Category Archives: Gifts For Kids

Christmas Toys for Kids under £25

Find the perfect Christmas toys for kids under £25 predicted to be the best sellers in Christmas 2013. The Toy Retailers Association has released their predicted top 50 toys for Christmas 2013 which includes number of toys under £25. Our Gift Gurus have created this handy list showcasing 26 of the predicted best selling toys for under £25 Christmas 2013 from top UK online retailers along with price comparisons on selected products.

Air Hogs Atmosphere - Blue

Air Hogs Atmosphere - Blue

£25.00 from The Entertainer
Barbie Mariposa Doll

Barbie Mariposa Doll

£25.00 from Hamleys
Bop It Tetris

Bop It Tetris

£17.50 from John Lewis
Chasin Cheeky

Chasin Cheeky

£17.60 from Debenhams
Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag Set

Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag Set

£20.00 from The Entertainer
Gooey Louie Game

Gooey Louie Game

£16.00 from The Entertainer
John Adams Silly Moo Game

John Adams Silly Moo Game

£16.64 from John Lewis
Littlest Pet Shop Playset

Littlest Pet Shop Playset

£20.00 from The Entertainer
Monopoly Empire

Monopoly Empire

£16.00 from The Entertainer
One Direction Doll - Harry

One Direction Doll - Harry

£17.00 from The Entertainer
Robo Fish

Robo Fish

£10.00 from Hamleys
Slushy Maker Cup

Slushy Maker Cup

£14.99 from Findmeagift.com
 
 

This list was compiled using information from the Toy Retailers Association annual Dream Toys list for Christmas 2013. The Dream Toy list is selected by an independent panel of buyers that represents 80 per cent of toy retailers from stores that includes Hamley’s, The Entertainer, Argos, Smyths Toys, Toys R US, Toymaster and ToyTown, the Dream Toys list is widely respected as the most accurate predictive list of the toys that will be most in demand this Christmas.

Give the Gift Of Education

When it comes to children’s birthdays, every year it can get more and more expensive with higher expectations to meet. Parents can also get stuck buying gifts because the house is already over run with a mountain of toys, ones from the latest fad which they love and a heap left behind that aren’t interesting any more. Not to mention the copious amounts of gifts from grandparents, friends and other relatives, it can all get a bit too much!

If parents start out buying a smaller amount of presents from when their children are young, they won’t have such high expectations to meet year on year. You should also try and include gifts that have some educational values so kids can learn whilst they play, like some of the products from Early Years Resources, it is always the best way to get things to stick into their minds!

Every parent knows that the initial ‘wow’ of presenting kids with a whole host of new toys will wear off pretty quickly. After a few days of interacting with each toy they will then probably be more interested in the boxes that they came in! With this being said educational toys will be outlasting because you can use them with your young ones once they come home from school or at a weekend to continue the learning, just don’t tell them they are for learning purposes and they will love no doubt want to play with them just like any other toy.

Jigsaws are a fantastic item that you can help your children to complete, they will have to try and work out where pieces go to complete the full picture. You can even get 3D jigsaws that end up creating a rocket or fire engine to make it even more interesting and enjoyable for them!

Letting children loose with a sheet of paper and a new set of felt pens is all a part of learning, it certainly won’t feel like it to them. Getting creative and drawing what they picture in their minds will help them learn colours, shapes and more. A big plastic easel will be a gift they would absolutely love as they can stand up and draw away to their hearts content.

There are so many different toys and products that will aid with learning. Maybe make a list consisting of a few toys that your child wants or you think they would enjoy purely for fun, and then add on some that are more educational. You could even hand this list out to family members and explain that you don’t want to spoil your young one too much, they will probably be grateful of the ideas too!

For great educational gift ideas visit http://www.earlyyearsresources.co.uk/gifts-for-children-c987.

