As regular readers will know, it was Little Man’s first birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it’ll be Boo’s fourth birthday next month. As any weirdly organised parent does, I tend to compile a list of gift ideas for them throughout the year, which allows me to put quite a bit of thought into it, so when it comes to buying, I’m prepared and then when friends and family ask me what they want, I can whip out my list (it’s on my phone, which barely leaves my side..!). It also means that I buy bits and pieces for them throughout the year, and build up my present hoard. I do enjoy looking through catalogues and websites with Boo, and picking out things we think she’d enjoy.
When I saw recently that The Toadstool were asking bloggers to write a Christmas wish-list post for a chance to win a bundle of prizes, and as an application to become a Toy Toad Tester (something I’ve been wanting to do since I started blogging!), it was a no-brainer that I’d soon be writing this! I absolutely love the toys over at The Toadstool, and have recently bought Boo a couple of birthday presents from there, which I will be sharing and reviewing for you soon. (If you are planning a purchase, I’d recommend that you sign up for their newsletter first, which then gets you 10% off your first order, which was lovely to take advantage of :-)).
Now, I’ve been browsing the shop, and I think the main problem I have with this wish-list is not getting too carried away! I’m going for five items for each child, and I will be strict and stick to that, so this is what I’m thinking of for Little Man..
Wooden Brio Road & Rail Travel Set £55
We’ve talked since he was born about getting him a gorgeous wooden train set. We really love wooden toys, and surely every little boy should have the pleasure of owning their own train set? He’s probably a tad on the young side to fully appreciate it yet, though he already loves playing pushing cars and trains along the floor, so I think with Boo’s help building it, he’ll have a blast with this, and it’ll be a toy he’ll grow into it and play with for many years to come.
Janod Robots Funny Magnets £17.50
I think these look great fun. Little Man has a box of wooden building blocks and he just loves knocking Boo’s towers down! With these, you can mix and match them and build the robots up, which will be good for improving his fine motor skills, and they look fab!
Basil the Monkey Backpack £31.50
He needs a backpack for our adventures. Boo has her ladybird bag for our outdoor expeditions, and she loves having her exploring kit, notepad, snacks etc. inside it, so I feel it’s about time that Little Man had one of his own, too. We’ve loads of adventures planned so he needs to be well-equipped! And have you seen it? It’s a monkey with a banana zip – can’t be beaten, surely?!
Haba Doll Little Scamp Michael £25
I believe that every child should have dolls. It’s human nature to want to nurture and cherish someone, so it’s right that they have a doll to do this with. Little Man is a very cuddly, affectionate boy and he enjoys his soft toys, so I know that a soft doll like this would become a treasured friend.
Haba Musical Eggs £3.90
My son (like many, I’m sure!) loves to make noises. Boo chose a drum for him for his birthday (oh, joy) and he likes to play with her keyboard and xylophone when he gets the chance. These little eggs look perfect for him – easy to hold and shake, lots of different noises, and small to store (OK, that last one makes it perfect for me, but as I am the list-composer, I get to make these decisions..;-)). I also noticed that Snowing Indoors added a favourable review of them, and I do listen to her recommendations 🙂
And now for Boo
Wonderworld Trix Tracks 2-Ways Flipper £35
I’ve seen a few ball track reviews popping up on social media lately and I have read them all! This one was the first thing on Boo’s list, as we’ve both looked at them on the website and in action and think they’re brilliant. She’s recently found my brother’s old Screwball Scramble at my mum’s house (do you remember that?!) and gets him playing with that, and the look of this flipper has her very excitable! The construction part of it is an education in itself, though I suspect she’ll need my help with this initially, they look very durable and beautifully made, and I cannot way to hear the balls rolling about on those tracks.
Wolf Hand Puppets with 3 Little Pigs & Houses £39.50
Boo has a best friend, who only lives a few doors away from us, and when she goes there to see her, she really enjoys playing with her puppet theatre. The two of them create fantastical tales together and perform them for us, which is magical to see. I’ve been meaning to get Boo her own puppets for a while and I particularly like this set, as they’re soft and tell a traditional tale, one which Boo is very familiar with as she has a much-puzzled out jigsaw of this story.
Haba Tack Zap Springtime Butterflies £13.60
Such a gorgeous toy that I just had to add this. I remember having something like this when I was little, and it allows for hours of variations and inventions. Boo is very creative, and as well as allowing her to express that, this toy lets her loose with a hammer – it has it all!
Shaped Box Princess Palace £15.50
My daughter is a puzzle princess! Pretty much since I can remember, she has had an adoration of jigsaw puzzles. We have a sizeable collection for her, and my mum and my in-laws have puzzles at their houses to keep her entertained, too. She’s always been a very active child (I believe they call them ‘high-spirited’?!), yet a puzzle was the one thing that would get her to calm down when she was younger and sit still for a while and I delight in watching the concentration on her face as she completes them, and she never ceases to amaze me at how adept she is at them. And this particular puzzle, well, she does like her princesses 🙂
Haba Doll Little Scamp Mette £25
If Little Man’s having one, she’s going to want one! She’s not a selfish child and she shares well, but I just know that she’ll adore his so she’ll need one, too. She has got a few dolls, and can spend hours playing with them, and I’m certain that the addition of Mette into the group will be very welcome.
All of these delights are over on my WishList Pinterest board now!
So that’s my gorgeous babies all sorted. I’m confident there’s plenty there to keep them amused, and not just in December, as sometimes happens. I see all of these toys providing hours of imaginative and exploratory play for them. One of the reasons that I do like The Toadstool so much is that they’re about creativity and quality gifts and the toys have a traditional feel to them. For me, that fits with Christmas here very well. We try not to get lost in the madness of December, instead that time’s all about decorating the house together, our advent calendars, watching Christmas movies, baking gingerbread and mince pies, and the all-important visit to Santa. Family traditions, with traditional toys. I’m very much looking forward to it!
What about you? Have you browsed and got a wish-list? Do you create one throughout the year?