What shall we buy the kids for Christmas?
Last week, I posted my gift guide for mums and dads and you take a look at that post if you are looking for inspiration. This week is the turn of the kids with lots of fantastic ideas for kids of all ages.
Gifts for Younger Children
Backpacks are such a useful gift and I have no doubt that Supercute’s Cutepets back packs will be well received this Christmas. The fantastic, fun animal-themed backpacks are ideal for transporting everyday essentials, as well as a few treats. They are great for days out, holidays, trips to the park, pre-school and school. Cutepets Animal Backpacks are perfect for snacks, small toys or a change of clothes and they come in five different animal designs; teddy bear, frog, pig, tiger and dog.
Recommended for children over the age of three, these cute little backpacks are just gorgeous with their large heads and tiny bodies and they are so soft and huggable too. The backpacks feature a high-quality hard shell case, soft face and body features, a grab handle, durable zip opening, front strap and clasp for a super secure fit, two internal mesh and Velcro pockets. The quality is excellent and the hard shell case will make them really durable.
Find out more about these gorgeous backpacks at the Supercute UK website. RRP £18.95
Lost My Name Personalised Alphabet Poster
We have reviewed the amazing books from Lost My Name and these personalised books are an absolute delight which my daughter has enjoyed time and time again, still loving the fact that they contain her name. The clever people at Lost My Name have come up with the perfect gift idea based on the colourful characters in their book; the Lost My Name Personalised Alphabet Poster. Like the books, the poster takes seconds to design and order and what you receive is a beautiful personalised poster which not only looks amazing but can also help children to learnt the alphabet. If they have the Lost My Name book too, it is nice to go through the alphabet, finding the characters that we met on the hunt for our lost name.
Suitable for children aged 0-8 years, the poster can be bought as an original poster (£12.99) or in a handy magnetic frame which makes it really easy to hang (£19.99). There is a choice of five different colours, three different characters and you can include a personal dedication at the top of the poster. Such a lovely present idea and totally unique. My daughter absolutely loves hers.
Cubetto is the friendly robot that will teach your child the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play. Cubetto is an amazing toy which is you child’s first guide into the world of coding. With no screens, friendly, tactile and made of hard-wearing wood, he is ready to play and with a set of easy to use blocks, you can combine each block command onto the included board to create different programs.
There are also additional maps and story books to take your children on epic coding adventures. Cubetto is a fantastic toy which is fun and educational and your child can create something different every time they play. Find out more on the website.
LeapFrog Count & Crawl Kitty
LeapFrog is a brand that has made lots of appearances at Christmas over the last few years and some of the children’s favourite toys were part of the LeapFrog range. The Count & Crawl Kitty is a really lovely toy for very little ones. Suitable for children aged 9 months to three years, this cute kitty has colourful keys on her back that can be used to help little ones learn their numbers up to 20 or to create music. Kitty’s ball of wall can be batted to make it play songs and little ones can also push the kitty along.
As with all LeapFrog toys, Count & Crawl Kitty is a colourful, fun, appealing toy that will give little ones ours of fun. Find out about Count & Crawl Kitty and all of the other LeapFrog interactive toys on their website.
Not Before Tea
Not Before Tea is a British children’s lifestyle brand, based on the Adventures of Sherb and Pip, a story which was amazingly written by Henry Patterson when he was 10 years old (now 12). The book sold thousands of copies when it was published in 2014 and Not Before Tea, launched in the same year, is the fastest growing children’s lifestyle brand in the UK. The collection, beautifully illustrated by artist Becky Down, is based on characters from the book including Vera Vole, Sherb the Owl and Billy the Cat.
The Not before tea website is a real joy to browse around, there are so many beautiful gift ideas featuring the characters from the book. I would also recommend a look at their new Tea Time collection with a wonderfully illustrated design.
If you can’t choose a favourite character, there are products that feature all of the characters such as this Multi-Character Nappy Pouch which is a generously sized waterproof washbag made from oilcloth. It is beautifully made and the design is really lovely.
