Archive for Christmas Blogs

Personalised Word Art

personalised word art from Illustrate My NameI’m going to rave about something now and everyone is going to assume that this is a paid-for post, but it’s not – I promise you!

Illustrate My Name is a company I came across recently when looking for a unique piece of personalised word art for one of my children’s birthdays. I’d seen the company advertising personalised baby gifts and christening gifts and wondered if they covered all ages and all celebrations. Turns out they do – yay!

Illustrate My Name

In other words, you could be looking for a unique gift for a 21st birthday or a New Illustarte My Name personalised jarBaby, a Wedding or a Christmas present and you’d be able to find it at Illustrate My Name. Whatever you choose to have made, it will be very individual, tasteful and timeless and even more unbelievable it won’t break the bank. Or at least from my experience it won’t anyway.

Now I’m not going to share a pic of the framed print that I actually bought as the words and sentiments are very much my daughter’s and for her walls (her friends and family) only. Suffice to say, it’s perfect and she loves it! In fact her sisters love it personalised christmas cardsso much that they want one too so I can see that I’ll be returning to Illustrate My  Name regularly when I’m on the hunt for ‘different gifts’!

I love Illustrate My Name and can genuinely recommend them – great gifts, easy to order from, reasonable prices, excellent service and top quality results! What’s not to like?

Win a Christmas Stocking

Xmas StockingIf you’d like to Win a Christmas Stocking for your little one, there’s still time.  We’re only running this for 2 days so you’ll have to be quick!

You can even personalise this particular Christmas stocking by placing a pic of your little one into the little pocket on the front. Brilliant.

All you have to do to enter our Fab Xmas Stocking Competition, is Follow @TheBabyWebsite on Twitter & Retweet but if you comment and do any of the other things in the Rafflecopter form below, then you get more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the winner is… @MummyToTheMax

Some Of My Christmas Shopping ……….

Minnie Mouse Fuzzy Felt

My Christmas present buying started way back in the Summer when I picked up this Minnie Mouse Fuzzy Felt Bow-Tique for my 3 and a half year old niece Caitlin. I remember loving Fuzzy Felt in all their different guises when I was little and I know she’ll love it to bits. She’s a very imaginative little girl so I’m sure she’ll be creating her own little scenes as well as following the many suggested patterns .

I also picked up an ‘I’m Going To A Princess Tea Party’ from the Think Pink website  – it’s a cute little tea-set which your little one can paint himself or herself and you can pop it in the oven once painted to make the designs permanent. A real keepsake and one to treasure for years with a bit of luck. TheBabyWebsite reviewers give it 5 Stars so it must be pretty special!

Doctor Who Board GameCaitlin has two older brothers so for them (well ok their dad too!) I’ve bought a Doctor Who DVD Board Game. The blurb on the box says ‘The world’s best loved Time Lord stars in this new DVD game featuring Doctor Who fun for fans of all ages’ so hopefully it’ll go down well. It’s a really good gift to celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary and players journey through space and time with all 11 doctors and companions moving their own little Tardis around the board. I paid £24.95 for it from Amazon but you can buy it in most of the usual toy shops around.

My brother and his sons are getting ‘The Subbuteo Penalty Shoot Out’ .(Woah, that sounds a tad sexist in retrospect!) For footy fans this is a new addition to the range and contains the usual player, ball, net and keeper, The Penalty Shoot Out will add a bit of drama and excitement to Christmas Day and as it only cost me £9.95, I’m more than happy with it as will they be.

Flik Flak Watches

Flik Flak WatchesOk, so you may be wondering why Flik Flak  get their own special sub-heading, well it’s because you’re not just giving a brilliant present but you’re also giving something memorable which will be worn and worn every day. Giving a present which not only looks good but which is useful too has got to be a good thing surely. They do three sizes and my 3, 5 and 8 year old nieces and nephews will each be getting one!

Cute-Size
The new “Cute-Size” collection are especially for children aged 3 to 5 and include a mixture of little animals playing on the watch straps and an explosion of colour like zingy sweets! MUms and Dads love these watches as much as the kids.  Flik Flak watches are simple and easy to read, made in Switzerland and are resistant most stuff that little ones can expose them too!

