Posted on

Gifts for Toddlers – Christmas Gift Guide

Mouse Skittles
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Stuck for preschool present ideas? Here are a few gifts that any one or two year old will love straightaway and will still be using years later:

Rocking horse – the bigger ones are very expensive but they are the kind of heirloom that will be passed down for generations. I love this one from NotOnTheHighStreet as it reminds me of a hospital rocking horse I played with a lot, but there are lots of antique rocking horses and more reasonably priced traditional rocking horses on Ebay. For a more contemporary option, this rocking motorbike is also a sturdy ride-on!

[column width=”45%” padding=”10%]

traditional rocking horse
Hand Carved Rocking Horse, £380
Not On The High Street

[/column][column width=”45%” padding=”0%”]

All Terrain Wooden Rocking And Ride On Bike
Wooden Rocking And Ride On Bike, £249
Not On The High Street

[/column][end_columns]

Skittles – there are skittle sets for every pocket and they’ll all provide hours of fun. Great on hard floors as little ones love to hear them clatter to the ground.

[column width=”45%” padding=”10%]

Chad Valley Skittles
Steal: Chad Valley Skittles, £4.99
Argos

[/column][column width=”45%” padding=”0%]

Mouse Skittles
High St: Mouse Skittles, £14.95
Not On The High Street

[/column][end_columns]

Gruffalo Skittles Set
Splash Out: Gruffalo’s Child Skittles, £32.40
Amazon

Sand table – It may be winter now, but you don’t just have to buy indoor toys. You can buy basic plastic sand tables for £20-£30 but I think this Sand and Water Picnic table is much better value – use with the lid on as a garden bench!

[column width=”45%” padding=”0%”]

Plum Sand & Water Picnic Table[/column][column width=”50%” padding=”0%”]

Sand & Water picnic table

[/column][end_columns]

Plum Sand & Water Picnic Table,
Was £79.99 Now £39.95 at Amazon

Trike with handle – Unlike the smaller, pushalong ride-ons, these can be pedalled by kids with longer legs, so are a great choice for taller or older toddlers. Word to the wise: You’ll want a parent handle at a sensible height with a comfortable grip – if possible look for one with a decent sized basket or trailer. They’re a great alternative to a buggy and even better if you can put your bag in the back!

My picks? The Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike and Smart Trikes are expensive for a reason as they has everything you could wish for, but this Bentley Kids version looks equally good at half the price!

[column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Bentley Kids Trike with Handle[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0%”]

Smart Trike Recliner[/column][end_columns]

Keyboard / piano – my daughter has been coveting this keyboard and stool for about a year now but we’ve promised ourselves to buy less space hungry presents this year. The ELC mini keyboards are half price at the moment, so great value! Try to find one with at least 8 keys (an octave) so that they can start to play tunes they recognise.

[column width=”45%” padding=”5%”]

Keyboard & Stool
Keyboard & Stool, £30
ELC

[/column][column width=”45%” padding=”0%”]

carryalong keyboard pink
carryalong keyboard red
Carry Along Keyboards
Were £15 Now £7.50 at ELC

[/column][end_columns]

Dolls pram / pushchair – Whether a basic buggy or a posh pram, this will get toddlers walking independently and is a lovely present for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters. I personally favour prams as it means I don’t always have to carry the shopping home… but fold down buggies are good for popping in the boot of the car, or hanging on the handles of the full-sized pushchair when little one gets tired.

[column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Folding Toy BuggyFolding buggy, £7
The Entertainer

[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Silver Cross Junior Roamer Doll's Pram
Silver Cross Roamer Toy Pram, £34.99
Argos

[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0%”]

Silver Cross Surf Dolls Pram
Silver Cross Surf Doll’s Pram, £49.99
Amazon

[/column][end_columns]

Duplo – Lego and Duplo are wonderful toys for dexterity and coordination and they really stretch the imagination. They’re also really soothing for adults to play with or “supervise”.

[column width=”45%” padding=”5%”]

Lego Duplo First Farm
Duplo First Farm, Was £19.99 Now £15
Amazon

[/column][column width=”50%” padding=”0%”]

Duplo bricks set
Duplo Bricks, various prices
Amazon

[/column][end_columns]

Kids Table & Chair Set – Endlessly useful, but try to get 2 chairs to save arguments with friends. Check out Poundstretcher for plastic sets in multiple colours.

[column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Beep Beep Collection Play Table and Chairs
Beep Beep Table & Chairs, £29.99
Dunelm Mill

 [/column][column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Kidcraft Activity Table with Lego BoardsKidcraft Activity Table with Lego boards & storage, £108.94
Amazon

[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0%”]

Safari Playroom FurnitureSafari Playroom Furniture, £175
Not On The High Street

[/column][end_columns]

Roleplay Toys – a lot of the roleplay toys which little ones love to play with contain small parts which can be a choke hazard for under threes. These sets are designed to be safe for little ones, but won’t seem babyish as they grow up.

[column width=”45%” padding=”5%”]

Wooden Post Box Toy
Wooden post box, £15
ELC

[/column][column width=”45%” padding=”5%”]

Just Like Home Storage Tea Pot Set
Tea set in giant tea pot, £14.99
Toys R Us

[/column][end_columns]

Jigsaws – always a winner, but check with the parents what size / type of jigsaws their child is doing already and try to buy a step up. Dexterity varies massively at this age as they all learn things in different orders! It’s hard to beat ELC for lift out puzzles but look out for puzzles with noise or tactile puzzles. There are some gorgeous shaped puzzles around too.

