Whether you love Christmas shopping or hate it, we’ve got a little over a month to go to get everything sorted so it’s time to get those orders in or hurry to the shops before too many other people have the same idea. Here, then, is the first of two gift guides. Here are my recommendations for Christmas gifts for kids. A guide for parents will follow next week!
Veggie Trumps is a great little stocking filler that should keep the kids entertained while stealthily educating them about the merits of eating healthy food. ‘Veg-ucation at its best’ as its creators put it and I heartily agree! As well as offering an interesting twist on card games of this kind, I think it’s a really clever idea and Dylan and Xander are both eating more fruit and veg now. Result!
Minions Tumblin’ Stuart
Who doesn’t love these chaotic little nutters? As well as falling over and somehow getting to his feet again, Stuart babbles away and responds to your voice. He also has a penchant for letting rip, meaning that he’ll be an instant hit with children – and immature adults like me – everywhere! He can currently be found in most major toy retailers for around half the RRP below.
Guinness World Records 2016
I remember receiving my first Guinness Book of Records way back in 1989 and, in fact, still have it. I was enthralled by the incredible feats people had achieved and know that Dylan, in particular, will enjoy the latest edition which, of course, is even bigger and better than when I was little. It includes thousands of new records as well as dedicated sections on LEGO and football. There are also in-depth features and online bonus content.
Beatrix Potter ‘My First Peter’
Peter Rabbit has been a favourite of young children for generations and is showing no signs of ending his raids on poor old Mr McGregor’s garden! This cuddly toy is suitable from birth and made from premium soft plush so is a great choice for little ones to grow up with as a favourite toy. ‘My First Peter’ is available from Moonpig.
LEGO DC Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom DVD
In this original film, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman et al find themselves up against Lex Luthor’s rival group, The Legion of Doom. The baddies plan to break into Area 52 to nab some of the world’s most advanced weaponry and alien technology. Eek! Dylan and Xander loved watching this and it includes the trademark humour synonymous with the LEGO brand, so we enjoyed it too.
If you’re looking for something to keep your little ones busy at the weekend, give these a look! The Weekend Box Club sends personalised activity boxes to your home on a subscription basis. We were sent an art-themed box and Dylan and Xander really enjoyed making – and eating! – the Pollock Popcorn and trying their hands at emulating van Gogh’s sunflowers. A lot of creativity has gone into putting these boxes together and it seems to be infectious!
RRP: usually £7.50
As well as being the proud owner of the ad jingle that gets stuck in my head the most, Robo Turtle is a great little stocking filler. It walks on terra firma and swims in water with lifelike movements. It comes loaded with batteries and includes two spares – I wish more toys followed its lead! There are four turtles to collect and all are available from most leading toy retailers.
My Adventures With
If your kids are anything like Dylan and Xander, they love being told stories in which they make an appearance themselves. These personalised books available from I Just Love It are just the job. I chose a version of Toy Story 3 in which Xander helps Woody, Buzz and the gang save the day and one involving everyone’s favourite web-slinger, aided by Dylan. They’re going to love these!
Guess Who? Dinosaur Edition
This offering from the Natural History Museum Shop is inspired! Having discovered my standard 1980s version at my parents’ house, Dylan asks to play it every time he visits. He’s more than a little obsessed with dinosaurs too, so he’s going to absolutely love asking questions and guessing which ones his opponent has chosen – as I’m sure a great many children his age will too. It’s both fun and educational so it’s a win-win choice.
DC Super Heroes Origami
The perfect gift for arty children who also love comic book heroes here. Origami expert John Montroll has produced step-by-step guides to make 46 different DC-inspired creations. There are Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Justice League collections including heroes, villains, symbols, vehicles and much more. There are 96 sheets of illustrated folding paper inside too, so if your little ones are new to the fold – sorry, couldn’t resist – this will help them along the way.
If your little one has a keen eye for detail, they’ll love this family game. Or ‘games’, I should say as there are five different ways to play. There are 30 cards and each of these features six animals. The object of the game is to spot the one animal that appears on both your card and the others and shout it out before anyone else. This should ensure we all stay awake after our Christmas dinner! You can find Dobble Kids in your local Waterstones.
Build! A Knight’s Castle
I’m all for gifts that are educational as well as fun and am hoping that Dylan and Xander develop the same fascination with history that I had as a child, so Build! A Knight’s Castle caught my eye. The first two sections give an overview of archaeology, medieval life and the construction of castles and the third includes pop-out pieces that aspiring archaeologists can make their own knight’s castle with.
Dylan and Xander are forever trying to solve my Rubik’s Cube, so I’m confident they’ll like this too. The Smart Egg is a labyrinth puzzle which requires a similar amount of thought and logic to solve, making it a great distraction! Each egg comes with a wand and the idea is to move this from the entrance of the egg through to the exit. You can find Smart Egg in your local Waterstones.
Don’t forget the batteries!
A Christmas cliché though it undoubtedly is, people always seem to forget batteries for exciting new toys – leading to some decidedly grumpy children on the big day! To coincide with the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, Duracell has launched special packs featuring some familiar faces as well as some new characters. If the force doesn’t work, grab a pack of these!
Need a tree?
Of course, you’re going to need a tree to put all your gifts underneath! If you prefer a real one, check out Pines and Needles‘ range. I’ll be reviewing one of their fine looking trees soon.
Disclosure: the featured gifts were provided to me by the brands.