Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tried & Tested: Christmas Gifts for Babies and Children

For Baby...

Fisher Price
Precious Planet Projection Mobile (RRP £49.99)

This enchanting cot-attaching mobile entertains baby with a charming music and light show projected onto the ceiling. Ideal for keeping baby entertained, or for soothing baby to sleep.

What our reviewer said...

"Little E is 3 months old and she absolutely loves staring at the projection and listening to the music while the animals rotate. She kicks her legs in excitement! When we want her to go off to sleep we press the heartbeat sound and that 'usually' sends her off.
It is quite heavy though so if you're using it on a swinging crib then make sure it's locked in to place!"

Super Rocking Rings
(RRP £9.99)

These six coloured rings provide endless stacking and knocking down fun for babies nine months and older, helping to promote motor skills and hand/eye coordination.

What our reviewer said...

"L is 10 months old and can get bored easily but he loves playing with these stacking rings. He pushes them and they rock back and forth making him giggle. He hasn't quite got the hang of stacking the rings in the right order yet but he claps when we help him and the green ball goes on top. A great gift at a good price."

Klappar Elefant - Set of 2 (RRP £12.99)

Everyone loves soft toys and this Klappar Elefant Set is just adorable. For every soft toy sold from their store, IKEA donates €1 to UNICEF and Save the Children, who are ensuring more children around the world can go to school. That's enough to buy writing materials for a child to last a whole month. (see site for more details). So why not help another child when you're buying for your own?

What our reviewer said...

s is THE cutest soft toy set I have ever seen. We're not usually a fan of soft toys in our house, they tend to just sit on shelves and clutter the place up, but these are just too soft and cuddly to be put away. My 3 year old loves them and has been using the big elephant as a snuggle pillow. Even better they can be machine washed and they are safe for children from birth meaning these little elephants can become friends for life."
Splash and Sing Submarine
( £24.99)

The Splash and Sing Submarine is a fun interactive bath toy featuring fun sea characters. Watch the water squirt from the funnels in time with the music. Press the buttons to learn numbers 1-2-3, colours and sea animals through fun phrases, melodies and a sing-song song. Built-in motion sensor activates melodies and sounds when the submarine is taken out of the water.

What our reviewer said...

"This is, by far, the best bath toy I have ever encountered. I was amazed that a battery operated toy could even go in the bath to be honest but it worked brilliantly. My kids absolutely loved the water spurting out of the top and it made bath time even more of a giggle-fest than usual. It sings, it sprays and it teaches them too - they love it, I love it - except for the fact that I got sprayed in the eye! Pricey for a bath toy but well worth every penny."

Whale Pail ( £20.00)

Designed to make life easy for Mum and Dad and enjoyable for the little ones, the Whale features a wide mouth that easily scoops up bath time toys in one go and stores them ready for the next round of fun in the tub. The soft, non-slip handle means the kids can help with the cleaning up - learning that a tidy bathroom is a happy bathroom!

What our reviewer said...

 "Before we were sent this to review the kids had seen the picture and assumed that the whale pail came with the letters so they had gotten quite excited . When it arrived it was just the whale pail on it's own. Cue tears! Anyway it was still fun in the bath - well at least for one of them - James decided he was using the whale to eat up all Jess's bath toys! I'd say it's more of a gift for mums to make tidying up easier than a gift for the kids and therefore I'd say it's quite pricey at £20.00. But I must say it did a very good job of staying on the wall - usually things like that drop off easily!"

For the Kids...

EZ Fort
(RRP £34.99)

The EZ-Fort 54 piece kit is a framework building system that uses spheres and tubes that connect together to create anything imaginable. Building with EZ-Fort is easy and fun. Just push the colour coded lengths of tube into the connecting spheres to create a den, boat, plane or whatever you can imagine. Drape over asheet or beach towel (not included) and anything is possible. 