Preschool
The “Preschool” line for ages 5 to 7 care equally as stylish.  Boys and girls today Flik Flakwant to look ‘cool’and Flik Flak watches are most definitely that.

Full-Size
By 7 children nowadays are well aware of all the latest trends. Whetehr or not that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’m not entirely sure to be honest. Girls generally prefer the more flashy colours, whereas boys prefer the simple but bright look. The new “Full-Size” line has all the bells and whistles like Mum’s and Dad’s watches and a strap made from the soft material TPU, which is soft to wear and touch.

Sugarhill Boutique Navy Stag JumperI bought this Navy Stag jumper from Sugarhill Boutique   You can buy this Must-Stag (groan!) Christmas jumper in a Christmassy forest-green colour too . Lots of the Christmas jumpers I looked at were quite bulky but this one is a slim fitting, lightweight sweater. It was £46 so not the cheapest but nowhere near the dearest either. I think my daughter will fall in love with it and it will no doubt be rolled out for many Christmases to come!

Chocolatety Gifts

Solving the puzzle of what to give and who to give it to has been made a bit easier for me this Christmas because of a wonderful company called Sent With A Loving Kiss . They specialise in personalised chocolate gifts of all kinds and I can personally vouch that the personalised christmas chocolatespersonalised christmas chocolateschocolate tastes as good as it looks as I bought one of my daughters a tin of personalised chocs for her last birthday. Everything is beautifully styled & hand-crafted in The UK by a team of award-winning chocolatiers, and comes in a decorative keepsake tin with a personal message. They deliver all over The UK too and their prices are very competitive.

I can’t imagine that anyone who received a gift from Sent With A Loving Kiss would ever be disappointed. There’s chocolate to please all tastes – dark, milk, white and mixed – something for everybody. In a nutshell buying a gift from them is a no-brainer!

Christmas Lolly Bouquet Sent With A Loving KissAnother chocolatey gift I picked up was a Ringtons Luxury Chocoholics Gift Box for the In-Laws for£17.99 . The box is bursting at the seams with all manner of delicious chocolatey treats –  luxurious hot chocolate and lots of different sorts of chocolate biscuits including Ringtons’ Caramel Wafers, Chocolate Mallows, Brazil Nut Biscuits and Triple Chocolate Cookies. I’m fairly sure the In-Laws will appreciate the gift and am hoping they’ll open one of the packs of biscuits on our next visit after Christmas!

A few female family members and friends will be getting MUM’s Notes from  MUMsOffice this year. It’s a beautiful journal where you can record anything and everything in your life: thoughts and Mums Notes Mums Officedaydreams, special projects in the home or garden, words to remember or even quotes of the day. If you think over all the times, your little ones have said something sweet or achieved something really important and you’d wished you’d written it down, it would be a fair few times. It’s a lovely, stylish journal and you can buy it in ‘Peppermint’, ‘Raspberry’, ‘Blackberry’ and metallic ‘Silver’: the hard back covers have a sort-of reptile-effect look, with ribbon detail and silver gilt page edges. It’s a lovely gift for mums of all ages and makes a great keepsake for personal memories.

Housey Gifts

Spotted Kettle ArgosOk, so buying a kettle doesn’t sound like the most inspiring of gifts but it’s ok when you’re buying for youngsters moving away from home for the first time or a couple setting up home together. Buying them ‘cute’ necessities rather than frippery tat for the sake of buyng makes sense. I kind of felt I had to buy this cute Spotted Kettle from the Argos ColourMatch collection. It’s a traditional style kettle covered in multi-coloured bright spots. And, well look at the picture, you tell me, what’s not to love about it?  Looking at the other ColourMatch bits and bobs in Argos, made me realise I could change the whole look of my own bathroom or kitchen really inexpensively. In fact, I might just buy myself a matching kettle and breadbin. Why not?

Christmas Shopping

Other things in amongst my Christmas Shopping this year, include:

Cuddly SnowmanFor the little ones –  books by the marvellous Patrick George,   a soft and very cuddly, strokeable Snowman  which has been brought out to celebrate The Snowman and The Snowdog, a fun and educational game called Bloco Robot Invasion and a brilliant memory game from Orchard Toys called Shopping List.

