I don’t know about you, but I feel like I do at least a double portion of Christmas shopping. I need to think of gifts for my family and friends, as well as think of what I would like from the kind people who ask me. (It’s also my Birthday a week before Christmas, but I’ve only myself to blame for that, I suppose.)
But I also need to answer the dreaded question, “what would the children like for Christmas?” If, like me, you find this all quite a lot to deal with, and your relatives have already started to ask, here is a list that I hope will help.
These are all things I highly recommend. I’ve been very selective. If these don’t go down well, you can certainly blame me! And if you do find any of these recommendations helpful, please do comment below. This will benefit other readers and also encourage me!
If I’ve left any gaps, do ask below as I probably have more ideas.
Pre-schoolers (and above – my older children still like them):
For tiny ones, the Galt wooden pop up toy. Wooden pegs; springs. A timeless classic.
Magformers – or knock-off equivalent. I’ve heard Magnatiles are better, but we have Magformers and Magmagic (which are cheaper) and love them. Amazing toy. If I had my time again, I would buy fewer toys and be willing to spend more on good quality toys like this.
Melissa and Doug wooden Birthday cake or pizza. Last year these were cheaper in the Black Friday Amazon sale. Also the Melissa and Doug ice cream set is popular in our house.
Julia Donaldson audio collection (10 CDs) – available at thebookpeople. This is the best thing that ever happened to our car journeys. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll fall in love with the actors. Please buy it. (It’s the one with The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard etc.)
The One O’Clock Miracle – this can be a good one for non Christian families too, although you’d need to use your judgement.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Judith Kerr
Anything by Colin Buchanan
Anything by Randall Goodgame, particularly Sing the Bible 1 & 2. Also, “Under Where?” might work for a non Christian family as it’s a mixture of Christian and silly songs. We love it, as we are quite silly, and quite Christian.
Dobble kids – every family should have this. It’s particularly handy when you have guests for lunch and your children are looking after them while you’re doing the final preparations.
Ticket to Ride, First Journey
K’Nex – good value and my son adores it.
Lego Spinjitzu spinners – I was surprised at how good these were. I’m embarrassed to say that I spelt Spinjitzu correctly on the first attempt.
Stomp Rocket – this would work for pre-schoolers as well. It’s an outdoor toy but as long as it’s not raining you could use it in the winter. It’s just truly fabulous. Simple, yet so effective. We always gather a crowd of curious children when we use it on the beach.
For girls, anything from the shop Smiggle tends to go down well. As far as I can tell, they always have things in the sale. Don’t buy anything full price – what a rip-off.
Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth Taylor – extremely simple doctrine book with beautiful illustrations.
The Diary of a Disciple – a Tom Gates style re-telling of Luke’s gospel, and there’s one for Acts as well. My son loves these.
The Action Bible. I highly recommend this for around ages 8+, and there is a junior version for younger children (my 5 year old has it), but you’d have to decide whether it’s suitable.
The Ology, Marty Machowski. A beautiful doctrine book for 6-11 year olds.
Magazines – my son really likes the Aquila magazine. They frequently sell back copies for £2.50 each, which is excellent value. I’ve got a stash in the cupboard and every month or so I give him a ‘new’ one.
We’ve recently discovered Jamie Grace, whose album “Ready to Fly” is excellent, particularly for pre-teen girls. Although my boys love it too.
Also, any of the above music CDs go down well with our older children.
Over to you:
What would you highly recommend, please?