Handy guide to buying a gift for a child of any age

Are you looking for a gift for your child?  Or perhaps it’s a friend’s child’s birthday and you have no idea what gift to buy? Worry not, I’ve got you covered for gifts with this guide.

I’ve created a list here of 49+ items, which will help you to easily find a great gift for just about any child!

How did I come up with this amazing list, I hear you ask!? Well, just after Christmas 2016 I asked a load of mums in a facebook group what their child’s favourite Christmas present was, along with their age.

I was overwhelmed by the incredible response as 250 mums replied!  I thought it would be useful to collate all the results to produce this guide.  For many of the items I have also provided a link to the item which can be ordered online.

Of course many gifts could be bought for children above or below that particular age…

But I have listed them according to the results I received from my survey of real parents.

I hope you will find it helpful.  I know I will!

Many thanks to everyone who contributed.

3 Little Buttons

THE LIST

Gifts for Babies under 1 

  1. VTech Baby Play and Learn Activity Table – Multi-Coloured

 

2. Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Multi Colored)

 

3. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy


4. Oball Rattle & Roll Car (colours may vary)

 

Other under 1 favourites: – activity cube, crawling lion, wooden stacking rings, dump truck, pull-along ducks, wooden maracas, ball pit with plastic balls, play mat

Gifts for kids Age 1 

1. Disney Frozen Magical Adventure Activity Ride-on


2.  Wooden Musical Table

 

3. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Wooden Tower Toy With Hammer


4. Teletubbies Tubby Phone Toy (Multi-Colour)


5. AMOS Bubble Machine Blower Maker Portable Mains or Battery Operated + Fluid Liquid 250ml Kids Birthday Party DJ Disco Garden Wedding (Blue)

Bubble machine is to be used by an adult, obviously it is not to be operated by or left unattended with a 1 year old!

And here are some other age 1 favourites: buggy/stroller, blocks, construction items, Teletubbies musical train water table, bath toys, plastic tricycle, baby doll, Cabbage patch doll, jigsaw puzzles, toy Dyson vacuum cleaner (see below for link in age 2 section), mop and bucket set, water and sand table, jigsaw puzzles, push-along wooden car,  Beatbo, ride on Ferrari, tricycle, battery-operated drill, toy kitchen and accessories

 

Gifts for kids Age 2 

  1. Zapf Creation Baby Born Interactive Doll


2. Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Multi Colored)

Cosy Coupe is on the list again, as it is still really fun for this age!

3. Finding Dory [DVD] [2017]

 

4. Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner


5. LEGO DUPLO 10617: My First Farm

Any Duplo set would suit this age group, this farm set is just an example!

Other favourites for 2 year olds:

Teletubby plush dolls, Tea set, Paw Patrol story book, wooden train set, trampoline, Little Live pet birds (see below in age 3 section for link), toy kitchen and accessories, doll house, Wiggles guitar, jumping Peppa Pig, Baby Alive baby doll, dinosaur toys

Remote control Monster truck, Paw Patrol Marshall firetruck and figurine, wooden train set, set of metal vehicles (digger, truck and bulldozer), train table, automoblox car, Fisher Price medical kit, ride on Ferrari, Tool set and tool table, push along lawnmower that blows bubbles, trampoline, Mack truck daredevil jump

 

Gifts for kids Age 3 

  1. Little Live Pets 28232 Tweet Talking Birds Single Pack

Little Live Pets have birds, puppies and hamsters in their range

2. Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter – Blue

These come in many colours and accessories are available too.


3. Rubie’s Official Doctor McStuffin Child Costume – Medium

Dress up as your favourite vet!


4. Disney Pixar Cars Toy Mack Truck Playset, Lightning McQueen Story Sets (Rust-eze)


5. Bullyland BUL-12760 Buzz Lightyear


6. Imaginext Superman Playset



7. John Adams Gooey Louie Game

This game looks pretty gross but to each their own!


8. Transformers Robots in Disguise Mega Optimus Prime Action Figure

My 4-year old loves Transformers and it’s a definite favourite in this 3-4 years category.

