What a fantastic year it has been for toys! Every week new toys and games continue to be released and the advances in technology, particular computing, has provided us with a vast selection of robotic toys to leave our kids in a real ‘quandary’ of what to ask Santa for this year! For the purposes of highlighting a good selection of Christmas gifts we have picked some from all categories and for a good variety of ages as well so if you are on the hunt for some Christmas shopping ideas, this is a great place to start.
Lucky Plush Backpack.
To begin, I cannot pass this cuddly Lucky Plush Backpack form Claires Accessories which is reduced to £15 right now!!
This cute white furry goat backpack is an adorable way to carry your things. Its perfect for sleepovers or to take along on a fun day out. Its so soft and adorable it would suit both young and older kids. This Unigoat is from Despicable Me 3 so it’s going to appeal to the fans of these movies as well as those who can’t resist its cuteness.
- Plush backpack
- 1 zipped pocket
- Grab handle and adjustable shoulder straps
Lucky Plush Backpack, RRP £19.99 Claire’s Accessories.
Kids First Boat Engineer.
In keeping with gift ideas for younger kids I have a fab recommendation that is designed to stimulate creativity and imagination – this really well thought out and presented Kids First Boat Engineer box.
The kit comes with 52 construction pieces , a storybook and a rather strong and ‘kid resistant’ plastic storage box. The colours are neutral as well – a huge hit with Pampered Presents as this set is perfect for both girls and boys, it would have been such a pity if it was only in male dominated colours.
The storybook is really entertaining and a perfect addition to the set making this one of the best construction toys we have had the pleasure of reviewing.
Aside from following the instructions and building the boats, my kids really enjoyed simply playing with the bricks and using their imagination to build a host of different items. My son is 8yrs and he has had out of the toy cupboard every day from it arrived, despite it being rather easy to pack away again in its box.
The boats actually float as well which is a bonus! My kids have had them in the bathtub and also in the kitchen sink.
This Kids First Boat Engineer set comes very highly recommended from our household. Its strong, entertaining, encourages kids to use their imagination and holds their interest as they do not have to stick to the instructions. It would be a really fab gift for any child this year.
Kids First Boat Engineer RRP £37.50, recommended retailers include Debenhams, Argos and Brightminds.
LEGO UK 41317 Sunshine Catamaran Construction Toy
I absolutely love Lego and its a good job as its in every room in my house! I have two girls and a boy so we have quite the variety also. I was delighted when Lego Friends first appeared on our shelves and the range just keeps growing and growing – just look at this amazing Catamaran!
This super construction set is available from many toy shops instore and online and also on retail giants like Amazon. It’s packed full of a variety of specific bricks and figures and even has some of the new transparent bricks. Isn’t this jet ski and banana boat fab?
My kids love Lego and I know they would simply ‘freak out’ if Santa managed to bring this down the chimney on Christmas morning. Its just the type of Lego set that’s geared for girls but has plenty to offer boys as well. My kids, both the girls and boy, play with Lego Friends, Lego City and other Lego sets together so its a great toy to bond brothers and sisters and have them all playing happily with the worlds number 1 construction brick set.
- Includes three mini-doll figures: Olivia, Stephanie and Liam, plus Sheen and Sapphire the dolphin figures
- Features a 3-level catamaran, personal water scooter and a banana boat
- Catamaran features a sun deck with 2 sun loungers and a pool, bridge with steering controls and a seating area, slide into and spiral stairs up from the water, opening garage for the personal water scooter and living quarters with a kitchen, bedrooms and lounge with sofa and transparent-brick floor
- Accessory elements include an inflatable ring, life preservers, flippers, ice creams, popsicle, baskets, newspaper, smartphone and an mp3 player
- Take a luxury vacation on the LEGO Friends Catamaran and enjoy the pool on deck
Simply search online for this set or click on the link here to AMAZON where you will find this reduced from £64.99 to £47.49!! Don’t delay though, these sets are selling fast and will be in short supply coming up to Christmas.
While I was looking at the various Lego Friends sets on Amazon I found this super little lunchbox. It would be the perfect compliment to a Lego Friends set.
Its got a very pretty design on the front and a soft comfortable carry handle. It locks firmly closed and is rather robust as well so designed to last like the Lego play sets are as well. I like it a lot. We have had many Lego accessories over the years and my kids have yet to break any of them – quite the accomplishment I think so well done Lego!
If this is something you are interested in it’s reduced also on Amazon from £14.99 to £12.55. I have the link HERE
Save your catch before the Shark bites! The fish need rescued from the shark’s mouth using the fishing rod, but be careful it might bite. The players roll the dice to see how many fish you need to rescue from the shark’s jaws. This is both good and bad – if you get a high number and manage to rescue the fish then you have done well. However, the stakes are also higher as you have more chance of rescuing the fish that triggers the ‘snap’!
