With Christmas around the corner, it felt like the right time to look at some fun gifts for your small children. So my small children got lucky and got to play with a few gift ideas early to let you know what to put under the tree this year.
What Is It: A gift to last all year, or a few months at least. Treat Trunk is a subscription box which delivered a different selection of healthy snacks to your door, although you can get single boxes too, including an excellent one for New Mums. Each box is filled with a huge variety of hard to find, unusual and above all healthy snacks, with options for adult, kids of both boxes and the chance to get snacks that fit into your allergy or dietary needs. Each box is vegan as standard.
What We Thought:We love the way the box arrived, covered in stickers and made to look a bit like an old fashioned suitcase, building up excitement as we saw what was inside. Our adult and kids mixed haul was filled with delights, some teas (including a kid friendly one) and other drinks, savoury pitta chips and nuts alongside fruit snacks such as Freddies Farms blueberries, Jungle Food crunchy strawberries and a few chocolate delights, Better Brownies and chocolate covered hazelnuts. Most brands we had never heard of and enjoyed the adventure of trying them. For a busy family it was perfect to try something new and make snack time healthy again.
Where to get it: Treatrunk.co.uk Prices differ depending on products but for a single full size box it’s £39.99, a mini £24.99, letterbox £12.99 and New Mum £29.99. They also do gift subscriptions for both box sizes for either 3,6 and 12 month periods at multiples of our subscription price – £35.99 and £19.99.
What Is It:Strange name, fun toys! Waboba specialise in fun outdoor games, they’re big kids and heart and this Swedish company first made a splash with a ball that bounces on water. Pun intended. Since then they’ve gone on to reinvent outdoor throw things creating durable, high quality and exciting things to throw and catch.
What We Thought:It’s always tough to get the kids to play outside as the weather gets colder but the Waboba toys gave them a new excuse. The MoonShine bouncy ball lights up in the dark, so is perfect as the nights draw in and boy does it bounce. My kids called it the ghost ball and loved chasing it through the woods. It’s unique design also means it makes this cool pop sound when it hits the floor, that then turns the light on which makes it light up for 7 seconds. The Wingman Disc (in ugly Christmas sweater colours, lol!) is a foldable silicone frisbee that zips through the air, flying up to 130 feet. Even my 4 year old got to grips with throwing it and I loved the fact I could squish it into my pocket on walks and that squish meant when it inevitably hits a kid, they don’t mind!
Where To Get It: Amazon
Rainbow Lab & Build A Volcano
What Is It:Ryman, you know, the store that you thought just does stationary, turns out does a great range of interesting, educational and fun toys and stocking fillers. It’s a great place for inspiration when you have none. The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Set is a science kit that does exactly what you want it to, let you build your own volcano (without going all Pompeii on your local village.) The Galt Rainbow Lab Kit, has 12 fun experiments such as growing jelly crystals and creating a rainbow in a test tube . Both give fun and cool ways to approach STEM learning.
What We Thought:Perfect rainy day actinides our little ones loved moulding and painting the volcano before mixing together the eruption powder. We then spent a week talking about and learning more on volcanoes, so it did the educational job by stealth perfectly. With princess and rainbow obsessed girls the Rainbow Lab Kit was a hit, they loved wearing the rainbow safety goggles and mixing everything together. Two big hits!
Where To Buy: rymans.co.uk
My First Adventure
What Is It:A story book which your children control, part adventure game, part role playing game. Each pages consists of layers which the children can turn to make their choices to shape their adventure. You read the story as one of three characters and use dials, game pieces and split pages to create a new adventure each time with memory games, observation games and logic puzzles throughout.
What We Thought:An incredible way to stop doing the same stories over and over again at bedtime, plus a story book they wanted to play with during the day. We loved the fact it gave our kids control of the story and how they could make different choices each time. Lasting up to 30 minutes sometime it was engrossing and we’ve never seen anything like this.
Where to buy it:Available from all good Hobby Stores.
The Lionheart Tales
What Is it:The Lionheart Tales is a preschool animation that promotes education mindfulness mental health & wellness. Their online shops sells a variety of cuddly toys, books and activity sets featuring the animal characters from the series.
What We Thought:We played with a set of the air pens, a fun way to do something new and reinvigorate colouring actives. Complete with stencils to blow the airpens through our kids loved doing something different from just colouring in.
Where to buy it: thelionhearttales.com
What Is It:A modern take on the Kinder Egg. This zero waste, plastic free, 100% recyclable chocolate treat is plant based, natural, organic and ethically sourced. Each selection set comes with 6 ToyChoc boxes which include 2 organic chocolates, an animal puzzle toy and a fun acts card.
What We Thought:What a great way to look after the environment. The slightly coconut flavoured chocolate went down a treat and the cardboard toys were fun to make and play with. It made me feel better as a parent by not adding to the amount of plastic waste and the kids actively asked for another one each day till they were all gone.
Where to buy it: playinchoc.com
What Is It:
In 2009 higgledy-piggledy Café Byfords of Holt started selling cakes to everyone in the UK as Sponge and now offer a huge range of cakes for every occasion, including a monthly cake club, weekly deals, decorate yourself cake kits and cake cards (an idea so good I’m amazed no one has done it before!) The cake cards are a card complete with two utterly delicious slices of traditional home made cake which fit through the letterbox and arrive in perfect condition.
What We Thought:
The kids had so much fun with the Choc Cake Xmas Dec Kit. A yummy chocolate cake with a white chocolate icing pen festive coloured balls and fondant snowflakes! They copied the design suggestion of a snowman, whilst sneakily eating as much icing and as many balls as they could. It was great to see them take pride in decorating it but the best part was in the eating. It tasted truly homemade, fresh with a not too sweet chocolate buttercream and light sponge. It also had a long use by date on it meaning we weren’t in a rush to do it once it arrived. It ended with the kids fighting over who got bits of the cake with the snowman on it because they loved the icing.
Where to get it: sponge.co.uk
Make sure to check out Part Two of this guide for other gift ideas for this Christmas.