 

More age 3 favourites: Doll house, kids vanity/makeup, anything Moana related, picnic box of wooden items from Aldi, shopping trolley, kitchen, rocking horse, trampoline, My Little Pony baby flurry heart, bicycle, “Reborn” baby doll (up to age 8), Torch, Rapunzel doll, Babushka dolls, Baby born dolls, connector pens, Frozen costumes, Jasmine (Aladdin) costume,electric motorbike, Hot Wheels cars and sets, Paw Patrol pup house, Good Dinosaur figures, Tonka 4×4 with trailer, a Mack from Cars with Colour changing Lightning McQueen, Thomas the tank engine minis with a track, toy vacuum cleaner, Lion Guard play set, Imaginext super hero flight city, BMX bike, bug catcher, play-doh, Thunderbird 3

 

Gifts for kids Age 4 

  1. LEGO 10728 Juniors Mia’s Vet Clinic Construction Set – Multi-Coloured

Most just turned 4-year olds will need at least a little assistance with building small Lego sets, but they really do enjoy it!  All my children are completely mad on Lego…


2. Sylvanian Families Family Saloon Car


3. Shopkins 12 pack – Series 5

Shopkins sets (I’m not sure what the attraction is to these exactly but they seem to be very popular!)


4. Hungry Hippos – New Version

This game has been around for years and it’s still popular!


5. Hot Wheels Track Builder Starter Set

Actually quite fun for adults and big kids too!


More inspiration for 4-year olds, from real 4-year olds:

Paw Patrol lookout, Lego boats, train set, Yo Kai medals, flying Blaze car, flick out lightsaber, Jurassic World Dinosaur play set, Nerf guns, Hot Wheels sets, Thunderbirds Tracy Island with Thunderbirds, First bike with training wheels, swimming goggles, Trolls and Moana things, Mud kitchen, My Little Pony remote control car, Snuggles puppy, telescope, my Blazin dragon, baby dragon (responds to voice commands), Build a bear, trampoline, Peppa pig ferris wheel/circus, Barbie camper van, Doc McStuffins pet carrier, Beanie Boos, Wonder woman costume

Gifts for kids Age 5 

  1. My Little Pony Equestria Girls Dolls That Rock Twilight Sparkle with Microphone

In my day I was obsessed with My Little Ponies, and they were actual ponies!  These days there are a whole load of dolls purporting to BE My Little Ponies… I’m very confused, but my daughter has an elaborate explanation for it.  Anyway these dolls are a huge hit.

 

2. Hatchimals Egg – Pink

Hatchimals seem to be the gift of the season, but I can’t vouch for their longevity in terms of play!


3. Global Gizmos 54660 “Battery Operated Infrared Torch Remote Control Crocodile Lights and Sound” Toy

Remote control toys are great for this age group – and surely everyone needs a remote control crocodile!?


4. Dreamworks, How to Train Your Dragon, All 5 Dragons

“How to train your dragon” is a popular film, here are a bunch of collectible figures.

 

5. LEGO 10724 Juniors Batman and Superman Vs Lex Luthor Construction Set – Multi-Coloured

Lego sets are almost always a winner, in my experience!  You can also look really clever by suggesting the parents buy a Lego mat bag (see below!)


More favourites according to real 5- year olds: remote control monster truck, soccer nets, Lego dimensions, bicycle, robot chomper dinosaur, how to train your dragon figures, 4 wheel motorbike, Blaze truck, prank set, Thomas train set, Yo Kai watch, Batman lunchbox, buncho water balloons (good for ages 3 and up), fairy door, ice lolly maker, Monster High house, Lego, bug city catcher, popstar Barbie that sings, Little Live Pets bird, Barbie dancing horse, Barbie popping dog, Barbie car, FurReal Friend dog, BMX scooter

Lego Mat Bag Tip – parenting hack by a mum of 3 kids

Gifts for kids Age 6 

  1. Furby Connect (Purple) by Furby

It’s a little pricy but if you’re looking for a bigger gift then this is supposed to be quite good fun – it makes lots of noises (speaks in “Furbish”) and responds to your voice so you can interact with it.  Its eyes are animated so it appears to have different expressions.  The Furby Connect can also be used with an app, and when there is something new to discover in the app the antenna on its head will light up.  Comes in different colours and fur designs.

2. Shopkins Monopoly Junior

Monopoly junior Shopkins version ( I didn’t even realise this existed!  It looks brilliant and I might have to purchase this for my 8-year old!)


3. Instax Mini 8 Camera with 10 Shots – Yellow

Fuji Instax Mini Camera (I had never seen this either.  I must be living under a rock!  I might have to buy this or suggest my daughter save up for this! It looks like it would be great for children of many ages from about 6 onwards, and adults too.  It comes in lots of great colours too, although Amazon seems to have low stock of certain colours at the moment.

4. Binatone Latitude 100 Twin Walkie Talkie – Black/Yellow

I remember having walkie talkies as a child, we had so much fun with them!  They are probably considered a little retro now, in the age of mobile phones, but apparently kids this age are still into them 🙂

 


5. Minecraft “Light Up” Wall Torch

If you don’t know what Minecraft is you soon will.  It’s a computer game/app that’s become quite a craze, and a very addictive one it seems!  This torch looks like one from the game.

