The task of buying presents for a child is a challenging one. With so much out there the choice is overwhelming, and the pressure to get it right is intense. So Belle About Town chatted to a team of two to ten-year-olds and asked them what they would most like to find beneath the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Here what they wished for:
1. Cheeky Monkeys – Players battle to collect and count the most bananas – but watch out for other players trying to steal them in this fun game for 4-8 year olds. Kids are encouraged to make strategic decisions by choosing whether to play it safe after their first turn or spin the spinner to either collect more or risk losing all their bananas! The 3D tree adds another fun dimension to this charming game. As well as teaching basic counting skills, Cheeky Monkeys encourages children to think strategically, interact with others and make decisions. RRP £9.50, buy here.
2. Scoop & Count Ice Cream Cart – Learning is sweet when you’re pretending to run your own ice cream cart. Little ones can create imaginative ice cream combinations using a variety of ice cream flavours and toppings, while learning to count along the way. Suitable for ages 2 and above, priced at £39.99 and available from the Leapfrog store and all major toy stores.
3. My Golden Ticket Book – What could be more magical than a trip to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? With this beautiful personalised book your child can do just that, in their imagination of course. Simply add your child’s name and a unique adventure in Willy Wonka’s factory will be created just for them. They’ll explore wondrous new rooms and uncover their own delicious secrets.
Siblings can be added in too, or you can save money on several with a multigift option. Paperback £19.99, hardback £25.99 from www.wonderbly.com.
4. Selfie Clothing – When it comes to clothes, our group told us they’d love to be able to create their own, and that’s where Selfie Clothing comes in. It’s a great range of tops, and even capes, with pre-drawn pictures but no colour. Fabric pens come with the clothes and kids can create their own masterpiece and colour schemes, then wear with pride. See the full range here.
5. DOG – For the book-loving child a copy of DOG, by award-winning author Andy Mulligan, is a surefire winner. DOG is the incredible journey of a boy and his dog, or a dog and his boy. It’s a uniquely dark adventure exploring trust, friendship and fear of rejection. DOG will give hope to readers both young and old. When Tom meets Spider he knows he’s found a friend for life. Sadly, the friendship doesn’t run smoothly. The puppy has instincts of his own and Tom has so much on his plate: a new school, his parents’ separation and some serious bullying…. Both boy and dog will need more courage and determination than anyone could have imagined. £10.99 from all good book stores.
6. Slime – Slime is the way to any child’s heart, believe us. Give a kid a lump of slime and they’ll think you’re the best Mum/Dad/Uncle/Alien they’ve ever met. They can squeeze it, throw it, shape it and stick it places you don’t even want to consider. So go on, give the gift of slime this Christmas. Just don’t expect clean carpets come Boxing Day. Prices vary and it’s sold in every toy shop you can imagine. Or buy them the ingredients and sit with them while they make their own. They’ll love it!
7. SmartGlobe Explorer – This awesome SmartGlobe boasts innovative features galore. The Smart Learning Pen gives kids access to a wealth of fun information about continents, capitals, populations, geography, culture and more. Children will love using a tablet or smartphone to unlock 3D Augmented Reality content, including landscapes, animals, landmarks and even dinosaurs. But why stop at the world when you can enjoy the universe?! This cleverly designed globe opens up to reveal the earth’s core AND the solar system, which can be explored using the Smart Learning Pen and through Augmented Reality content. This globe is the gift that keeps on teaching, with three age range settings: 5 to 8, 9 to 14 and 15+. You can swap between age settings as often as you like, to allow all family members to enjoy SmartGlobe Explorer to its full potential! £129.99 Available from www.oregonscientific.co.uk, Amazon, Argos, Hamleys and some Rymans stores.
8. LEGO – It’s the toy of the ages that just keeps giving. LEGO is as popular now as it has ever been, and with some cracking new sets for Christmas, the brilliant brick people have something on offer for everyone, from stocking fillers to super-sized space stations. See the full range here. Prices upwards of £5 from the LEGO website and toy stores nationwide.
9. Milly Green Carousel Bauble – A beautifully festive Christmas bauble filled with Belgian chocolate coins – this is a stocking filler that you don’t see every day and perfect for kids of all ages. £5.20 each from the Milly Green website.
10. Lord’s Cricket set – With England’s women’s team having won the ICC Women’s World Cup this summer and the men’s team vying for glory in this winter’s Ashes, help inspire the next generation and encourage little ones to try the game themselves with this mini cricket set from Lord’s. The set contains a bat, stumps, a wooden base, bails and a tennis ball, so is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Ideal for any child aspiring to be England’s next best all-rounder. £12 from the Lord’s shop.