Top Games for Christmas 2012

The Toy Retailers Association released their annual predicted list of top toys for Christmas 2012 on October 31st 2012. This year’s list includes Games Top Toys for Christmas which is a selection of 8 games from top brands. This year’s top games list included Angry Birds Knock on Wood which is based the popular mobile app, Bop It! Smash which tests your reaction time, Fly Trap a fly flicking game for 2-4 children and LOGO guessing board game. Also included in the top games for Christmas 2012 list are Elefun Snackin Safari game, the guessing game Hedbandz, UNO Roboto and a new twist on the classic game of Twister called Twister Dance.

Top Games for Christmas 2012 List

 
 

Top Educational Toys for Christmas 2012

The Toys Retailers Association released their Dream Dozen Toys for Christmas 2012 again on October 31st 2012, it’s the most anticipated list retailers love and parents dreads. This year’s list includes for the first time Educational Top Toys for Christmas, which includes 8 selected educational toys from top brands. Tablets for children dominates this list with VTech InnoTab 2, Kurio 7 from Inspiration Works and from LeapFrog Toys we have the LeapPad 2 and the Leapster GS. Educational toys for toddlers represented in this list includes Toot-Toot Drivers Garage, VTech Gadget the Robot and First Steps Baby Walker and Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Dance & Play Puppy.

Educational Toys for Christmas List

The education toys for Christmas list consists of toys suited to toddlers through to preschool age and rangea from £20-£150 from well known online and High Street retailers.

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VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet, Blue

VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet, Blue

£84.99 from Tesco.com
VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet, Pink

VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet, Pink

£84.99 from Tesco.com
LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Green

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Green

£90.00 from Hamleys
VTech Baby Toot-Toot Driver Garage

VTech Baby Toot-Toot Driver Garage

£39.99 from The Entertainer
VTech First Steps Baby Walker - Pink

VTech First Steps Baby Walker - Pink

£25.00 from The Entertainer
LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Pink

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Pink

£90.00 from Hamleys
VTech Gadget The Robot

VTech Gadget The Robot

£40.00 from Hamleys
VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage

VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage

£43.00 from Hamleys
VTech 1st Steps Baby Walker

VTech 1st Steps Baby Walker

£30.00 from Hamleys
LeapFrog LeapPad2 - Pink

LeapFrog LeapPad2 - Pink

£59.99 from The Entertainer
VTech First Steps Baby Walker - Pink

VTech First Steps Baby Walker - Pink

£18.00 from Tesco.com
LeapFrog LeapPad2 - Green

LeapFrog LeapPad2 - Green

£59.99 from The Entertainer
VTech First Steps Baby Walker

VTech First Steps Baby Walker

£30.00 from Hamleys
VTech Baby Toot-Toot Driver Garage

VTech Baby Toot-Toot Driver Garage

£38.00 from Tesco.com
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Teaching Kids to Appreciate Gifts

Ask any child what they think Christmas is about, and there’s a pretty good chance that the word ‘gifts’ will feature somewhere in their response. And to an extent, of course, this is true – we demonstrate our love and appreciation for one another by exchanging presents. But it’s important that we appreciate the gifts for what they represent, rather than feeling that we deserve presents simply because it’s Christmas. Children are particularly prone to this mentality, and it falls to the parents to teach them the value of giving, and how to understand the concepts of charity and generosity.

We all want our kids to like the gifts they are given for Christmas – for parents, it doesn’t get much better than seeing their excited six-year-old rip off the wrapping paper, shriek with delight and then start throwing hugs at everyone in the room. For this to happen, though, it’s essential that parents impress the importance of charity, generosity and volunteer work upon their children. There are a hundred ways in which this can be achieved.

Volunteering

Firstly, you can bring your kids along to charity events and volunteer schemes. Common groups that organise events like these include local churches, village committees, and of course larger charities themselves. It will do your kids a world of good to witness the valuable work to which they can contribute, whether this is through helping at homeless shelters, volunteering to take care of sick or neglected animals or even something as simple as reading to the lonely residents of a care home.

Once your kids see first-hand the type of conditions in which other people have to live worldwide, they will appreciate the privilege of their own lives all the more – and suddenly that shiny Christmas present you’ve just given them will seem that much more special.

