From babies to toddlers and even to early teens, here’s some inspiration of what to put under the Christmas tree this year for your own little elves (clockwise from top left):
A fun learning tool from the best in the business, Leapfrog toys always go down well. The LeapReader is ideal for helping children learn to read, write and practice their literacy skills. Touch the pen to LeapReader books to hear the words read aloud and sound out the words, or use the special no- mess paper to practise letters, numbers and words with stroke-by-stroke guidance. LeapReader even plays vocabulary building games, and the fun character voices, sound effects and activities all help with comprehension skill. Aimed at ages 4-8, priced at £39.99
A toy of the future, Pebli Town uses traditional play pieces and a physical play board that interact with a tablet to bring the toy to life. The board uses hot spot technology, which means that any actions on the board are translated to the tablet, giving a technological edge to the classic board game. As 99% of game play is done on the board with the physical characters, children don’t have to directly interact with the tablet. The game is designed for children aged 3+ and is compatible with Apple and Android tablets. £49.99.
New modelling clay Nutty Putty is a silicone-based putty great as a gift for creative kids. Hypoallergenic and antibacterial, the putty is soft and pliable for little hands to mould and comes in a range of vibrant colours. Kids can keep their creations or squash back down for more creativity. Masterpieces can be baked in the oven to produce fun, rubbery models that can be played with, bounced, or used as key rings or jewellery. Available in sets starting from £10 from and suitable for ages 4+.
Nattou Rocker – A gorgeous and fun ‘donkey’ rocker for toddlers. The donkeys’s ears are great for hanging on to, although the seat does come complete with a safety harness, this rocking toy has a wooden base with stoppers on it to prevent it from toppling over. Not only will little ones love playing on this rocker it will also help develop their motor skills. Priced £94.99 from www.hippychick.com and aimed at toddlers from 10-36 months.
Alfie’s Magic Hat – Designed for hearing children pre-speech, ‘Alfie’s Magic Hat: Fun at the zoo’ is a book that recognises the increasing interest in using Signing to help babies and infants communicate, pre speech. Learning key ‘signs’ when speech is not yet developed is thought to lead to understanding of language, and help babies link words to meanings, ahead of speech. ‘Alfie’s Magic Hat: Fun at the zoo’ is a beautifully-produced, engaging book that children will love to read again and again. Available from www.sireniabooks.com for £5.99.
Meet BB-8 – the app-enabled Star Wars Droid that’s as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. £129 from Amazon.co.uk.
Frozen is still a huge hit with little girls and this Sing-A-Long with Elsa lets your child sing their favourite Frozen song. Simply place the microphone up to Elsa to activate the hit song Let It Go, which she sings in full. She also lets the child join in; just take the microphone away, sing the song and she carries on where you left off. The doll also says 15 different phrases from the film. £34.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
Jellycat’s charming Bashful Bunny has been crafted with a super-soft coat and features gorgeous floppy ears and a fluffy bobtail. A loveable companion, she can’t wait to have a cuddle. £17.95 from www.Harrod.com.
Lindt Chocolate Teddy – Nothing says Christmas more than chocolate (oh, and the Nativity, of course) and when it comes to chocolate Lindt is the best of the best. Available in a range of cute Christmas characters from Teddies to Reindeer, these choccies make a great stocking filler that you can enjoy too! Available from supermarkets in a range of sizes priced from around £1 for a single mini to £8 for a gift boxed treat.