection of fair-trade Pebble Toys in the UK. All Pebble Toys are handmade by a fair-trade co-operative in Bangladesh. The Big Issue says:

“Pebble Toys provides jobs all over rural Bangladesh, offering fairly paid and flexible work for women, which means that they can fulfil other commitments to family and their smallholdings.

“Making Pebble toys helps families move away from a life of poverty without having to leave their homes and children – the other option would be to move to the city and work in a factory in Dhaka, most of which have very poor working conditions.”

Also popular on the Best Years' site are the Under the Nile Organic Comforters. Made of 100 per cent organic cotton, these little treats are soft and lightweight and fit perfectly into a cot with a baby.

The Best Years team, who have won four Dadsnet Awards this year, say: “We love toys. We love how they help imaginative play and help cement friendships. We love how children create worlds around their toys. This is why we feel that toys should be as special as the children who play with them.

“So we spend our lives searching for the best possible toys and the people who can make them. We like to work with people who share our values, which is how we came to partner with Pebble and their network of fair-trade cooperatives.

“Not only do we think that we have the cutest toys around but they are uniquely suited to the needs of young children. Knitted and crocheted toys bring a tactile quality to baby toys that is great for helping sensory development. They are also robust enough to stand up to even the most active of toddler play. And it helps that they are machine washable, too!

“Our toys have it all – they are fun, engaging, tactile, bright, practical and handmade.”

A great alternative to the ubiquitous soft toys found on the high street, Best Years’ offering is pretty, practical, ethically sourced, suitable from birth and deeply appealing to young kids. With worldwide shipping, excellent customer service and bespoke baby toy options available, you’d better bookmark them today.

If you liked reading this, then you might like:

10 of the Best Treehouses in the UK
My Webwith Charlotte-Anne Fidler, founder of teen skincare brand, Spots & Stripes
Vintage Inspired Girls' Clothes

Updated November 2020

By Becky Ladenburg