With the Wonder Pen included you can easily complete all of the activities, draw over images and watch amazing colours appear in the Inkredibles books completely mess free.
Inkredibles Water Wonder – Thomas & Friends, features favourite characters from Thomas & Friends and you can colour in the pages and see the mess-free magic appear, then let it dry and then do it all over again. This book will be a huge hit with Thomas fans and parents too. Paw Patrol Inkredibles books are also available.
Gifts for Older Children
Hape Quadrilla is a wooden marble run construction system and although it is suitable for chidlren aged 4+, it is a gret toy for the whole family to play with. It provides endless creative building possibilities and encourages spatial think and problem solving. Each of the different colour blocks has a different function and it’s the world’s only kinetic marble run. All Quadrilla marble run sets are crafted with heirloom quality birch and rubber wood for long-lasting marble racing fun. Also each Hape Quadrilla Marble Run Construction Set, easily combines with each other for easy expansion and unique combinations that will enhance your child’s play experience.
There are a variery of different sets to choose from and they are all available from Amazon. We will be doing a full review of Hape Quadrilla soon and if you want to find out more about the sets, visit Amazon.
Last Christmas was a Sylvanian Families Christmas and my daughter has lots of families and a house along with one or two smaller sets. She absolutely loves them. They are often out and she spends hours playing with them making up little stories and creating role plays. They are so cute and the attention to detail with the sets is incredible.
I was extremely popular when this set arrived and she quickly took it to the house and decreed that it was Christmas in Sylvanian Families World. It is a really lovely set and includes one rabbit, a Christmas tree, a Snowbunny, presents and decorations.
This Christmas set (RRP £19.99) will be loved by anyone who collects Sylvanian Families and is part of an ever-growing collection of sets. See the sets and families available on the Sylvanian Families website.
Around the World with the Ingreedies
As soon as I read about this new book, I knew I would love it. Around the World with the Ingreedies is described as a taste adventure and it really is. The Ingreedies are a colourful band of explorers who take children on a tour of the world and show us not only the foods and recipes from different countries but also give a taste of the history and culture. It is so much more than a cookery book but the recipes that are included in the book from each of the countries featured, looks and sounds delicious. This is a book that not only educates but hopefully will inspire its younger readers to get in the kitchen and try cooking and tasting some exciting new dishes.
Find out more about Around the World with the Ingreedies here
PBuzz instruments are created with mini musicians in mind. Designed by a team of musicians, the brightly coloured, light and smooth curved edged product has been designed specifically for little hands. Simple and easy to play, the mouthpiece makes it the perfect introduction to music for early learners.
pBuzz acts as an ideal stepping stone to other brass instruments, such as the trumpet or trombone, it is really easy to set up and play. You simply attach the mouthpiece, slide and blow. The numbers on the slider are the six different notes and it is easy to see them as you play. Once you get used to how to blow, it is really good fun and makes a very realistic trumpet sound. The pBuzz website has lots of information on how to use the pBuzz and where you can buy it from.
Lip Smacker have some amazing gift sets available this Christmas and with their bright packaging and amazing flavours, they will be a perfect Christmas treat and with characters such as Disney Princess and Marvel superheroes, these aren’t just a present for the girls. There are also some very familiar flavoured Lip Smackers with Coca Cola flavours and Skittles.
These cool sets are available in Claire’s, Boots, Top Shop and Accessorize and look out for the Frozen Lip Smackers too.
Mr Benn Grab!
Mr Benn was one of my favourite television programs when I was growing up. I was always fascinated by Mr Benn and his adventures through the magic door at the fancy dress shop. Mr Benn Grab! is based on the animated cartoon series and is a game where players race against each other to see who can collect the most of Mr Benn’s exciting adventures, whilst trying to scupper each other’s chances to win by stealing souvenir cards with the dreaded shopkeeper cards. Mr Benn Grab! can be played with 2-8 players and is suitable for 8+ years (RRP £8) and is available to buy from John Lewis and Amazon. This game will be a hit with everyone whether they have seen the program or not as it is a quick and entertaining game. I have also been showing my children some episodes of Mr Benn on YouTube which was a nice trip down memory lane.
