Unless you are super laid back, now November is here, no doubt you’ll have gone into planning mode for Christmas. I’ve started my festive shopping but always get stuck for ideas. So, to help you out, I thought I’d share some great products that I’ve come across. As much as possible, I try and steer away from too much princessy pink stuff for my girls. I know they’ll get gifted that sort of thing from family. Also you can’t hide the teacher in me as I’ve definitely chosen a few fun but educational gifts that will have longevity.
Further down you’ll find inspiration for the adults in your life too.
Gifts for Little Ones
My Living World offer loads of cool sets to help explore insects, nature and the world around them. I was particularly drawn to the Ant World and Triop World. In the Ant World pack, you are encouraged to collect ants from your garden to study. You then watch and learn how they build tunnels and establish a colony. A great introduction to the world of insects and this set would provide so much opportunity for early science skills.
The Triop World set gives little ones the opportunity to watch the amazing Triop life cycle and be amazed as the tiny creatures double in size each day. Your tiny creatures will hatch within 24hrs and may grow up to 4cm in length. Both of these sets will be fascinating and are a fun toy alternative that can be started on rainy days.
Early Years Resources is a company I’ve used in my previous life as a primary school teacher. Their catalogue lay enticingly on the staff room table and offered all sorts of exciting resources in every area of the curriculum. In recent years, there has been a big push on introducing children to coding and this fab robot mouse set is perfect for this.
Little ones can design their own base grid from the simple interlocking plates. They then program their mouse to navigate through tunnels to reach the cheese. There is lots of scope to make this more challenging as their skills improve with 30 different coding cards to try out. A brilliant toy that teaches early computing skills through play.
Laser Cut Delights – Acrylic Reward Drop Boxes
After looking for a reward box ages ago, I gave up as all I found were either very cheap looking ones or very girly pink ones. I then stumbled upon Laser Cut Delights and discovered their vibrant acrylic reward drop boxes. I love that they are easily customisable and you can choose various styles and colours. You can even select what shape you want your tokens to be.
These could be used for all sorts of reasons from potty training to mealtimes. In fact, whenever your child needs prompting to make the right choice, they’re sure to be motivated by the chance to add a colourful token to their collection. We’ll certainly be using these in the new year to tackle a few areas and I’ll likely write an update with some tips and ideas to get the best from reward systems.
If you want to get one as a Christmas gift, you’ll need to get your skates on as their order books close on November 12th. Order by then for guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Fletcher and Mils – Ruler
If you are looking for a beautiful family gift that will be treasured for ever and doesn’t take up loads of space, I’ve got the perfect idea for you. Fletcher and Mils hand make gorgeous wooden height rulers which can be used to track how quickly those little ones grow. When ours arrived I thought it was almost too lovely to mark and had plans for stickers or some other way to note our girls’ height. Then I saw how it could look after years of memory making. Now I can’t wait to fill it with lovely inscriptions.
The rulers are available in various finishes and colours and you can opt to have your ruler personalised too. Fletcher and Mils also make many other fantastic handmade wooden pieces that would make great gifts too so I really recommend you check them out.
Gifts for Little Hands – GeoSafari Talking Globe
We love to travel and our girls are fascinated about the world especially as we have a friend who lives on the other side of it in New Zealand. Until now, we’ve made do answering questions with an inflatable globe but this amazing GeoSafari Talking Globe convinced us we needed to upgrade. Of course, everyone has maps on their phone or tablet but concepts such as day and night or conversations about climate are much easier when you can point to something physical.
This in one of those gifts that will be used more and more as they grow but has plenty of activities even for preschoolers. I love that you can measure the distance between any two cities or find out animal facts such as why a polar bear is white. Children use the interactive smart pen to select between various modes and complete quizzes and activities to explore planet Earth. The pen then stores safely away in the base. This is definitely a gift that will last years.
