Tag Archive for Christmas

Handpicked Christmas Gifts

There are so many options for buying Christmas gifts on the high street and online, that it’s great when you find one or two sites where you can buy something for just about everyone you want to buy for.

Reindeer Born GiftedBornGifted is one such site. Apart from the wide range of personalised gifts you can buy there are also some very distinctive products that you won’t find everywhere else.  This stripey crocheted reindeer is made by Dutch designer Anne-Claire Petit.  He stands at an impressive 45cm high and is made from 100% organic cotton.  This colourful, baby-safe toy has floppy arms and legs and makes the ideal luxury Christmas gift for any baby!  Not cheap, priced £54.99 from www.borngifted.co.uk but very special!

Savanna Leather ShopperHandpicked Collection.

This simple but chic leather shopper from handpickedcollection.com seems to suit every situation and every age range! We love its ethical credentials – handmade from leather dyed using extracts of bark and plants by a Fair Trade cooperative of 40 families in Rajasthan. The leather is not “corrected” to hide its natural marks so it’s full of character. It’s not a bad price at all for a leather bag and we can see it lasting for many, many years. Women of all ages would love this bag to bits, so it’s a brilliant gift!

Artisan du Chocolat's No 1 Sea Salted Caramels


Artisan du Chocolat’s No 1 Sea Salted Caramels are unbelievably good. They have just the right balance of flavours and textures sweet and salty, crunchy and liquid and velvety. These chocolates are very special and perfect gifts for any chocoholic. The Handpicked Collection also have the most delicious Charbonnel et Walker Strawberry White Thins and we’re big fans of ‘Montezuma’s Chocolates:The Discovery Library of Bars’ – to die for……

Long Olive Wood Chopping Board

This beautiful and brilliantly versatile board in gorgeous, satiny olivewood is perfect for serving all manner of festive foods.  Great for cheese, a whole side of salmon, cold meats or for canapés. We love the fact that each board looks individual and unique and that they can be personalised too. A lovely and original gift for men, women, young and old alike and at £26.99, a veritable steal!

Grace Deluxe Sleeve Grace Deluxe Sleeve
An awful lot of bags and sleeves for laptops and tablets aren’t very stylish at all but the Grace Deluxe Sleeve is quite the opposite. It’s very slim, very chic and has room for a few other essentials too. The main compartment has a super-soft protective lining and the magnetised front flap makes for easy access. The front zipped pocket is perfect for pens, your mobile, cards and more! The Deluxe Sleeve retails for £39.95 and is available in four different colour options: night sky, dark purple, coral/dove and teal dot/night sky. nutribullet

So, after Christmas most of us decide we want to go a healthy-eating regime of some kind. Faddy diets come and go as they rarely fit into our everyday lives but this revolutionary machine, The NUTRiBULLET  means you can stay healthy for good. We know plenty of people who’d love one of these Nutribullets for Christmas! There are colours to go with most kitchens – we like the aqua one best. The recipient of your gift will be able to blend up delicious healthy smoothies in a matter of seconds and will be forever in your debt for giving them such a useful present!Toad Diaries

You can’t go far wrong with a  Personalised Diary from TOAD® DIARIES  either. TOAD Diaries have an extensive range of covers to suit all ages so it’s dead easy to create a personalised gift to suit your mum, dad, husband, teenager or just about anyone. They’re flexible date diaries too so you don’t have to start on January 1st – you can create it to start and finish when you want so miles better than a high street diary.

Win Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?!

Nativit 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?

You can win NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY in our new Christmas competition below!

Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that the beloved Nativity franchise is back – with NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY?!

We are offering 5 lucky winners the chance to win a copy of the film on Blu-ray – available to pre-order now from Amazon.

With loads of special features, including Sing-A-Longs and Bloopers, NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY? is the perfect Christmas film that all the family can enjoy.

Nativity 3This Christmas the pupils of St Bernadette’s and their madcap teacher Mr. Poppy (MARC WOOTTON) are back for their biggest adventure yet involving fantastic flashmobs, excitable elves, Christmas carols and of course Archie the donkey!