The Marili Skincare range is a gorgeous range of products for children. It has been specially developed by mum of two Marili Aitken to meet the needs delicate young skin. The range is SLS, paraben, petrochemical and mineral oil free, formulated using only the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. All designed with kids in mind, the products are beautifully packaged and smell amazing.
We have been testing out a couple of the products. The Foaming Face Wash which contains Neroli flower water smells incredible and makes skin feel really soft and clean. The Kid’s Strawberry and Honey hair and body wash has also proven to be a big hit too mainly due to the amazing smell. finally the Strawberry Lip Balm smells scrummy and is perfect for dry lips. Marili have also launched some new Luxury Gift Sets this year which contain a plush toy, a t-shirt of baby grow and body wash. Find out more on the website.
My Little Pony Make-a-Bar Kit
My Little Pony Make-a-Bar Kit was a huge hit with my daughter as it includes two of her favourite things in the world (chocolate and My Little Pony). Another gem from re:creation, this kit gives you everything you need to make your own chocolate bars; delicious Belgian white, dark and milk chocolate, molds and My LittlePony templates. Simply melt the chocolate pouches in warm water and you can create your own bar of chocolate. RRP £9.99, suitable for age 4+, stockists include Argos and very.co.uk
K’NEX has always been another of our favourite brands and we have been creating K’NEX models for many years. My twelve-year-old son still has a fully functioning K’NEX big wheel in his bedroom which was one of his great achievements a few years ago. I love to watch the children work out how to put it together. It takes a lot of thought and it is so good for them to learn how to follow instructions but also to think about how to build something with all of the different pieces in the sets.
There are some amazing K’NEX sets on offer this Christmas, from our favourite ferris wheel which is part of the K’NEX 3 in 1 Classic Amusement Park set, to the very exciting K’NEX K-FORCE K-5 Phantom Buildable Blaster and K-FORCE Flash Fire Motorized Blaster where you can build your very own blasters and customise them too.
The K’NEX Thrill Rides Electric Inferno (RRP £39.99 suitable for age 7+) had certainly grabbed my son’s attention this year and I can see why. This awesome set includes 640 K’NEX pieces to create a rollercoaster 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide! With a motorized chain lift, building fans can watch a car zoom around the track to bring their creation to life. He has just started to build this set and I will post a full review once it is built but it is already starting to take shape and I think the end result is going to be very big but it will be really impressive.
As well as the sets to build specific models, there are also tubs of K’NEX which are great value and you can make a variety of different models or make up your own and then keep them in the tub when you are finished. The 52 Model Building Set is a collection of 600 pieces and you can make a different model for each week of the year.
Who Tooted? is a brilliant game that will appeal to children of all ages (adults included). Let’s face it, anything to do with breaking wind is hilariously funny for kids and mine found the whoopee cushion-shaped controllers hilarious as they control the ‘toots’ and boy the sounds are entertaining.
The object of the game is to outwit your opponents and guess who tooted. Everybody gets a whoopee cushion-shaped controller to control the character’s flatulence. When the controllers light up, only one person will “toot” and the other players have to guess who did it! You have to keep a very straight face so as not to give the game away.
Hilarious family fun, Who Tooted? is suitable for 3-4 players aged 5 and over. (Stockists include Toys R Us, Smyths Toys and Amazon (RRP £19.99).
Candy Grabber from Liberty Trading
This is such a cool present and will be a gift that will result in hours of fun. It is a tad frustrating but that is half of the fun. Fill the Candy Grabber with treats, place one of the tokens provided in the slot and see what you can get. A brilliant idea and one of many great gift ideas from Liberty Trading.
Based on the popular app, Poptropica where children can learn and explore as they play, there is a range of books which accompany the game, and take children on an adventure beyond the incredibly popular online role-playing world. Filled with beautiful illustrations and gripping storylines, these are the perfect Christmas gifts for any children who love reading about amazing adventures. Find out more about this exciting range of books and where to buy them here.
