Christmas Gift Guide: For Kids (Part 1)

OK folks, here we go, the best and sometimes unusual kids gifts around.  Whatever their interests, we have the must-haves that will bring a smile to their face on Christmas Day.

The Ancients of Gondor Gladden Toy Sling from Oscha Slings is part of their Middle Earth collection, inspired by the tales of Tolkien.  Specially made in fine 100% cotton fabrics, the toy sling comes in a variety of designs and is perfect for children to carry their favourite toy, just like Mummy or Daddy.

Hape's Medieval Quest is a creative and imaginative marble run adventure, perfect for mini engineers.  The colourful towers help develop hand-eye co-ordination, then help the fiery dragon protect the castle inhabitants from the angry griffin.  Place marbles in the rotary tower then twist the flag to release them one by one.  We love this, such great fun for little thrill-seekers and all the family.

The new Snuggly Rascals headband headphone with integral earphones is perfect for travel and very warm and comfortable, being made from soft fleece material with adjustable sizing.  The volume is limited to 85dB for safety.  Available in a variety of cute designs, the headbands are suitable from age 3+.

The Lumie Bedbug is a new light for children's rooms which helps create calmer bedtimes ensuring a better night's sleep.  Bedbug offers fully adjustable bedside lighting for all night-time needs, as it emits a calming white light whether turned down low or up higher for bedtime stories.  As Bedbug emits almost no stimulating blue light, it helps the body's natural rhythms to ease gently into sleep, including a natural sunset setting to create a calm environment and further promote your child's natural sleep response.

The perfect stocking filler for active, outdoorsy children, the Bridgedale Woolfusion Trekker Junior Socks are designed for durable, high performance wear.  Featuring unique WoolFusion® Technology which brings together Enduro Wool and technical fibres to provide balanced insulation and fast wicking moisture control, little adventurers can run wild safe in the knowledge their feet will be cool, comfortable and protected mile after mile, no matter what path they decide to take!  Available in blue, pink and black, sizes Junior M (12-1), Junior L (1-3), Junior XL (3-5).

This personalised Always Be a Unicorn Plaque from is the perfect gift for any small person trying to find their way in the world.  Personalised with any name up to fifteen letters long, it will make a lovely addition to their bookshelf or dressing table.

Boppin’ Bugz are fun toy bugs from JML that run about in crazy random patterns trying to avoid capture and you have to ‘bop’ them to stop them.  These cool, crazy critters have lights, noise, music and a catch-me-if-you-can way of crashing about that will make you want to bop till you drop!  With a motion sensor on their back, the Bug can detect your movement and will duck, dive and dodge to avoid getting bopped!  Great fun.  Three designs are available.

Most children cannot resist Haribo, so pop one or more of these tasty treats in their stocking this Christmas.  With a giant sharing tub containing 28 treat packs, a brilliant selection box, Maoam cracker, Starmix tree gift, and limited edition strawberry Giant Trees, which are also vegetarian, there is something for everyone.  Available from leading supermarkets.

The Hape Dessert Tower makes a lovely addition to any play shop or kitchen.  With an array of sweet treats it's perfect for role playing shops, caf├ęs etc and will last and last.  With nine sweet treats to play with, this delightful wooden toy will spark the imagination and encourage lots of play.

The LEGO Friends Snow Resort Hot Chocolate Van is part of the new ski resort range.  The LEGO Friends can buy delicious hot chocolate to help them keep warm in the snow, then have a sledging race down the double slide - who will win?  With lots of accessories including mugs and freshly baked cookies, the set includes Mia and Amanda figures and is, of course, compatible with all other sets.

Personalised books have been everywhere the past few years, but a welcome new addition to the genre is the My Golden Ticket personalised book.  Not simply a re-working of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book is a brain-spinning journey through Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.  Every name will get a different story, with their own personalised candy, Oompa Loompa song and Wonkafield family tree.  No two adventures are the same.

