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Christmas Stocking Fillers

Classic toys and gifts – and everything’s under a tenner!

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The Traditional Christmas Stocking
November 20, 2013 – 3:30 am | No Comment

 

Stocking fillers aren’t what they used to be. Nowadays they don’t even need to be in a stocking. They are just the little bits and pieces that bulk-up your children’s Christmas present haul. The common strategy is to put a lot of thought into a child’s big present and to just get a bunch of silly little things as ‘stocking fillers’. However, the cost of all of these fillers really adds up, and with those purse strings pulled tight enough this time of year, it’s a shame to waste money. This Christmas, to give your child the traditional Christmas experience you had, let’s bring back The Christmas Stocking. Why don’t you knit or make your own so that you can fit all of their little filler presents in it? You can get a good knitting pattern here, at Knitting Pattern Central, and there are countless YouTube tutorials to choose from.

If time is of the essence, then you should get a pre-made, pre-packed Christmas stocking, like these from Hawkin’s Bazaar. The stockings are red and white, and would double up as a Christmas decoration on the run-up to Christmas. Hawkin’s Bazaar stuff the stockings full of the light-hearted, traditional fillers we expect at Christmas, such as craft kits, spinning tops, gadgets, etc. You can select a stocking for either a boy or girl, and in different age groups: 8+, 14+ and adult. It’s a great way to skip hours of shopping and still provide your little bundles of fun with lots of great bits and bobs to play with on Christmas Day.

If you’d like to take the traditional stocking filler idea even further, and you have young children, then some bright and colourful wooden toys are definitely the way to go. John Lewis has some beautiful, old-fashioned playthings here. It might be a little too quaint and charming for older children, but the young ones will love it.

We thought it would be useful to have a list of traditional small toys that you could pack into the stocking. Perhaps this list will be helpful to anyone running out of ideas.

Traditional Christmas Stocking Fillers

  • Candy canes or sweets
  • Toy Car/Train
  • Orange (very traditional)
  • Tennis ball or bouncy ball
  • Chocolate
  • Money
  • Chocolate Money!
  • Teddy
  • Gloves
  • Pack of cards

Traditional Christmas stockings might be on their way out, so it’s up to us to keep them in our family’s festive celebrations. Whatever you end up getting your little ones this holiday period, we wish you the best of luck – and a Merry Christmas.

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Things to consider when buying a climbing frame
December 14, 2012 – 9:16 pm | No Comment
Things to consider when buying a climbing frame

When you are spending a lot on a big ticket toy for your child, you need to make sure that you are getting the best value you can and also the best fit for them and you. So there are a number of things to consider when buying outdoor climbing frames.

Must Have Toys This Christmas: Where To Find Them Cheapest
December 14, 2012 – 11:24 am | No Comment
Must Have Toys This Christmas: Where To Find Them Cheapest

This year toys seem to have gone full circle with some classics making a reappearance but with a modern twist.

Perhaps the men and women in the ideas department have finally run dry. Or possibly the toys making a resurgence sold so well last time that the manufacturers are convinced the demand is still there.

This list looks at which toys are likely to be must-haves this Christmas and where to find them cheapest. We’ll start with classic 90s robot, our furry friend Furby.

Gadget Gifts This Christmas
November 29, 2012 – 4:10 pm | No Comment
Gadget Gifts This Christmas

Whilst children have always loved toys, modern technology and gadgets are begging to cross over this line. Gadgets no longer serve just a practical purpose, they are fun and entertaining devices that both children and adults can use and benefit from immensely.

To this end, here is a quick guide to some of the things you might want to consider for gadget gifts this festive season:

Practical Christmas Presents
November 29, 2012 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
Practical Christmas Presents

At Christmas Time, it can often be difficult to find the right present for someone. We often want to buy the latest and newest novelty item out there, yet there are always more practical choices available.

To this end, here are some suggestions regarding more practical presents.