Other favourite gifts of real 6-year olds: wristwatch, Snuggles the dog, trampoline, My Little Pony toys, tickets to Nutcracker ballet, tickets to pantomime, Journey Girl doll and accessories, Our Generation doll, Smiggle pens, Shopkins colouring book, ribbon wand, Hatchimal (see link above), trampoline , Stanley junior tool set, Rescue bots, Minecraft lego, Lego Friends Amusement park, Care Bear, board games, watch

 

Gifts for kids Age 7 

  1. LEGO CITY Fire Station 60110

We have this Lego fire station and it is a brilliant set, I enjoyed constructing it with my 4 and 8 year old).  Sadly it’s now been deconstructed by the 2 year old but I’m actually looking forward to re-building it.  Bit sad I know!

2. 4M Kidz Labs Crystal Science

We have this exact set and enjoyed growing these crystals, the snowy “tree” grows very quickly in a day, the other two take up to a week and the results are impressive!)

3. LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack with Supergirl Figure (PS4)


More ideas for 7 year olds: Bicycle, fooseball table, quadcopter, dirt scooter, candy floss machine, science kit, Imaginarium marble run, Beanie boos, Robo hedgehog, Batgirl costume, Harry Potter stuff, Pez dispenser, camera, Pendo pad, tablet, roller shoes, Shopkins happy places house, craft kit, Crown of Flowers, bed tent, Pogo stick, remote control air rebound car, keyboard, Lego dimensions starter pack (video game)

 

Gifts for kids Age 8

  1. My Fairy Garden Fairy Garden

2. Tamagotchi Friends – Blue Gem

 

3. Zoomer Chimp Toy

4. YO-KAI WATCH (Nintendo 3DS)

Some other favourites of 8 year olds: Learn to draw animals book, robotic turtle terrarium, Harry Potter costume set, Captain Underpants books, Dinosaur backpack, trampoline, spy gear, mountain bike, tent, remote control car, Nintendo 2DS, walkie talkies, Pokemon cards, 3DSXL with Pokemon sun game, Lego dimensions game, Nerf guns, R2D2 Bop It

 

Gifts for kids Age 9

Camera, Hatchimal (link above), Chill Factor slushy maker cups (for older kids too), magic kit, fake nails kit, go pro, Tamagotchi (see link above), shoes, Big Mickey Tsum Tsum, Nerf gun, tablet and zombie brain saw, Nerf guns, kayak, Harry Potter board game, portable DVD player, virtual reality glasses, Tamagotchi

Skylanders Imaginators (Xbox 360)

Gifts for kids Age 10

Camera, Baby Born doll, Skylanders imaginators game (link above), prepaid mobile phone, Fairy Garden, Goosebumps books, Crayola Airbrush set, Furby, Sims 4, Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, 3DSXL with Pokemon sun, David Warner cricket bat and light up wickets

 

Gifts for kids Age 11 

  1. Garmin Vivofit Wireless Fitness Wrist Band and Activity Tracker – Black

 

2. LEGO Star Wars 7965: Millennium Falcon

Of course this is a rather special set of Star Wars lego, but there is a huge range which includes less expensive sets.

Other favourites of 11 year olds: Cluedo game, stikbot green screen and figures, skate shoes, skateboard, chocolate pen

 

Gifts for kids Age 12

Latest Harry Potter book, MGP scooter, Forza Horizon 3 game, prepaid mobile phone (ZTE zip phones), stereo system, X box one, tickets to a cricket match, 3DS game, Lego

 

Gifts for kids Age 13

1. Virtual reality glasses


2. PS4

3. Skate grind rail
4. Yahtzee Dice Game

5. Bluetooth speaker

6. Dark shadow controller for Xbox1

Gifts for kids Ages 14-15 

Canon SLR camera, Sony Bluetooth speakers, virtual reality goggles

Older kids

Navman, Uniden UHF radios, virtual reality goggles, concert tickets

 49 Fantastic gifts for kids of all ages
Hope this inspiration list helps you find something just right!

I would love to hear more recommendations from parents.  So if your kids have an ultimate favourite gift they received recently please let me know in the comments! You can also follow Awaybies on twitter @AwaybiesKids, instagram or facebook.

This post contains some affiliate links to amazon.co.uk. If you purchase through the link I do get paid a very small amount, but the item will not cost you any more than normal.  Just to reassure you, I only recommend products I honestly like, or in this case, have been highly rated by other mums.