If they love their bike or scooter, or are even getting a new one for Christmas, the Mini Hornit bell would be an excellent addition to their Christmas stocking. This fun accessory for children's bikes and scooters comes loaded with 25 sound effects from bells and trumpets to racing cars and animal sounds, and has bright lights for safety. The Mini Hornit also comes with a remote trigger for use on bikes, enabling children to operate the sounds without taking their hands off the handlebars.  Lara LOVES hers!

Last year, Sophia was delighted to receive a Clementine doll from A Girl For All Time and this year she received Clementine's daughter, Sam.  Made from durable, high quality vinyl with articulated arms and knees, 16 inches tall Sam is a doll to treasure.  Dressed in a Sixties-inspired denim mini dress with yellow daisy cut out on the front - very Mary Quant! - with orange tights and patent yellow shoes with daisy detail, she is the epitome of '60s chic.  Topped off with an orange Alice band in her hair, she is ready for anything!

We love Orchard Toys games which are a great way to learn while having fun - perfect for home ed!  Their Fairy Snakes & Ladders and Ludo combines two traditional games with brightly coloured lovable fairyland characters decorating the game boards.  race to the enchanted treehouse in Fairy Snakes & Ladders, or turn the board over and gather counters at the fairy ring in Ludo.  Perfect for encouraging group skills and reinforcing counting, this fun game is suitable for ages 5-9.

In Orchard Toys Cheeky Monkeys Game, players battle to collect and count the most bananas.  Players must think strategically and make quick-fire decisions - there's certainly no hanging about in this fast-paced game!  The 3-D tree and hanging monkeys are great fun, and this is a great game for all the family, although ideal for players aged 4-8.

The lovely Little Book of Ocean Animal Sounds features a host of ocean creatures and the sounds they make.  Several times a day we are asked what sound x, y and z animal makes so this book and the others in the range is a welcome addition to our bookshelf.  Featuring 12 animals on double page spreads with interesting facts and that all-important sound button.  Great book.

The range of new Star Wars Illumi-mate lights from Spearmark will certainly go down well with fans of the Force, or even the dark side with this fun Storm Trooper light.  The perfect replica of the Storm Troopers in the new The Last Jedi movie, this colour changing portable light is the perfect bedtime companion.

While for serious footie fans, the Illumi-mate Football Colour Changing Light, a miniature football replica with hexagonal black and white patchwork is a definite hit.  The light bursts into colour when switched on and, being constantly cool to the touch and portable, is perfect for sleepovers, camping trips or simply at bedtime.

In our house everyone, young and old, gets a book in their stocking and this beautiful new edition of Heidi: Lessons at Home and Abroad would be a welcome treat.  Little orphan Heidi is raised by her Aunt Dete until she has to leave for a job in Frankfurt, when Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather, a curmudgeonly recluse living high up in the alps.  Heidi's warmth and exuberance soon bring him round and she settles into a new life with her grandfather and new friend, Peter the goatherd, unaware that a major upheaval is around the corner.  This new unabridged translation is a delight.

Spider-Man Rumble To The Rescue is the perfect gift for any Spidey fan!  Kids can tear up the trails with their favourite Marvel hero, complete with motorised driving with 'rumble' action, along with music and realistic sound effects.  I'm having trouble getting this one off Tatiana at bedtime at the moment, she loves it!  Suitable for ages 3+

The Cat Machine Maker™ Junior Operator is a great range of build-it-yourself construction sets complete with all the pieces needed to build a favourite Cat machine, plus a reusable carry case and fun chunky screwdriver.  The machine operator figure is also included and can sit in the driver's seat. There are 5 models to collect; Excavator, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, Service Truck and Wheel Loader.  Kids can collect them all and mix and match the pieces to make their own machine.  Available from Hamleys, Morrisons, The Range, Toymaster and Smyths.

Look out for part two of our kids' gift guide on Monday.

And don't forget to enter our competitions



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