Christmas Gift Ideas 2018

Christmas 2018 is less than 2 months away

How fast did that come round again? At this time of year I like to start lining up gift ideas for my children . Here are some items that I like the look of and have been reviewing this month.

For 2+ year old

This count with Peppa toy is lots of fun, Peppa helps children count to ten. Whilst also learning to recognize colours and numbers.  My little girl loves playing with this toy at 3 years old she is just learning to count to ten, this toy will  help her practice. My Daughter enjoyed slotting the coins into Peppa’s purse counting them as she went. Peppa also helps children with listening to instructions that are asked and following sequential steps, what’s not to love learning whilst playing. My Daughter is very protective of this toys and likes to show us that she understands what Peppa is asking.

For 4+ year old

This Fuzzikins Campervan is so much fun! The set includes x2 Cat Fuzzikins ( a medium and a large)  that can be coloured in with the x5 felt tip pens included. The inside of the Campervan is amazing the cats can sit at the table on the rubber chairs or the table turns into a bed with the blanket to go over the cats of a night time. There is also 3x Colour your own sticker sheets which my daughter really enjoyed.

All clips away inside the Campervan which is great as less mess and chance of the Fuzzikins or contents going missing. My 6 year old Daughter absolutely loved playing with this toy, being able to colour the cats in was an added bonus, she especially loves letting them pretend to eat together at the table, then putting them down to bed for the night.  She said it’s great because it clips together and my sister can’t open it!

For 10+ year old

This Science Mad – Crystal Growing Kit

Includes 14 experiments that are all safety tested. With everything you need to grow and cultivate your own beautiful crystals.  This comes in a large box , So there’s a lot to get creating with. It’s the kind of gift, I myself as a child I would have been so excited to receive.  We have loved creating crystals, As my eldest Daughter is 6 she needed my help and was really happy with the end result.  Some real one on time with my Daughter. It really brought me back to my childhood. Make sure you wear the goggles and follow the safety instructions, I would recommend the help of a grown up.  So far we’ve only created one set of crystals but still so many more to try, definitely value for money. Science is so much fun!

Some of the crystal’s we made:

 

Baby 6months +

Sophie La Giraffe Beaker, It’s just so cute! I will be getting this for my baby as absolutely love the hidden Sophie in the middle of the beaker.

Match Stick Monkey – These looks like exactly the kind of toy my baby would love at the moment as he can only hold little things. Plus it has a toothbrush at the end to apply teething relief or practice brushing !  Both seen in JoJo Maman Bebe.

*Three of the above items were gifted for review by Wire Pr, The Peppa Pig – Count with me             ( Trends UK ) , The Science Mad Crystal Growing Kit. ( Trends Uk ) and Fuzzikins Campervan.

All opinions are my/ children’s own.

Bassetts Multivitamins ( Ad)

Recently we were given the opportunity to trial Bassetts Multivitamins tailored for ages 3 -6 with Talk to Mums.

Giving my children a vitamin daily is something I aim to do, however in the past hadn’t always remembered consistently.

The Bassetts Multivitamins are soft and chewy in various flavour’s so appealed straight away to my girls who are 3 and 6 years old.

At breakfast each morning I like them to have either cereals or toast ( my eldest won’t eat toast  but will have a cheese and ham toastie  – very continental! Plus at least one piece of fruit normally apples ( has to be a red one ) , grapes or strawberries and a yoghurt. I feel especially as we head into winter a daily multivitamin rounds off their breakfast nicely.

My girls do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I was pleased to see that they contain no added sugar, as they consume enough already. As a Mum I try to do my best for my children so giving them a daily multivitamin gives them a bit of an extra top up that they may be missing especially with one of my daughters being quite fussy at the moment, although I am hoping this to shall pass! as they say, whoever they are!

The girls say the vitamins make them happy because they have a smile on them. This has also been their opinion on the Bassetts Omega 3 and Multivitamins that come in a orange flavour with no reports of a fishy aftertaste = Happy me!

The Bassetts Multivitamins contain vitamin A, B6, C and D to help support healthy eyes, skin, teeth,bones, muscle and immunity.

Currently on offer in Tesco at 3 for the price of 2 each pack contains 30 vitamins.

Disneyland Paris – Tips before you go

We’ve just arrived back from an amazing few days in Disneyland Paris.