Encourage Them To Contribute

The end goal of introducing your children to the concept of charity is to instil a sense of empathy within them, that will grow and develop as they get older. You want your kids to want to help out the less fortunate, of their own volition – and this can only happen if you lead by example. Make a point of letting your children see you donating money to any charity groups you support, donating old clothes to Goodwill or Oxfam, or even something as simple as paying for a pack of charity Christmas cards. This is of particular benefit, as charity Christmas cards can really hammer home the extra importance of a ‘goodwill to all men’ attitude at Christmas.

Make sure that your children know why it is that you are giving away your material goods in this way – that you are doing it to help those in need. In time (although you should never force them) you will most likely notice that your kids are coming to you of their own free will, asking for help in donating their old toys to deprived children, or give half of their pocket money to abused animals.

Not only is this helping your children to become better people, but by giving away their older toys, they’re clearing space in their toy cupboards. This in turn makes any new gifts particularly special, as they come in to replace the old.

With so many options available to you, helping your children to become generous, charitable individuals doesn’t have to be a chore. Make a game of it to capture their attention, and have fun while you do it – but make sure that the child knows the important reasons behind these games. Lead by example, and before you know it, your little Dora the Explorer will be a regular Mother Theresa!

Three Ways that Parents can Nurture their Toddler’s Imagination

The terrible twos get a bad rap, but it’s also a magical time for parents and toddlers. There is nothing more amazing that watching your child’s imagination and creativity explode and to see their delight in exploring the world around them. One of your most important tasks as a parent during this time is to take steps to nurture your child’s imagination. It’s not only fun for them, it’s also the most effective way for them to learn self-regulation and problem solving skills.

Give Playthings that Encourage Imaginative Play

The more “work” that a child has to do for their toys, the better it is for their growing brains. Toys such as play food, blocks, dolls and puppets require children to provide their own storyline as they go along. This helps children improve their language skills, learn how to plan and carry out a course of action and how to work cooperatively with others.

In addition to providing high quality toys that encourage imaginative play, parents should also strive to avoid screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended no screen time at all for those under that age of two and no more than one to two hours daily for older children. This includes time spent using the computer and playing video games.

Some of the best choices for toys for pretend play include:

  • Puppets and puppet theaters
  • Dolls and doll houses
  • Kitchens, cooking utensils and food
  • Tool sets
  • Housekeeping toys (broom, iron, duster, etc.)
  • Arts and craft supplies
  • Blocks

Talk, Read, Sing and Listen

Language skills develop hand in hand with a child’s imagination. The more exposure and practice that a child gets with language, the richer their imagination is likely to be. The very best way that parents can help their child’s developing language skills is to talk to them as early and as often as possible and actively listening to them as they talk to you.

As you listen to your child, ask them open-ended questions and give them the time to come up with their own answers before jumping in. Talk about the things that you see as you go about your daily errands and play, again, asking plenty of questions and paying attention to what they ask and tell you.

Reading and singing songs also encourage speech and future literacy. Make reading a daily habit and let your child “read” to you, too. You can find a wide variety of children’s songs on YouTube or ask the childrens’ librarian at your public library for album recommendations.

Spend Plenty of Time Outdoors

More and more, social scientists and biologists are discovering that we humans have a very real need to be outdoors. Unstructured playtime in natural environments helps your child’s developing imagination and gives them a sense of connection to the world around them. Playgrounds and play equipment are terrific, but don’t forget about the simple joys of playing with a stick or finding insects under rocks or jumping in a pile of leaves.

Outdoor playtime should be a part of your child’s daily routine. Ideally, this will be in an area where your child has the opportunity to explore the natural environment and not just on a blacktop playground. Some other ideas for helping your child connect with nature include:

  • Let your child help you with gardening and landscaping.
  • Go for hikes and nature walks.
  • Visit your local botanic gardens.
  • Look for playgrounds that include trees and open fields that are suitable for children to play in.
  • Walk or bike as much as possible to run errands or go to school.
  • Make your backyard a warm, inviting place for the family to play, socialize and relax.

