Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers

Celebrating her 30th birthday next year, dear little Miffy Bunny is as popular with young children as she ever was.  We all adore the Miffy Books here and author Dick Bruna's simple yet beautiful style.  With a background in graphic design, he is able to bring character and fun to a deceptively simple sketch and tells a story through images almost more than his lyrical rhyming text.  The seasonally appropriate Miffy in the Snow would make a lovely stocking filler, or why not buy a whole selection of the Miffy books to keep your little one entertained all year long?  A lovely selection of puzzles, aprons, wooden and plush toys, and more, is available from the official Miffy shop.  I must admit to being slightly in love with this Santa Miffy, £17.99.  Any toddler would be in seventh heaven!

A delightful gift idea are these beautiful, bright, fun crockery sets from Colourful Dove.  Available in four different animal and colour designs, the fine bone china sets will last for years and be a treasured keepsake of childhood for years to come.  The sets are available from notonthehighstreet.com and retail at £24.99 per set.  The bright, fun design and clear lettering give them instant appeal to both boys and girls, and all ethically produced and hand decorated in the UK.  The four design choices are: pink elephant, blue monkey, orange lion, and our favourite, the super cute green crocodile.  You can read more about the company on their website www.colourfuldove.com

The Learning Friends Play and Discover School Set from LeapFrog is a fun interactive play set based around school routines and activities.  It features over 70 stories, songs and phrases, and three cute animal characters, Tiger, Turtle and Monkey.  Other Learning Friends figures and the Learning Friends Adventure Bus are also available.  The stories, songs and phrases are based around greetings,  story time, and more.  All our girls have been enjoying playing with this, and even though we don't do the school thing ourselves, they can relate it to some of their toddler group experience, and to television programmes they watch such as Lara's current favourite Timothy Goes to School.  The school set is aimed at children 2-5 yrs, and retails at £24.99.


If you are the parent of more than one child, you will know that any ideas you had about them not having chocolate until at least the age of __ (insert age here), have probably completely gone out the window.  But with good intentions still in tact you will be glad to hear that toddlers need not miss out on the selection box fun with this lovely little box from Organix.  The packed box of Goodies contains:
  • Organix Goodies Organic Raspberry & Apple Fruit Moos
  • Organix Goodies Organic Blackcurrant & Apple Fruit Stars
  • Organix Goodies Organic Mini Gingerbread Men
  • Organix Goodies Organic Alphabet Biscuits
  • Organix Goodies Organic Raspberry & Apple Soft Oaty Bar

And of course all are covered by the Organix No Junk Promise, made with all organic ingredients and no added salt, processed sugars, colours or flavours.  The Organix Goodies Christmas Selection Box costs £2.99 and is available from Asda, Boots, and Ocado.

Wooden toys are always popular with parents and children alike, and this wooden bus shape sorter from Wilko is bound to go down well.  In the shape of a Lonon bus and with passengers sat on different shaped blocks, it will keep any toddler occupied for ages, not to mention being fun to pull along too.  And all that for such a great price, too.

Wooden bus shape sorter £11

One of our favourite gifts for toddlers are the fun bathrobes from Bathing Bunnies.  The girls have the lion and the princess robes and LOVE them!  You can read our review here.  Priced at £24.99 each these would make a great gift, and there are various animal designs available, as well as fun ideas like princesses, pirates and wizards!  Buy online here.

The Singing Elsa is sold out, they've got all the dolls, the backpack and the stationery, so what else can you get your little Frozen fan for Christmas?  How about this fun inflatable sofa?  This comfy sofa unfolds into a fun lounger in an instant, is easy to inflate, and has a soft, cosy machine washable cover.  At 68cm wide it will seat two toddlers comfortably, and is a fun place to sit and play - or watch Frozen for the 800th time!

The fun, educational games from Orchard Toys are always a welcome gift in our house, so the girls were delighted to receive Can You Guess?, a fun guessing and naming game, and the festive Christmas Surprises, RRP £9.50.  Can You Guess? is the newest game in the range, an action-packed performance game for the whole family, aged 4+ anyway!  Players make sounds and perform actions for other players to guess in this fun, entertaining game.  Lara loves this one, and Sophia has been joining in as best she can too, great fun! RRP £11.75

Sophia loves the Christmas Hobby Reindeer from Tobar which plays "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".  Suitable from 18 months up, it is a lovely fun toy that will entertain for hours, and has sparked lots of role play and fun activities in our house.  I can see this one being kept out all year, not just for Christmas!