It’s truly magical and a real treat for the whole family even when travelling in the School Holidays. I’ve written a post below that helped our trip go smoothly with 3 children with us ( one of whom is a 3 month old baby ) :

Travel 

We travelled by car on the Euro Tunnel, it was so straightforward for us. Approximately 1.5 hour drive to Folkestone  ( Little shops/ duty free etc whilst you wait to drive on ) then half an hour on the tunnel once in Calais the drive is 3 hours but we took a few stops and there are so many little rest stops with toilets it made the drive very simple and it’s a pretty much straight route. The toll was $22 each way which in my opinion was very worth it for the route is far simpler and has the rest stops easily available.

Food

Take the meal plan option either half board or full board if staying at one of the Disney Hotels, I believe this saved us a lot of money as actually kept to using the plan instead of eating the more expensive options whilst still going to the best restaurants in the park.

Book your restaurants in advance, it may seem crazy but everything is so busy there, it’s a relief to walk in somewhere and be seated straight away especially to get out the heat if travelling during the Summer.

Whilst using the plan if one person doesn’t like all of their options ( you get a starter, main, desert and normally one soft drink each) order it anyway as normally one of the party will like it.

Tap water is free! So we often ordered this just at meals to keep hydrated and I only drink water anyway, so would give my soft drink to whoever fancied it. Also there are water fountains dotted around the park so take an empty bottle to fill up. ( we had no issues with anything from drinking the water in the resort )

If you want to save time in the parks it’s definitely worth booking the Character restaurants well in advance, we went to Auberge de Cendrillon, Inventions and Cafe Mickey , the Interactions the children had were priceless. If you are only going to do one Character restaurant i’d probably say go to Inventions in the main Disneyland Hotel just because the atmosphere was wonderful and the buffet food made it simpler and some fun puddings.  As these restaurants were an ‘upgrade’ on top of the pre paid plan price of approximately £100 per time.

Bread! You get a lot of it – Everywhere! at one meal ( the Cinderella one! ) bread came as you sat down, starter and a side. In the end we had to try to limit the girls as they only wanted bread, which didn’t do them any favours.

The children’s meals are well catered for as everything is separated i.e pasta from the sauce.  The starters for children weren’t  great as usually some form of salad covered in dressing. (But maybe this is my fussy children!)

 

Shortbread

Adult Desert from Auberge de Cendrillon ( Princess Restaurant )

Rides / Attractions 

We loved the rides in Fantasyland, probably because they appealed the most to our girls age 3 & 6 so head to the areas that appeal most to your party first.

If staying in a Disney Resort hotel make the most of the Magic Hour before the park opens to the public, we were able to go on some rides two or three times with no queue’s, Then queue at the end of the Magic Hour for any other rides/ attractions to cut down queue times. We loved the Peter Pan ride and went on it multiple times!

 

Use your fast passes then arrange to come back and get straight on your ride, it’s so easy and quick!

If wanting to watch the parade, shows or illuminations get there at least 45 minutes in advance ( for this reason it may be worth packing snacks, drinks etc to keep children busy ) this will ensure you get a good view or get in to shows like Mickey and the Magician which is amazing.

There are character meet and greets dotted throughout the park, if you see an umbrella and a cast member standing around it usually means a meet and greet is imminent.

 

Hotel 

We stayed at Disneys Sequioa Lodge which for us was perfect. I love the style and theme of the hotel like an ‘Aspen Lodge’

We booked to stay there, because A) It had a pool indoor’s and outside, which we loved as a great way to cool off after a busy day at the Parks  B) The hotel was very close to the park which made it really convenient.  The hotel staff were pretty accommodating, We arrived early on our first day and were allowed to check in a couple of hours before the normal time of 3pm to our room which was great after such an early start.

Video – Standard Room 

Shopping 

I brought a few items in H & M and Primark before we went as the price difference was huge ( Mickey Mouse Ears £2 in Primark vs $24 in the park,  although saying that some of the items sold in the park once their were quite unique. I also took a few of the girls Princess dresses with us.

Snacks – You can take these into the park and worth taking with you. We run slightly low and brought some biscuits for the girls whilst they were Mickey Mouse ones they were $7.99 for two relatively small packets.

We have put together a 30 minute video of our trip to Disneyland Paris.

Let me know if you have any questions.