When their new teacher Mr. Shepherd (MARTIN CLUNES) loses his memory and forgets all about Christmas, as well as his fiancée Sophie (CATHERINE TATE) and the whereabouts of the beloved Archie, it’s up to the pupils of St Bernadette’s to save the day. Led by the ever enthusiastic Mr. Poppy, they embark on a Christmas journey like never before – but time is against them if they are to help Mr. Shepherd get to New York in time for his magical yuletide wedding…! NATIVITY 3 introduces CELIA IMRIE as the new Headteacher, with ADAM GARCIA as the scheming Bradley Finch and RALF LITTLE as Sophie’s brother.Nativity 3

To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 Nativity 3 Blu-ray discs, just RETWEET THIS TWEET and Follow @TheBabyWebsite on Twitter.

NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY? will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, 3 Disc Triple Pack DVD and Download from 2nd November 2015. Pre-order now from Amazon.

The winners will be announced on Twitter and on our Twitter/Blog Winners Page on November 16th.

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 BABY Born Interactive Doll from Zapf Creation

Baby BORN Interactive DollOk, so we’ve got a BABY Born® Interactive Doll from Zapf Creation up for grabs here in our latest Competition.

It may only be August but lots of you out there are already squirrelling bits and bobs away for Christmas so this could be a useful addition to your Christmas presents hoard.

BABY Born Interactive Doll

It’s impossible not to sound sexist here but it’s true that an awful lot of little girls will love ‘playing mummy’ with the BABY born® Interactive doll. Zapf Creation have added loads of new accessories too so there’s plenty of ways to keep everything ‘fresh’! The BABY Born Interactive doll is the only one in the UK that has eight life-like functions so you can guarantee your little ones will love it. Even better, the doll doesn’t need any batteries.

So if you’d like to Win one of these fab BABY Born dolls, enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Christmas Pudding – Stir Up Sunday 25th November 2012


2012-12-04 16.17.29Stir-up Sunday is traditionally the day for families to make their Christmas pudding, giving it plenty of time for the flavours to develop before Christmas & the last Sunday before Advent.

All the family take a turn to stir the pudding and make a secret wish whilst they stirred. The pudding was always stirred from East to West to represent the journey that the three wise men who visited baby Jesus made. There would also be a sixpence added to the mixture and this custom was believed to bring health and wealth to the lucky finder.

This was all new news to me and my children as I’d never baked a Christmas Pudding until this year. It was all made easier when I bought Emma’s Make a Wish Christmas Pudding by Riverside Lifestyle.

I followed the simple instructions and only needed to add the wet ingredients to the supplied dried mixture. My children and I had officially started a little pre-festive fun. We each took in turns to stir and make a wish and it was so funny to watch my children. One was whispering with the other two warning them that the wish wouldn’t come true if the wish was heard, another closing their eyes and the third just looked at me and smiled. After stirring mine I dropped the sixpence into the mixture. This was also supplied and a lovely touch.

xmaspud91-350x350The pudding was steamed on the hob for 3 hours so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. This pudding is ready to eat or be eaten within two weeks (if covered and refrigerated). As this will be eaten on Christmas Day when my parents join us for lunch I have frozen mine and look forward to tasting and sharing it with my Special Family.

I think this maybe a start of a new tradition in my house now.

Baby Born Interactive

Baby Born InteractiveWhat do you get the little girl who has everything?  A doll. Ah, but you say, surely she already has a doll.

I’ve seen your blogs old man, and your daughter Caitlin has 3,216 dolls in every shade, shape, size and something else beginning with ssss. True dat. But, she doesn’t have a Baby Born. These have been about for a while now and have a great reputation for lifelikeness. The one we’ve bought Caitlin for Christmas does a huge amount that should do one of two things for Caitlin. It will either send her natural maternal instincts into overdrive and she will become some sort of Über-mum who will probably take over the running of our family unit in three years’  time when she’s 5.  Alternatively, it’ll put her off dolls and babies for life.