Make Kids Technologically Smart From the Beginning
October 11, 2012 – 12:22 pm | No Comment

We adults are busy connecting with our friends and family by using the mobile phone, and our toddlers see us constantly talking over the phone, and imitate us. They hold imaginary conversation with their friends just like we adults do. Many kids start playing with their parent’s phones, and start demanding a phone of their own.

This is the reason why the toy shops are now full of toy mobile phones for kids aged 3 months to 9 years. These toy phones are available in attractive colors, designs and come with good quality sound too. These toy mobile phones keep the children busy, and help parents to work at peace. Kids are so happy with their toy phone, that they do not disturb their parents when they are busy with their household chores, or office work.

How to buy children’s toys wisely
July 1, 2012 – 9:03 pm | No Comment
How to buy children’s toys wisely

Remember it is now always about quantity. I have noticed that it is about quality and having something that they really need and want. We have a rule in this house, that we ask for four things. Something I need, something I want, something to read and something to eat.

What to look for in a Playhouse
March 1, 2012 – 2:28 pm | No Comment

Spring has certainly sprung and I am currently in the process of cleaning out the boys playhouse after a winter unused. There are many different types and styles of playhouses, it can be something of a mind field to choose the right one for you.

Miffy Soft Toy Train
December 10, 2010 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Miffy Soft Toy Train

A very cute little toy train in soft velour fabric featuring Miffy as the train driver. Each section has a different feature and can be detached from the others by Velcro tabs. The teething ring and rattle are good for younger babies while children who are into trains will enjoy pushing it along. Despite all this, it did not manage to hold our baby’s attention and he tired of it very quickly.

Fuzzy Felt Starter Set
November 27, 2010 – 9:37 pm | No Comment
Fuzzy Felt Starter Set

The Fuzzy Felt Starter Set comes in a neat storage and display case enabling you to keep all your felt pieces and examples all in one place. You can also use it to store and display your masterpieces.

Phineas and Ferb Secret Notebook and Pen
November 27, 2010 – 6:33 pm | No Comment
Phineas and Ferb Secret Notebook and Pen

The Phineas and Ferb Secret Notebook and Pen is a wonderful way to encourage boys to write, a fantastic, but simple idea
Buy online: Toys R Us
£7.99
*****
Initial Thoughts:  I really wasn’t sure that a notebook and …

Playmobil Giant Dragon (4838)
November 24, 2010 – 4:36 pm | No Comment
Playmobil Giant Dragon (4838)

The Playmobil Giant Dragon breathes fire and what could be more exciting than that? Both boys have recently watched how to train your dragon and were keen to start training their own.

Salter Kids in the Kitchen Baking Set
November 24, 2010 – 1:46 pm | No Comment
Salter Kids in the Kitchen Baking Set

The Salter kids in the kitchen baking set has been a welcome addition in our kitchen, even if the colours are a bit garish for my taste. Obviously, it doesn’t offer anything that you couldn’t already find in your cupboards, but it is really appealing to children to have decent kit of their own. And anything that encourages them to become proficient fairy cake makers is no bad thing.

Baby Annabell
November 17, 2010 – 10:56 am | No Comment
Baby Annabell

Baby Annabell is a great doll, well made and just perfect for a little person. Squidge has never been one to play with baby dolls but Baby Annabell appears to have changed that. The doll is just interactive enough to keep her engaged and entertained. Those Baby Annabell people are on to something!

Hiku
November 16, 2010 – 9:09 am | No Comment
Hiku

Hiku is a fantastic read again book. A real winter favorite with the children, there is something different to look at every time you open it.

Cub’s First Winter
November 15, 2010 – 9:39 pm | No Comment
Cub’s First Winter

The illustrations in Cub’s First Winter are by the renowned artist Rebbecca Elliot and they really appealed to Mini (4) from the moment he saw it.

The Boys’ Doodle Book 2
November 15, 2010 – 9:12 pm | No Comment
The Boys’ Doodle Book 2

I have to admit that I wondered why anyone would need a book to doodle in, but upon passing The Boys’ Doodle Book 2 to Maxi my voices were silenced.

