There I was feeling smug and organised as it turned December, with us having enjoyed choosing our tree from the wonderful Ashburton Christmas tree farm. Little did I know it would be sat in our garden for two weeks and when we finally brought it in it stood in it’s stand undecorated another week. There goes the feeling smug. Let’s not even get on to presents! So if you find yourself in a similar position to me, then here are some gems of presents that we have thoroughly enjoyed and I know you’ll love. And the bonus is they can be bought locally.
Some of these have been previously gifted to us, but I would not recommend them if I did not genuinely love them. I’ve included a couple of affiliate links for if you buy off amazon – there’s no difference for you, but it might offer me a teeny amount – Thank you.
Newborns, Babies, Toddlers & Minis
Babies can be tricky to buy for Christmas, especially if their not your first and you already have everything they need. While they would probably be quite happy with a set of nappies, if like me you want to buy them something more, these cute wall animal alphabet illustrations by Sidmouth based Lucy Tweedie might just be the perfect thing.
A perfect pressie for the little one in your life that will grow with them. Use it as a rocker for when they are small and then a whizzy ride on as they grow – they will truly love it. My two (ages 5 & 2.5) still use ours almost daily even after 2 years! What sets this apart from other ride on toys is the caster wheels, which means that the kids can whoosh around and do 360s! Its so much fun! It also looks fab with no plastic or annoying jingles in sight! It is pricey but will last well and be worth it in the end. Kes from Exmouth based Whizz Kids Toys stocks these.
Read more about my review below:
Dr Zigs Bubbles
All children love bubbles – and if we’re honest we adults do too! But these bubbles are no ordinary bubbles. They’re giant, eco and amazing! My daughter was given a set for her 5th birthday.It started off tricky for her, but still fun – and she also loves me doing it (which I love) while she catches the bubbles. Win Win. Obviously my 2 year old was jealous. So I’ve just popped into Zero Waste Stores in Exeter Fore Street for a hand wand so he can join in too – they stock both or if you’re further away then amazon stock the hand wand link (affiliate link) & Giant bubble kit link (affiliate link).
Djeco beautiful crafts
If your little one is like mine and loves crafts and the finished piece to be a beautiful masterpiece, then Maker Maker on Magdalen Street have collection of wonderful Djeco crafts for children of different ages (they also have lots of lovely other things you might be tempted by for you too!).
Animals, and the sounds they make, are always good fun with little ones. and ‘The Animal Says…’ book definitely is too.
We love Exmouth- based Deb’s illustrations. They’re colourful, fabulous and fun and make you want to roar just like the lion, to buzz just like the bee and, probably my favourite sound in the book, wheek just like the guinea pig! The facts to go with each of the 10 animals are great for children. And, with my teaching hat on, I’d say it’s a fab introduction to non-fiction text – a text type that children often don’t get exposed to enough.
There are a few options to getting hold of a copy… off Amazon (aff link) Direct via Deb’s @debrartdesign, from candyjarbooks.com, locally, @seaglass_lympstone, @scarletgiftsexmouth, @womb_to_grow, @gingerbreadbudleigh
The children’s piece of tech of the year, the Yoto Player looks great. It plays audio books and more and the best bit is your children are in complete control. Just like we used to walk round the house with cassettes and our trusty Fisher Price player, now our children can enjoy the same screen free pleasure! And what’s even better is you can buy it locally too. The lovely Squid and the Kid in Topsham stocks the original, the mini and a bunch of cards too.
If you’re trying to avoid buying ‘stuff’ this Christmas then tickets of something fun are a great idea – you get the anticipation and then the fun too. Here are my top tickets:
What the Ladybird Heard
It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theatre (the Circus and Disney on Ice were fab, but not theatre). And What the Ladybird Heard was AMAZING. The catchy songs, the way they made the puppets, the clear explanation of the plot, the baddies who weren’t scary (and who were brilliantly amusing) and the fact that us adults enjoyed it just as much as our children. Both my 5 year old and 2 year old really loved it (if we’re completely honest, 5 mins to the end we needed to get the snacks out for the 2 year old, but before that he was so engaged and really enjoying it!). The show is on at the Northcott theatre, Exeter until the 2nd January.
Gone Wild Festival
It’s a biggie but it was fabulous to go to a great fun festival right on our doorstep. We had such fun when my daughter was 4 – she loved experiencing all the different adventures and my son was 2 year old – he was able to watch lots of the fun and join in some things too. We loved dancing to live music, climbing the wall, caving (i was too scared for this one!), the enormous bubbles show, the science tent, tree ascending, kayaking and eating bugs I’d rather forget! Lots more too. And most of the activities we enjoyed were walk up. This is a great one for all the family and if you’re brave you can camp or head home for a comfy night’s sleep!