Ahh, kids at Christmas – there’s nothing lovelier than seeing their happy faces as they open their gifts, and it makes all the anguish over what to get them worth it! This endless struggles over which items to leave off their list (we’re not made of money!) and the inevitable panic when they suddenly tell Santa on a visit to see him a week before Christmas that the one thing that they REALLLLLY want is something they’ve neither mentioned and that you’ve never heard of till now! Last year they both sprung on us that they wanted a Bubble Fairy and a Bubble Car respectively – thank goodness for Amazon Prime!
I’ve put together this gift guide to give you some inspiration on smaller gifts, either for your own kids or for family and friends where you might not want to spend so much but still want to get gift that is thoughtful and useful, one that will be played with! Plus read on to the end for the one thing that will make Christmas WAY easier – pre-filled stockings!
Last year I actually planned ahead and bought both the kids an non-sweet advent calendar with toys in in the sales, ready to whip out of the loft this year on the first of December, but we’ve also got this gorgeous traditional looking personalised advent calendar from Born Gifted, and I think it’s such a lovely idea and can be used in a few different ways. Of course you could pop in sweets or a chocolate coin each morning – but what about putting little festive tasks in? Like ‘read a Christmas book together’ or ‘watch Miracle on 34th Street’ or perhaps ‘pick some toys to donate to a local shelter to help other kids have a fun Christmas too’. There are so many ways you can use it and I can’t wait to hang it up when December arrives, there are lots of personalisation styles to choose from too.
Monthly subscription boxes are such a good way to provide ongoing entertainment for kids, and I also think they’re a great gift to send someone who you might not see as much as you’d like as a little reminder of you each month. If you know the delivery date you can can always ask for photos afterwards, for an example! This Letter Box Lab Explore Box is going to be a lot of fun, it’s a great way to introduce kids to science and experiments but to have fun with them too! The experiments are designed to support curriculum and are available for 6+ and 8+. If you start a subscription ready for Christmas they can send you the first box to wrap and pop under the tree and continue the subscription from January!
We reviewed the full sized Crate Creature in the summer, and despite being played with a lot (he’s a favourite for car journeys as you can record voices and all sorts) his batteries are still going strong. Meet the mini version, Crate Creatures Bashers! With six to collect these are smaller and more portable but with lots of the same gross noises and still with a pullable tongue! I know Arlo will be pretty pleased with this new little monster!
I’m really hoping that the kids will enjoy this as much as I am certain I will. I love anything to do with London, and this is a 3D model map of our fair Capital city has five of the most famous landmarks to build, and all the boroughs, bridges and main roads are all marked too so you can get to know the layout of the city from an early age! The 3d models are easy to make and are aimed at kids over 8, so i’ll be helping my two out a bit as they’re a bit younger than that!
Imagination is something that should be explored and the Story Box is the perfect way to do that. Inside the box are double sided cards with images on them, so that you can click them together and create your own stories. Depending on the age of your child they might explain their story to you, act it out or even write it down. The illustrations are really gorgeous too, with lots of happy animals and different ideas to explore.
We’re big on highlighting to our kids that women can do anything men can do, and the Wonder Women Happy Families card game is a fun way to introduce wonderful women to them to prove our point! There are some well know historic female figures included but also some newer ones like Valentina Tereshkova (as cosmonaut, politician and engineer!) and Cindy Sherman (a photographer and film director) so you can learn more about them as you play the traditional ‘happy families’ game.
Now, onto the thing that I wish I knew existed before this year – pre-filled stockings! Hawkins Bazaar are onto a winner here! Reduce time spent picking and wrapping the gifts, reduce Christmas paper usage and reduce spend! They guarantee a minimum of £30 saving which is more than 50% off the price if you’d bought everything separately .These pre-filled stockings are ideal, choose your recipient (toddlers, kids, teens, adults, ) and order – as easy as that! The stocking itself is a traditional red stocking with a furry top and could easily be personalised with some fabric pens or an iron on patch if you wanted to. Inside it’s filled with toys ideal for the age group you picked! There are a few plastic toys in there but a lot are wooden or card, which I appreciated as a) they’ll last longer and b) they’re better for the environment. Toys include things like hand puppets, dominos and building kits – perfect for keeping your kids busy first thing on Christmas day while you’re busy pouring the bucks fizz and getting the bird in the oven!
Other toys we’ve reviewed over the past few months that are definitely worth checking out are:
Imaginext Jurassic World Dinosaur Range – Sturdy, well designed and with oodles of imaginative play scope.
SmART Sketcher Projector – This is such a clever product, helping kids to learn to draw all sorts of things, including photos of things they’ve taken themselves!
Family Games from Little Tikes – Crazy Toaster and Crazy Blender are fast paced, interactive fun games with simple rules for the whole family.
Hape Space City Marble run – It glows in the dark, it’s made from wood, it has endless ways to be set up and the kids LOVE it!
What’s on your kids’ Christmas Lists?
You can see my other gift guides here too, for a bit more inspiration!