How is it the Christmas countdown on already when it feels like we have literally just had Halloween and bonfire night? Every year we seem to see the shops bringing out the Xmas merchandise and the radio’s playing Christmas tunes earlier and earlier.
One of the biggest palaver is present buying, what to buy your kids or nephews and nieces, it really can be a minefield.
This year the boys have helped me put together a list of fun affordable gifts (they helped by being my present testers) to try and help give you ideas and inspiration on whats hot for Xmas 2017. With Max having just had a birthday in the last month, we can advise on some great gift ideas.
Heres is Max and Kai “Tried and Tested 2017 Christmas Gift Guide”, all the products in this guide have been officially put through there paces by my helpers Max: 3 Years and Kai: 16 Months.
Having already featured in our recent stocking filler post, I knew that the ready stead dough would be a huge hit as a gift for Max, as much as Kai loves to get involved, he is still a bit too young for the dough.
We picked an afternoon while Kai was napping to really put the ready steady dough to the test and it doesn’t disappoint.
Whats to Love?
Well for starters the price, retailing at £12.50 you can find this set and others in the range at the Entertainer (currently on offer at £10.00 which makes this set even better value for money).
Whats in the box:
- 10 x medium pots of dough
- 6 x small dough packs
- 26 x alphabet cutters
- 1 x squeezy shape station
- 2 x shape sliders
- 4 x shaped cutters
- 1 x zig zag roller
- 1 x rolling pin
- 1 x plastic knife
We loved the feel of the dough, it was almost silky and didn’t stick to our hands or the accessories like other brands sometimes do. Max thoroughly enjoyed making squidgey shapes using the shape station and cutters, the perfect size for his little hands, while I had a blast using the alphabet cutters to spell out his name ( yep we sat and played the one together). The dough colours were very bright, with the set including 10 medium pots and 6 small dough packs there was enough to keep Max entertained for the majority of the afternoon. We will defo be trying out some of the other products in the range this festive season.
I’m honestly so excited to tell you all about these adorable interactive monkeys. I had seen them in the shops and had no clue what they were about, then we caught them in action at Blog On back in September and I just knew they would be big this year.
What do we love?
The fingerlings are really affordable ranging from £10 – £15.00, already they are sold out pretty much everywhere because they are THE toy for 2017, it’s not hard to see why. These little monkeys are so cute and come in a huge range of colours from teal to glitter purple. When I told Dan about the fingerlings, he said there was no way the boys would be interested because they are far too “Girly”, well they showed him, they love our new addition. It’s a great tool to use as a distraction when a tantrum is brewing.
Our Monkey was called Kiki and she is purple with glitter, she also came with a cute little banana print blanket (so she doesn’t get cold at night- haha). She’s totally interactive and will coo and blow kisses at you when you touch certain sopts on her head. The boys favourite reaction is when she burps or fats (standard boys really).
I will say there are lots of fake Fingerlings on the web and I really cant recommend enough that you steer clear, the real thing will so be worth the wait. I would recommend purchasing them from The Entertainer: http://www.thetoyshop.com/brands/fingerlings
The Happyland fire station is a gift we bought for Max’s 3rd birthday a few weeks ago. We came across it on a shopping trip, having to literally drag Max away I knew it was something he would love.
What do we love?
The station is currently £30.00 down from £60.00, Happyland is a great tool for imaginative play and Max already has a few of the sets. I would never pay £60.00 but £30.00 was pretty reasonable.
The station is a noisy one and it comes with 5 different sounds (yayy noisy toys) the detail on the inside is brilliant including a kitchen (because all good firefighters need a good meal). The station comes with three firefighters and a cat, a firetruck and road signage.
The best thing about HappyLand is the fact that both boys can play with the sets, something they will play with for many years to come.
My biggest HappyLand advice would be to wait until a few weeks before Xmas, that’s when they will all nearly be down in price. You can find this set here: https://www.mothercare.com/baby-imaginative-play/happyland-fire-station/147493.html
Max absolutely loves Peppa and especially Thomas the tank engine and Kai is beginning to follow suit, so I just knew they would the would go nuts for both of these products. They both make for great affordable presents for kids 16 months + . Kai loves to sing, his favourite songs being the wheels in the bus and row row row your boat, both are available on the microphone, he loves to hear his voice echo back.
The Thomas alphaphonics has already proven to be popular which both boys, we love how compact and easy to carry around it is. The games are very easy to understand and are educational. Kai is way to young to be even thinking about phonics but he loves that the board plays Thomas tunes that he can bop along to.
We spend every Christmas at my in-laws, its immediate family during the day for dinner than for the evening, its party time (although now I have kids I’m quite happy to just chill on their sofa). We made a rule a few years ago that we don’t allow board games in the house because there are a few family members who get quite competitive (not naming names). This year I’m totally breaking that rule and will be bringing Staccups with me for the evening entertainment (along with bunny jump for the kids). Staccups is a really fun game where you have the match the colour of the cup to the lid. It really gets you thinking and will defiantly have the family laughing.
Argos currently have this game at £12.99, it usually retails at £16.00. You can find Staccups and other great games at http://www.university-games.co.uk/
Buying Xmas presents can be so expensive and if like us you have a birthday just the month before then it can prove tricky. Its always a good idea to keep an eye out for bargains during the year, buy early and be organised those are my top tips.
The boys had a great time trying all the products on our list, I love that they are all things they can play with together.