Now I’m not quite at the “older toy stage” but I do make sure I see what is around to prepare myself for the next few years and so that I have a good idea what to buy for my neice and nephew each year. We have found some right crackers this year so put up your feet and be inspired! Be warned it won’t all be the plastic fantastic that you can get from high street stores, we have opted to find presents which offer something a bit different.
I will start with the girlies, do a few unisex and then end with the boys.
Freya Design boxes are made using high quality, sustainably sourced, solid wood using Nordic simplicity and vibrant colours with a touch of personalisation to create an absolutely gorgeous range of boxes. Pictured is one of the Freya Jewellery boxes which are perfect for any little girl. They come with a lock and key so can even be used to hide secrets away from baby brothers. They offer a vast range of boxes from Keepsake boxes to trinket boxes all impeccably made with really cute designs. We adore Princes and the Dragon design, the quality is fantastic and it really will make a very special present. There will be more information about Freya Design boxes in a fab competition where you could nab
yourself, a very special little girl one of the jewellery boxes.
Next up for the girls is the stunning Matilda Tudor Doll. She is made to look like a porcelain doll but is crafted out of high-quality vinyl and has fully jointed arms and legs to aid easy play. She stands 16 inches high and is dressed in a hand sewn Tudor court dress made from soft velvet with fur-lined sleeves. Her outfit is completed by a claret silk underskirt and a pearl-trimmed headdress. She has her own keepsake novel which brings alive Tudor times so is a brilliant educational tool for any little girl. Matilda is aimed at 8-11 year olds and has an RRP of £89.99. Her quality and styling is fantastic and she will last a long time, becoming a family heirloom for generations to enjoy.
Another fab doll available this Christmas is the Haba soft dressing up doll, called Lotta, from Toyjeanius. I love soft dolls and this one just looks great with her quirky style and bright colours. It’s an ideal doll for cuddling so will definitely appeal to younger little girls. She is 38cm tall, is completely machine washable and comes with a fluffy reversible jacket, pretty pinafore dress, floral cropped trousers and red canvas shoes with Velcro fastening. At £36.95 you are paying the standard price that you would expect to pay for any doll but with a quirky edge and the quality is above and beyond that of any plastic doll. Plus with the clothes being reversible it is more diverse and with it being a dress up doll it will help younger children’s development.
One for both boys and girls (it’s available in pink) is the Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer. Is a learning tablet with a built-in camera, video recorder, and a vast choice of games and activities. It’s durable enough for children to use and is totally expandable with over 100 apps available for download. It retails for £79.99 but lots of places have it on offer. It is one of the top toys for Christmas so make sure you are quick to save disappointment – if you want one make sure you buy it when you see it as a lot of my friends have had trouble getting these already!
Next up we have Micro Scooters. These fab scooters have a lean to steer design making them a lot easier to control. Micro Scooter offer a vast range of scooters suitable from 1 year + right up to adult. Spud has the Mini Micro Scooter which will be reviewed very soon and he absolutely loves it. They are attractive and durable for a hard wearing, long lasting toy. The quality is great and the handle height means that Spud will be able to use it for a fair few years before moving up to the Maxi Micro Scooter. Prices start at £29.99 and be sure to check out their great range of accessories.
With Spud’s recent obsession with my camera the Vtech Kidizoom Twist has shot right up his Christmas list. It features a 2 mega pixel camera with twisting lens, 4x digital zoom, 256 MB of storage, SD card slot for memory expansion and built-in flash. It is cased in durable plastic to protect it from any drops so really is a child proof camera. With an RRP of £49.99 but with lots of offers around at the moment it is fantastic for budding photographers and to save your expensive camera from death by toddler. It has more funky features like video taking, voice recording and 5 built-in games which include adding wacky effects to your pictures and videos. To retrieve the photos (it stores 500!) you can simply connect to the TV or edit and view photos on your PC.
Now on to the boys! First up we have a Lego Sort and Store. This really impressed me because I have memories of my brother’s huge stash of Lego being stored in a big crate and having to dig around to try and find certain pieces. With the Sort and Store you simply pour some Lego into the top, give it a gentle shake and it magically sorts the pieces into small, medium and large, storing them in the separate compartments! It does sound a bit pricey at £39.99 but for the amount of time and effort it will save me as a mother in a few years time it is well worth it! It is now avaliable in John Lewis.
Another one from Toyjeanius is the Geocharacter magnetics by Djeco. We got Spud the magnetic alphabet for Christmas and I can’t wait for him to open them and start playing! The quality was really, really good and I can see them lasting a long time. They are brightly painted so appeal to children and with this set their imagination can run wild using all the shapes to make different pictures. There are also 20 design cards included to enable your child to copy the pictures fo some quirky pictures.
Timeless Toys is one of my favourite websites for wooden toys. I was going to include a car garage which would impress any boy I know but decided to got for something a bit different and chose the Papo Barbarossa Pirate Ship from Le Toy Van. It is going to really appeal to a boys imagination and the quality will impress any parent. With fabric sails adorning glowing skull and crossbones and a firing cannon with cannon balls it brings all the aspects of a real pirate ship to life. The anchor even works! The stern opens fully to allow access below deck and with an RRP of £39.99 it is a fab price for a fab product.
For more of Spud & Spike’s 12 Days of Christmas please visit the Advent Calendar!
Tags: 12 days of christmas, boys, children, dressing up doll, freya design, gift guide, gifts for kids, girls, haba, kiddizoom twist, le toy van, leappad explorer, lego sort and store, matilda tudor doll, micro scooter, presents, timeless toys, toyjeanius, vtech