Christmas is a magical time for families. It’s a special festive period when loved ones get together, sometimes the only opportunity they have to see each other. Christmas also delivers all sorts of magical moments for our children. And of course the thing they look forward to the most is a visit from Father Christmas! What child hasn’t tried to stay awake to catch a glimpse of this famous character? As parents, our favourite time is watching children marvel at the Christmas tree, crawling underneath the branches to reach their gifts. But before you let them tear off the wrapping paper to reveal that much wished-for toy, you need to find a Christmas gift. Here are a few ideas for anyone wanting to get ahead with gift ideas for 2016.
Tiny babies are sensitive to the touch, so a comfort blanket makes an excellent gift. Big, small, square, round… we offer a wide range of choices. And the best part is that if the child really takes to it, they’ll be completely inseparable which is particularly gratifying for the person who bought the gift. Something to boast about to your family and friends!
A dummy can also be a great solution. An essential item for baby, it can be personalised with a message or a photo; a great solution to make sure your child has their own specific dummy!
Looking for more ideas? Check out Ravensburger. The brand has just launched ‘My musical dice’ which, as its name suggests, is a dice with a different feature on each side: characters, tunes, colours and textures. This toy stimulates your child’s senses of hearing and touch, from age 6 months.
Held in Paris from 20th to 24th October 2016, the Kidexpo children’s exhibition launched a star ratings system for toys (Étoiles du Jouet). The aim is to showcase the new toys and games for 2016, with judging panels comprising journalists and families. We have selected the toys from this operation that seem the most interesting for our children.
We start with a gift idea for children aged 10 months and over: the ‘Ystrolly’ tricycle that grows with your child. Its main advantage is the simple folding system that makes it easy to store away. With parental steering, padded straps and removable pedals, it helps little ones transition from pushchair mode to tricycle.
Little ones aged over 18 months can also get around on the ‘Yvelo Junior’. This is a balance bike with a double back wheel for added stability. One of the back wheels can be removed with the other recentred once your child is more stable.
For children over 18 months, Corolle presents ‘My first cuddly kisses doll’. Isn’t it just another doll? Not really! By pressing its tummy, this doll repeats the first words we try to teach our little angels: mummy and daddy (as well as making sounds like a kiss and a giggle). This doll can never replace the real sound of your voice, but it’s a great way to help your child learn their first words.
Let’s move onto those of us with slightly older children with a taste for high-tech.
We’ll start with Xanlite, who offer a construction game called ‘Stax’ for children aged 3 and over. The idea is simple: your child stacks the illuminated bricks on top of one another on a base, letting their imagination run wild. They can even go to sleep using their design as a nightlight, as the system has an automated 15-minute cut-off function. The set contains 36 Stax, although up to 300 can be connected on one single base.
Robots are also big this year, so why not go for the ‘Kidi Doggy’ by Vtech? Supplied with a remote control, this funny little motorised creature recognises your child’s voice via a system of vocal commands. Little ones will love the fact that they can hypnotise the dog to turn it into 20 different animals or characters, from a superhero to a dinosaur.
Another robot came out in October: the ‘Cyber Robot’ by Clémentoni. Designed for children over 8, this toy is in the form of a kit including a self-assembly robot. Budding little scientists can then build and program their robot using the electronic card and the buttons on the robot, or via a free app (Apple or Android). An illustrated guide is provided to introduce your child to electronics and robotics.
Smart items connected to the internet are still on-trend. There are watches designed especially for children, such as the ‘Kidizoom SmartWatch DX’ by Vtech. This impact-resistant watch features a coloured touchscreen, a motion sensor, a camera for photos and films, an alarm clock, a voice recorder and a stopwatch. It can be recharged via USB and enables your child to download new content, in addition to the eight games and activities included, designed for children aged 5 to 13.
For ages 6 to 11, Kiwip Technologies launched its ‘Kiwip Watchphone Kid Edition-KW’ telephone smartwatch in November 2016. It offers a range of functions including a virtual pet that grows with your child, encouraging them to exercise. Your child can even chat with you or their friends. With safety in mind, it includes a parental function and all data is managed on secure servers based in France. The monthly cost of accessing the various services needs to be considered in addition to the price of the watch itself.
It’s certainly smartwatch time for kids!
Board games never go out of fashion! They are a great way to spend time as a family and have fun. The most obvious ones are of course Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, available for all ages. But new games are also out this year. For example, there’s ‘Chauve qui peut’ by Ravensburger for children aged 4, combining a board game with an electronic module. The game is all about Batty the bat who wants something to eat. So you need to feed him! Anyone who dares will win precious stones. You have to decide whether to press on his tongue once, twice or three times. But if Batty shakes, you lose one of the stones you’ve already won.
Our second suggestion for a child’s gift in the board games category would be ‘Bioviva’, which is suitable for older children from age 8. The game is based around one of today’s really popular themes: nature. The aim is to collect 12 Viva points by winning challenges and answering questions. It’s an unusual way to set off on a journey and explore the world, having fun as you go.
Making your own gifts is really trendy this year.
To ensure your children still believe in Father Christmas, why not help your children make their own gifts at home? You could make gifts for the festive table, for example.
To give you an idea, you could get little ones busy in the kitchen making chocolate truffles or jam.
You could then create fancy packaging using leftover wrapping paper from the year before, or make a cardboard box and ask your children to draw a design on it… let your imagination run wild!
Whatever you decide, it’s a great way to enjoy a fun activity and bond with your children at the same time.
Christmas gift ideas don’t just have to be based on soft toys or clothes. Why not consider a useful and decorative gift?
Decorating a baby’s nursery could be a great gift option. You could agree on a particular piece of furniture, such as a wardrobe, bed, bookcase, drawers or chest bench, for example. The advantage is that this Christmas present will last the child for several years. Check out the Olympe collection from Galipette for this type of gift idea.
If your parents ask for gift ideas, you could suggest a piece of furniture for their grandchild’s nursery. We’re all for practical as well as decorative ideas. The piece of furniture could be used to increase the amount of storage space needed for all those new toys under the tree.
Don’t forget all the classic toys featuring Pokémon, superheroes such as Spider-Man, Wolverine and Batman, and Star Wars, as the latest chapter in the series is released.
The magic of Christmas makes hearts beat faster, for young and old alike! It’s the time of year for spending quality time with the family, and especially with our children. So Merry Christmas, ho ho ho!Tags :