For the ladies in the family – an Escapology Candle from Ashleigh-Burwood, numerous ‘flavours’ of soap from THE Bakewell SOAP Co including a festive Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh,  a variety of divine-scented candles and diffusers from AromaWorks and TED BAKER toiletries from Boots.

Christmas Shopping For Little Ones

Toys, Gifts & Books for Babies and Pre-School Children

They say Christmas is just for Children, but I think that us big children enjoy it just as much. However, our enjoyment starts long before the big day, and simple pleasures like hunting for and buying the perfect present for babies and pre-school children are just as much fun. Here are some of the great ideas I have stumbled upon during my expeditions this year.

Y6965-laugh-and-learn-crawl-around-d-6This Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn™ Crawl Around™ Car puts baby in the driver seat of a fun-filled stationary vehicle with all-around learning and play. The interactive lights and sounds dashboard keep baby busy with a light-up baby “GPS”, horn to honk, gears to shift, and more. With over 75 sung songs, tunes and phrases, and three modes of play, there’s plenty of fuel for learning adventures and fun! Please note: The car is stationary. Recommended Age 6-36 months RRP £31

AT31033 One Man BandWhy not discover some noise with this One Man Band from Galt’s Ambi Toys collection? This cheeky little musician entertains with a drumstick in one hand, a double-ended whistle in the other, and a tummy drum filled with beads. The One Man Band’s head turns and makes a gentle ratchet sound and his little hat is a bell. Recommended Age 12 mnths + RRP £14.99

Read here what our reviewers think of the One Man Band.

 

LB3032 Ruby & Belle MainTreat your special princess to the gorgeous Ruby & Belle Rocking Horse. Ruby features stunning vintage printed fabric in vibrant pinks and comes with a scrunchy faux suede mane and tail. Ruby has an appliquéd pocket on her body in which she carries her cute companion Belle, an adorable rag doll that little ones can play with separately too. Recommended Age 12 months + RRP £125.00

 

 

 

81Ckjc5dzNL._SL1500_ Learn to ride the rails with TOMY Chuggington Wilson and the Wild Wind Storm Maker. Now you can join the young trainees on their adventures in the world of Chuggington with traintastic toys! As seen in the Episode, “Wilson and the Wild Wind” Wilson enters the storm maker machine where he is blown around by the wind. Pull the lever when Wilson enters to activate the lights, sounds and rumbling of the storm maker. Watch Wilson launch out of the storm maker and go down the 3 foot 360 spiral! At the bottom Wilson whips around the turntable! Includes new and improved track! Chuggington Diecast Engine Wilson also included. Recommended Age 3+ RRP £49.99

The HiveSlide down the slide, go up and down on the see-saw, swing back and forth on the swings or wind up the merry-go-round and watch it spin back magically. The Hive Playground Sets are the perfect toy for creative play. There are four set’s to collect which can all be linked together to create your very own playground. The rotating hands on the character figures can hold any item from the range. Recommended Age 3+ RRP £14.99

 

BrannonStrapCoversCan you imagine your little cherub all comfy & cosy with these adorable Strap Covers by MaByLand? These Cutie Strap Covers are a colourful and unique way to accessorize a car seat or pram, and make travelling around with your little one a little more fun!  As well as preventing the seat straps from chaffing on your child’s delicate skin, they make a great headrest for when they nod off! RRP £9.99

 

BabyDoll Group GirlsIcing on the Cake is the actual style name for some of these adorable baby shoes. Designed to comfortably cocoon your newborn’s unique triangular foot shape, the New-B range from Bobux Shoes supports natural development and movement. Made from 100% soft New Zealand leather these flexible soles allowing natural balance, coordination & posture. Recommended for New Born Feet 0+  RRP £26

 

Plod Ons - Cow PrintPlod Ons are the latest addition to the Sock Ons family of simple yet brilliant baby gadgets, and are designed to protect baby’s knees as they crawl around on hard floors or scratchy surfaces. Made from a lovely soft and stretchy cotton, they fit snugly over tiny knees without restricting movement and are ideal for any time of the year when delicate knees might otherwise be bare. Plod Ons come in different funky designs from cow print, spots to stripes. RRP From £6.98

 

