• Amaaya

Kids' Christmas Gift Guide 2020

So 2020 may not have gone to plan for all of us but one thing is still for certain- Christmas is right around the corner! Deliveries will take so much longer than usual so I'm planning to have all my gift shopping done sooner rather than later. Normally, we splurge on one big present for the girls and they also get smaller bits from us, friends and family. We follow the 4 gift tradition so we ask the girls to write down 4 gift ideas that fall under these categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. They know that Santa brings one of the small gifts and the rest is from the people in their lives; I'm not letting Santa take the credit for things we spend our hard earned money on ;-) Let's get right into it! (Each link will take you directly to the item)

  1. Ice Cream Cart

This wooden ice cream cart from Asda is an absolute steal for £30! I searched for a good quality, wooden ice cream cart for Amaara's (6) birthday and most of them were close to a £100 or even £200. It's cute, I love the pastel colours and it's easy to put together. It comes with different types of ice creams and lollies and the girls spend hours playing with it. They use play money which of course helps with basic maths skills, so it's a win win! By the way, if you're looking for wooden cooking and food sets, Asda has amazing deals; we bought Maya a traditional wooden dollhouse for under £50 years ago and it's still good as new.

2. DidiCar

The Didicar is a fantastic product. We purchased this for Amaara's 3rd birthday (I think) and all of the girls still use it. It's a sturdy, well designed ride-on toy for children and adults alike- tried and tested by moi! The girls have used it both indoors and outdoors and they love it!

3. Walkie Talkies

We don't have these but the reviews are amazing and I think the girls would really enjoy playing with these around the house or when out on a nature walk. The range is up to 3 miles which is impressive!

4. Kids' Cookbook

We love to cook and bake and the girls love to get involved. Basic cooking skills are so important and letting them take charge in the kitchen (with me hovering in the background) is one way of getting them to learn! This cookbook is great, clear photos illustrate each step and the recipes are fairly simple without too many ingredients. It features actual meals and not just recipes for cakes, cupcakes and sandwich fillings which proliferate in most children's cookbooks.

5. Monopoly Deal

If your children are too young for the Monopoly board game, the card version might be a good alternative for now although this game is great fun for the whole family. My youngest started playing this when she was 3 years old and has regularly beaten the rest of the family ever since.

6. Sewing Kits

My girls have been obsessed with sewing lately so I found quite a few reasonably priced sewing kits for kids on amazon. The case contains a small range of patterned fabric, filling material,

thread and needle, beads, pompoms, decorations etc. Despite product this being marketed at girls, I'm sure some boys would also love the idea of learning to sew.

It's a good introduction to sewing which is a good basic skill to have and it's the perfect Christmas holiday craft.

7. Puppet Theatre

If you have imaginative kids who love role play, a puppet theatre would be perfect for them! A play theatre inspires creating stories and puppet play helps develop hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and dexterity. More importantly, it could also help them open up and make it easier for them to express their thoughts and feelings that they might not otherwise feel comfortable sharing.

8. Book Sets

One of the most powerful and memorable presents you can give to your children is a great book. Even if your kid isn't a bookworm yet, you never know which book could get them hooked! What's even better than a book is a book set! They can get a lot of use out of an entire set that can capture their imagination for months or even years to come. My girls love Harry Potter, The Famous Five, St. Clare's, Mallory Towers, Daisy, The World of David Walliams, Diary of a Wimpy Kid etc. Picture book sets are also great for younger readers.

9. Magazine Subscriptions

Find a fun kids' magazine and gift them a subscription! My girls have had a National Geographic Kids subscription for about 8 months now; they all take turns reading/flicking through the pages, there are quizzes and word searches which they enjoy and there are also cards with facts about different species which they can pull out and collect. Although Imaani (4) doesn't necessarily read every the articles in depth, she'll still look at the pages and ask questions so don't be put off if your kids are a little younger!

10. Gift Experiences

What do you get kids who seem to have everything? We usually give the girls an experience gift for their birthdays, for instance, we went to Legoland on Amaara's 2nd birthday, for Maya's 8th she got tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and Imaani's 1st birthday (and my 30th!) happened to be during the Easter holidays, so we spent a few weeks in the Maldives. Experience gifts probably make more sense to older children as they can anticipate the event whereas younger children wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of having to wait.

Despite CoVid restrictions, you can still book a lot of things for the post lockdown period. Here is what I'd suggest: a weekend trip away- it doesn't have to be abroad and expensive, The Big London Bake where you can live out your very own Great British Bake Off fantasy, a concert- Harry Potter fans would love the Harry Potter film concert series at the Royal Albert Hall, where you can watch the film with a live symphony orchestra performs the score (amazing, I know!!!), a day at the theatre to watch a musical followed by dinner, a movie night complete with snacks and treats with a handful of their closest friends...you get the idea!

I hope that at least some of these suggestions were helpful! I'm looking forward to a beautiful festive time with my family and I hope you are too; we all deserve it :-)

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