Gift Ideas

Little One’s Stocking Fillers- a 2015 gift guide

Christmas is just a few weeks away, gulp! Many parents are still searching for those last few socking fillers. I’m going to take a look at some of those last minute, small budget presents that are great for bulking up their Christmas stockings this year, whatever the little one’s age.

Toot Toot Animals

Toot Toot

Vtech have released a super fun range of interactive toys for pre-schoolers. The Vtech Toot Toot range features farm animals, cars, zoo animals and friends that all interact with unique SmartPoint technology which interacts with various points found dotted around the play scenes available. We have been playing with the Toot Toot Farm Animals set. We have a clucking chicken and a hungry pig to keep our 8 month old entertained, and so far we are very impressed! All of the sets can be joined together to expand play time fun. The whole range is available in Argos, Sainsburys and Smyths, as well as many other store and online shops, so do shop around for best offers, as prices do vary from store to store!

 

Chubby Puppies

http://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/toys/fashion-dolls/c-513/other-fashion-dolls/p-14477/chubby-puppies-ultimate-dog-park-playset/
http://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/toys/fashion-dolls/c-513/other-fashion-dolls/p-14477/chubby-puppies-ultimate-dog-park-playset/

Chubby Puppies by Spinmaster are an adorable new range of wibbly wobbly puppies to play with. The puppies can be purchased individually for fun anywhere they can wobble or larger play sets are also available, such as a brilliant Puppy Play Park or a fun Agility Class range of smaller sets.

The puppies simply work by the flick of a switch and the legs of the puppies can be moved, so children get different ‘wibbles or wobbles’ from the puppies. A great stocking filler that many children of different ages (and adults!) will enjoy. Puppies are priced individually at £8.99 or the playsets vary in price (around £29.99) and are available from Smyths, Tesco’s, Toys R Us and Argos. Check out my video below for a more in-depth look at these fun new Chubby Puppies.

Minions Puzzle and Book

minions puzzle and book

Minions are HUGE this Christmas, due to the long awaited Minions movie being realeased earlier this year. Ravensburger have released a (really hard) puzzle. The XXL 100 pieces puzzle, features far too many Minions for my eyes to focus on. There is a new junior novel based on the new animated film, full of coloured pictures from the movie and nice easy to read text. Great for older kids aged 6+. With Minions fever being high, any Minions merchandise is bound to be a winner this Christmas. After dinner, when all of the presents have been opened you can all sit around the table together and put piece by piece together.

The Ravensburger XXL 100 piece Despicable Me 2, Minions puzzle is £7.99 and available in Toys R Us.

Me To You

Carte Blanche are celebrating 27 years of gorgeous gifts this year, proving that they are one of the UK’s favourite brands to gift.  New born babies cuddle their soft plush toys Tiny Tatty Teddy, pre-schoolers have a giggle with the Blue Nose range, and adults look forward to receiving something special from a huge range of gifts. In fact my husband gifted me a Me To You bear on our first ever holiday together in Eastbourne!

blue nose rnage me to you

A superb little stocking filler for any child this year would be a lovely soft plush toy from the Blue Nose range. These cuddly toys are small and perfect gift to a baby for their first ever Christmas. These beautifully made beanie toys are just £5 each and will remain a classic favourite for years to come. For Older children there is the Me To You story book, A Grey Bear With A Blue Nose. The beautifully illustrated book, tells the story of a tiny bear left outside of an old cottage, when the owners had oved out and the house was to be knocked down. He was so cold his nose turned blue, he was tatty and needed to be given another chance at being loved! But he does find a loving home with a little girl. A heart warming story for small children, with large print that pre-schoolers can even read along easily themselves. The book is sold at £5.99 and available from Amazon.

Check out the whole gorgeous Me To You range from Carte Blanche here. There are personalised items, baby clothing, key rings, cards for all occasions and much, much more. Something for everyone this Christmas season.

Chuggington StackTrack range

Tomy has teamed up with the creators of Chuggington to deliver an all new Tomy Chugginton StackTrack toy line, which allows children to build their own world with tracks, trains and scenery which all connect together to create amazing play scenes. Children (and adults!) can build their tracks in anyway they wish to, building high up into the sky and letting those cheeky Chuggers loose along the tracks. A sturdy toy, great for pre-schoolers who are familiar with the Cbeebies favourite TV series Chuggington. You can read a full review of the Chuggington StackTrack range here.