511BHX-vBWLThe Sophie La Girafe – Peekaboo Sophie has been a huge hit with our review panel. Watch as your Baby will learn in a stimulating and fun way with touch and feel elements and lift-the-flap surprises. Under an apple flap, Sophie finds Josephine the Mouse and Kiwi the Bird with fabric details. And what’s under the flowery flap? It’s Lazare the cat with a soft textured body to pat! The simple read-aloud text encourages interaction between you and your baby and is guaranteed to have them giggling ‘Peekaboo!’ in no time. Recommended Age 0+ RRP £4.38

41Kf348uBtLImagine rummaging in the dressing-up box and coming across an eye patch. Put it on and become a pirate. In this book ‘When I Grow Up’, a simple accessory on the acetate page magically transforms a child into an astronaut, zoo keeper, a superhero…(a boat becomes an eye patch, a paint brush an artist’s beret). At such a young age, anything seems possible! Let your imagination flow with this fun, colourful and interactive book. Simple yet deceptively clever! Why not let your child control the action in this fun and innovative book! Look what our reviewers thought of this book When I Grow Up..

BKACTI2_1_Zoom

 

Be quick if you want this Limited Edition Tractor Ted Christmas Activity Book which has 32 pages of Christmas fun, colour, count, spot the difference and cook, great festive recipes including Christmas pud crispies – yum, yum!    It’s a perfect Christmas stocking filler and a great addition to the existing book series. Recommended Age Range 2 – 6 Years. RRP £4.99

 

 

HUE Animation Studio

Hue-Animation-Studio

The HUE Animation Studio – Stop Motion Film Making Kit

The HUE Animation Studio is a gadget which caught my eye while looking for a Christmas gift for my son (7). I wanted something new that could feed his creative skills & imagination and chose the newest animation product: Moshi Movies!  You can create your own animated movies with the Moshi Monsters characters or any other small figurines you like. Making your arts and craft sessions come alive.

Hue Animation Studio simplifies stop-motion film-making on a budget. The fully-featured animation software is easy for kids to use, and has been designed for education. So as long as you have a pc with Microsoft Windows / Mac OS X & a child that loves to create (even enjoys battling with figurines) I can’t recommend this product enough…  You never know you could be encouraging the new film maker of the future!

Your new motion picture can be shared with family & friends and you can even add sound. Always read the instructions booklet to improve the many options available. Imagine your children’s confidence after completing their very own movie.

Hue Animation Studio is advertised at the reduced price of £49.95. The complete stop motion animation kit, including the Hue HD camera, animation software and clay. The HUE Animation Studio is recommended for children 5+…. to BIG KIDS.

Check out my arts & crafts attempt at testing this product while the kids were in bed – rude not to!

Girls Christmas Toys, Games and Books

There is so much choice on the market for girls’ toys & gifts this Christmas. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.

Furby PurpleMeet the new Furby, this new adorable friend that, over time, will develop its own personality based on the way you play with it. Feed it, speak to it, tickle it, play it music and watch as your Furby’s unique personality grows and changes. Play nicely with Furby and it may develop a sweet personality, but, pull its tail, shake and turn it upside down and a mischevious side of Furby may appear. When you first bring Furby home it will speak Furbish but the more you talk to Furby the more English it will start speaking. Furby can also recognise another Furby, place two side by side and they will interact, including dancing together or having a conversation. Recommended Age 6 -12 Years RRP From £79.99

 

apollo-pixie-girls-bike-14-54875492Learn to ride on this gorgeous Apollo Pixie 14″ Girls Bike that will capture the imagination of little girls with its cute Pixie character and bright rainbow designs. Girls can keep their goodies in the rear toadstool box while detachable stabilisers are included to encourage them to balance and grow in confidence. This bike includes front & rear calliper brakes & full chain guard to protect fingers and clothing. There are also additional matching extras available for this bike including a bike basket, handle bar streamers, dollies own bike seat, a bell & a Pixie Helmet. Age depends on height of child, but approx age is 4 yrs. RRP £149.99 (Be quick as there are 50% discount on many bikes at Halfords right now!)