The player with the most fish at the end of the game is the winner. So, although this is a fairly simple game to understand, its certainly a lot of fun and will entertain for hours.
Buy from Argos and save 20% – was £24.99, now £19.99 I have the link HERE
Also available from a selection of other toy retailers.
Technology Will Save Us – Mover Kit.
Teach children coding – What? Hard to believe isn’t it? Yet, here we have the Mover Kit that does just that!
This toy will teach your child about coding in a fun way and they will love playing with it as well. The Mover Kit includes all the pieces they need to make a toy that’ll react to movement, so it’ll light up when they dance, jump and run. Doesn’t this sound like fun for adults too? I was intrigued and really enjoyed finding out more about this company and the Mover Kit. All you need is supplied and well presented in the box. The instructions are fairly simple. I am not ‘technical’ and my son and I figured out how to build and play with this kit without any bother.
The Mover Kit can be coded in a variety of ways to keep it fun and interesting. It also has an accompanying app to let you share your inventions with an online coding community. This is the part appealed to my 12 year old daughter – she really enjoyed the interaction and learning from the other young ‘coders’.
I was impressed with the colours used for this item. Its perfect for both boys and girls allowing it to be enjoyed within our family by both my son and daughter. Its a good size as well and quite eye catching.
As far as value for money goes, this is definitely a good buy for £50. I can highly recommend it as an excellent gift for kids. Mine are now playing new games every week and really enjoying the experience.
Available from John Lewis for £50. Link HERE
I have a teenage daughter and she was set the task of sifting through quite a number of gift items with the purpose of selecting a few gifts that would appeal to herself. She came up with a few ideas and some of them were very budget friendly. I have compiled a short list below of her key findings.
Accessorize and Monsoon Perfume.
Lovelily by Accessorize is available from Accessorize and The fragrance Shop. I have a link HERE where it’s only £18. This is exceptional value for such a sweet perfume, not to mention the beautiful bottle it is presented in.
‘The fragrance opens with juicy top notes of raspberry and orange, invigorated with a zesty accord of bergamot. At its heart, Muguet (lily of the valley) combined with Jasmine work together to add a fresh and floral depth. Aromatic musks and sweet vanilla are united at the core’ (The Fragrance Shop)
This perfume appealed to my daughter because of the packaging and the scent. She has said Lovelily would make an excellent present for a school friend or a teacher and I would be inclined to agree. At £18 it’s within even the tightest of budgets.
Another perfume well priced and excellent for Christmas gifting is Rose Gold from Monsoon. The colour Rose Gold is huge everywhere from iPhones to headphones so why not have the complimentary scent too! Rose Gold is priced at £35 for 100mls.
Its available from Monsoon instore and online. I have the link HERE. As you can see, Rose Gold is also well presented in a beautifully elegant bottle and box.
It would make a great gift for a friend or your mum and I have to say, its one of my favourite scents of the year, I just love it!
Fine me a Gift
Liquid Health – Skin Hair and Nails.
Something from the vitamin and mineral isle may not be your usual stop when selecting a gift however, I assure you this is well worth considering. LQ Liquid Health Skin, Hair and Nails is available from Holland & Barrett and costs £29.99 for 10 bottles (50mls each). Its the perfect supplement to take before the party season or indeed after the party season also. I would recommend it if you have a special occasion coming up – I took it before attending a wedding where I really wanted to look my best.
This is quite the cocktail of goodies, I was well impressed. Buzz words like marine collagen, hyaluronic Acid, etc, all feature. I have the product details below, have a read, I am firmly addicted!!
LQ Skin, Hair & Nails is a scientifically formulated daily liquid supplement and is part of the LQ Liquid Health Supplement range. Each daily bottle contains multiple key active ingredients and includes marine collagen (7000mg), hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, silicon, glucosamine, selenium and vitamins. Collagen is the most abundant, naturally occurring protein in the body and each bottle contains 7000mg of high bioavailability Peptanâ„¢ marine collagen. High grade resveratrol is extracted from red grapes.
In addition to the multiple key active ingredients LQ Skin, Hair & Nails contains:
– Vitamin C which contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of the skin. It also contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
– Selenium which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and hair
– Biotin (vitamin B7) which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and hair
– Vitamin E which contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
(Holland & Barrett)
THe only restriction to myself using this as a daily supplement is the price. I will continue to use it once a month which works out well within my budget. There is no downside, this is all good and I cannot recommend this enough. I have included it in the gift guide as I will be gifting it myself to my three sisters this year and I am sure they will love it as much as myself. I noticed the results after the first course and I am sure they will as well.