The Baby Born Interactive we have plumped for has a variety of different functions allowing kids to feed her before she cries, give her a drink and watch as she wees on her potty. You can even take her in the bath to clean the little mite. The nice thing about the doll is the size, just 43cms, which means that Caitlin will be able to lug her around quite nicely. She comes with a sweet pink suit and has a mixture of Baby Born Bathaccessories like plates, spoons, potty, nappy etc.  Caitlin already has a very active imagination when it comes to playing with her ‘beebies’ but none of her dolls currently react to her various ridiculous shenanigans. I imagine that finding one that actually responds to her direct actions would send her over the edge in plastic-baby-Heaven. She’ll absolutely love it!

In the past these have been quite pricey but considering that this doll does so much you can find them onAmazon around the £30 mark. I don’t know, some of you might think that’s too pricey, and it has to be said that we’ve got some dolls for less than a quarter of that. All the same, we have several friends whose kids have grown up with these and they all love them to bits. Know what I’m guessing? It’s a safe bet Caitlin will be asleep on Christmas afternoon with only one toy cuddled in her chubby pink arms.

by Dave Fouracre aka Dave the Dad

Read more of Dave’s Blogs here too

Buy Baby Born Interactive from Amazon


Christmas Presents for All

While continuing to search for Christmas presents, I couldn’t help but share these adorable & practical ideas with you.

Hello Baby Gift Set by Green PeopleThis welcoming gift set is ideal for any new Mum & Baby. Say ‘Hello Baby’ by Green People is a trio of perfectly pure bath and skincare products, only the best mild and gentle organic ingredients are blended to create the purest baby products for tiny ones. Within the Hello Baby gift set, you’ll find: Soothing Baby Salve – Lavender (30ml),Dry Skin Baby Lotion – Scent Free (30ml) & Baby Wash & Shampoo – Lavender (100ml)
Check out what our reviewers think of this Hello Baby Gift Set.

Princess Play Tent


Forget the batteries and electrics with this fantastic Fairy Princess Play Tent. My Daughters would love this play tent in the style of a castle. Get out the fancy dresses and create lots of imaginary play. Once the winter is over his tent can also be used in the garden.



Personalised Football BedThis Ollie & Leila Personalised Football Bed would be ideal for any football fan. The Footy bed has a goal and football on the head end and a personalised shirt on the foot end. What more could any footy fan want to sleep in? They shoot… They score…. It’s a GOAL!!! (Made in the UK from Grade AB timber and FX High density boards, sealed with a 3 coat painted system, this furniture is very solid and comes with a 10 year guarantee.)

Jessops LogoWe’re all guilty of taking many photos. Are you like me and have most backed up on the PC…Why not use Jessops to display your photos in many different ways, Photo Calendars, Photo books and Wall Art to name a few. You can share these with family and friends or even a personal gift from your Children. Great for thank you cards too.

Personalised PosterLooking for a gift with a difference why not check out the unique & original ‘Likes’ poster. A personalised poster that celebrates every person’s favourite things. Whether you are buying this for a friend, partner or family member, because you supply the words. You provide the name & a list of ‘likes’ (between 10 & 15) and you also choose the order they’re displayed in. A number of colour options are available: blues, warms, pastels, brights, blues and browns, and retro brights. They also come in three sizes!

Check out some of our other ideas for Christmas Presents HERE

Attack of the Wargs – A Perfect LEGO Christmas Present

Attack of the WargsChristmastime already and it only seems like it was about three months since the last one. I’ve even still got some duplicate presents from last year that I placed carefully on top of the cupboard on the 26th December 2011 thinking, ‘I’ll stick those on eBay sometime in the next few weeks.’ They’re still there, losing relevance, losing worth and blaming me for laziness whenever I catch sight of them. I’ve taken to hurrying from the room whenever I happen to accidentally glance at them, like a colleague at work that you’ve passed in the corridor for seven years and whose name you’ve never bothered to find out.