81xca29L1FL._SL1500_Have you seen these multi-national award winning Lottie Dolls. Lottie is a wholesome doll alternative and the key point of difference is that Lottie has a ‘childlike’ body – she doesn’t wear makeup, jewellery or high heels and she can stand on her own two feet (always a useful life skill for all girls, big and small). Lottie’s clothing is composed of tactile fabrics with lots of attention to detail, and has velcro fastenings. Her hair is lovely and soft and it doesn’t tangle and knot. Lottie comes in a beautifully illustrated and collectible ‘doll box bag’and the recommended age range is 3-9 Years – RRP £16.99.

0002451_lili-roses-tea-party_500 2Little people enjoy role play & little girls especially like pink things. This very pretty Lili Rose’s Tea Party from Butterflies and Dragons should be a winner this Christmas. Designed by DJECO a well-known toymaker in Paris. This wooden set is mainly pink & lime green with beautiful flower details throughout. It is eye catching, bright and well made. This set includes a patterned tray, Tea Pot, Sugar Bowl, Cups, Saucers, Spoons, Tea Bags and a lovely cake with candles. Recommended Age 4 Years +RRP £24.95

 

61xZ7u62vkL._SL1024_Forget Christmas lights, the My Very Own Rainbow from Brainstorm is the perfect way to light up your child’s Christmas.

Everyone loves catching a glimpse of a rainbow and now you can treat your child to a rainbow every day. The enchanting My Very Own Rainbow light projector transforms any room using multi-coloured LEDs to display a rainbow coloured arc on walls and ceilings in a darkened room. It’s perfect for parties and sleepovers and also makes a soothing night light to help your child drift off and have sweet dreams.The My Very Own Rainbow can also be brought to life during the day as it comes with a stunning  sun light rainbow crystal. Simply hang the crystal on a sunny window and watch sunlight make natural rainbows dance around your room. Recommended Age 5 + RRP £20.00

Games and crafts are always a hit especially for rainy/ snowy day house entertainment.

2188_Appen_InsertAppen is the new, revolutionary pen (combined with the dedicated free app) that gives children a fun, engaging way to colour, draw, learn and play. This innovative pen can vary in line thickness depending on how hard your child presses the pen down on the smart device during creative drawing. Unleash your child’s imagination with many colourful drawing tools, ten pictures to colour in, unlock sticker animation and interactive rewards. With Appen you can teach your child how to write letters and learn to count, as well as play games. Appen has many educational and entertaining activities, developed in conjunction with a child development psychologist. Recommended Age Range 4-10 RRP £14.99

A1qC9GcgJJL._SL1500_Let your inner princess shine with the Disney Dazzling Princess Game. Pick a card and guess the princess from the clue, then use the special decoder heart to reveal the answer. Now it’s your turn to be a princess! Act out the princess on your card while the other players try to guess. With every correct answer, add a sparkling gem to your tiara, bracelet and ring, then dazzle your way to the royal ball. The first player to earn all of their gems wins. This magical game includes: 4 tiaras 4 bracelets 4 rings 200 cards 40 gems Decoder heart Rules. Recommended Age 4-8 Years (2-4 Players) RRP £19.99

Doodles Tube Group W#2F3B0EThe Doodle Doodles Fairy & Princess themed colouring sets are all you need for magical fun. The Doodle Doodles by Think Pink are A1 size colouring sets and come in 4 fun designs. Designed by artist Amanda Loverseed these sets include Fairy Tree House, Fairy Boat, Princess Carriage & Princess Garden. The posters comes packed in a fluorescent pink tube with 8 washable ink pens. Recommended Age 5+ RRP £12.99

 

 

What about creating your very own Glow in the Dark Fairy Buttons?

glow-in-the-dark-fairy-buttons_1Make your own fabulous Glow in the Dark Fairy Button badges or hair accessories! Make 12 fabulous and creative glow buttons (8 badges and 4 hair bands!) Expose the fairy buttons to a light source for one minute. Turn off the light and watch them glow! Contains 12 glow button sets, 1 plastic button maker, 16 magic shrink film circles (12 printed with fairy graphics and 4 blanks), safety pins, elastic and detailed instructions. Recommended Age 8 Years + RRP £11.95

 

Here are two popular books that have already been enjoyed by many.

