3 December 2016

15 great Christmas gift ideas for young kids and preschoolers

Do you need some ideas for Christmas gifts for kids? Here are a few Christmas gift ideas from me - these are especially great for preschoolers e.g. three, four and five year old kids. I've selected some toys (both role playing and normal toys), educational toys, books, and practical items for you to choose from. Please note, this post contains press samples.

Toys

Now what would Christmas be without some new toys? Well, it would probably still be magical and fun, but toys are still pretty exciting. Here are some toys we have tested and would be happy to recommend to you as well.



Hape Dumper Truck is such a classic toy most kids would love. It is sturdy, made from wood and easy to "drive" and "unload". My daughter loves putting toys inside the truck cabin to be her "drivers" and cramming all her wooden blocks on the dumper. She said to me "I love my truck" - words of approval from a three year old right there! I would recommend this toy to any child that loves cars and construction! Hape also do a pretty awesome Crane Lift and a Digger Truck.    

Hape Shopping Cart - From a paren't perspective I love toys that help kids to role play. We have plenty of different role playing toys, from tea sets to shop fronts. This shopping cart is really cute idea for shopping games - I find shopping games help with vocabulary as you point at different items, and giving and taking as you pretend to purchase and pay, and with counting as you ask for different amounts of items. This is such a lovely sturdy item, wooden frame with a fabric basket, and feels like it will last a lifetime. It hasn't provided entertainment for just shopping games, but also doubles up as a trolley for dollies and transport for other toys on their adventures. The shopping cart does take a while to assemble, so I would recommend assembling this prior to placing it underneath the tree, as if your kids is anything like mine, they will want to play with it right there and then. 

Num Noms Series 2 Deluxe Pack - Diner Jumbo Combo - Num Noms are a bit of a weird one. There are squishy little figurines of different food items, which smell like that food. Then there are little motorised figurines too. That's Nums and Noms. For an adult they are a bit bizarre but I hear kids are going mad for these and I guess that's the point. My daughter really enjoyed playing with them, pretending to cook and serving us burgers and chips from her Diner Jumbo Combo pack. Her Nums and Noms have had wild and varied adventures so far... They are highly collectable, so you can get all kinds of packs. They smell nice, although the savoury smells don't last very long. 

Baby Annabell Doll - I've written a lengthier review of the Baby Annabell doll, but in short, this doll cries (real tears), babbles, drinks water, pees, goes to sleep and sucks a dummy and has really cute facial movements. It is perfect for role-playing and for kids to learn about their tender and caring side. My daughter loved cuddling it and the doll now sleeps on a makeshift bed next to her cotbed. We tuck her baby in every night. 

Clangers Lullaby Starlight Tiny Soft Toy - Lovely cuddly toy to take to bed. I wasn't sure if my daughter would like it as it seemed a bit baby for her, but she insisted on sleeping with it straight away and loves cuddling it at night. It is soft and cuddly, and you can use it as a night light. By pressing its tummy once you get a gentle changing light, twice you get music (Clangers lullaby), and third time it turns itself off. Just remember to switch the toy from the try me function to normal to enable this. You can also switch it off. I have a giveaway running on my Facebook page, where you can win a one. 

Educational toys

You can have fun but also learn at the same time with some toys - we find this very important and might try and increase quantity of these kinds of toys in our household. Here are a few examples of different educational toys that are particularly suitable for kids aged three to five.

educational toy ideas for young kids for christmas


Leapfrog LeapReader is a sort of pen that enables you to read Leapfrog books, listen to audiobooks and educational trivia, and write. It is not really a toy as such, but much more an educational tool to help kids learn to read and use books. By touching the words on the Leapfrog books with the pen you hear the words spoken. You can also touch the pictures to hear sounds and stories. I loved that there are audiobooks and trivia included, and think this would be a perfect accompaniment on long car journeys. I think this is great for kids just starting to learn to read, and will be helpful to my daughter when she goes to school. The guide age is 4+ and younger kids might find it a bit tricky to use unaided.

The pack comes with a sampler book. I would say do get a couple of additional books to provide variety, and before gifting this do take it out, charge it, register it online (you need to plug it in your computer) and download the audiobooks. Otherwise you might have annoyed kids waiting to play with their new toy as it won't work straight out of the box.


Hape Bead Do Game is such a brilliant game and improves finger dexterity, concentration and creativity. The guide age is 4+ but I found my three year old was happily playing with this. This is a classic toy and I remember having a similar one as a child - you have beads, which you use to form pictures with on a bead board. There are guide pictures included or you can free style. My daughter has loved this and spent ages just sitting quietly, beading away. She plays with it regularly, nearly every day, and it just keeps on giving. From a parent's perspective, a little piece and quiet this offers has been very welcomed! I would recommend this to any child, especially those that love crafting activities.

Peppa Pig Alphaphonics Campervan - This is an electronic toy that helps in learning the letters, and hopefully in understanding more about reading too. My daughter got really excited about this one and loved playing with it. There are several different games you can play with this one, including finding the first letter, and spelling out different words and I thought this was a really positive learning toy. One of the lights on the buttons wasn't working when we took it out of the box, but otherwise the toy works well so far.  My only gripe was that it does not have an off switch, so you have to wait for 2 minutes for it to turn itself off, while it periodically asks you to choose a button. 