What our reviewer said..."We were so excited when this arrived and we quickly got to work unwrapping the tubes and 'balls'. We made the 'house' from the front of the box and through a sheet over the top. The children loved it. It was a little wobbly but it did stay up. Daddy loved it because it teaches them 'the rules of building structures! It's quite small though so we're going to buy another set and build a big 'un!"

My first video camera - featuring tough design and easy operation. Record videos, take photos and edit your creations! Features face-tracking technology that allows you to add moving animations to a moving picture. Add movie-style openings and have fun playing the built-in games.

What our reviewer said...

"Mister A is always trying to use our camera so when this arrived we were sooo happy. It's great for his little fingers and he's been using it almost everyday since he arrived. Poor Little E is so used to the camera that she smiles on tap! You can also play games on it and alter the videos and images too - like adding a moustache to daddy's face! Available in pink or blue - this would make a great Christmas gift but don't be put off by the RRP - there are lots of offers on this at the moment so check on the web before you buy!"

Freddie the Fire Engine ( £32.95)

Another great product from Trunki, the children's luggage company – Freddie the Fire Engine! With the unflappable Freddie at his side your little hero can calm any crisis. Complete with helmet and axe, no adventure will be too big or too small!

What our reviewer said...

"We have never had the pleasure of owning a Trunki before although Mister A has had a go at one in a shop before and cried because we wouldn't buy it for him! He was so excited when he saw it - he's really in to Fireman Sam at the moment so this was like a dream come true - it even comes with a fireman's helmet and an axe ( not a real one obviously!) It was smaller than I imagined which is a good thing considering I've been pulling Mister A around the house on it ever since it arrived! It's great, sturdy and lots of fun - a little pricey but your kids will love it!"

Postman Pat
Triple DVD Box Set (RRP £14.99)

With his new and demanding job as Head of the Special Delivery Service, it’s Postman Pat as you’ve never seen him before. This well-deserved promotion means that Postman Pat will now be called on by the SDS to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere! With his faithful companion Jess the Cat, Pat proves that he can be relied on to deliver… on time, every time!

What our reviewer said...

"Postman Pat has come along way since I watched it back in the 80s but it was great sitting down to watch it with the boys. Although it's different from the original series, the essence of the programme remains the same as do my favourite characters! I know I'm supposed to reviewing for the children but I love Postman Pat too!  We giggled through all 18 episodes (on 3 DVDs) - and would definitely recommend this as a gift for children and adults!"  

Salter Kids In The Kitchen Baking Set

The Salter Kids In The Kitchen Baking Set offers children a great way to learn how to bake, whilst having plenty of fun.  Its comes complete with vibrant equipment to appeal to all children.  This baking set comes equipped with a mixing bowl, a sieve, a rolling pin and cutters.

What our reviewer said...

"We love to cook in our house but we always just use my old baking equipment. Sara just loved having her very own set - it's encouraged her to want to bake more and more and we've made some great biscuits and cakes since this arrived. It's a lovely set, a great size for kids little hands but still big enough to do the job in hand - I just wish they we're self cleaning!"
Wall Art (RRP from £34.99)

Walltastic’s unique, colourful and highly detailed wallpaper murals are loved by children of all ages and give any wall the “wow” factor- the perfect Christmas gift and an ideal family DIY project for any bedroom, playroom or nursery! The range includes characters such as Roary the Racing Car, Fifi, Spider Man, Peppa Pig, Ben10 as well as fabulous scenes like Space Adventures and Magical Fairies.

What our reviewer said...
"When this arrived I was dreading the immense task of putting up, what is essentially, wall-paper. I'm certainly no decorator but I soldiered on for the sake of the kids and I am proud to say that I did a fantastic job. I would never have thought to buy something like this as a gift but seeing how much the kids loved the excitement of it all I'd certainly recommend it. You just lay out the sheets on the floor (they're all numbered) and then put them up in order. It's easy to do but you will need to buy your own paste. Well worth the money."

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