512sANuM-PLThe Befana Drama -In a little town in Italy there lives a very proud witch called the Befana, who for centuries has popped coal or candy into the festive stockings of naughty or good children. She even has her own festival and postbox and life is just perfect … until she discovers her festival is being ‘downsized’ and her postbox boarded up! When told Santa Claus is taking over her Very Important Present Bringer (VIPB) patch, her anger sends candy balls bouncing down the street! RRP £8.99

Read what The BabyWebsite Reviewers think about The Befana Drama.

61UnD8S4BfLHow many children ask for a pet and receive a negative reply. Read this book We Want A Pet by Richard Hamilton & Lindsey Gardiner. Can the kids convince the parents?

As they lie in the grass watching bugs and beetles, watching little legs and eyes,watching ladybirds, spiders and flies, suddenly they realise these will be their pets!! Complete mayhem follows as the kids bring their gross, slimy, leggy, hairy ‘pets’ inside . . . RRP £6.99

 

So, if you are stuck for ideas this yea for girls Christmas toys, you could do a lot worse than consider some of the ideas I have listed, I know I have and I know my girls are going to love them! Merry Christmas everyone.

Boston Wooden Kitchen by Plum Products – A Brilliant Christmas Present

Plum Boston KitchenWe’ve got a theme going this year. It’s not something we aimed to do purposely but we seem to be gravitating towards buying toys for Christmas that look more traditional and use wood.

Don’t get me wrong, we have so much plastic in our house that sometimes I think I’m actually living in Legoland, but there is something quite satisfying about wooden toys. Now this isn’t always practical, but when we were looking for a new toy kitchen for our 3 year old we’re confident that we have managed to find exactly the right one! This is the Boston Wooden Kitchen from the website Plum Products, a site that specialises in active play and who have a range that is simply amazing.

Plum Boston Wooden KitchenThe Boston Wooden Kitchen is particularly good for many reasons. Apart from the material (which immediately makes it look better in our house than the current, broken plastic one Caitlin has), this is also a decent-sized toy that has an island design so that there is plenty of space for two or more children. It has an oven and hobs with turning knobs and lots of storage for utensils. We’ve already got a plastic food mountain in the corner of Caitlin’s room (stained fried eggs, chewed fish fingers and shockingly large aubergines we seem to have inherited from other parents) but this kitchen comes with a pan, pot and some other utensils crucial to making her meals.

Generally these seem pretty edible and follow our own ingredients but at other times these can echo Hieronymus Bosch; either way we know that she’ll love putting together her concoctions with this fantastic toy. At 3 Caitlin already considers herself to be the third adult in the house (just ahead of Tom, 8, and comfortably more mature than Harry, 5) and she loves to put together meals for our enjoyment or asking, ‘little snack daddy?’ before whisking up an apple with chips and asparagus for me to enjoy whilst watching the rugby on a Sunday afternoon. This kitchen is a beautiful toy that will let her express her creative side whilst carrying out the role-play she so loves.

This isn’t the cheapest kitchen on the market but I feel that with toys you pay for what you get and I would certainly say that this is reasonably priced for the quality of workmanship involved. Let’s face facts, kids take over your entire house! At least with a toy that looks this good you can feel relaxed about putting it up in a host of different rooms, comfortable in the knowledge that it won’t make your house look like a charity bazaar. Looking for an entertaining toy that looks good and keeps the kids coming back for more? Well yes, they do exist!

Read some reviews of other kitchens by Plum Products here…

http://www.thebabywebsite.com/review.Plum_Hendon_Kitchen.htm

http://www.thebabywebsite.com/review.Plum_Boston_Kitchen.htm

Butterflies and Dragons Deluxe Easel – A Great Christmas Present

Butterflies and Dragon Deluxe EaselWith three kids aged 8, 5 and 3 and two genders mixed in Christmas can be pretty taxing.

Clearly they like different things, so on the whole we have to tailor our presents very specifically. Therefore it’s always a joy when you hit upon a toy that can be used equally by all three. The present that sums this up perfectly for us is the Deluxe easel sold by Butterflies and Dragons.