Books

We are a big book loving family, with over 100 books in our kids library... So any hard packages are always welcomed in ours. I find books just keep on giving, and they can be enjoyed again and again and again. As a parent, it is nice to have variety too. Here are a few ideas for book-related gifts for pre-school children.

four book ideas for christmas for young kids


Jungle Jam - This book is about a monkey off to find fame. He meets a variety of music-loving animals and ends up forming a band with them. It was a fun read, with rhyming lyrics, and my daughter especially enjoyed pretending to be one of the animals and coming up with the tones and instrument noises. The story is about friendship and how the animals work together, and has a lovely uplifting message. I thought it was great that music was such a big part of this book, as I want my daughter to know about and to get excited about musical instruments, and this book was helpful in that.  

The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home is a a personalised book from Lost My Name. However, rather than just a personalised name and character appearance, this also includes your address! The book has an aerial picture of your neighbourhood, some local land marks (ours had the Gherkin and other City buildings) and also shows a door with your door number, so it is really quite unique. We found this was perfect as we want our daughter to remember her home address - we have practised it using this book and it has really helped. She really enjoyed the story, which is a fun odyssey of a child finding their way back home from space with the help of a variety of space and earth characters. The book is nice and long, so plenty of reading to do!  

Wilf Books is a monthly book delivery service, where you get to choose from monthly subscriptions to three or six month packages. I love that the package is a surprise, but you do get to personalise it by choosing your child's age, gender and some guidelines (e.g. picture books, moral books, rhyming books etc.). They are packaged beautifully, with the child's name on top. Another fun thing is that the books are second hand, but all of ours were great quality, and some actually looked brand new.

We got to test one pack and got four varied books. All of the books were perfect for a three year old and captivated my daughter straight away. We have a lot of books and already had some of the books that were sent to us, and if this happens you can send the books back and get extra the following months. I think this is a perfect service for a family starting to grow their book collection!

Aili and the Watabus go to India - This is a fabulous personalised book from WatAdventure, a new book provider. The level of personalisation is incredible - you get to choose gender, skin colour, freckles, hair colour, hair style, colour of the outfit and even glasses for the child, so you can be guaranteed it looks like your kid! The name of your kid appears on the cover as well as through the book, my daughter's name is Aili as you can see.

Then the story can be personalised as well, by choosing the animals that appear throughout the book. Because I wanted my daughter to learn some new words, I chose animals that you don't get to see in kids books that much, such as a water buffalo, rhinoceros, anteater and a pelican, and I thought this was brilliant. The story was fun, action-packed and long, and my daughter loved reading it. The book is hardcover, which is brilliant for the price, and £1 per book sold is donated to Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, which is even better.



Practical items

I am a great believer in practical packages. From a parental perspective it is nice to have a bit of variety when your home is already filled with toys. And while kids often gravitate towards toys on Christmas day, I think they do appreciate the practical gifts a lot when all the hustle and bustle has calmed down. And what are two things any kid needs...? Sock and pyjamas!


aveeno baby moisturiser and bath emollient wash


Heat Holders socks - There are a variety of different socks from Disney and Marvel inspired to Start Wars and just plain ones. My daughter got the Frozen and the Disney Princess socks. She especially loved the Frozen socks as she is Elsa-mad and slept wearing them for much longer than I would like to publicly admit... She just would not let us wash them. They are extremely soft and comfortable, and surprisingly stretchy (I should know as I tried them on...) and they feel very warm. The only issue I had was that they bobble quite quickly.  

Pyjamas - I love pyjamas as gifts as they are so practical and always useful. We got sent a pair of Clangers pyjamas which are incredibly cute and very well made. You can buy these from different supermarkets, and I know Sainsbury's and Asda definitely do Clangers pyjamas. I loved the different designs, and my daughter got really excited when she saw what she got! These are perfect for any sleepy Clangers fan! I have a giveaway running on my Facebook page, where you can win a pair.

Aveeno Baby bath products - I find bath products particularly handy as you always get use out of them eventually. Kids love baths don't they, and bath time is such a treat for them we always end up using lots of products. Some kids do have gentle skin, so if I buy to someone else's kid I always buy something very gentle. Aveeno Baby is a new range that is gentle and unscented, so perfect as a gift if you don't want to risk it. The moisturiser is easy to spread and feels like it sinks to the skin really well, leaving it lovely and soft.


What are you planning on getting your kids for Christmas?





6 comments:

  1. We love the lost my name books too! They make such great gifts! #ChristmasGiftGuide

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    1. They are fabulous! Now I really want to get the other book too, the Intergalactic Journey was really cute :)

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  2. I love the idea of a book delivery, that sounds much better value than the overpriced comics my son loves! #ChristmasGiftGuide

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    1. Oh most definitely! I think that getting books rather than comincs would be so much more interesting as well, and hopefully get kids into reading more.

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  3. We LOVE Lost my Name here. Must get my hand on The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home. That peg game looks great! #ChristmasGiftGuideLinky

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    1. The peg game (by Hape) has brought us endless enjoyment! My daughter plays with it ALL the time. It's been a real hit here :)

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