The Boys’ Annual 2011
November 15, 2010 – 8:57 pm | No Comment
The Boys’ Annual 2011

The feel of the boys annual 2011 is very now, it has a real retro boys own feel to it, however, once you take a look inside it is very current and Maxi couldn’t wait to get his hands on it.

The Boys’ Christmas Book
November 15, 2010 – 8:23 pm | No Comment
The Boys’ Christmas Book

The Boys’ Christmas Book is a fantastic buy. With magazines for children costing in excess of £2.50, it really is exceptional value for money and engaged our 5 year old very easily. There is even a recipe for Christmas mocktails!

Train and Play Puppy
November 15, 2010 – 7:14 pm | No Comment
Train and Play Puppy

This sweet little interactive stray play and train puppy came delivered in bright cheery packaging and certainly got the attention of the children straight away. The puppy comes with a clicker to start and change puppy functions. Puppy can sit up and beg, bark, stand or walk, and even eat treats. What made it it seem all the more appealing for my little ones is the fact that the puppy poops after eating his treat! What child wouldn’t love that function.

Buttonbag Knitting Kit
November 15, 2010 – 7:13 pm | No Comment
Buttonbag Knitting Kit

A very lovely, high quality item that would capture the imagination of any young child, beautifully presented, with a vintage feel to it and certainly has the wow factor. You get the feel a lot of love has gone into putting it together for the children’s market and is something I would go out and buy myself as a special gift for someone and would certainly prefer my daughter to unwrap a gift of this high quality handmade/homemade nature than computer games or such like any day. Thumbs up from us.

Justin Bieber annual
November 15, 2010 – 7:12 pm | No Comment
Justin Bieber annual

If your child is a fan of Justin Bieber then I’d say this book is a ‘must have’ present for Christmas! At £7.99 it makes a nice stocking filler.

The Girls’ Annual 2011
November 15, 2010 – 7:07 pm | No Comment
The Girls’ Annual 2011

The girls annual 2011 is pink and silver which scored it well with my daughter before she’d opened the cover! Inside, the book was packed with magic tricks, things to make, puzzles, baking ideas and stories aimed at girls.

The Girls Christmas Book
November 15, 2010 – 7:02 pm | No Comment
The Girls Christmas Book

The Girls Christmas book has a very Christmassy look with a red and green front cover and snowflakes etc. As it is a ‘Christmas Book’, everything in it was themed toward Christmas so you could learn how to turn your bedroom into a Christmas Grotto and keep a list of all the presents you received. You can also colour in, learn how to make gingerbread cookies and read short stories, so there is plenty of variety between the pages.

Crayola Colour Wonder Magic Light Brush
November 15, 2010 – 4:20 pm | No Comment
Crayola Colour Wonder Magic Light Brush

I know that a lot of people are put off painting with their children due to the fear of mess, so I was intrigued to see how the Crayola Colour Wonder Magic Light Brush worked with the special paper and clear paint provided and the boys argued as to who would use it first.

Maileg Mouse in Matchbox
November 15, 2010 – 4:06 pm | No Comment
Maileg Mouse in Matchbox

The Maileg Mouse in Matchbox is delightful, she (yes ours is called Matillda) comes in a matchbox, which is 11cm long and is where Matillda goes to sleep.

Ladybird Wind Up Torch
November 15, 2010 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
Ladybird Wind Up Torch

The Ladybird Wind Up Torch makes a great stocking filler and what child doesn’t love a touch and it is made even better as you never have to go hunting through drawers for a spare battery.

Find It Game Gliz and Glamour Edition
November 15, 2010 – 3:07 pm | No Comment
Find It Game Gliz and Glamour Edition

The Find it game comes in a sealed clear plastic tube filled with tiny colourfull hundreds and thousand style plastic pellats and the aim of the game is to find the objects on your sheet and tick them off. The boys initially loved looking for the objects in the tube.