Butterflies and Dragons is a fantastic site. All the main points are in order: easy to use, bright and fun for kids to look at, lots of big pictures with young kids in place to illustrate the size ratio. But the real clincher is the angle the site has which is ‘Wooden and Traditional Toys’. In a world of where kids are immersed in fandangled 3D Imax glory from morning to night it’s sometimes overlooked how fantastic traditional toys and traditional materials can be. Butterflies and Dragons shows you how you can take a traditional toy and make it the must-have of the year for your child. From dolls houses to balance bikes, from puppet sets to rewards charts it has a huge variety across an affordable price range.

Deluxe EaselWe opted for the Deluxe Easel as it would appeal to all three children and will, we are sure, continue to appeal to them for many years to come. My 8 year old draws Hobbits, my 5 year old is Treasure Map crazy and fills any scrap of paper lying around with intricate squiggles and my 3 year old daughter draws anything. ‘Look,’ Caitlin squeaks proudly, holding up a mess of lines, circles and splashes of colour, ‘it’s an elephant talking to Hello Kitty.’ I sometimes point out that elephants can’t talk, confident in the knowledge that she will counter this comfortably.

This particular easel is terrific, a self-contained item that looks good and takes up the minimum of space when folded up. It’s double sided, which is a blessing for houses with more than one child and comes with both a dry board and a chalk board. With a paper roll holder and two trays it has everything you need and, crucially, keeps it all in one place. This is hugely important for what parent doesn’t suddenly find a Teenage Mutant Turtle in with the lego or Rapunzel mixing it up with Anakin Skywalker! The boards are height-adjustable and the whole thing just looks amazing.

All three of my children will love it. We get such a kick from seeing them create something from scratch and the easel is a great public way of showing this to the rest of the family. Christmas is often not quite as smooth as you’d hope but presents like this easel that entertain the kids and get them to use their imagination just might make it easier this year. I know it will in our busy household.

Read More Christmas Blogs Here

Boys Christmas – Toys, Games and Books

Toys, Games & Books For Boys

Time is really starting to fly by and Christmas will be with us before we can say “Santa”. The problem is that there are so many fantastic boy’s toys on the market you don’t know where to start, so I would like to share some of my favourites with you.

Force Flyers Helicopter image - motionBoth lads and their Dads will be happy if they open this smash hit boy’s toy – Force Flyers Helicopter (Sambro). Featuring unique motion controlled technology. You fly this cool looking piece of kit using your own hand movement! Simply put on the innovative gloves which feature technology similar to that used in the Wii and watch as your Helicopter flies through the air. This is the way forward for remote controlled gadgets and the real sounds and movements created make it look just like the real thing and once you have mastered the glove motion sensors, you can stunt fly with the best of them. Recommended Age 14 years + RRP £49.99

High Definition Waterproof CameraFor all those sport & action thrilled children wanting to capture and re-live their memories check out this High Definition Waterproof Action Camera (HD 720P Sport Helmet Action Video Camera DVR). It has AVI Video Format & supports up to 32GB SDHC Cards. This camera is ideal for Holidays, BMX, Skiing, Rock-Climbing, Paintball, Skydiving, Swimming, ATV, Motocross, Horse riding etc. The camera can easily be worn on the helmet, the front of bicycle, or anywhere else you can possibly think of. You’re only limited by your imagination! RRP £31.98

 

patinete-scooter-razor-pro-iiiWhy not get out and carve up, hang 5, whiplash & drift on this cool ­Razor Pro III Scooter. The Razor Pro III Stunt Scooter improves on an already high performance scooter and makes it even better. With its triple stacked head tube clamp, 4130 CroMoly steel fixed T-bar and alloy spoke wheels, you’ll get the best performance on the skate parks or a smooth ride when you’re cruising. This Pro Scooter is non-folding to ensure greater strength and stability when you’re pulling off tricks or stunts. Recommended Age 8 Years + RRP £89.95

Brainstorm Toys 2 in 1 Globe Pack Boys interested in Geography and Astronomy look no further than this 2 in 1 Globe (Earth & Constellations) by Brainstorm Toys.  This unique globe shows planet Earth by day and transforms into a constellation globe at night. This 22.8cm world map showing geographic features by day and by night, in a dark room, the illuminated star map shows constellations. The light sensor automatically turns globe to night feature when dark (requires 4 x C batteries which aren’t included). Recommended Age 8 Years + RRP £35.99

Read The BabyWebsite Reviews for Brainstorm Toys 2 in 1 Globe.

