Blogmas 2018 - Day 2: Children’s gift guide

NB. *This post contains affiliate links, which are all marked with an asterisk.  If you click on an affiliate link, and make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

This year my children don’t really need anything for Christmas, and haven’t really asked for anything. My 4 year old daughter said she’d like a Polly Pocket Go Tiny Playset*  but if Father Christmas couldn’t sort that she would like a surprise. My son is only 2, hasn’t shown a liking for anything, and is pretty happy playing with the cars, trains and action figures he already owns. However, he loved the couple of camping trips we took this summer, so we thought he might like a little play tent. Along with the Polly Pocket* and play tent  we have bought a few little stocking fillers, but nothing too big or extravagant. I’m sure we have plenty of years ahead of us where they know exactly what they’d like, but if you’re struggling too, here’s a few ideas to get you started with your kid’s Christmas shopping. Meanwhile, if anyone has any idea of what I should buy my husband please let me know in the comments!  

Outdoor and nature gifts
I know I’ve said before that we’re a fairly outdoorsy family, but even we need a little extra help during the winter months. Some of these would be great gift choices to get children outdoors or connected with nature, even during colder days.

There are lots of bug hunting kits out there, and we have a few, but this is one of our favourites. The accompanying book has some great ideas and activities in it.

DK Bug Hunter book

We’ve had one of these butterfly sets the last couple of summers and have enjoyed it so much  Although it’s not the right time of year to receive your caterpillars (that’s usually March to mid-September) you could gift a set which comes with a voucher to be redeemed at the appropriate time of year.

We don’t own these treasure hunt cards...yet...but they are top of our wish list at the moment. They look like a really fun way to get the kids outdoors.

Arts and Crafts
We are very much an arts and crafts, and messy play family. I’m quite happy to put a plastic sheet in the kitchen and get stuck in, and in the summer we just do all our messy activities in the garden. If you are buying for a child who doesn’t live in your home, it’s probably best to avoid paints, PVA glue, and the messier activities if you want to stay on good terms with their parents! However, there are plenty of low mess options.

My daughter was bought this Djeco set as a gift a couple of years ago. It was super easy to do, and pretty mess free. No glue needed, you peel off the backing to reveal the sticky paper. The sand is shaken onto the paper inside the box it arrives in, then theres a little hole in the corner of the box to shake the excess back into the pot to be reused anther time.  

Djeco sand art pictures

These look great. I think I’d be much more likely to allow indoor painting with these on hand! 

My 4 year old really likes her aqua beads. They are pretty fiddly, need quite a lot of concentration and good fine motor skills, but she’s made some great little things with minimal help from me. Once you’ve arranged your beads where you want them in the tray they just need a (fairly liberal) spray with water, and you leave them to dry. 

We’ve had a few of these books, you can get lots of different characters, and now have quite a collection of the different coloured pens. They have been great to take out and about, and when visiting friends, as you know there’s not going to be any pen leakages or accidental colouring on carpets or sofas.

If you really really really struggle with mess, then this inflatable tray is an excellent idea. Buy one of these (there’s so many to choose from on Amazon) along with your crafty bits, and hopefully everything will stay a little more contained. When you’re done it can just be wiped down, deflated and packed away.

Puzzles and games
If you were looking to buy a family present a puzzle or a game is a really good shout. For families with older children classics like Monopoly, Cluedo and Frustration would probably go down well. For younger children, Orchard Games do some excellent ones where they can start to learn about following rules and taking turns, so let’s start there.

There are so many different games in this range, and most of them are educational so you can easily find one to suit your needs. My two year old really likes Smelly Wellies* at the moment, Shopping List* is a classic, and the kids think Pigs in Pants* is hilarious . We’ve also had a lot of use out of the travel ones like Build a Beetle* and Llamas in Pyjamas*.

orchard games selection

Dobble is probably more suitable for slightly older children, but having said that my 4 year old nearly always beats me. You can play several different games with the cards, and they come in a handy little tin. We always take it with us on camping trips, or nights away, and it’s even come out for a couple of meals with us. We own the regular version of Dobble* but you can get so many different versions like Junior*, Star Wars* and Disney Princess*.

Dobble cards

This is a game everyone can get involved with and no real skill is required. It’s a game I loved as a child, and my kids love to play together without TOO much falling out!

Clothes and pyjamas
As my children both have summer birthdays, birthdays and Christmas are a good 6 months apart, so I use both as a good opportunity to stock up on some of the essentials. Underwear, socks and pyjamas with their favourite characters on are always a good option, as are dressing gowns and slippers. Or maybe even splash out a little on a special party dress or shirt, or some hair accessories. I’m not going to list lots of different items here, you can buy pants, socks and PJs everywhere these days!

Wooden Toys
I don’t know what it is about wooden toys, but they have such a nice feel to them. Plus they have the bonus that they aren’t made out of plastic! Wooden toys make lovely looking gifts for both babies and older children.

Shape sorter
When my 2 were younger we had a plastic, singing, Cookie Jar, shape sorter which I bought them, and they both hated it. The slots to put the shapes in were at a weird angle and they never played with it. A friend of mine bought them a lovely Djeco wooden cow one and they played with it all the time. I’m assuming this particular shape sorter must now be discontinued as it is currently selling for a ridiculous price, but this* looks like a good alternative.

This is a pricy option , particularly if you go for the large rainbow*, but it would look lovely on display, as well as being a great toy to play with. If I'd known about these when my eldest was a baby I think I'd have invested in one then, and between the two kids we'd have had a lot of play out of it. 

If your children are anything like mine, they probably love playing role play games and making various figures, dolls and teddies talk to each other. These hand-painted Peg Dolls are a lovely plastic free option.

If I’m really struggling, my go-to gift is always books. Can a child ever have too many books? I’d say not. I think these books and storytelling games would make lovely gifts.

The Night Before Christmas*
We read this book every Christmas Eve before bed and this looks like a particularly lovely edition.

Fairy Tales
I like to gift books of fairy tales. I've bought them for Christenings, first birthday's and first Christmases. This edition of the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales* is lovely, as is this Hans Christian Andersen* collection. If you wanted something that could be easily handled by younger readers, rather than a nice edition to be kept, we like these Ladybird board books*, and you can always go for the traditional Ladybird editions* I remember from when I was younger. There are lots of titles in both these lines of Ladybird books, so I'm sure you can find a story to suit everyone.

I picked up these storytelling cards for my sons Christmas Stocking for just £4, but I suspect my daughter will be pinching them off him fairly regularly. 

My daughter had some of these for her 4th birthday. I would say that these beautifully handpainted stones are more suitable for slightly older children as they are small, and we have managed to chip a couple, but they would make a lovely Christmas present.



Hopefully that’s given you plenty of inspiration, and ideas for the little people in your life! What have your children asked Father Christmas for this year? And what’s on your Christmas list?

*This post contains affiliate links, which are all marked with an asterisk.  If you click on an affiliate link, and make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

children’s gift guide