Also from Tobar, the Bump ‘N’ Go Bubble Train, winner of a Gold Medal in the Independent Toy Awards, is a brilliant toy for toddlers.  This brightly coloured train travels across the floor, making noises and blowing bubbles from its chimney.  When activated, the train rolls forward whilst making chugging train noises and flashing its lights, and produces a continuous plume of bubbles.  The train avoids obstacles for continuous motion and has very realistic train sounds.  The box includes a bottle of bubble solution for the constant stream of bubbles of bubbles the train produces.  The train needs 3 x AA batteries, not supplied.  With an RRP of just £15, this is a fantastic addition to any toy collection and amazing value for money.  All the girls -and the cats! - love it.

A fab little stocking filler for toddlers is the Cloudbabies: Little Library would make a great stocking filler.  It contains 6 little hand-sized books, one on each of Baba Green, Yellow, Pink and Blue; one about Bobo White; and one about their Sky Friends, Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Fuffa Cloud and Little Star.  The set retails at £4.99, Ladybird.

A fun but practical gift is the gorgeous handcrafted knitwear from Cobweb Knits.  Sophia has been sent the adorable owl design in this fab green, and she loves it.  With a cute knitted and appliqued face and little cute tassles, it is just adorable.  Incredibly warm and comfortable too, these fab hats are available in a variety of designs, with prices starting from £15.95.  They also offer a gift-wrapping service, which can include your own special message.

How cute does Sophia look in her owl hat?!  It has been on every day since it arrived!!

Having dealt with chilly heads and ears, to keep cold little feet warm this winter, how about these soft and snuggly Rudy Reindeer Boot from Ruby + Ed?  The very festive, and VERY cute, reindeer slipper boots come with a sweet little soft toy made from soft cloud material (seen in the middle of the photo below).  They have 3D felt antlers and a plush red nose.  Sophia is completely in love with these!  This adorable little gift set is priced at £30.00 for kids sizes 9-10, 11-12 and 13-1; and in baby sizes 0-6 and 6-12 months, priced £27.50.

Winner of a Practical Parenting Award, the Brother Max Bear Carry & Hang Nightlight is a versatile lamp that can be carried or positioned anywhere in the nursery to suit your toddler's needs.  Suitable from 3 years + the Brother Max Bear Carry & Hang Nightlight has a cute design but always stays cool so is safe for toddlers to carry around, for example when out after dark or for night time toilet visits.  The Brother Max Bear emits a soft, comforting glow so is useful for toddlers who may be afraid of the dark or just want a little extra reassurance, but doesn't illuminate the bedroom too much.  The nightlight's soft, tactile finish and cute appearance makes this a fun toy to play with, yet it is also robust.  With a choice of light colours, either single or changing, power-saving feature, and an impressive 12 hours from just one charge, this practical, useful and fun light retails at £29.99 and is available from Boots and other retailers.

One of our favourite toy brands for their low-tech, no batteries, just imagination, required approach is WOW Toys.  With a huge range of toys, there really is something for everyone.  We love how sturdy and robust the toys are; they can tolerate no end of driving into skirting boards, run down ramps, dig up half the garden, and whatever else toddler minds and hands can throw at them!  As parents we love the open-ended play potential of WOW Toys, and the lack of whizz-bang battery-powered hoo-ha.  They are just proper old-fashioned toys brought up to date with modern themes and ideas.  The thinking behind them is fantastic too, with full details on the website of the child development potential of each toy at different ages.  Highly recommended!

With adventure, farm, fantasy and construction ranges, amongst others, even a new dinosaur addition to the range, there is something to suit the interests of all children.  Lara's favourite is the Rosie's Royal Ride set, and Sophia's is Fireboat Felix, which can also be used in the bath, squirting water from four jets.  WOW Toys are suitable for children aged 18 months plus.  A new range of smaller toys and individual surprise figures in packets is also available and these are suitable for children aged one and up, so Tatiana couldn't wait to get stuck in!

WOW Toys are available from many good toy stores, including Hamleys and Amazon, priced c. £10-40.  My Pocket Friends figures are £1 each.  A full list of stockists can be found here.


  1. Tobys proud mummy14 December 2014 at 22:09

    Love the Toddler toys ideas especially the wooden bus this is really fab


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