Accidental Hipster Mum

 

You Baby Me Mummy

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

If you’re expecting a baby or know someone who is, you might like to check out my list of favourite baby items for the first year

My Top 10 Baby Items for the First Year

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Sleeping Beauty Pantomime Richmond has everyone dancing in the aisles

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Reluctant to tell you all about it as I want to be able to get tickets next Christmas 😉 but I really must share that this pantomime at Richmond theatre directed by and starring Chris Jarvis (of CBeebies “show me show me” fame) was absolutely brilliant! It was 2h 20mins long with an interval. Nonstop laughs. People were dancing in the aisles by the end. Maureen Lippman plays the evil fairy and is wonderful. This panto was amazing last year too when Chris Jarvis starred as Buttons in Cinderella. Probably most suitable for age 5 and up due to the length of the show but ok for smaller children too and excellent entertainment for adults (we went with our 8 yr old and 4 other grown ups and they were all amazed by it ❤️)
Still on till 8 January.
It’s very easy to get to the pantomime at Richmond theatre from Richmond train/tube station
Parking available on Richmond Green if you get there early! (£3/hour until 6.30pm)

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Center Parcs Longleat – amazing family break

Where can you enjoy a few days of fresh air, be completely car-free, spend time swimming with your family, and also enjoy delicious pancakes and the most hysterical magic show you have ever seen, just a few hours drive away from home?? Center parcs really does have it all…

We’re no strangers to Center parcs, having now been 3 times.  Friends often ask me about it, and so I decided to write a blog post to share some of our favourite activities at Center parcs, and a few tips as well.

Admittedly Center parcs is not a cheap holiday, but if you’re able to go outside of school holidays it really can be a good deal.

Our last visit was a 4-night midweek break to Center Parcs Longleat Forest in the summer of 2016.  The previous year we had been to Woburn Forest.  I think there are pros and cons to each, but in this post I will concentrate on Longleat as that was our most recent trip.  If anyone is interested I can cover more about Woburn in my next post!  One of the features I like most about Longleat is the stunning forest.  It is more expansive than Woburn, which is either an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your point of view.  But it is the type of tree and the density of the trees at Longleat which I find most alluring.

Center Parcs Longleat forest

The accommodation is fairly basic but we have always found it very comfortable.  Our kids always enjoy arriving and making the place their own by drawing all over the blackboard in the living area.  We stayed in a 3-bedroom woodland lodge this time, which had one shared bathroom and a kitchen area.  At the front of the lodge is an area to lock up bikes and trailers.  At the back is a little patio with a barbecue and a small table with a few chairs.  We were lucky enough to catch sight of this little fellow rustling around behind our lodge!

Deer outside woodland lodge

Our oldest is obsessed with swimming so while other people usually arrive and get settled into their lodge straightaway, we always find ourselves heading to the pool first, then dinner, then getting our bicycles from the bike rental place, then heading to the lodge around 8pm, when everybody else seems to have that bit done and dusted!  Completely backwards!  Swimming is included in the price of your visit to Center parcs and is probably one of the highlights for most people who visit.  It can get rather busy and confusing in the Longleat changing rooms – the layout at the newer Woburn resort is definitely better and you can get an electronic wristband which locks and unlocks your locker, and can be used to purchase food and drinks as well.  The pool area at Woburn also has a great area for the little ones that looks like a pirate ship.  Though Longleat has toddler areas they were not as exciting for our preschooler.  One advantage Longleat has is part of the pool is outdoors, which is enjoyable if the weather is cooperative!

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Some stepping stones over an indoor pond, near the entrance to the subtropical swimming zone
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White water rapids slide in the subtropical swimming zone – our 7 year old daughter had a blast on all the water slides

We really enjoy cycling everywhere while at Center parcs.  Everything you need to do this can be hired from the cycle hut, but you can bring your own bicycles and this would save money.  We adults hired bicycles, and one for our 7 year old, but the 3 year old brought his balance bike, and for the 1 year old we hired a trailer.  It was easy to fit the 3 and the 1 year old in the trailer at the same time, when needed, as there are enough straps to fasten them both in safely.

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The Spa at Center Parcs Longleat
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Relaxation area at Aqua Sana Spa, Longleat

The spa at Woburn Forest is newer and state-of-the-art.  I was lucky enough to spend a few hours there with my husband last year.  This year I decided to try out the spa at Longleat for the first time, and I wasn’t disappointed!  Though not quite as flashy as Woburn it is nonetheless incredibly relaxing and service is top-notch.  Basking in the little suntrap with a magazine on a recliner, after a massage, is one of my best memories of our visit to Center parcs!