[column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

ELC Cottage Lift Out Puzzle
Cottage Lift Out Puzzle, £8
ELC

[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”5%”]

Noisy Sound Puzzles
Sound Puzzle (various designs), £15.99
Not On The High Street

[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0%”]

Cat Number Jigsaw
Cat Number Jigsaw, £11.95
Not On The High Street

[/column][end_columns]

And last but not least… Bags – Toddlers adore bags and can spend hours taking things in and out of them and carrying them around. They are the new, exciting, upgraded model of last year’s hit present, “the box”. We really liked the Little Life DaySacks. Available in Ladybirds, BumbleBees, Sharks, Dinosaurs and lots more, kids wear them happily, they have practical little rain hoods tucked away inside, and they have both a rein attachment and a grab handle which means they can keep both hands free and you can hold onto them tight in those moments when their independence starts to cause panic rather than pride.

[column width=”45%” padding=”10%”]

Little Life Ladybird Rucksack

[/column][column width=”45%” padding=”0%”]

Little Life DaySack Rucksacks

[/column][end_columns]

Lots more gift inspiration coming soon!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Posted on

Coolest kids costumes ever!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Just been doing some Christmas gift research and found possibly the coolest kids dress-up costumes ever! If you’re bored of witches, wizards and skeletons, and want something with more year round appeal, these costumes are brilliant for toddlers and bigger kids alike.

Wearable bulldozer costume

Wearables Bulldozer Costume

Wearable airplane costume

Wearables Airplane Costume

Both are available from FindMeAGift, who ship worldwide. They will be in stock from 12th October, and can be pre-ordered now. They are also offering 20% Off Halloween Costumes at the moment – enter SPOOKY12 at checkout.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Posted on

Monochrome Scarves: Portable Play for Little Ones

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
I’ve been a little preoccupied in the last week, preparing for an interview. It involved me writing a presentation on fashion and ethnic identity, and I’ve been admiring all the stunning hijab scarves online, which have me all inspired again.
monochrome spotty scarf

When small one was a tiny, I discovered this fantastic scarf in a charity shop. It looks great on, but also doubled perfectly as a portable playmat – high contrast pattern is very exciting for babies, and it folded up so small I could take it anywhere. There’s nothing more likely to make you feel like a supermum than being able to swish off your scarf and produce an entertaining toy. It’s polyester, not silk, so even works as an impromptu changing mat!

Monochrome or high contrast geometric designs are perfect for younger babies, and square scarves are big enough to take 2 babies who aren’t yet mobile.

As they get older they will love patterns in bright colours. Different textures are also fun. Why not try a long design and encourage them to move along it? Or pick one with text, to erm… help with reading?

Stripy scarf
Lightweight Striped Scarf+
Colour study Printed Scarf
Colour study Printed Scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joules Aviary Silk Scarf
Joules Aviary Silk Scarf, £34.95
Good Society Square Scarf, £32
Good Society Square Scarf

 

Oxfam online have a fantastic selection if you’re on the look-out for a bargain or cut-price designer version.Toddlers love using them as picnic blankets, tents or even clothes for dolls and teddies, so you may need to buy a few or retrieve them from the dressing up box to actually wear them yourself… but it is a great excuse to treat yourself!

Bonus points to any mum who can self-justify any gorgeous Roberta Di Camerino scarf or pass this one off as a “learn to tell the time” teaching aid!

Timney clock monochrome square scarf
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Posted on

Why you should always give toddlers your full attention…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Mummy!!!” Mummmeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

“Yes darling….”

Dolly’s poorly Mummy….

“Oh dear… kiss him better”

Mummy!!! Mummy!!! Dolly’s head!!!

“Yes love. He’ll be OK. Kiss him better.”

Mummy!!! Mummy!!! Dolly’s head!!!

“What about Dolly’s head sweetheart?”

Ummmm!! Dolly’s head!!!!!!!!!!

[Levers self off sofa]

Dolly’s heeeeeaaaaad!!!

Headless baby doll
(C) MilkChic. All rights reserved

“Ah… I see…..”

Silly Dolly…!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Posted on

Magpie Monday: Hidden Treasure

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

There are lots of reasons that I shop in charity shops and much as I love them, necessity has always been a big part of it. I can’t always afford to buy clothes on the high street for myself or the small one and I find that often I can get much more for my money second-hand, with better quality clothing at budget prices.

My new favourite is a “proper charity shop”, where there are no colour co-ordinated and styled window displays, the staff are largely over 70, and the prices are rarely over £5. They raise fund for cancer treatment at a local hospital and the shop is a veritable treasure trove.

(C) MilkChic. All rights reserved.

This week I bought something that reminded me of all the other reasons I love charity shopping.

I picked up a pair of bargainous Gap children’s jeans. They are really cute – lined with comfy pink fleece perfect for Winter, beautifully styled with cute pockets, look like new and they were only 50p.

Already feeling pretty good about my day (I may have bought a few extra bits and pieces at the same time…), I checked the pockets before I put them in the wash. And found this:

(C) MilkChic. All rights reserved.

It is a little shaped wooden puzzle piece of a shirt and tie. Cute, but no big deal… Except that we recognised it instantly. We already have the rest of the set, something my mum picked up in another charity shop about 6 months ago!

(C) MilkChic. All rights reserved.

It’s wonderful coincidences and hidden treasure like this that means that random finds at charity shops and car boot sales will always have the edge on normal shopping for me.

Do pop over to Me and my shadow to see the other Magpie Monday posts

Me and My Shadow

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail