It can be tricky knowing what to give to children that aren’t your own. Ideally you have to find something that not only the child will like but that’s tasteful enough for their parents to like too. This article is a round-up of some of the lovely and inexpensive gifts for children that my children have been given that we’ve really liked and have stood the test of time. I hope you like them too.
1. The Cute Colouring Book by Emile Jadoul: Big, bold and seriously cute pictures, for girls and boys (and parents!) of about age 3 or 4 and upwards. Beautifully drawn and lots of pages to keep them going.
2. Hammer bench: This is a classic wooden toy that toddlers seem to love. I have to admit I like having a bash on this Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench too. It’s a bit like that crab whacking game, each time you hit one of those cute smiley pegs another pops up for you to bash! Great fun.
3. Wooden biscuits: We’ve had a fair bit of pretend-play mileage out of these Traditional Tea Party Biscuits. I like the fact that they come in a box, which is quite handy to shove in your bag for when you’re going for coffee with a friends with little one in tow. A lovely pre-schooler gift.
4. Stringing beads: This beautiful Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Stringing Beads set is perfect from age 4. Lovely chunky beads in different shapes. Letters also included in this set which makes it ideal as most little girls love to make and wear things with their name on (or Mummy’s name! Sorry!).
5. Paper planes: Another good old-fashioned gift to hopefully tear them away from the TV for more than 5 minutes. I like 100 Paper Spaceships to Fold and Fly, but Usborne do lots of lovely varieties. Each page is a tear-out plane to fold and fly. There are around 5 different patterns in the book and the instructions are very easy to follow. As these books are always under a tenner I often give them as party presents for school friends and I’ve had good feedback from some of the Mums.
6. A bag of books: Kids from about age 2 and upwards seem to love books that come in bags. They also look cute hanging on pegs in their room and very easy to grab and take with you for bedtime stories away from home. I can’t find this lovely Maisy set in stock anywhere at the moment! But I’ve bought this Peppa Pig Storybook Bag for my son this Christmas.
7. Book of Poems: These make really thoughtful and different gifts for children of all ages. The one I’ve picked is A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen, and is a favourite of my daughter’s. She’s 6 and really enjoys reading the poems aloud to us now. My 2 year old is equally mesmerised by them because there’s lots of lovely sounding words, rhyming and alliteration, humour and beautiful illustrations.
8. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli: This is a lovely collection of bios of women all over the world who have done amazing things, from Marie Curie to Hilary Clinton. Each bio is written in story format and is appropriate for inquisitive children from about age 5. Each page covers a different heroine so it’s a nice bedtime story book for busy parents.
9. Nightlights: These make wonderful gifts for children. As well as being quite useful, they also look lovely in a child’s room and mine have fun playing with them in camps and dens. Give this present to a baby or toddler and it will last their entire childhood. I like the Mini Cloud Light by A Little Lovely Company but there are equally cute moon, star and sun lights available too.
10. Personalised Rabbit Cushion by Little Dandies: Beautiful, soft, handmade and handprinted. The kids love cuddling them in bed and they look absolutely gorgeous too. This is another gift that you could give to a baby and it would sit in their room for years to come.