Well, I've nearly finished my Christmas shopping, thanks to online shopping for that!
I don't know about you but it's my saviour, with working full time I have very little time to go out shopping. I tend to use Amazon UK and Ebay as they seem to have the best deals, although sometimes I use smaller independent stores when they have better offers or more availability.
I have been very lucky this year as I have been able to review some toys for my blogs and I also went to a Blog conference where I was able to look at some new release toys and have a play with them.
Here is a list of some of the items I have reviewed and think are worth purchasing for Christmas 2016!
1. Bellz Game.
Recommended age 6+
For 2-4 players
The game was honoured in 2015 by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, with a Best Toys for Kids Award. After playing this game with my children age 6 and 13 and also with the children I look after age 5,7 and 8 they have thoroughly enjoyed this simple game. I can understand why the game won awards, the game is easy but challenging, fun, extremely addictive, compact, sturdy and takes seconds to set up and put away. This game is one of those games that can be played over and over again as it's not just about skill but also about luck.
If you would like to find out more please read my Bellz game blog post!
2. Disney Star Darlings dolls.
The Star Darlings are characters in a series of Disney fantasy books geared towards 8 to 12-year-olds. All of the dolls have such big beautiful Royal Reflection sparkly eyes, shimmery skin, colourful hair and are oozing with cuteness.
Each 11-inch fully poseable doll comes with a musical instrument that is fully detachable and -is dressed in funky, vibrant, modern clothes that are sparkly and well made. On the side of each Star Darling box is a beautiful wish.
There are two other Star Darling dolls to collect. Leona Starling who is the star singer with her glittery gold tunic, gold pants and gold wedge shoes. Her outfit is complete with a detachable star belt and curled yellow hair. Vega Starling who is the sparkling base guitarist that looks astronomically cool with her short blue bob, detachable silver belt, silver-detailed glitzy ensemble and blue and white high top trainers.
I have purchased these for my friend's girls as they both love dolls and want to be a famous girl band when they are older. These dolls will add to their collection and I'm sure they will love the magical story that these dolls are created from. The girls are 6 and 8 and I think these dolls will make a perfect gift for them.
If you would like to find out more about the dolls read my Star Darlings review!
3. Num Noms.
Now being a grown up I don't really get the whole Num Noms collectable thing, but they are extremely popular with all the children I care for.
Children love collecting things and these Num Noms are what all the girls seem to be collecting this year, along with the Shopkins. I have featured the Num Noms in one of my blogs if you would like to know more. These would make great gifts for your children's friends and are great for stocking fillers too!
Another great gift for little artists this Christmas, they are easy to use and make hardly any mess. I would recommend these sets for children age 7+ as the tubes take a little bit of strength to squeeze the gel out.
There are lots of different sets available!
5. Googly Eyes.
A great game from University Games for all the family that challenges your vision and drawing skills!
The recommended age for this game is 7+
Number of players; 4-16 in teams
We love this game, it is so much fun and would be a great family game to play over Christmas and New Year. Check out my short blog post on this page or my YouTube video here to see the game in action! There are also other game reviews on my YouTube page for you to view with other game ideas.
Recommended age for 4-10-year-olds.
We have a few of these sets that I purchased for my 6-year-old son's birthday back in October. This park set is great and my son and the children I care for, really enjoy playing with it. We also have the Porsche set so the people get to ride to the park in a Porsche.
There are so many different sets available to choose from and you could always find something of interest to please. These toys are great for helping children to learn to play using their imagination and are well made and come apart for storage.
7. Fisher Price Imaginext.
We have quite a few of these sets and my son simply loves them and is always playing with them. These toys are perfect as they encourage imagination as well as being fun!
With such an amazing selection of toys to help create an adventure, children love getting caught up in their own little story or even playing together with others. Growing imaginations with themed toys help children see how they fit into the world.
Imaginext toys help re-create real-life situations enabling children to learn about themselves and others. They develop thinking and problem-solving skills. And so much more.
8. Lego Games for consoles.
We have a PS4 and have nearly all of the Lego games. I and my 6-year-old son have really enjoyed our special quality time together completing missions and unlocking new characters. Any of the games are great, it depends on what your child likes the most.
We are massive superhero fans so our favourite is Lego Avengers Assemble. The game is an action-packed Super Hero adventure where you get to join the LEGO Marvel’s Avengers team that features characters and storylines from the critically-acclaimed film Marvel’s The Avengers. Play as the most powerful Super Heroes in their quest to save the world.
I have purchased the Lego Dimensions starter set for my son this year along with some different characters to help him unlock different levels of the game. I am aware that this can get costly as you have to purchase new lego characters to unlock certain missions of the game. I will do a review sometime next year when we have had time to test it out.
My sons Auntie has brought my son the Lego Star Wars PS4 game for Christmas. I'm really excited about this and I can't wait to play this with him on Christmas day!
Don't forget jigsaws, these are great cheaper gifts that can bulk up Santas sack. There are so many different types available in different themes and for different age ranges.
Encourage children to take time out from all their gadgets and toys and use their fine motor and problem-solving skills. Children should learn to be patient and concentrate quietly from time to time and this is a great way to encourage it. People have long known that puzzles present many benefits for children as they develop.
For younger children start out with simple knobbed puzzles that are outlines of simple shapes that fit into corresponding board cutouts. For a slightly older child go for more complex silhouettes of real world objects that take more consideration. When children are even older they are guided by an image that they need to assemble and every time you end up with the same result. All puzzles have a recommended age on them to help you decide.
All children love books and there are so many wonderful stories available. If you are crazy like me and have started a Christmas eve box for them to open I would highly recommend
Elf's First Adventure which is a lovely story to read to your child on Christmas Eve. See my YouTube video of me reading the story to my son here to see if you like it. The illustrations by Gillian Gamble are so beautiful and the story is so sweet!
If you haven't yet finished your Christmas shopping, I hope these few ideas will help!
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for reading!
Some of the items here were sent to me for free to review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.