Street Glider Predator Scooter
November 15, 2010 – 2:52 pm | No Comment
Street Glider Predator Scooter

The Street Glider Predator Scooter is fantastic value for money and was such a hit with my niece (as we reviewed a pink one), that I purchased two black ones for the boys
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Paper Jamz Guitar
November 15, 2010 – 1:58 pm | No Comment
Paper Jamz Guitar

The Paper Jamz Guitar was a real revelation for us, the wonders of a guitar made of card that you never have to re-tune.
Buy online: Argos

£18.74 (normally £24.99)
*****

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JoJo Car
November 15, 2010 – 1:35 pm | No Comment
JoJo Car

Jojo is a rabbit who drives around in his car, playing music and talking. If he bumps into something then he is ejected from his car.

Animal Planet Wild Eyes Dinosaur (T-Rex)
November 15, 2010 – 1:13 pm | No Comment
Animal Planet Wild Eyes Dinosaur (T-Rex)

I think the Wild Eyes dinosaur toy is probably too young for a five-year-old. Certainly our tester lost interest pretty quickly as apart from making a noise and waggling its feet around, the dinosaur doesn’t do much. Most toys aimed at this age group would have pose-able limbs or a mouth that opens and closes. Also, it’s hard to be fierce when you’re cuddly. However, I can see for a 3-year-old this might have a bit more entertainment value.

Table Top Origami
November 15, 2010 – 1:06 pm | No Comment
Table Top Origami

The premise of Table top origami is great; more fun at the dinner table which, if you have children, can be quite a stressful place. Of course, you can use this anywhere but a flat surface is a must. I had visions of us creating and laughing and being generally very clever with paper. We also liked the wide variety of things you could make from a paper aeroplane to a samurai hat and from a croaking frog to an ice-cream cone.

Loopz
November 15, 2010 – 1:00 pm | No Comment
Loopz

Loopz seemed, at first viewing, to be quite a simple battery-operated game that wouldn’t really offer much of a challenge for the children aged seven plus it was aimed at. There are four plastic loops on a stand, two on one side and two on another that light up in a variety of games to test your memory skills. To play, you have to wave your hands through the correct loops.

Tomica Big City Set
November 15, 2010 – 12:55 pm | No Comment
Tomica Big City Set

Tomy’s Tomica range and our family are old friends. We have bought the odd Thomas the Tank Engine bits in the past and the Tomy trains. However, they appear to have revamped it and we were introduced to the Hypercity range that would surely gladden the heart of any transport-mad child. The Big City set contained a pick-up truck, train, person, as well as a garage, station, track and road.

Mungai Mirrors
November 15, 2010 – 12:52 pm | No Comment
Mungai Mirrors

These mirrors are a little smaller than I expected, so I’d advise parents to take measurements first to be sure of what you’re buying. Despite that, Flea loves her pirate mirrors and I’m a fan of anything that encourages her to dress herself appropriately in the mornings. Great value for money, and there are heaps of designs if your little one isn’t a pirate fan.

Tomica Mega Station Set
November 15, 2010 – 12:44 pm | No Comment
Tomica Mega Station Set

What does a train mad four-year-old need? His own station that’s what but not just any old one. He needs a mega station that comes complete with a car ramp and two vehicles that let the train go past, flashing warning lights and sounds, and a dashboard that lets him be master of all he surveys which, thanks to the Tomy Hypercity Mega Station set, is quite a lot. It includes a large track layout, a shop, person and a train.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Scout
November 15, 2010 – 12:39 pm | No Comment
Twinkle Twinkle Little Scout

Smallest loves this little dog, and she quickly figured out how to push the buttons to make him make the noises herself. She particularly enjoys music so the lullabies go down better than the environmental sounds, which have unfortunate amounts of water noises in them as far as I’m concerned.

Dino Dice – Numbers & Dots (add & subtract)
November 11, 2010 – 1:13 pm | No Comment
Dino Dice – Numbers & Dots (add & subtract)

My 5 year old, who is quite numbers orientated, thought this was the coolest thing ever and sits on his own rolling the dice and doing the sums very happily. It was a bit advanced for my 3 year old, but that isn’t a huge surprise and the game is really aimed at 4-6 years.

