There’s not long until Christmas – exactly one month to go! But if you’re still stuck for ideas for the kids, don’t worry: I have a few suggestions to help you out.
Here are a few of the things that have been hits with my kids this year (boys aged 5, 6 and 8), with a mixture of video games, educational toys, stocking fillers and family board games. If you have kids, nieces or nephews in the similar age ranges then you’re sure to find something that will suit!
Pokemon Sun / Pokemon Moon
This is the #1 item on my boys list this year! Pokemon are a huge craze at the moment, so this newly released game will be a hit with new Pokemon fans, or those who have been enjoying the game for years. You can get either the Pokemon Sun or the Pokemon Moon versions (you’ll be able to get different legendary Pokemon depending on which version you get) and it works on any of the Nintendo 3DS family of consoles.
Look out for a full review of this soon, and also for our Pokemon fans gift guide soon – if your kids are as Pokemon obsessed as mine!
Available on Amazon for around 32.99, or download via the Nintendo e store.
This is another big one in the video games sector this Christmas. My kids had been desperate to get their hands on this game and they love it! This game has recently been awarded the Toy Testers #1 kids Christmas game, as voted for by kids, which doesn’t surprise me.
Available on Amazon for around 31.99, on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 or Wii U
If your kids already have the game, they might want to get some extra figures or crystal packs as an extra gift. My boys are really keen to collect more of the creator crystals.
You can read our full Skylanders Imaginators review here
EE Robin Kids Tablet
The EE Robin Kids tablet has just been updated with new features, and is a great all round entertainment device for kids, with 4G so they can access online content anywhere. The new version has some really good motion games on it too, which we enjoyed.
Oregon Scientific Smart Globe
This is a great option for a fun but educational gift. My kids and I all enjoyed playing with this, you can take part in challenges or just play around with the interactive globe picking up facts and information about all of the countries in the world.
Available on the Oregon Scientific site for 59.99
Read our full Smart Globe Review here
Bladez Inflatable Remote Control Baymax
These are something fun and a bit different – inflatable remote control characters! We went for a Baymax, and the inflatable look really suits him, because that’s what he’s like in the Big Hero 6 movie. It comes with sound effects and catch phrases from the movie. You can also get Star Wars ones, dinosaurs, Finding Nemo, and loads of other Disney and preschool characters too.
Check out the full range of RC inflatables on the Bladez website. Available for 39.99 each
For more accuracy in the personalised images, check out Create Me Books. If you have a child with glasses or curly hair (like R) it’s not always easy to get a personalised book that looks just like them with the limited customisation options available. Create Me Books have done a really good job with this, and we enjoyed the story the book came with too – it’s very sweet.
This is a brand we only discovered recently. If you have an iPad and are looking for something a bit different from the typical apps, then any of the Osmo sets would be a great gift. We’ve been spending a lot of time playing with the coding set, and the tangrams are brilliant too – they get kids thinking and the sets are so much more impressive than any other iPad toys we’ve tried before. They’re better thought out and my kids love them! Check out the Play Osmo site to see the full range
Stockings are a great place to fit some of the more practical, but still fun, bits. Here are a few ideas that fit the bill.
Elastoplast have new Star Wars and Frozen plasters available, featuring much-loved characters such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Queen Elsa and Olaf the Snowman. The plasters provide both physical and psychological care to children after suffering a scratch or cut. As well as effectively protecting wounds from dirt and bacteria, these skin-friendly plasters help take children’s minds off of the pain and inspire the healing power of delight.
We have some of these, and although it’s a simple thing they definitely bring a smile to the kids faces.
These are available across multiple retailers, for around £2.60 per pack.
Toothbrushing is another essential daily task that can be made a lot more appealing with some of the kids favourite characters. Oral-B stages has a good range including electric toothbrushes, like this Star Wars gift set which comes with a brush and the character tooth paste included. With Oral-B you can feel reassured that as well as being a fun character product, they’re also a well trusted dental brand – so kids and parents are both happy!
Available on Amazon for around 49.99 for this gift set
Every stocking needs a little chocolate in it! Morse Toad have some really fun chocolate ideas, including personalised name chocolates which are so cute. My kids love anything with their name on it – and there’ll be no mixing up whose is whose!
Available from Morse Toad at 2.75 each. They also do chocolate Christmas cards, so check those out too for other ideas! To get a 10% discount on your order, use the code playroomchocs (Expires on Christmas day)
Everyone needs a new pair of festive PJs! Their Nibs do a lovely range with traditional vintage inspired prints. We got a dinosaur pair for R and they are so soft and comfy with a good fit – he loves them.
Other boys prints include Cow boys and Indians, and Toy Soldiers, with fairies, doves or stripes in the girls range.
Available on the Their Nibs website
Knitted hats and scarves
Hats, scarves and gloves with fun designs will also be a hit. There are still a few more cold months to get through once Christmas has been and gone, so they’re sure to get plenty of use. JoJo Maman Bebe have a cute range for kids up to 6 years
Read our review of the JoJo Maman Bebe knitted accessories range here
For little ones, why not try Mr Tumbles new Christmas cd: Mr. Tumble’s Christmas Party, which contains brand new studio recordings of 20 much-loved classic Christmas songs, with a Mr. Tumble twist. Tracks include Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeerand many more, including Do You Want to Build A Snowman from the kid’s favourite blockbuster hit film, Frozen.
For older ones, try audiobooks. You can see some of the audiobooks we’ve enjoyed here.
Stationery and Art Supplies
You can never go wrong with colouring pens and pencils! Derwent have a great selection of high quality art products for all ages. Try WriteSize for pencils that are made to size for little hands, or try Maped Helix for a wide range of pens and pencils, like this Color’Peps combined pack of felt tips and crayons to keep creative kids busy on Christmas morning.
Family Board Games
Another must-have during the festive season is a few good board games for all the family! It’s normally the one time when everyone has time off work together and plenty of time to spend, making it the perfect time for trying out new games together. I love games that have a bit of strategy to them, and now that the kids are getting older it’s a great time to bring in some more complex games.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars (and ships) that enable them to claim routes in various countries around the world. There are a few different versions available – any would be fun! We have the standard version, and it’s for kids aged 8+
(currently on special offer on Amazon, priced around £37.99)
I’d heard so many people recommending this game – so we had to give it a try! Carcassonne is a great family board game that’s really easy to play. Grow your small French town into a city complete with roads, elds and monasteries. This one is for 2-5 players, aged 7+
It’s also on special offer on Amazon. Priced around £32.99
Challenge your brain in a fun game that tests your thinking, memory and speed skills! 8 different challenges which will make you use all your brain power. This game comes in kids or grown up versions. We tried out the kids version, and it’s a lot of fun – but also gets the family thinking!
Available on Amazon, prices around : £12.99
This is a traditional two player game that’s great for getting you thinking strategically – great for family tournaments over the festive season!
Read our full Othello review here
Banangrams is another classic, and there are a couple of new versions out to suit your needs this Christmas. There’s the new Bananagrams Party (for ages 10+) featuring 13 new Party Power tiles which add excitement with challenges and forfeits throughout the game. There’s also My First Bananagrams (for age 4+) which is a simplified version of the game for littler players.
Both games are available on Amazon
All games are also available from your local friendly game shop: www.findyourgamestore.co.uk
You might also like the check out the Top Toys for Christmas 2016 Dream Toys list which has been put together by a panel of retailers this year.
I hope some of these suggestions came in handy! Whatever’s on your Christmas list this year, wishing you all a very happy Christmas!
*We received items as PR samples