Gifts for Tweens and Teens
Comic Sofa Cushions from Red Candy
These Comic Sofa Cushions from Red Candy would be perfect to brighten up any teen bedroom or sofa, with bold colours and comic style sounds, these are such a fun gift. They come in two sizes and a range of colours and comments and prices start at £34.
Derwent Graphik Line Painters
The Graphik Line Painters are a fine line paint pen that gives immense depth of colour, even on dark backgrounds and they allow you to create layers, dribbles and washes with the opaque water based ink. Available in 20 strong colours, these cool pens have a 0.5 Japan nib is robust and delivers a fluid paint line of permanent ink.
These pens are seriously amazing and I have to admit that I have had a play with them and they create the most amazing effects. You can check out an artist’s creation with them on the Derwent website and for anyone who enjoys creating artistic masterpieces, you could really experiment with different effects with these pens.
Wisdom While You Work
although this is a notebook designed for younger minds, I can easily see why it is loved by adults too. Wisdom While You Work is a fascinating and inspiring notebook which was written by Libbla Kelly who drew on her experience with children to create something that would give valuable advice on every page.
Each page of the notebook has words of wisdom at the top with a brief explanation of why the words are important at the bottom. In between, there is plenty of space for your own work and it is a really positive and uplifting book to work in. In the centre of the book, there are a selection of ‘tear and share’ cards with some of the advice which you can share with other people of just put on notice boards or desks to help keep you motivated.
Wisdom While You Work really is a wonderful book and you can find out more about it and Libbla Kelly on the website.
SkinGenius skincare products are perfect for kids who struggle with acne, spots and pimples and with their products, they can take a natural and effective route to clearer skin. SkinGenius products are bursting with botanical ingredients that have been chosen carefully to work in harmony with the skin to help calm and soothe it, kill off bacteria and keep it fresh and free from recurring problems. The SkinGenius range has been created by the co-founder of Barefoot Botanicals and the key message behind the products is that you don’t have to throw chemicals at your face to prevent acne.
SkinGenius is perfect for tweens and teens who are prone to problem skin and the three products are available together in a washbag with a facecloth which makes a great present. The SkinGenius range is made up of three products, SkinGenius Clarifying Treatment Lotion (£19.99, 100ml), SkinGenius Facial Wash (£17.99, 150ml) and SkinGenius Moisturiser (£18.99, 100ml). The Ultimate Party Bundle of all three products in the washbag with a facecloth is £49.99. Visit the SkinGenius website to buy and find out more.
Impulse Irresistible Gift Set
New to the Impulse collection, this Impulse Irresistible Gift Set (RRP £12.99) comes with three different best-selling fragrances, Impulse True Love, Impulse Why Not? and Impulse Tease making it the ideal Christmas gift for teen girls. As a fancy added extra, the set also comes with a black micro purse, perfect for festive or New Year’s nights out.
Kayenne Junior Goggles
If you have a swimmer, then why not invest in some new goggles. The Kayenne goggle by Aqua Sphere is available in a Kayenne Junior version, suitable from ages 7-8 through to teens and young adults. It is a superb goggle for older children and has curved lenses for really wide vision and a very comfortable fit without the fiddling. The Kayenne Junior (RRP £14.99) is available from Aqua Sphere.
Itty Bittys are just the cutest thing. Small plush toys that are only a small but make a big impression. There are lots of familiar characters in the range from Star Wars, Scooby Doo, Peanuts, Marvel, The Wizard of Oz (my favourites) and more. They are all so cute and would make great collectibles too.
We have three of the Star Wars Itty Bittys and they are very popular, particularly Chewbacca as he is so soft. I am already looking at the rest of the range as my daughter wants them all and they really are perfect as stocking fillers. Find out more about Itty Bittys on the Hallmark website.
Hershey’s Movie Lip Mix
One thing that girls in particular love are lip balms. I have a six-year-old daughter who already has an impressive collection of different colours and flavours and I see lots of the girls at school with their own collections too. There are some great lip balm collections around too.