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Nutty Noah the Magician

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The other big draw for us at Longleat is the magic show at the Pancake House.  This takes place just twice a week, and it doesn’t seem to be very well-advertised so many people don’t even realise it is on!  This surprises me as it really is too good to miss.  Nutty Noah, the entertainer, is really the most hilarious magician you will ever meet!  And he also does some very good magic!  The children were falling about laughing uncontrollably, as were the adults, for the entirety of the show.  Just plain brilliant.

Delicious savoury pancakes
Delicious savoury pancakes

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When you attend on magic show night (which absolutely must be booked in advance) the price you pay includes a savoury pancake and the dessert buffet, as well as the show.  The picture above of a dessert waffle, was actually taken when we returned to the pancake house the following day, for more gluttony!  I am not sure this is meant to be the point of a Center Parcs holiday, but for us scoffing pancakes and waffles at this restaurant is very much now a tradition.  On the day we returned we were delighted to find there was another entertainer doing free balloon modelling for the children.  He will literally make any animal you ask for!  So both our kids got a nice souvenir.

One of the activities our children enjoyed was “mini crossbows”.  It’s a short, indoor activity, but was enjoyable for both a 3 and a 7-year old with a budding interest in archery.

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Mini-crossbows

My husband and I managed to escape for a couple hours to play tennis, while the older children attended the kids’ club in the “activity den” and our youngest was with my parents who joined us for a couple days at Center parcs.  There are a few events to choose from which take place at the activity den, that are aimed at 3-7 year olds.  My daughter has previously been to the pirate and princess party, which was a big hit, but this time she decided on the Mad Hatter’s tea party.  They seemed to enjoy decorating hats, playing games, and each had a box of cupcakes to show off when they emerged at the end of the session.  There was also an opportunity at the finish to watch them singing together as a group with the other children, which was sweet.

I’ve included some photos at the end here, from our visit to Longleat Safari Park, which is really just next door to Center Parcs Longleat Forest.  Right after checking out of Center Parcs on the last day, we went to the safari park.  There is so much to do here, we didn’t manage it all!  The kids absolutely loved it.  The boat cruise is good fun, and there are some great activities.  There is also an indoor area which our kids enjoyed, with a chamber full of balloons, with a fan in each corner.  Our 19 month old in particular thought this was the most amazing thing ever.

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My daughter took this photo of this monkey hanging out on our car

 

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If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read my handy guide to gift-buying.  I find that if I’m buying a gift for my own child it’s easy – they tell me exactly what they want all the time!  Even for my children’s same-age friends, again pretty simple.  But ask me to buy for a child who is a little older and I’m completely clueless.  Sometimes with younger I can’t remember, either!  This guide solves all those problems.  It was put together with the help of 250 mums on facebook.  Take a look…

Handy guide to buying a gift for a child of any age

 

Rhyming with Wine

 

The Tale of Mummyhood

 

Accidental Hipster Mum
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Christmas at Kew – magical light trail at Kew Gardens

Giant baubles, shimmering lights, and a tunnel of sensational colours…all these and much more can be found at Christmas at Kew.

My daughter and I happened to visit Kew Gardens during the day last January, as we have a membership, and we had a free afternoon. She was 7 years old at the time. The remnants of Christmas at Kew could be seen, and it became apparent to her from all these carcasses (an empty Santa’s grotto and huge numbers of unlit lanterns) that we had actually missed this event! I had considered it previously but always dismissed it, uncertain that my children would be interested. My daughter was so disappointed, but she quickly became determined that we should go the following year, when it was actually on. So our journey on the trail began!

I bought tickets just a few weeks ago, I think I should have done it sooner really, to get the more popular early slots, but I managed to get tickets for the 7pm slot on 20 December. Phew!


img_5848The night of the big event came! I decided after much deliberation to take both my daughter and my 4-year old son as though it was late I thought he might like it. I brought a buggy as I knew he would be too tired to walk at this time of day. We wrapped up warm (essential) and brought a few torches. My son had those mini lights you can attach to your fingers. We arrived a little early, and managed to find some on-street parking a short walk away, which is free on many residential streets. It was no problem getting in and though it looked crowded the ticket scanners were working quickly so we stood in line for just a few minutes.

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The Hive
View from below the Hive
View from below the Hive

We started the trail straightaway, and were delighted by all the lights. Some of these are set to music. We were quite taken with a heart-shaped disco ball rotating to the song “Oh Holy Night” and another area, which looked like a sea of hundreds of spherical multicoloured lights fading on and off and flashing. It was just the right amount of darkness so that the lights stood out, but not so dark as to be too hazardous, though the torches were definitely useful. There was also a tunnel you can walk through, containing bands of lights that changed colour. My son declared at this point that it was “better than Disneyland!” (though he hasn’t actually been to Disneyland!) The new giant Hive sculpture was absolutely spectacular as well.

