27 November 2017

Our top 3 toys for Christmas and some stocking fillers too

Over the past year the Little Ones have been lucky enough to try out some of the newest books and toys on the market. Some of these toys have fallen by the wayside after the initial excitement wore off and others have become firm favourites, the same goes for the books, one is repeatedly picked up and there is nothing left to complete yet I am not allowed to throw it out and another is so loved and full of beautiful stories and ideas that I am sure it will be treasured for a long time to come.

So which 3 of the toys that we have reviewed in the past 12 months do I think would make excellent Christmas gifts for the children this year?

There are two ultimate favourite toys I have to be honest, one the girls love and one Little 3 tends to get out several times a week. First up the girls favourite thing this year has to be their Zhu Zhu pets, they are cute, soft and cuddly and make some rather funny noises (Even I at 34 years old can not resist pressing the button on their back as I walk past and sending them scurrying across the carpet churrping and squeaking).

We wrote a proper review of these on the blog but in essence they are quite like the real thing, they run on carpet or in their little hamster run and wheel, dance and change direction if they bump into something and we all love them.

The hamsters are around £5-10 and right now on Amazon the Adventure ball and Hamster tunnel and wheel set are on offer at really low prices.

If you are not looking to buy pets this Christmas then Little 3's recommendation for a top toy for Christmas is one of the the Paw Patrol rescue track sets that we have reviewed previously. Join Chase and the gang as they set out to rescue their team mates in these cool playsets.

We tested out both the Skye and Zuma's lighthouse rescue track set and Marshall's pet rescue sets back in the summer and they are played with several times a week here, Little 3 loves them. They have weathered everything a toddler can throw at them (literally) and make great road for cars too.

They have simple to connect track that Little 3 can do himself and lots of track possibilities, it often ends up staying out for several days until I need to hoover or something. Zoom down the lighthouse ramp and through the trees to rescue Wally from the net while Skye 'flies' around the lighthouse or save Calli the cat from the roof of the pet shop, all in a days work for the Paw Patrol gang. These sets would make a fab gift this Christmas.

Our third choice for a gift this Christmas simply has to be the Tomy Aquadoodle, over the last 8 years we have had three of these in various different designs and styles and still now all three Little Ones get it out and play with it regularly. Little 3's favourite is the Paw Patrol aquadoodle that we reviewed last year  but then he just loves anything Paw patrol right now!

I think these are great, they are small to store, portable and do not make any mess, you just add water and where the mat gets wet the colour shows through showing the design or colour underneath, let it dry and it is ready to use again. This one in particular comes with a car that stamps footprints all over the mat but we have had a rainbow one and a toy story one too.

If you are like me and have now got your main gifts sorted and just need a few stocking fillers to finish off then take a look at these.

How about a National Geographic dino kit in a tin from Apples to Pears, this kit comes in a great looking tin as several sheets of precut forestry commission approved wood and all you have to do is follow the instructions to pop out the bits and give any rough edges a sand with the sandpaper included and slot it all together. 

Little 1 was sent a kit to try out and was able to build the whole 28cm Tyrannosaurus Rex over a few days with very little help from us, it was easy to build and she now wants the other one in the set, Dippy the Diplodocus, so he will be in her stocking on Christmas morning. The kits retail around £18.

If you want a little something to keep little hands busy for a few minutes then why not try the New Rubiks Junior animal puzzles, they are available as a bear and a bunny and certainly keep my three occupied for a short while.

They are sturdy for little fingers, great quality and not too tricky that the Little Ones can not complete it but hard enough they they need to think about what they need to do.

Little 2 has asked for the bunny one for Christmas and she might just get it too! RRP £9.99

Something the Little Ones love is craft- colouring, drawing and making things are their favourite past times. The girls are always hoarding bits of card and loo roll tubes and making strange and wonderful creations with odds and ends.

We heard about The Amazing Craft Company who sell themed craft kits for kids, how about 'Under the sea' with peg mermaids or ribbon jelly fish or 'In the fairy garden' with peg butterflies and loo roll fairy cottages, there are unicorns and a space kit too- created by two mums, The Amazing Craft Company has a range of mini makes and themed craft boxes sure to delight craft loving children.

Each Craft kit contains everything you need to make all the included themed activities for only £12 and the mini makes cost £3.50, perfect for filling those stockings.

Have you heard of Taylor and Rani, this company sell ethical underwear for girls and women however they don't do just that. Every purchase of a pair of pants means another pair of pants are donated to their partner charity 'Smalls for All' and every other purchase results on a monetary donation which goes towards building toilets in schools and providing sanitary wear for girls in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Sierra Leone. The charity aims to help girls stay in education when they would otherwise take time off school due to the lack of toilet/sanitary access.

Starting in ages 8-9 and right up to adults Taylor and Rani sell pants, bras and accessories made in the most gorgeous fabric. Little 1 was sent a pair of pants and they are always the first out the drawer, she says they are soft and comfy and a good fit too. She wants more!

N.B We were gifted press samples of the Dino in a tin, Rubik's cube and underwear for their inclusion in this post.

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