The Tomy Chuggington StackTrack toy range is available from Amazon, The Entertainer, Smyths, Toys R Us and Argos. Sets and trains vary in prices (between around £30-£40 per set) but are what I would consider to be very cheap in price despite being a strong, well built set of toys from such a trusted brand and each set is large in size with lots to play with. Each of the StackTrack trains are priced at £4.99, also a very reasonable price for such a solid toy. Expansion sets of extra track are £16.99.

Alphablocks Reading Programme

The Alphablocks reading programme takes your child through step-by-step stages of phonics learning with 15 bright colourful magazines full of activities to help your child learn letters and the sounds. The kit also comes with over 450 stickers, 100 letter tiles, flashcards, games, pencil case, gold star stickers and a certificate! Everything is in the one pack for your child to learn to read!

alphablocks-arp-kit

The programme is divided into 3 stages of leaning, the first pack steadily introducing all the letters and their sounds, and each stage slowly introducing more complex letter blending and words. Finally finishing with a certificate when your child has competed the programme.

The Alphablocks reading programme is just £29.99, with free delivery to the UK and available from the Alphablocks Reading programme website.  You can read a full review of the Alphablocks Reading Programme here.

alphablocks reading programme

 

Strider Balance Bike

Our 2 year old is desperate to be like her big sister and have a bike of her own, but she still is a little too small for a pedal bike (she is tiny, still in aged 18m clothes) but is too grown-up for a push-along trike. The new Strider Balance Bike seems like a good choice for children who want their very first grown-up bike, but are not quite ready to ditch the stabilisers. A child learning to ride a bike using stabilisers, requires A LOT of adult supervision, particularly once those wheels come off, when you will need to hold the bike and be prepared for falls and tears. A Strider Bike is a tool that your child can use to teach themselves to balance, at their own pace. Because Strider’s are lighter and have a lower seat position than any other brand, you can start them younger too. From the moment they can walk, a child can ride a Strider Bike. It’s a great way for your child to learn independence and confidence at a young age!

TOYTOPIA-11

It is natural for parents to worry about nasty falls and scrapes, and this fear gets picked up by the child. Concrete can be very painful and riding on grass is tricky. This lack of confidence can make the transition from stabilisers to pedal bike more traumatic than it ought to be. With a Strider Bike, you simply put your feet down to stop the falls and learn whilst having fun. Also as the bike passes the stringent safety testing for 18-months plus, the bike is the safest available. With a balance bike your child only has to concentrate on balancing as there are no distracting pedals or stabilisers, meaning they learn more quickly and more safely. Not quite a stocking filler, I know! Strider Bikes are £80 and available from the Strider Bike website… They also do bikes in adult sizes too, which in my opinion is pretty darn cool!

Monster High Anti-Styling Head

Many kids over the years have grown up playing with the much loved Barbie Styling Head. In 2015 we welcome a new and fun twist on this classic toy with the Monster High Gore-Geous Ghoul Anti-Styling Head. Monster High has been rising in popularity since 2010 and the brand consists of a lovely range of dolls, TV series and movies with a super punky and spooky twist. The films and TV series follow the popular girls at school; Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf and Frankie Stein amongst others, and have appealed to children who might not otherwise like the classic Barbie doll.

The 33 piece set comes with lots of fun accessories, and can all be stored in the draw on the bottom of the bell-jar, so they are always to hand when playing. The transfer are very easily applied to the monsters head, with a damp sponge. They stick on well and don’t easily flake off. They are still easily removed though, by rubbing a dry cloth over the transfer. It takes a little elbow grease but nothing un manageable for a child. The transfer pack includes different eyes, eyebrows (the leopard print ones are my favourite), facial decorations, stars, studs and even cobwebs. There is also a sheet of silver stickers too with monster scratches and cobwebs.

The Monster High Gore-geous Ghoul Anti-Styling head is £29.99 RRP and available in Argos, Toys R Us and Smyths toy stores. You can read a full review of the Styling head here.

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Last year I looked at Christmas gifts for expectant parents.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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