Anyway, it all starts again. The ‘Should we get…’ ‘Could we buy…’ ‘Do you think they’d like…’ ‘How on earth do people afford….’ conversations. We have all these and more. My partner and I both work, we are careful with our money, we aren’t extravagant with our choices, we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we don’t go away a great deal, and yet we are mostly broke. Like most people I imagine. So our choices based around these conversations generally fall between two stools; we buy quite a few small items and try to buy at least one larger, more expensive present. And in this category we’ve got a couple of corkers for my eldest son Tom this Xmas.

The first is from a tried and tested range that we know is successful. Hexbugs! For his 7th birthday last September we bought a set called Hexbug Bridge Battle. The Hexbugs themselves are small, mechanical trilobite-type creatures that are battery operated and which vibrate forwards through some magical design chicanery. We set up the ‘Bridge’ (which is really a small series of channels on two levels), turned the two battling creatures on and everyone was hugely HexBug Crabinvolved in which Hexbug would chase and bump and shove and ultimately defeat the other. It is great fun. It is also a little like Scalextric in that once you have one set you can add and add and add until finally -as happened to my childhood self- you eventually have something that takes over the whole living room and takes half a morning to set up! For next month we’ve gone down a variety of routes. Hexbug Warriors battling robots was a bit of a no-brainer and joined with a couple of Hexbug starter sets with more of the little robots will certainly enliven the existing toy and will hopefully mean even more anarchy, albeit of a controlled, mechanical bug type.

The great thing about these bugs is that they are marketed as personalities with names, set colours, and different habitats. One additional toy we couldn’t resist was the Hexbug crab for this very reason. Hexbug toys are clearly branching out and the crab looks like great fun and, let’s face it, which 7 year old lad doesn’t want a micro-robotic creature of his very own. I know I would have loved one when I was Tom’s age, but at least I had a twelve foot Scalextric to fill the void! It’s one of my more confident choices for December! All of these are more or less expensive. The bugs themselves are pretty cheap but some of the habitats can range upwards. Still, once you’ve got the initial set you can add ad infinitum and this can be staged to suit your wallet.

Another toy that also does this is Lego, and there is no way this Christmas would have been allowed to pass without a few sets of this fantastic toy. Tom has loved Attack of the WargsLego Lord of the Rings this year and he already has a couple of the smaller sets such as Gandalf Arrives and Shelob Attacks, both of which were around £10-£15. His big present this Christmas is the LEGO Attack of the Wargs from the upcoming Hobbit film. He’s a bit too young for either the books or the films but through Lego he’s come to understand and love the whole mythology around this fantastic tale. Similarly, he’s aware of the huge publicity surrounding The Hobbit film and I know he’ll go bonkers when he sees this great set. This year has been the one where Tom has taken over responsibility for building these in our house – each Lord Of The Rings set ensuring a Saturday afternoon that has at least one quiet kid concentrating and that ends with the satisfying result of a fantastic toy.

Attack of the Wargs looks corking. It’s got Orks! It’s got Dwarves! It’s got Wolves! It’s got a tree! Tom’ll absolutely love it. It is pricier than the smaller sets due to the size, the number of men and the fact that it’s relatively new, but I have yet to be disappointed with any Lego sets and it’ll make a nice balance to the other smaller presents that we have. Also, fingers crossed, it might mean a quiet, concentrating kid for a whole weekend. What a bonus!

By Dave Fouracre aka Davethe Dad

Dave is Dad to three (Caitlin 2, Harry 4 and Tom 7)

Read Dave’s Blogs Here

(Mummy Blogger Sian’s 6 year old son Dominic loves Hexbugs too)

The VTech InnoTab

pink innotabChristmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, what with planning, finances, family and the real concern that the hard-drive on the dvd might break before you are able to record 12 months worth of films.


We’ve taken one stress out of the equation at least, by planning ahead and buying presents early. Obviously, when I say ‘we’ I really mean ‘my partner who is a woman and therefore much better at organizing/planning/buying/thinking than me’. All the same, Sarah won’t mind if I write about some of her choices.

