Our Christmas gift guide has been put together mainly with toys that the boys have tested and played with over the last six months, clothes that I have bought and books that we read. Doing it this way, meant putting together a guide that demonstrates what the kids really loved aged 2, 4 and 6.
There is hopefully something here for everyone but the toys I picked here were played with and enjoyed by all three boys in different ways.
Amazon came up trumps with these tegu magnetic wooden blocks (my sister has bought some of these for one of their birthdays in December) and the STEM programmable robot mouse (my two year old mainly pressed the buttons and followed it round the house, but that is the beginning of STEM for him).
The Amazon fire tablet has been a hit. I try to keep the boys off screens when I can but there is a place and use for them and we have used this on car journeys to watch films, for homework (reading eggs and maths seed).
The wooden dog from Hape has been played with lots (including on beach walks) and we have all had fun with the walkie talkies from the Discovery channel, (these will be coming to Camp Bestival with us next year as they have an outdoor range of 3km).
I bought all three boys, a plate, bowl and cup set from H&M (we love everything in their home range). They are china and can be used year after year.
Travel cards from Lonely Planet are perfect for a long car journey to the in-laws this Christmas and the wooden castle in a tin will keep the kids busy for at least a one hour chunk, building it, followed by hours of play afterwards. A chance for you to put your feet up on Christmas day.
The boys love books and I enjoy reading them. I enjoy reading them even more when I like the illustrations and stories. Smallprint books sell beauties, such as illuminature, Alpha block and Smart about sharks.
b small publishing have loads of brilliant, fun, educational books. The six year old, loves the STEM workbooks (particularly engineering) and seeing as he is getting a BMX for Christmas, we are going to give him the Book of Bike Activities (it’s so much fun inside).
Imagine having to leave your kids for a lengthy stay in hospital following a brain haemorrhage and full on operation. This happened to Jo Tutchener-Sharp. Jo turned a bad experience into a positive one and has developed a range of unisex clothes, called Scamp and Dude, that helps children feel more secure with the idea that “a superhero has got my back”. I love her whole range and will get the smallest boy this one, he loves cats.
Two of my favourite independent brands, The Bright Company and Love My Smalls have come together to add their skills. Merino wool, the softest you can imagine next to your skin and beautiful design. The boys have been wearing merino base layers from Smalls for the last two years and love them.
For the grown ups
Here are a few of my top picks from my favourite finds.
Wolkyshop is a shoe shop in the gorgeous Brighton Lanes. I have only recently discovered it. They not only have gorgeous boots but their speciality is comfort (for me that is almost more important that the shoe itself). I have a pair of black boots and love them, but I also have my eye on some grey ones as below.
I would love an airbox in my house. The beautiful airplants look like they are floating on the wall. The only question is which of the colours to go for? I love them all. Designed by award winning landscape architect, Jade Goto, these are design perfection.
A brilliant Christmas present for the family would be tickets to Camp Bestival. We are planning on heading back to Camp Bestival in 2017. They just announced that the theme for next years fancy dress is popstars and rockstars. We CANNOT wait to plan our outfits. Early bird tickets are still available (but won’t be there forever). I promise you that if we can handle a festival with our three, anyone can. We loved it. Our goal next year is to stay at Hotel Bell Tent, this place looked so relaxing.
I would love one of these Scamp and Dude superhero jumpers in my life.
I have wanted some of these baskets from Southwood Stores for a while now. Pretty much everything in Hayleys shop would be perfect for my Christmas.
My top three books from 2016, that I will be gifting this Christmas are these. Hurrah For Gin, written by Sussex blogger Katie Kirby is hilarious and makes me feel normal with my parenting thoughts. The Mother Book, curated by Molly Gunn from Selfish Mother has a collection of articles covering everything to do with motherhood. I was incredibly proud to be included in this book with my account of having three boys and the pity I get each day. Helen McGinn, wine lover and writer of Knackered Mother blog was at Camp Bestival this year. I have since, bought her book to educate myself further in how to spot and buy good wine. I also bought a wine box put together by Helen, which we enjoyed this Summer.
Last but not least, I now have on my wish list this cashmere jumper from Sussex brand Bonnie Mob, in collaboration with Selfish Mother. You cannot beat cashmere for softness and comfort. Money from each jumper is going to Refugee Support Europe, helping to make the daily lives of new mums and babies in the camps a little bit better.