 

Games to play and share are always popular during this festive period.

Tree Fu Tom Shaker-MakerShake it, make it, paint it! Tree Fu Tom Shaker Maker is the ultimate creative sculpture kit to make and paint amazing detailed statuettes of children’s most loved characters. The Tree Fu Tom Shaker Maker creates two characters, Tom and Twigs to make and display proudly! This set contains; 1 x Shaker Maker cup and 1 x Shaker Maker lid, 2 x character moulds, 2 x display stands, 1 x paint brush, 1 x set of paints, x 2 Shaker Maker powders and a full set of instructions. Shaker Maker, providing endless hours of sculpting fun! Suitable for ages 5+ £9.99

Dobble Card GameWho’s up for a card game? Dobble, is a visual perception card game in which players race to find the one matching image between one card and another. The images may be different sizes and placed on any part of the card, making them difficult to spot. The circular cards feature an assortment of colourful images of everyday items. Every card is unique and has only one picture in common with every other card in the deck. Dobble has 5 mini-games: all of them reliant on speedy observation, creating excitement for children and adults alike and keeping every player involved. Suitable for ages 6+ RRP £12.99

Read The BabyWebsite Reviews for Dobble.

Ravensburger Big Ben 3D PuzzleMaybe you have a better hand for puzzles. Why not challenge yourself to the Ravensburger Big Ben 3D Puzzle. Big Ben widely accepted as London’s most popular landmark. This unique 3D puzzle is made from strong high-quality plastic. The pieces fit together perfectly without the need for glue, and are numbered on the back. The flexible hinged puzzle pieces give a perfect finish. (The finished puzzle measures approximately 39cm tall when complete). Suitable for Age 10 + RRP £16.05

Here are a few popular boys books too.

My Parent's Are Out Of Control BookMy Parents Are Out Of Control (Pete Johnson) - Louis doesn’t think much of it when his mum and dad ask him for tips on how to be cool. In fact, he thinks it’s pretty funny watching them bump fists and use words like ‘safe’, ‘sick’ and ‘wicked’. Until Dad turns up outside Louis’s new school dressed like a rapper, that is . . .

Suddenly they’re trying to friend Louis and all his classmates on Facebook, and wearing baseball caps backwards – IN PUBLIC. Louis and his best friend Maddy are horrified. Mum and Dad have taken things too far . . . and immediate action is needed! RRP £6.99

 

Book Of BeastsOpen the BOOK OF BEASTS…. if you dare! Book of Beasts (Tick Tock) – Those with the courage to open this book will find a collection of the most hideous beasts from ancient and modern myth to ever have walked the earth. These brawling, battling beasts have fought their way through time and are captured in this lavishly illustrated compendium, their crimes and isdemeanours listed for all to see.

28 extraordinary beasts, in five categories, are depicted in breath taking detail by two of the most respected science fiction illustrators in the UK. Find out how to identify, track, attack and slay each monster and compare and contrast their beast rating with an at-a-glance guide. RRP £9.99

I’m sure you’ll agree that the choice out there is huge, but I hope I’ve inspired you with some of my picks, and Happy Christmas !!

My Personalised Christmas Tree Bauble

Personalised Christmas Keepsakes

Xmas BaubleIt’s just over ten weeks until Christmas Day. I plan to be super organised this year and actually enjoy the build up and festive celebrations. I’ve been doing quite a bit of my online window-shopping when my children are tucked up in bed and I’ve already managed to get an awful lot of my Christmas presents.

Personalised presents always mean a great deal to me so I wanted to make sure that my order got in early enough.

One of the things I decided to buy was this beautiful Clear Personalised Glass Bauble with Christmas Tree. My gorgeous personalised Christmas tree bauble is made from carefully hand-blown glass and lightly engraved with your choice of words. The clever design incorporates a glass Christmas tree featuring a gold star at the top! It really is a fantastic festive keepsake gift for anyone young or old.

I love our special bauble which will be given to our children when we decorate our Christmas tree this year. They each have their own personalised tree decoration and now they will have one from Mum & Dad too. I’m also thinking of ordering more for the Grandparents.

(We bought it from Born Gifted who also happen to have many other personalised baubles!)