Lifestyle

18 beautiful, fun gifts for babies and children


If you are looking for a thoughtful, stylish or educational gift for the little ones in your life, look no further.

We like toys that have longevity and multiple uses, and are hardwearing enough to pass down through the family.

That way, you can be sure to make the most of your investment – and that your presents will provide enjoyment for years. All the toys we recommend come tried and tested, by us or family members.

Sweet teepee

The perfect cosy hidey-hole or reading nook for your little one

A cute little haven for kids to stash their favourite toys or layer it up with rugs, cushions and a soft sheepskin to turn into a cosy little reading nook. Comes in a pretty pale grey or a cool linen.

Grey teepee, £79.95, littlegreensheep.co.uk

Cute kitchen

Play kitchens don’t come much cuter than this one from Janod

Kids will get hours of entertainment from this beautifully painted wooden kitchen – and they don’t come much cuter than this one from Janod. In duck egg blue with white trim, it has two sides – for double the fun. On one side is an induction hob with heat plates that light up and make the sound of boiling water when pressed, a double oven (we should be so lucky!), sink and a microwave. On the other is a washing machine, shelves and a clock. Add some pots and pans, little utensils and play food for endless fun.

Janod Reversible Kitchen, £169, yesbebe.co.uk

Wooden lollies

Tangle twisters, rocket lollies, Fabs and Magnums – all the classics in this wooden lolly set

Wooden lollies, £16.99, Amazon.co.uk

Matching PJs

Matching PJs for all the family make the ideal Christmas Eve present – just imagine the photo ops

Polarn O.Pyret are the kings of the family pyjama set. Choose from festive patterns – like this gorgeous Arctic dreams polar bear print – wintry designs or an all-year-round classic stripe in grey, biscuit, red, navy or green. The cotton is super soft and even after multiple washes – we roadtested this ourselves with the baby sleepsuit – the cotton stays soft and snuggly and there is no shrinkage. Beautiful gift and well worth the investment. Plus some items are already in the sale – snap them up now and hand them down for all the kids.

Matching family pyjamas, from £15.38 (in the sale), polarnopyret.co.uk

Educational quiz

Go Genius World quiz board game for kids (Picture:Smart Toys and Games)

Go Genius are fun, educational board games created as an entertaining way to supplement kids’ school learning during key stages 1 and 2. With English, Maths or World to choose from, the Go Genius games pose multiple choice questions on curriculum topics, leading the children to avoid miss a go, go backwards or forfeit squares while they try to win stamps. They will be having so much fun they won’t realise they’re having a lesson at the same time.

Go Genius games, £19.99, Smarttoysandgames.co.uk

Dancing pug

This booty shaking pug has all the moves

This one has it all – a walking, talking, butt-shaking pug that will warm the hearts of any dog-loving little one. Dances and jiggles its butt, spins around 360 and twirls its head to four different tunes.

Booty shaking pug, £19.99, Smythstoys.com or Argos.co.uk

Henry’s little helper

This mini Henry the hoover actually sucks up dust so your little helpers can really get stuck in around the house

How cute is this? Little ones love to mimic what their parents are doing – and what better way to train them up to earn their pocket money later in life? The Henry actually has suction power – and can pick up dust and small pieces of debris. Most satisfying all round.

Magic tree

This pop-up magic tree stores cute characters and furniture under its canopy – then pops up to reveal the little house inside

A cute, portable, pop-up tree house that comes with little animal creatures and pieces of furniture so kids can create their own scenes and make-believe moments, using the lift, the swing or the garage or setting individual rooms. Perfect for imagination games and creative play – and the whole thing closes down neatly into a little tree so it’s easy to carry around. A toy that will really keep them engaged. Suitable from age 2 and up. Timber Tots trees have been aroiund for a while too, so

Timber Tots Magic Tree, £39.99, Very.co.uk

Baby Touch Books

Baby Touch Happy Christmas book has surprises for little hands to discover on every page

The perfect stocking filler for the smallest members of the family this Christmas, the Baby Touch book collection from Ladybird offers sensory story time to engage the most curious of elves. Vibrant illustrations and touch-and-feel on every double page mean surprises all throughout the story. Straight from Santa’s workshop, ‘Happy Christmas!’ is the perfect choice for a festive treat.