The first is an electronic toy that I think is going to enliven thousands of households this December, the VTech Innotab 2 . Our son Harry has an electronic learning toy similar to this, one which blends e-books with games with downloadable apps. He loves this and so we were looking at buying another for our daughter when the VTech Innotab 2 caught our attention. The first thing VTech logoyou notice about this is the size. Although the screen seems of equal size the actual toy is larger, with rubber edges and a moulded edge that is much better for young hands. With our son’s toy we had to buy an extra cover but the Innotab 2 immediately struck us as one step ahead. Sometimes smaller is better, but in this case the easy-to-hold design and safety edges are a definite improvement. The cartridges that you buy containing educational games, fun games and e-books are also moulded and click satisfyingly into the body of the piece. This makes it immediately easy to see if it’s missing, as young hands do have a tendency to pick at, and generally attempt to lose, any moving parts!

Dave the Dad's familyThe Innotab is aimed at toddlers from the age of 4. Despite this we have know our 2 and a half year old daughter Caitlin will be able to access several of the incredible features, like the camera. The V-tech Kidizoom camera was a great hit last Christmas with my 7 year old Tom and the new Innotab features the swivel lens that enables kids to take pictures of others or themselves. This has proved to be hugely popular in our house and the Innotab’s adoption of this feature will probably mean the Kidizoom becomes redundant soon, especially as the photoshop options -including loads of fun templates that the kids love to use- and the video capacity of the Innotab are so great. An in-built calculator and a Contacts app that can contain the friends and family of the owner are just two extras that give the device an edge over competitors.

Learning Lodge Navigator

Caitlin loves reading and the next feature to really impress us about the Innotab is the downloadable content. The Learning Lodge Navigator is the website you access to find downloadable apps, e-books and videos. These include educational videos and pure entertainment such as Sesame Street or Peppa Pig. The Innotab also has a stand so that the device can be stood up when reviewing bought videos or homemade ones. Again, this little extra means a great deal as it will not only widen the audience for viewing (useful for households with more than  one child) but it also means that the screen can be accessed during times when little hands are either too grubby or too jittery or too busy to do justice. A great little touch.

CaitlinCaitlin loves reading books and the choice and variety on the Innotab 2’s site mean that she’s going to have loads of these to choose from. She’s already worked out how to access these on Harry’s handheld but the Innotab’s system seems even easier to use so I imagine this is going to be a big hit from the moment she unwraps it.

One particular area that really caught our attention for Caitlin is the ability to download music. She spends most of her day singing and dancing and this will be a feature that she’s able to access from Day One. With a copious memory that can also be expanded easily by the use of an extra SD card this is going to probably be the most used feature initially, if one that will forever be requiring us to mutter ‘Let’s just turn that down Caitlin’ as she whoops along to Humpty Dumpty for the 343rd time of a morning!

Buy for £64.99 from Amazon

CaitlinWhenever I’m reviewing toys or games there usually comes a time when I look at the price and start to have some doubts about its accessibility. With the Innotab 2 even this is fantastic. There are well known shopping sites that are now selling this for around £65, which frankly is a great bargain. The system comes with lots of great freebies (including fantastic art programs that allow your child to muck about and be creative without the usual attendant 30 minutes spent tidying up and feverishly wiping tables and carpets) but it is true that you will need to buy game/e-book cartridges or apps to go on expanding the life of this toy. Luckily, these too are reasonably priced. Certainly, over the life of such a device I would imagine that the pleasure and learning derived from it would easily justify the money spent.

VTech Innotab 2

We are a house that has no games consoles as thus far we think that young kids can entertain themselves much more productively. Nevertheless, the VTech Innotab 2 offers something more than just an entertaining hand-held. It is genuinely entertaining, but also has so many other features that will hold the attention of any child who wishes to learn. It’s compact, relatively cheap, incredibly creative and is a device that will grow with our daughter, whilst helping her in so many areas of her burgeoning development. It’s absolute genius!

Buy The VTech InnoTab 2 from Amazon

Dave Fouracre aka Dave the Dad