 

Toy Trucks for Boys Aged 2-5

Boys will be boys, and as they grow older, their toys only get bigger. The same holds true for men’s fascination with trucks, which begins when they are mere toddlers.

Toy trucks have always been one of the most popular gifts for young boys, as they never grow out of fashion. As new technologies flourish, toy truck manufacturers are finding clever ways to help make these toys friendlier and more educational for young tykes.

As the toddler years play a vital role in the formation of your child’s mental and physical abilities, toy trucks can be especially useful in helping your child learn. In addition to teaching them about movements, many of these toys help hone their creativity, logic and language skills through movable blocks and talking buttons.

When choosing a toy truck, first look at the design and material of the truck to ensure that they are safe for your children. Avoid buying those with small parts that can be swallowed easily. Other considerations include the features of the vehicle itself.

With the continued popularity of fire engines and dump trucks, it is no surprise that manufacturers are flooding the market with different kinds of vehicle options that can confuse any consumer. To help make things easier for you and your child, we have put together the best of the best in toy trucks for your little tykes.

1.    Playskool Chuck The Talking Truck

From leading toy manufacturer Playskool comes one of today’s most interactive toy trucks that is extremely popular for kids ages 2 to 5. Chuck the Talking Truck is a perfect companion for any child as it can speak 40 different words that are activated by the different buttons found on the truck itself. The truck’s positive and jovial attitude also helps build a positive attitude for children, making it one of the most innovative ways to teach your children without them getting bored.

2.    Fisher-Price Little People Builders Build ‘n Drive Dump Truck

When it comes to trucks, dump trucks are perhaps one of the most recognizable and popular choices for children in pre-school. The Fisher-Price Little People Builders Build ‘n Drive Dump Truck helps introduce your child to a world of fun and learning through movable parts that can allow them to build and create on their own. With this toy, your little toddler can learn to take charge and decide what he wants to load and dump, giving him the confidence to assert himself in real life.

3.    Matchbox Rocky the Robot Truck

Matchbox has always been famous for their toy cars, but with their Rocky the Robot Truck, Matchbox has become a force to reckon with in the mini trucking industry as well. The Matchbox Rocky the Robot truck is a toy gifted with a great personality that can make playtime even more enjoyable for your kids. What’s more, this vehicle can sing, dance, tell jokes and even sleep, complete with snoring sound effects.

At TruckertoTrucker.com, we fell in love with fire engines and dump trucks a long time ago. If you are looking for an grownup version of your favorite toy, take a look at these Florida used trucks and dealers of Miami trucks offering great prices.

Top 10 Preschool Toys for Christmas 2011

The Top 10 predicted best selling Christmas toys for pre-schoolers was announced on October 26th 2011 by the Toy Retailers Association. This years pre-school toys selection are perfect for the children aged between 3 and 5 (nursery school age) and are designed to improve your child personal, emotional, creative, language, literacy, communication and physical development.

Top 10 Preschool Best Selling Toys 2011

1. Dance Star Mickey – A state-side star has hit the UK! Dance Star Mickey comes to life in front of your eyes as he walks, talks, and dances to four different songs including Techno, Mambo, Shake Your Groove Thing and ‘M’ to the ‘I’…he even does the Moonwalk!

2. Elefun Busy Ball Popper – Drop the five colourful balls into the adorable Elefun character’s ears, and they could pop out the trunk or roll into the belly for a giggling good time.

3. Fireman Sam Pontypandy – Multi Rescue Set – Sam needs some rescue help in this ‘multi disaster’ playset! Open the playset and help put out the building fires with the hose, save naughty Norman when he traps his head in the railings, help Sam get the cat down from the tree!

4. Imaginext Batcave – The perfect hide-out for a caped crusader, the Imaginext Batcave comes with five cool activation points. Twist them to reveal a secret entrance and a working claw to fix the Batmobile after crazy Gotham adventures.