Little Bird Told Me Bumble Bee Activity Toy
November 11, 2010 – 12:48 pm | No Comment
Little Bird Told Me Bumble Bee Activity Toy

thought the Little Bird Told Me Bumble Bee Activity Toy was a nicely packaged, good sized soft toy suitable for a new born. It’s colorful but not too garish, in this day and age that makes a nice change. This is one of those toys that is classified age group 0+, but really only interests children up to the age of about 1. It has lots of features aimed at stimulating a baby, much better than your average cuddly toy!

Little Bird Told Me Curious Caterpillar Activity Pull-Along
November 11, 2010 – 12:31 pm | One Comment
Little Bird Told Me Curious Caterpillar Activity Pull-Along

From the moment the Little Bird Told Me Curious Caterpillar Activity Pull-Along toy arrived we all fell head over heels in love with it. Not only is it exceptionally cute, it’s lovely and soft, makes a pleasing rattle and is really unusual. The packaging gives it quite a wholesome feel which made it seem really quite special.

Super Scribblenauts
November 11, 2010 – 12:18 pm | No Comment
Super Scribblenauts

Super Scribblenauts is a challenging, fun game that had my children hooked. It encourages them to use their imagination and, if more than one has the game, they can play it together making it more sociable to

Stinky the Garbage Truck
November 2, 2010 – 11:52 pm | No Comment
Stinky the Garbage Truck

Stinky has been heavily advertised on Channel Five kids show Milkshake. Each time the advert comes on the Toddler stops what he is doing and looks wistfully at the screen. That’s why Stinky was always going to be on our Christmas List. When it arrived we were all really excited, it looks exactly as you would imagine and it even interacts like it does on the advert!

When Magic really happens Book
November 2, 2010 – 2:39 pm | No Comment
When Magic really happens Book

When we unpacked the book we were pleased to find a lovely hard back book with a sparkling cover with characters that you can only recognise. Forever Friends characters always have that cute factor and the cover of the book is definitely very cute.

European Nations Cube Book
November 1, 2010 – 8:07 pm | No Comment
European Nations Cube Book

We’ve had a few cubes of this format over the years, we all find them utterly fascinating in how they work – there always seem to be more sides than there can actually be.

Mamas and Papas Winter Crumble Bear
November 1, 2010 – 5:16 pm | No Comment

On first sight I found this bear appealing and once I got my hands on him I could find little to disappoint. His fur is beautifully soft and very strokable, while the contrasting mittens and scarf are attractive to look at.

Annabel Tween Doll
October 29, 2010 – 4:31 pm | One Comment
Annabel Tween Doll

As soon as I saw this, I knew it would be perfect for my eight year old daughter as she’s starting to outgrow her ‘baby’ dolls. We’ve always been a fan of Baby Annabel dolls and this is a lovely teenage version with her own stylish outfit and lovely long hair that you can style.

Orchard Toys Pick and Mix People Game
October 28, 2010 – 5:52 pm | No Comment
Orchard Toys Pick and Mix People Game

The game is really well made and will last the test of time and 2 small boys. You can either play with it like a puzzle (just selecting which pieces go with which, either put together the correct people or to see who can make the silliest combo). There is a game which goes with it, but the 3 year old preferred using the toy like a puzzle rather than a game. The 5 year old enjoys the game but prefers just to see what ridiculous combinations he can put together.

Mamas & Papas Soft cloth Christmas photo album for a baby
October 28, 2010 – 3:44 pm | No Comment
Mamas & Papas Soft cloth Christmas photo album for a baby

Very sweet, pretty, gentle looking cloth photo album with plastic sleeves to record a baby’s first Christmas. The toy would work well for a baby, plenty of scope to be thrown around, stuck in mouths, with different textures, colours and pretty prints. The book opens easily, has bows to be played with and is bright and colourful. There are suggestions for different photos to include, I particularly like ‘Santa brought mummy a silent night’ as I live in hope.

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