Sunday 8 December 2019

Christmas | Gifting The Little Ones

There is nothing more fun than gifting kids at Christmas. Not only are there so many options available that you won't struggle for ideas, but the process of finding the perfect gift will help bring out your inner child. I've put together a few of the best presents I've found this year, for girls and boys, that suit a range of ages.

Before I even get into suggestions, I really recommend you visit the KinderList is a place to discover gifts for children. Parents and those looking to gift children can browse thousands of products and experiences, as well as share gifting ideas with friends and family. The KinderList catalogue has been carefully curated from dozens of partner retailers and, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can easily add gifts from any other online retailer, simply by pasting a link and we’ll do the rest. The search function is brilliant, you can search gifts by toy category, child's age, price, and retailer. You can also ensure you're only shown gifts that eco friendly. If you're really struggling for gifts and my suggestions below don't quite cut it, I really recommend giving this site a visit.

Getting on to my gift ideas, my first recommendation is the Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Cave Collapse Track Set (£39.99 Smyths), which is designed to play out an episode of the Thomas & Friends TV show. A cave has collapsed and you need to help Thomas excavate with the help of his new friend, Darcy the Digger. The interactive set includes a motorised Thomas train, a Darcy the digger that is powered by Thomas, a hand-cranked mineshaft feature, falling boulders, and a full track layout. Appropriate for ages three and up, the track set offers exciting, fun-filled play that can encourage physical and cognitive development. The sights, colors, and textures packed into the set provide an array of visual and tactile stimulation, while grasping the train and connecting the track pieces can promote fine motor skills. Playing out the cave collapse story on the track also helps inspire imaginations and encourage positive emotional connections.

For the Disney fans, the Ariel Sing & Sparkle Doll (£34.99 will go down a treat! Equipped with a beautiful tiara, signature red hair, and a glitter packed tail, this Ariel doll talks and sings! You just press her seashell necklace to hear her say famous phrases and sing, 'Part of Your World' and 'Under the Sea' as her tail creates a beautiful light show under water. Appropriate for ages three and up, this doll is the perfect gift for the Little Mermaid fans. If it was around when I was little, I would've begged my mum for it.

A great gifting option for children that love to get active is a pair of Heelys. These trainers come roller skates are the perfect shoe for first time skaters. They come in an array of colours and styles and are super easy to use - you just shift your weight to your heel to roll and then back to your toes to stop. Heelys feature a durable rubber sole, an abrasion resistant brake pad, and two wheels in each shoe for stability and balance. Each Heely shoe comes with two wheels, however you can remove the front wheel from each shoe to challenge yourself to skate on one wheel. The wheels can actually be removed completely, if you fancy a day of walking. Heelys start from £39.95 and are available from - a site that also sells stakeboards, roller skates, and scooters if the child you're gifting is a little more adventurous.

For the curious kids, I recommend Science in Wonderland - a fun experimental set that provides a magical way to learn about and experience science. Taking place in a fairy garden, there are five exciting experiments in total, all of which teach early STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles and are easy to carry out. You can create a colour changing butterfly, watch a flower magically open, make a fairy dance on its own, see a ladybird flutter in the sunshine, and create your own kaleidoscope show. Designed for ages five years and over, Science in Wonderland is just £23 and available from Argos.

For the little ones who love a story, I recommend Monster and Me, a picture book written by GBBO 2015 winner Nadiya Hussain and illustrated by Ella Bailey. The story focuses on a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. The monster is there when he gets dressed, when he wants to play with his toys, and even when his friends come over to visit. It is a book that helps little ones deal with anxiety, a condition Nadiya has personally struggled with for years. Regardless of whether a child has anxiety or not, Monster and Me (£12.99 Waterstones) is a great storybook full of adorable illustrations.

Fun slippers make fool-proof Christmas gifts for any child - and the bigger, the more colourful, and the more novelty, the better. This year, M&S has an adorable selection of children's slippers. One of my favourites is the Kids’ Slip On Narwhal Slippers (£15 M&S). Lined with soft faux fur and non-marking soles, these cute 3D narwhal slippers feature a fluffy horn, tail, and smiling face that keep feet warm and protected. Another great option are the Kids’ Dinosaur Slippers (£11 M&S). Like the Narwhal Slippers, these adorable dinos have a snuggly soft inside that will keep feet warm and cosy and they are made with non-marking soles to keep floors scratch-free. They are also elasticated at the heel to ensure they stay put on the foot!

Another great gift option is Rock the Boat (£19.99 John Lewis), a fun game that can involve the whole family. Playing the game couldn't be easier. You balance the pirate boat on top of a big wave and each take turns balancing a crew of 16 pirate penguins on the ship without making it tip over. If the pirates fall overboard, you lose the game and have to walk the plank! Designed for two to four players, Rock the Boat is a swashbuckling game that little (and big) ones will love.

As for the Toy Story fans, you can't go wrong with the Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear Figure (£24.99 Smyths). This Buzz Lightyear figurine comes to life with lights, sounds, and iconic action moves! He walks forward and back, says famous phrases like "Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!" and "We’re on a mission to find our friends!", and makes authentic sounds that include a big jet, wing deployment, and three blaster options. There are over 40 sounds and phrases, so don't worry - you won't go crazy hearing the same few phrases on repeat! You just press the button under Buzz’s arm to switch him on with sound effects and press the big red button on his left side to deploy his wings and hear him say a series of phrases as he moves forward and sometimes backward, and swivel his hips!

For girls who are a little older, I recommend the Frozen 2 Official 2020 Diary (£7.99 Diaries are a huge part of growing up for many girls, as they provide a way of documenting your day and inner thoughts, whilst also providing a place to jot down useful numbers, addressed, and upcoming events. This Frozen Diary is A6 size and features vibrant and colourful hard back covers, note pages, address pages, notable dates, and a year-to-view calendar.

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