5. Kidizoom Twist – Get snapping with this 2 megapixel camera using the twisting lens: take pictures and movies of your friends then take fantastic self portraits. The camera features a 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, colour screen, 5 great games and dual view finders.

6. Lets Rock Elmo – Elmo comes with his very own microphone and two instruments – a tambourine and a drum set. Preschoolers can choose which Elmo plays, and he magically recognises which one you give him. Kids can also play along on Elmo’s instruments.

7. Octonauts Octopod Playset – There’s always something exciting to do on the Octopod as little ones help the Octonauts to explore the incredible undersea world.

8. Peppa’s World of Playsets – Create your own Peppa’s World with this stacked 6 in 1 playset. The Peppa House and Vets Surgery have hinged sides which open out and there is a Café, Toy Shop, Den & Dolls House.

9. Thomas & Friends – Follow Me Thomas – Preschoolers can become train engineers as they point and shine the light-up lantern on the floor and direct Thomas as he follows along.

10. Toot-Toot Drivers Garage – This interactive garage includes a cute tow-truck vehicle that you can zoom around, drive up and down in the lift, spin on the turntable or whiz down the winding ramp!

Top Toys for Christmas 2011

Check back in October when we will release the Dream Dozen for 2012. In the meantime check out the List from 2011 and 2010.

Top Toys for Christmas 2011

The Dream Toys for Christmas 2011 was been announced on October 26th 2011 by the Toy Retailers Association, who provides the toy industry with the official list of “Christmas Best Sellers”. The Toy Retailers Association (TRA) annual Dream toys list is the official prediction of Christmas best sellers for the UK toy industry. This years dream dozen toys for 2011 has seen the trend in technological advanced toys, this trend might follow 2010 dream dozen list. This years selection includes toys with a technological twist, ranging from tablet computers for children to toys that interacts and engage with children.

This years best selling toys were drawn from 7 categories, top 10 toys for boys, top 10 toys for girls, top 10 cool and hot toys, top 10 games, top 10 contruction toys, top 10 creative toys and top 10 pre-school toys.

Best Selling Toys Christmas 2011

Below are the Dream Dozen Toys for 2011.

    1. Milky The Bunny
    2. Fijit Friends
    3. Kidizoom Twist
    4. LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer
    5. Moshi Monsters Moshling Treehouse
    6. Nerf Vortex Nitron
    7. LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple
    8. Lets Rock Elmo
    9. Doggie Doo
    10. Fireman Sam Pontypandy Multi Rescue Set
    11. Monster High Lagoona Blue Doll And Hydration Station
    12. Star Wars Ultimate FX Lightsaber

From the Top Toys for Girl categories we have two entries which are Milky the Bunny Emotion Pet from Flair and Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station from Mattel. From the Top Toys for Boys category we have Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster from Hasbro and Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber Assortment by Hasbro. from Top Pre-School category Toys we have Lets Rock Elmo by Hasbro, Kidizoom Twist Camera by Vtech and Fireman Sam Pontypandy Multi Rescue Set by Character. From the Top  Games category we have Doggie Doo by John Adams and from the Top Construction Toys category we have Ninjago Fire Temple by Lego. From the  Cool and Hot Toys categories we have Fijit Friends by Mattel, LeapPad Explorer by Leapfrog and Moshling Treehouse by Vivid.

We are eagerly awaiting the results on October 26, 2011 for this year best socking fillers. Other retailers have already released their predicted best selling toys:-

Top Selling Toys for Christmas 2010

Here it is the list the major retailers were waiting for and parents dread, “Top Toys for Christmas 2010?. The annual Dream Toys list from the Toy Retailers’ Associations (TRA), the industry’s official prediction for Christmas best sellers. Last year Top Toy for Christmas saw the Go Go Pet Hamsters topping the best seller charts, with most stores in the UK running out of stock within weeks of general release.

The Top 12 Dream Toys or Dream Dozen Toys 2010 were drawn from 6 categories, top toys for boys, top toys for girls, top cool toys, top creative play and top pre-school toys.