First up is the Hershey’s Movie Mix which is £10 from Debenhams. Based on some American candy classics, 3 lip balms Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses and Jolly Rancher Grape, and 2 mouth-watering flavoured lip glosses Jolly Rancher Cherry and Hershey’s Syrup, this is a gorgeous collection which smells almost good enough to eat.
Blistex Lip Balms
For older ones, Blistex have several lip balms that contain nourishing oils and clinically proven ingredients to help keep lips smooth and protected. Developed by skin-care experts, Blistex lip balms specifically designed to soothe even the most chapped and dry of lips, making your smile look beautiful every day. The Blistex lip balms come in handy tubes or tins that you can easily pop in a bag or a pencil case, so they are perfect for taking to school or work.
Moosehead Demon Dust Thicken-up Styling Powder
If you have a hair conscious tween or teen boy in the house, the Moosehead Demon Dust Thicken-up Styling Powder is something interesting to add to their stocking for less than £5 from Superdrug.
LEGO Star Wars Episode VII Keylights
If you have a Star Wars fan, these LEGO Star Wars Episode VII Keylights are a fun and practical present and ours is coming in very handy now that they nights are drawing in. They can light up the ‘dark side’ wherever they are and there is a range of minifigure keylights featuring Star Wars – The Force Awakens characters. Simply press their chestplate to light up their feet. RRP £6.99 each, suitable for age 6+ and they are available from Smyths Toystore and Next.
The perfect gift for LEGO or Star Wars fans of any age!
No stocking would be complete without chocolate and Cadbury is always top of my children’s list. They always have a fantastic range of Christmas chocolates that are perfect for any stocking (and make a great breakfast alternative on Christmas morning.)
Snow Bites are a favourite of mine. They are milk chocolate balls in a crisp sugar shell, dusted with icing sugar and they are delicious. Wispa is another popular treat in this house and you can choose from the Bitsa Wispa tube with small chunks of Wispa chocolate or althernatively go for the extra long Endless Wispa version. There are also two new additions to the Cadbury Christmas collection this year with Snow Balls; four foil wrapped balls with vanilla mousse in a delicious milk chocolate shell along with two spoons to eat them with. The Cadbury Dairy Milk Santa Gift Box would be well-received by any of my sons as it contains individual chunks of Daily Milk chocolate.
Maped Color’Peps are a great range of long-lasting colouring pens and pencils and this handy set has both in one and would be a great set to pop in the Christmas stocking.
Another stocking must have in this house is HARIBO and they have some festive treats for us this year with their Christmas cracker shaped tubes of Starmix and Tangfastics, the Mega Stars Selection Box and my favourite the HARIBO Starmixmas. A mixture of Starmix and Christmas the limited edition Starmixmas bag offers the same iconic pieces found in Starmix but in all new Christmas flavours including Cherry Trifle Heart, Gingerbread Bears, Eggnog Eggs, Apple Strudel Bottles, and Cherry and Eggnog Crumble Rings. Trust me, they didn’t last long but they are absolutely delicious.
Choc Chicos Dairy Free Chocolate Making Kit
If you have a child who doesn’t eat dairy products, they don’t have to miss out on chocolate treats this Christmas. CHOC Chick has a dairy fee chocolate making kit which gives you all of the ingredients to make chocolates. So, not only do they get to make some delicious chocolate, they get to learn about cocoa and chocolate making.
The CHOC Chicos Kit makes around 20 individual chocolates and hot cocoa and includes fun facts about cocoa and even a few real cocoa beans (some say they may be magic beans!). This kit costs £9.99 and can be bought on the CHOC Chick website.
Dentek Toothbrush Covers
Encourage little ones to brush their teeth whilst protecting their brush from bathroom germs with this cute animal toothbrush cover from Dentek. Other animals are available and they are super cute. £3.99 from Boots.
Some of the items in this post were sent in return for a review. All opinions are my own.