I have a link HERE so go on, purchase yours now and look and feel your best this party season.
Nextbase 312GWDash Cam
Now for something that may appeal to dads and boyfriends, although I actually have this on my Christmas lift myself also!
The Nextbase 312GW Dash Cam is pretty impressive, so much so that’s its been awarded Best Buy from WHICH last year. I have reviewed a few Dash Cameras and I have to say this one I really liked.
Firstly, to appreciate how small this is look at the picture below. This is a really neat little camera that does what it claims to do.
‘The Nextbase 312GW records in Full 1080p HD using 6G glass lenses to provide a wide 140 degree view and amazing image clarity. In-built Wi-Fi allows you to quickly view footage on your phone and share it with your insurer or friends with the Nextbase app. The 312GW also comes with the Click and Go Powered Car Mount and GPS and G force recording are also inbuilt to provide important evidence in the event of an accident’ (Nextbase)
More and more people are using Dash Cameras as a means of proving they were not at fault in an accident. They are an excellent way of recording the behaviour of other drivers that put you in danger of an accident or actually caused an accident. Hopefully they will impact on the way people drive if more and more people use them – would you drive like an idiot if you thought you were being recorded? I think not.
I really liked the mount as well – I know its pretty simple but this is so important. This little Dash Cam simply clips on and off from the mount hassle free, Nextbase have thought of everything! The mount is exclusive to Nextbase alone.
- Made from plastic.
- Size H5.7, W9.2, D3.7cm.
- Weight 0.1kg.
- EAN: 5060384252254.
This super Dash Cam from Nextbase is available from several retailers including Argos – I have a link HERE. Its £99 so I would say its ‘middle of the road’ pricewise but this has all you really need in event of and incident or accident on the road.
The Sparkle Club have lots of very pretty gift ideas for Little Princesses. I have been recently shopping for a birthday gift and found some really excellent items at surprisingly good value – very good value. If you are looking for matching shoes, bags and hair accessories you should have a look online before you shop elsewhere and spend a lot more money.
From ‘Technology Will Save Us’ – the DIY Speaker Kit is absolutely a super gift for any child – even the ‘bigger’ kids! It blew my mind – what a gift, its technology but also creative and requires kids to use their brains and their hands so they are utilising several skills to make something amazing.
The Nerf MEGA Mastodon Blaster is one MEAN machine. My 8yr old son has an addiction to Nerf guns – however, the more mums I talk to, it seams this is quite a ‘catching’ addiction and it can even spread to certain ‘dads’ if they are not careful!
Socker Boppers are a great way of keeping your kids entertained without batteries or a screen in sight! My son and daughter play with these together and, for once, I need not worry that one will hurt the other in a play fight.
The Hank Change and Chat Toy from Finding Dory is very unusual – I love it! I adored the film as well, it’s such a great family movie and lived up to it’s reputation as a great sequel to Finding Nemo.
Hank the octopus can be placed on different coloured surfaces and he will change to the same colour as that particular surface. As an added bonus and thrill for the kids, he speaks several phrases from the film as well!
- Talking character toy
- Hank from Finding Dory
- Recites phrases at the push of a button
- Lights up to match certain colours
- Includes a colour wheel
- H10 x W18 x L22cm approx
- Suitable for children aged 3 years+
My little niece would love this for Christmas. I took her to see Finding Dory and she loved watching the antics of this octopus.
Its great value for only £30.95.
Available from all good toy shops in stores and online.
The Disney Store is one of my children’s favourite shops. Our nearest store is Belfast and we never visit without the kids having a look around and getting a few little gifts. Despite getting older, they still love Disney and each of them have Disney items on their Christmas lists this year again – even my 13 year old.
My son loved The Lion King and he is also crazy about the sequel – The Lion Guard. He has this fab set picked out for Christmas.
The Turbospoke Bicycle Exhaust System is a pretty cool addition to any bicycle. My son is 7yrs and he has this gadget which is available now from Smythstoys.com It’s only £14.99 and suitable for children from the age of 5yrs and over.
This system is super easy to fix on – I managed to do this without any help from hubby so I was rather impressed!
My son had great fun decorating his new exhaust system with the stickers and now he sounds just like his daddy’s motorbike when he peddles. There are three sounds cards which are attached to the spokes which gives the option for 6 different bike sounds. There are 24 stickers included so some of them even managed to make their way on to my daughter’s bicycle! These are also water proof – another bonus as they last in wet weather.
This is a great stocking filler for only £14.99.
To purchase visit your nearest Smyths Toy Shop or online at www.smythstoys.com