From the Boys Toys category we have Jetpack Buzz Lightyear from Mattel from Toy Story 3, the highest grossing animated film in 2010. Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Side Car by Flair Leisure, FurReal Go Go Walking Pup by Hasbro and Zhu Zhu Hamsters Grooming Salon by Character Options were selected from the Girls Toys category. The Creative Play category is represented by Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station Playset by Character Options and Kidizoom VideoCam by Vtech.

The Games category is represented by a new twist of the classic Monopoly board game called Monopoly Revolution by Hasbro and racing one of the family to blow up a 3ft tall inflatable character with the Pumpaloons action game by Drumond Park. The Creative Play category is represented by toys than will keep minds and hands busy long after Christmas Day, LEGO City Airport and Moon Dough Barn by Spinmaster Toys make the Dream Dozen List. Finally, from the Cool Toys category we have the uber cool Paper Jamz Guitar by Wow Wee Europe and Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS.

The Toy Retailers Association represents around 2500 stores and over 100 different companies accounting for 60% of toy retailers and this is the 44th year they have predicted the Top Toys for Christmas.

Best Selling Toys for Boys 2010

Along with the Dream Dozen List the TRA also predicted a list of the 12 best selling toys for boys this Christmas 2010:-

Armouron Action Set Bandai
Bakugan Maxus Dragonoid 7-in-1
Ben’s Mark 10 Car
Beyblade Super Vortex Battle Set Hasbro
Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver Character Options
Hot Wheels Dr Bones Colour Lab Mattel
Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear Mattel
Kung Zhu Battle Arena
Star Wars: Clone Wars General Grievous Lightsaber
Star Wars: Hoth Wampa Cave
Toy Story Collection Sheriff Woody Vivid
UNSC Arctic Rocket Warthog

Christening Gifts: How To Find The Perfect Ones

Christenings have always been a cherished moment in a religious family’s life. With such a strong heritage of the Catholic Church here in the UK most Brits have had the honour of going to a christening.

When you are invited to a christening ceremony you will be expected to provide some kind of gift. While some people take this very seriously, for the most part you are not expected to give a terribly expensive present. You can find many attractive and meaningful gifts for under £20 online.

Traditional Ideas

Tradition would dictate that all christening gifts should be silver. Now of course this is a centuries old tradition that many people do not find applicable today. And in many cases, especially with the rising cost of silver goods, you do not need to do this.

But as you’ll often find, a silver spoon or silver baby rattle are common christening presents. For smaller occasions this is fine but as more people are invited you can have people giving the same item as a gift.

That is why we recommend that only the godmother or godfather give a silver spoon. Because of it’s traditional meaning many of the godparents like to choose that as their gift.

This same rule applies to a copy of the Holy Bible. Many family members – especially deeply religious ones – like to give that as a gift. If you’re just a family friend, it is better to let them do that.

Silver Christening Gifts

If you still would really like to give a silver christening gift there are several options you have. You can purchase any number of silver plated baby toys that are pretty unique and make a good gift.

Another interesting and unique gift that we have heard about is giving the newly christened child a registered savings account. Now of course not everyone can afford this. But even if you can afford just a few pounds it can add up, especially if multiple people combine their money. By the time the child is old enough to take the money out of the bank it can add up to be a quite tidy amount.

Unique Gift Ideas

You also have the option of giving some very unique and one of a kind gifts. Some options are registering a kit to name a star in the sky after the child, or even getting them a custom magazine printed about their christening ceremony. If you’re the kind of person that really likes to give unique gifts we recommend those.

And if you want to just play it safe?

In that case might we suggest giving a tasteful photo frame, a stylized memory box, or even just a gender appropriate baby toy.

The fact is that in today’s society it really is just an honour in and of itself to be invited to either the christening ceremony or the welcoming party afterwards.

So just keep that in mind if you start to stress out about buying good christening gifts for them. You do not have to spend much money to show your support for the child and still provide them a tasteful and respectful gift on their special day.