Our weekly columnist divides and conquers the world of Christmas present buying for her sons
"It’s that time of year again, when we scour the shops and the internet for Christmas gifts for our little ones. If you are feeling stuck for ideas then hopefully my own 'Toys for Boys' wish list will inspire you. Here is what Ethan (who will turn 5 on Christmas Day so gets double presents!) and Logan (2 but nearly a threenager) are hoping to find under the Christmas tree this year. Now I just need to have a clear out of their playroom first to make some space!"
1. Kurio Smart, £199.99, (above)
I’m a big fan of the Kurio family tablets and now that Ethan has started school he’ll be able to use the Smart for homework too. It’s a 2-in-1 tablet with detachable keyboard, has some of the coolest games and apps preloaded, and even has Motion Technology. But the best thing is the parental controls, so you can filter internet content, manage apps and even limit tablet time.
Paw Patrol Paw Patroller
2. Paw Patrol Paw Patroller, £59.99, (above)
Voted one of Dream Toys 'Top 12 toys of 2015', this is a must for Paw Patrol fans. We already have a selection of pups and a couple of vehicles so this will tie in nicely and comes with Ryder and his ATV. I love listening to my boys playing with these toys as they re-enact scenes they’ve watched from the cartoon and invent their own storylines.
Paw Patrol My Walkies Talkies
3. Paw Patrol My Walkies Talkies, £12.99, (above)
Sticking with the Paw Patrol theme I couldn’t resist these fabulous walkie talkies. I’m tempted to put one in each small stocking that ‘Santa’ will put on their beds overnight, so that they contact each other early on Christmas morning without waking us…
4. Kinetic Sand, £19.99, (above)
This is win-win, fun for the kids without making a mess for parents! Kinetic Sand is soft and stretchy and moves through your fingers like a slow-moving liquid, but leaves them completely dry. It’s easy to shape and mould and will keep your little ones busy for hours!
Thomas & Friends My Push and Learn Thomas
5. Thomas & Friends My Push and Learn Thomas, £19.99, (above)
Thomas the Tank Engine is a classic that boys of all ages still love and anything Thomas related goes down a storm in our house. I’ve earmarked this for Logan but I’m sure Ethan will also enjoy playing the games and learning about letters, numbers, characters, colours and shapes.
Guess Who? Dinosaur Edition
6. Guess Who? Dinosaur Edition, £20, (above)
The Natural History Museum has given this classic guessing board game a twist, helping kids to identify dinosaurs; perfect for my little palaeontologists.
Top Trumps Dinosaurs
7. Top Trumps Dinosaurs, £6, (above)
Sticking with the dinosaur obsession, it’s another classic game to help children learn as they play. Who will be the king of dinosaur facts? My money is on my two-year-old who has had an obsession with Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures for pretty much half of his life.
Andy and the Odd Socks CD
8. Andy and the Odd Socks CD, £7.99, (above)
...Which is why Logan will also be getting Andy’s first album of songs written with a team of music producers that are behind many of the BBC theme tunes. It’s a collection of songs that are funny and even a little bit cheeky. Great to listen to in the car but I suspect my kids will prefer to watch the accompanying videos on YouTube.
My best-ever pop-up Space Book
9. My best-ever pop-up Space Book, £9.99, (above)
This book confused our postman who couldn’t work out where the strange noise was coming from. But hopefully it will enlighten my two, who are starting to ask lots of questions about the sun and the moon. Plus you can’t beat a good pop-up book.
10. Car Tape, £12, (above)
This adhesive tape will allow my future motorists to set up their own race track, anywhere in the house. I have a feeling I might need to monitor the track laying, just in case they use it all in one go and we end up with more road than carpet!
Moover Ride-on Dump Truck
11. Moover Ride-on Dump Truck, £64.99, (above)
I’m a sucker for a well made wooden toy and this gorgeous ride-on, Danish-designed 'Dump Truck' not only helps toddlers with their motor skills as they move it around, but older kids can learn how to assemble and separate the truck.
Merlin Annual Pass
12. Merlin Annual Pass, from £129 per person, (above)
There’s one more thing on our wish list, and for once I won’t be wondering where I’ll find room for it. The annual Merlin pass gets you into over 30 family attractions across the UK, including Legoland, Chessington and even the London Eye. No longer will you wonder what to do at the weekend, you’ll just be wondering how to fit everything in.
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
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