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Giant candles

At several points along the trail were stalls selling mulled wine and cider. Sadly as I was driving I didn’t partake, but I made a mental note for next time!

Halfway round the trail (about 30-40 minutes in, as we were taking our time strolling and taking photos) was the area with a lot of food options, including lots of hot food and desserts like freshly made doughnuts, ice cream and waffles. It was relatively busy and rather chaotic here. The queues for hot food were long. Luckily my kids had eaten already so we skipped to dessert.

Ice cream and doughnuts at Kew
My daughter peruses the tempting offerings in the ice cream shop

The shop here is open (as is the main shop by Victoria gate) and there is both indoor and outdoor seating. You can also get mulled wine here and hot chocolate. Toilets are available, and last but not least a set of Victorian style funfair rides. The rides cost £2.50, and tokens can be purchased from a booth. Credit cards are accepted. My kids went on 2 rides each, which was enough I thought! There was hardly any queue for the little cars and mini train ride (for under 6’s really) but a bit of a queue for the carousel, which wasn’t a problem.

Then it was onto the rest of the trail, which included a little 5-minute show with elves and Santa. The kids enjoyed this and it was a chance for a little sit down. This half of the trail took us another 30-40 minutes, but it can be done faster.


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Santa and his elves

There is also a place in this second half to toast large marshmallows that come in different flavours. We didn’t try this as we had just eaten a large Nutella waffle and were all sugared out! But it looked like a popular activity.

At the end is the grand finale with the Palm House beautifully lit, and incredible projections illuminate the waters in front of it, to various Christmas songs played at a very gentle level. My son was completely captivated and would have watched it for a very long time! But my daughter was getting tired by now so we left. It was 9.45pm!

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If you’re uncertain about it, I hope my review will help you decide. The photos don’t really do it justice, it has to be experienced!

I would certainly recommend it as a great family evening excursion, the children absolutely loved it, and I am looking forward to next year already!

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You can book through the Kew website

http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas-kew-details

It is on until 2 January 2017. Enjoy!

If you’d like to read more about days out with the kids please check out the rest of my blog, which I am steadily adding to.

If you’re interested to watch a fun and Christmassy 2-minute animation please check out this post (click below).

Elfin’s ice-skating escapade

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Elfin’s ice-skating escapade

Elfin the Christmas elf’s got a new video out and this time he is showing off his new ice-skating skills in a beautiful winter wonderland.

Elfin on Ice
Elfin on Ice

 

 

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His skating moves seem to improve each time he goes by, and he spreads a little magic too…

He does take a little tumble at the end but a lovely magical snowflake lands in his hand making him feel much better about it all… Elfin just loves snow!

In case you missed his other two videos here they are below!

Please leave a comment if you or your children like it, and let us know if you have ideas for more Elfin videos! And click subscribe (circle with Elfin’s picture at the end of the video) to stay updated…there may well be one more video before Christmas! Your idea could magically be made into a real video…

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Elfin the magical Christmas elf dances in Santa’s grotto

A new Elfin the Christmas elf video is out!

In this minute long escapade, we see Elfin the Christmas elf through the window of Santa’s grotto, practising his dance moves for the Christmas party!  I think he is pretty good!  If you like the video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe, as  a few more Elfin videos will be on their way shortly and you’ll be alerted as soon as they arrive…

 

If you missed the first, original Elfin the elf video which came out just a few weeks ago, you can watch it here!  In this one, Elfin magically comes to life…

 

If you’d like to read about fun things to do with the kids please check out the rest of my blog.

Below is a link to a post about taking my son to Mercedes World on his birthday, a fun little outing for both boys and girls!

http://awaybies.com/a-driving-lesson-for-a-car-mad-birthday-boy-great-indoor-activity-for-a-wintry-day/

We will be visiting Christmas at Kew soon, so look out for my review here.  I’ve never been before so am really excited!

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Pirate party success

Tips for hosting your very own pirate party!

The pirate themed party for my son’s 4th birthday was a resounding success, I’m pleased to report! In this post I’ll share all the details for anyone who is interested. If you need more information please do feel free to ask in the comments below.

My husband craftily made this pirate treasure chest out of a cardboard box. This was a huge hit with the kids. We filled it with plastic balls (the kind you get in ball pools at soft play, ours are from mothercare), but shredded newspaper would have worked equally well. The chest then functioned as a lucky dip box. We bought mini pirate telescopes (they don’t really function but are fun as a bit of pirate kit) which were from amazon, and each one was wrapped up and put into the chest. At the start of the party each child had a go at rummaging in the chest for their prize.