Ladybird baby touch books, £5.99, penguin.co.uk

Magnetic Safari animal sets, £17.99

My First Sets Safari Animals are colourful and fun for small hands to play with, pull apart and mix and match to make fantastic creatures

SmartMax make brilliant magnetic toy construction sets – including some early sets for babies and small children aged 1 – 5. My First Vehicles have magnetic cement mixers, a dumper truck and fire engine – three vehicles that truly fascinate children. My First Dinosaurs have little magnetic dinos babies can pull apart and play with. And My First Safari has all the big animals children just love to engage with. Listen to them rooooar along as they play with these bright, bold easy-to-handle pieces that they can either make into their favourite animals or combine to make crazy creatures.

Smart Max magnetic first toys, £18.99, smarttoysandgames.co.uk

Happy cube

Happy cubes are fun for adults and children alike to play, puzzle and solve

A fidget toy to keep minds active on a winter’s day. Each set comes with six coloured puzzles, flat-packed. The first part of the challenge is to make the six cubes, each one a little harder than the previous. Once they have been made, the next step is to fit them all back into their flat packs, which is easier said than done. Multiple shapes can be made out of the pieces from each cube. These brainboxes will challenge you for hours… and don’t think they’re just for children – adults get addicted fast.

Fidget cube, from £9.99, smarttoysandgames.co.uk and amazon.co.uk

Bluey Play House

The Bluey Play House has easy-to-hold furniture kids can move around the sweet settings

Fans of Bluey will love this playset that lets them recreate their favourite feel-good moments from the show. There are four rooms – living room, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom – and sweet, hard-wearing and easy-to-handle play furniture that can be moved around the house. No sharp edges, no small bits to find their way into tiny mouths – the ideal starter toy house. There is a fold-out patio too, and the back folds up to store all the bits and pieces, making it easy to either put away or take on the go.

Bluey Family Home playset, £32, argos.co.uk

Best board game

30 Seconds – the fast-talking game for all the family

Give the gift of fun this Christmas, with the number one bestselling board game, 30 Seconds. This fast-paced general knowledge game gives players just 30 seconds to describe five names on their chosen card, for their teammates to guess – the perfect Christmas day board game! From landmarks to TV shows, celebrities to popular songs, players will be kept on their toes whizzing through the list as fast as they can without saying the actual names or using any ‘sounds like’ or rhyming tactics – sure to have the whole family in hysterics.

SmartGames 30 Seconds, £14.99, amazon.co.uk

Tummy Time Croc, £34.95

This stylish and fun Tummy Time Activity Croc is so cute

This cute-looking toy has a teether and rings for baby to play with, a mirror, crinkly bits, tags and a jiggling tummy. Plenty to do and it looks sweet too.

Tummy Time Croc, £34.95, babyatthebank.co.uk

Mushi Stacking Cups, £14

Mushi stacking cups come in very pretty colours – a break from the primary coloured plastic creep

Babies love playing with these as soon as they can hold things – as early as a couple months old. They love to watch you stack and knock them down, even before they can do it themselves. And such satisfying colours!

Mushi Stacking Cups, £14, thebebehive.com

Rainbow abacus, £14.95

Little hands love to play with the beads as they learn to count and it looks good in the nursery too

A classic design piece for the nursery, fun for little hands but educational too. My son loved counting and sorting the beads and naming the colours.

Little Dutch rainbow abacus, £14.95, naturalbabyshower.co.uk

Nesting stacking blocks, £12.95

Colourful Creatures nesting blocks stack up high but fit neatly inside each other for storage (Picture: Rex London)

These make a great gift; I have personally given these to lots of pals. Kids love to build and knock down towers, and these blocks are just perfect. A lightweight, conveniently stored set of blocks with lovely bright pictures and numbers, they nest inside each other for simple storage. Especially good present if you have to pack for Christmas.

Colourful Creatures nesting blocks, £12.95, rexlondon.com

Waking in the night is not scary at all if there is one of these cute friends gently glowing on the bedside (Picture: Liewood)

How sweet are these Liewood animal nightlights? I had the dino for my son years ago and he still has it on his shelf. Batteries last for eons too, which makes things easier.

Nightlights, around £35, Liewood.com




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