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No Affiliates, No Sponsorships: Just the Real Deal Christmas Gift Guide for Kids
In need of some inspiration for Christmas?
It’s November and a quick scroll of social media tells me that we are officially in Amazon affiliate link season. Absolutely no shade to the parents and educators who chose this approach to earn money, but how do you know that their suggestions are genuine? The truth is? It’s pretty difficult.
November for me also means an international house move. And as I pack up my belongings and consider the toys and educational resources that will make it onto the shipping container, I thought I would share with you the toys that we hold in high regard.
This Holiday Gift Guide is a little different to others available because I do not have affiliate links with any companies and I don't have any brand partnerships either. All of the present ideas that are listed are items that we own. And it's not just items we own in order to fill out this list, they are all items that my children love.
I don't earn any money from this guide, it simply exists to help you find good quality present ideas for your children. Each item is hyperlinked directly to the brand website so that you can research stockists in your local area.
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My approach to buying presents
As we are a family of three, I have to be really organised when it comes to buying presents, especially since my daughter’s birthday falls on the 22nd.
I have a special Christmas wallet (via Monzo, for those of you who are UK based) which I add to each month so when it comes to the Christmas season, I’m not overstretching my budget.
My children each have (the same) allocated amount for Christmas and birthdays, I then work out how much I need to save each month.
Whilst this tip might not be much use to you now in November, it’s something you might want to implement in future years.
The types of items I buy for my Children
I don’t go crazy with piles of presents for each child. That would quickly become too overwhelming.
I aim to buy around 3 presents (excluding the stocking and advent calendar) for each child. Items I look to include:
One skill-based toy each
An open-ended toy (for the play space)
One book each
A game to play as a family
Something they love
Mr 5 - main presents
Numberblocks set (11-20) - this is something he loves and it’s a great skills-based toy
Ollie Ella dinkum doll
Great Pretenders Cloak and crown
Mr 5 - Stocking
Orchard Toys Crazy Chefs game
x2 tonies (Stickman and Octonauts)
I’m the Bus Driver book
Wonder Cloth play mat
Miss 7 - main presents
Schleich pony club set
Ollie Ella baby cot (she already has her own doll)
Miss 7 - stocking
bead making set (bought locally)
Orchard Toys Bus Stop game
Isadora Moon book
x2 Tonies (Rapunzel and Gruffalos Child)
Wonder Cloth play mat
I also recently wrote about renovated my daughter’s dollhouse for her birthday over on my website. You can read all about that process here.
You can read my fully comprehensive guide to toys in Toys 101. In this insightful mini-course, you'll discover:
What truly counts as a toy and how they extend beyond mere playthings.
The distinction between open-ended and skills-based toys and how to make informed choices for your child.
Practical strategies for selecting toys that will spark your child's imagination and ignite their curiosity.
An introduction to the captivating world of loose parts play and its profound benefits for child development.
A step-by-step guide to decluttering your toy collection and creating a more intentional play space.
What about older children?
Admittedly, present buying only gets harder the older children get. This is where experiences and memberships start to come into play.
Whilst giving physical presents might be difficult, the good news is that older children understand the practicalities of Christmas much better than their young siblings.
For example, if you buy your teen concert tickets for their favourite band or musician, they will understand that they will get fewer physical presents on Christmas Day.
This year, we are talking to my eldest son (13) about what he really wants. Having recently had a huge growth spurt - he is now close to 6ft - he would love a new bike so that he can go mountain biking again. So a bike is likely to be his present this Christmas.
Not only is this a practical present, it will also help him get out of his room (and away from computer games!)
Here are some other ideas for older children.
Date day in the city - e.g. museum, lunch and shopping
A weekend away - mountain biking, camping, skiing (or whatever your child loves!)
An adventure day - try abseiling, climbing, caving etc.
Membership Ideas for Tweens and Teens
Coding - Code Combat
A local or national museum / discovery centre in your country
Subscription box - e.g. Kiwi and Co
Kindle Unlimited - via a family library
Finding Appropriate Content
We’ve been trying to think outside of the box when it comes to presents for my teenage son but the problem with content for older children is checking to see if it is appropriate.
Even books become complicated. Whereas once upon a time it would be a simple case of flicking through a picture book, it’s not completely feasible to do this with 500+ page books.
I’ve also been looking at apps such as Spotify so my son can listen to podcasts and music, but I have to admit it doesn’t seem like an appropriate option right now.
If you are ever unsure of anything media related for your child, Common Sense Media is an excellent place to start. The site includes books, video games, podcasts and tv shows, so you can make more informed decisions.
Share your favorite gift ideas from the guide in the comments below
Have any of these suggestions made it into your shopping basket? Or do you already own any of these items? I would love to hear your own thoughts and suggestions so please leave a comment below.
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