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I bought party boxes for the party food. The party time was 1.30-3.30pm, as I didn’t want my son to be too tired for the party, but I needed the morning for preparation! Having it after lunch also avoided having to give the kids a full meal, though they still had plenty to eat!

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Each party box contained a bear to-yo fruit roll, a chocolate mini-roll and a pack of Pom-bear. Each child also got a fruit shoot which once chosen was labelled with their name (I pre-wrote the labels and my daughter helped with the process of sticking labels on during the party). We had labels for the party food boxes as well so each child could just grab any one box and it could be labelled afterward.

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This is a picture of the pass the parcel while it was being wrapped. The central prize was a light up yo-yo and each layer contained a stretchy dinosaur (25p from a shop called Fun Learning).

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And last but not least the pirate ship cake! I made this myself using box mixes for speed (Betty Crocker devil’s food cake) and a YouTube tutorial by the icing artist (icingartist.com) without which I could never have managed it. The pirates themselves I fashioned from fondant, just using pictures of pirates I found from a google search.

I’ll update shortly on all the other games the kids played which my husband (dressed as a pirate!) led.

Please check out my next post to read about the Ever after high/My little pony madness of my daughter’s 8th birthday.

Triple birthday madness

You might be interested to read this post, about taking my son to drive a miniature Mercedes car!
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A “driving lesson” for a car mad birthday boy – great indoor activity for a wintry day

This week on my just turned 4-year old’s birthday, although he had enjoyed his fabulous pirate party on the weekend we were looking for a little something to do after I picked him up from nursery to celebrate his special day.

After some lunch I suddenly remembered that I had been hoping to find an opportunity to take him to ride a toy Mercedes car at Mercedes Benz world, which I had previously noticed when I visited the spa located next door.  So we set off on a spontaneous trip to do this.

We arrived after a short drive, at Mercedes-Benz world in Weybridge, Surrey.  There’s ample room for parking, on a Tuesday afternoon anyway.  Both parking and admission to the museum are free.  At reception I signed a consent form for my son to participate, and paid £6 for a ticket for “Little Learners”.  I was told that he could do a session in 20 minutes’ time, so we spent a little time wandering around and getting a pack of crisps and a drink at the cafe which is right next to the Little Learners indoor track.

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A friendly and enthusiastic lady then came over to lead the session.  As there were no other little learners there at that time, my son was lucky enough to get a one-to-one lesson!  The lady spent a few minutes talking to him about different traffic signs, and then he was off on his way in a little Mercedes, following traffic signs and learning to stop at zebra crossings and traffic lights.

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The whole session lasted approximately 15 minutes, and at the end my son received his “Driver’s Licence” which was a proper plastic card with his name and date written on it.  He was ultra-pleased with this!

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One of the things which impressed me the most was the lady running the session.  Even though there was only one child, she still gave him 100% of her attention and made the experience very special for him.

I’m told that on weekends it is busier and to ensure the best chance of getting a driving session for your child, arrive in the morning (Little Learners is open from 10am-4pm, check the website for up to date information).  The area can be hired for children’s parties as well.

Little Learners is for ages 3-5, but for over 5’s there are simulators upstairs in Mercedes World, which looked like fun.  And there is a multitude of outdoor driving experiences available for under 17’s and adults too.

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There are some interesting things to check out like this racecar that reveals its inner mechanics…and many, many cars!

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Next door is Brooklands Spa and Hotel, which we have visited and can also recommend.  There is a good restaurant, bar and grill at the hotel, called 1907 (1907restaurant.co.uk) which does some tasty food in a stylish modern setting.  You can visit the restaurant without staying at the hotel.  There’s also a great family-friendly gastropub just a few minutes drive away, in Weybridge, called The Hand and Spear, which we’ve dined at a couple of times (www.handandspear.co.uk), so you can easily have a whole little day out with the kids in this area.

More info about Mercedes Benz World is on their website – http://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/homepage/mbworld/whats-on/little-learners.html

Check out this gorgeous Christmas elf video, it will get you feeling Christmassy in no time!

Elfin the Christmas elf has landed

To read about another great day out with the kids on the outskirts of London, click below:

Bocketts Farm

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Elfin the Christmas elf has landed

Check out this heartwarming video about a Christmas elf called Elfin. I love this little guy and can’t wait to see what he gets up to next!

Are you feeling Christmassy yet? I am definitely waiting till my kids’ festival of birthdays is complete before I get started on Christmas, but watching this does put me in the mood to get excited and put a tree up the minute December is here!