Jessica was bought a fairy garden set last year and we loved it so much, I shared a review. There are lots of different sets and fairies to collect each with their own garden to grow. The Unicorn Garden comes with the fairy Belle and her unicorn. You get a wishing well, tiny bunting and lots of little decorations to create you’re own magical spot. Grass seeds are included but you could plant whatever you wanted.
Another fabulous set is the ultimate Fairy Light Garden. Not only do you get fairies Heather and Elvie and their friends the baby unicorn and hedgehog, but the garden doubles as a night light too. If you blow gently on the magical lamp you can switch the light on and off and set off a gentle linting harp. There are two areas to plant seeds and mini bridge so you could connect to other fairy gardens as well.
Gifts for Grown Ups
Cranes Cider Gift Box
Everyone has got a boozy relative that would love to try a new tipple. Well Twins Ben and Dan brew amazing unique ciders. The best part is they contain 30% less calories than competitive brands. Their three flavours Blueberries and Apples, Cranberry and Lime and Raspberry and Pomegranate can be purchased in a lovely gift box with a branded glass.
Alternatively Cranes Drinks also make a very festive Cranberry and Blood Orange Liquor that would be perfect for Christmas day and would either jazz up your fizz or make the perfect addition to cocktails. If Christmas isn’t the time for Cranberries then when is and these brothers know a thing or two about Cranberries.
Llamas are like the grown ups equivalent to unicorns. I love the this Mama Llama Gold Glitter Sweater which will be perfect for the colder months. They also have it with festive text too as a stylish alternative to the crazy Christmas jumpers out there. You’ll find loads of gift ideas over at So Close from home wares to seasonal products.
They also offer many items with the option of personalising which a lovely touch especially as a Christmas gift. These Personalised Coasters are simple and contemporary yet would fit in with most decor. I’ve got one for my sister and nephew as little stocking filler.
Present Mill – Secateurs
For any avid gardener, you can never have enough secateurs. If you’re anything like my dad, they get picked up and put down so much that ultimately they got lost more times than he’s like to admit. These robust pocket secateurs fold down to just 3cm x 9cm so can popped in a pocket or attached to a belt to help avoid this problem.
Hidden in the handle are two fold out tools too; a garden knife and mini saw. The lovely packaging also make them a great gift option. They come in a choice of two colours.
Sometimes you want to get a gift that is practical but also beautiful. The kind of gift the recipient might not ordinarily treat themselves to. Katherena designs gorgeous bags that are ethically made and have such attention to detail. This Mustard and Grey back pack is perfect for a busy mum. It has plenty of compartments to keep her organised and in a stylish and on trend colour palette.
The main section cleverly unzips against your back when you are wearing it for extra security. Inside there are sections for your phone, purse and and all the other bits and bobs we carry around. I know this is a gift, I’d love to receive.
You are sure to have someone on your list that loves their bath products. If you want to treat them to something other than the mass produced gift sets you find lining the shelves at Christmas, then check out Wild Olive. This lovely family run brand are based in the Peak District. They produce baths bombs, shower smoothies, soaps and body butters.
All of their handmade toiletries are made from natural ingredients which don’t contain nasty SLS or parabens making them kinder on your skin. Everything is beautifully packages with consideration for the environment and there are plenty of quirky sets such as cocktail flavoured bath melts and bath tea bags.
Present Mill – Watering Can
This adorable, hand crafted watering can will make the task of keeping those pesky house plants alive so much more pleasurable. This iconic festive bird is the best seller but you can get a whole range of beautiful ornamental watering cans from Present Mill. You won’t be able to water your entire garden with him but he’ll look stunning on your window sill or filled with some pretty flowers.
Check out their fab gifts in a tin for little ones too. We had some for our travels and really rate them.
Hopefully, I gave you some inspiration for your Christmas lists and helped you tick off at least one person. For loads more ideas for preschool aged children, hop over to www.Popitha.com where my lovely friend Anna has compiled an extensive list of great gift ideas.
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