Will you take your kids to see Father Christmas? I am trying to decide between Kew Gardens and Willow Farm this year, but it may have to be both or neither! Suggestions welcome

❤️ Read about my party planning for all 3 of my kids in the blog post below! ❤️

Triple birthday madness

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Triple birthday madness

My three children are all born in the same week, in November. Yes, that’s right. This is quite a bonus if you like the idea of a shared party, but let’s be honest, it’s also quite stressful! I’ve been trying to see the sunny side, and all I’ve been able to come up with is that I only need to order one canister of helium a year!

I have been dutifully contemplating their birthdays since mid-September. Last year we had a joint party for my older two, at our house, with about 17 children and a hired magician lady. In the more distant past my daughter has had no less than THREE princess parties at different church halls for her 4th, 5th and 6th birthdays, with a hired Snow White, Ariel, then last but not least Elsa from Frozen. These all worked out well. However this year, though we toyed with the idea of a huge joint soft play party, I finally fell upon the idea of having two smaller parties, at our house. This way there is no gargantuan party, and we could do the entertainment ourselves, as I quite like the idea of doing some traditional party games. Additionally the two older ones can choose their themes, and get a chance to be the only birthday child on their special party day. For my almost 4 year old son this seemed a particular bonus, as he has never had his very own party before!

Our party planning step-by-step

1) Choosing themes:

Luckily my almost 8-year old daughter has been quite decisive about the theme she wanted. In fact she has planned quite a lot of this party herself (in her own “bullet journal”, would you believe? Read my post about bullet journals, link below, if you’ve never heard of it…literally a mum’s life saver!) She has decided upon a joint  “ever after high” and “my little pony” them. In case you haven’t heard of it, the former is a programme on Netflix, which features cartoon characters who are the children of characters from fairy tales. For example one of the characters is called Apple White, and she is the daughter of Snow White. I’ll assume you’ve heard of my little pony!

My son has chosen a pirate theme. At one time he almost switched to a Lego theme, but he has reverted to pirates, which I am quite pleased about as it is easier to find a pirate costume for him to wear and pirate-theme party paraphernalia!

2) Party bags and other paraphernalia:

So far I’ve bought the following items for my daughter’: party bags –

– My little pony notebook, pencil, eraser, sharpener

– Sweets!

For my almost 4-year old son –

– Story books (10 for £10 at the Works)

– Sweets!

3) I’ve also purchased one canister of helium for inflating balloons. A further bonus of clustered birthdays is being able to just buy one of these a year! Probably we would not bother with helium balloons if the birthdays were spread out over the year.

4) Invitations

My husband is the creative one so I got him to make these on the computer, with the kids project managing…! I think they turned out rather well!

Pirate party invitation
Homemade Pirate party invitation
Homemade Ever after high party invitation
Homemade Ever after high party invitation

5) Party food and cake

My mother has kindly said she would make an ever after high birthday cake for my daughter. I’ll attempt to make a pirate cake for my son.

Another lovely grandparent will hopefully make my youngest a teletubbies cake, as that is his current favourite programme!

As for party food, I am considering trying to make cake pops and perhaps brownies this year. There’s a tremendous amount of baking to do, as the kids want to bring cakes in for their entire class at school on their actual birthdays. Plus you wouldn’t believe what luck I have…my daughter’s birthday is on the same day as the class bake sale! Talk about overload!

Other than that we will probably have some sandwiches, crisps, fruit, and squash.

Update 11/9/16

Cake pops were a success! I can highly recommend making these in a cake pop maker and using candy melts. So easy and I think they look quite good. Little one loved them anyway…

I bought the cake pop sticks and the chocolate candy melts from Lakeland. The candy melts come in many different colours.

 

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Update 30/11/16

Please read my latest post to see how the pirate cake turned out! I made it with the help of a YouTube video by the icingartist.com. I worked on it over two days but it didn’t take too terribly long considering, and dare I say it was almost fun to make!

Pirate party success

6) Games

These are yet to be confirmed, but pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey (or a variant thereof) are likely to feature. My daughter has a few ever after high-specific games. My husband might organise a treasure hunt for the pirate party. Musical statues and bumps, and another game “who’s missing?” in which all the children lie down with their eyes shut and one child is covered by a blanket, then the others have to guess who is missing. And another game where everyone has to try and make one child who stands at the front, laugh.

And finally, last but not least, I have decided to have a little party for my almost two year old son. It will be mostly mums and babies/toddlers, and we will have it on a Friday while the older two children are at preschool/school.

Phew!

Watch this space for further updates on the parties, and my stress levels!

And read about bullet journals here if you’re interested in getting more organised

Bullet Journals

Accidental Hipster Mum
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