Children’s Christmas Ideas – Sunday 11th December
This week the gorgeous Ruth Jones joined Tim and I to look at some ideas for kids gifts – she was lovely, a really gorgeous lady and it was lovely to meet her – here’s what we had a little look at:
1. Barbie Design Printables – £30 (age 6 +)
Barbies have been a Christmas stocking mainstay for the past 50 years and this year is no exception. For Christmas 2011, she has been reinvented with printable hair extensions that children can design and print themselves. The hair extensions are stuck onto card that can be fed through an inkjet printer and printed with any design or photo.
Firstly, girls use online software to design the extensions and then print them off. They then brush through the extensions and attach to their hair (or Barbie’s) with a clip. The set comes with 16 hair extensions, 6 funky hair clips and of course a Barbie doll, dressed in pink jeans and a sparkly black top.
2. Ride in Dalek – £200 (age 3-6 years)
Quite possibly the coolest present of 2011, and one that’s bound to make quite an impact on Christmas day, is the Ride-In Dr Who Dalek. The inflatable creature, available in blue or red, comes with 360 degree movement and drives at up to 3 km per hour. It has 10 in-built scary sounds and phrases and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The 128cm tall dalek also comes with a soft bumper to protect furniture from over enthusiastic driving! The toy comes with a 6v rechareable battery and a full charge will last for over an hour of continual use. At £200, it’s a very pricy piece of kit, but your child would be the coolest kid in the playground.
3. Gelarti Gel stickers and studio – £20 (age 5+)
Every girl loves pretty stickers and the Gelarti portable design studio is a funky and much more creative alternative to buying normal stickers. Budding artists simply colour in the sticker sheets with Gelarti paint pens to create beautiful translucent stickers that can be stuck anywhere. Children can use the four included glittery pens and the marbling tool to blend colours together or create beautiful swirls on the stickers. Once painted, they can add 3D accessories and gems, and then leave them to dry before sticking them everywhere!
The Gelarti design studio contains 30+ stickers 4 Gelarti paint pens, 1 double-ended marbling tool, 6 3D accessories, 12 gems, and Activity Book.
4. Angry Birds speakers – £50-£70
Building on the massive success of the Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds speakers are great for children and adults alike, and are a great idea for older kids that have grown out of toys. Three different speakers are available in the range: Red Bird (£49.99), Black Bird (£69.99) and Helmet Pig (£69.99).
Red Bird is the cheapest and is designed to play music from any smartphone, tablet, mp3 player, or indeed anything with a 3.5mm headphone jack. It comes with a stand to house your chosen music device and is the only choice for those without Apple devices. Black Bird comes with a separate charging dock (shaped like a wall) for iPod, iPhone and iPad, while Helmet Pig can charge iPods and iPhones on top of his head. All three characters come with volume and bass controls.
5. Tomy GX Buggy – £39.99 – fastest buggy in the world (age 8+)
(wasn’t featured due to time)
The Tomy GX Buggy is the fastest acrobatic RC car in the world, capable of speeds up to 22km per hour (a scale speed of 770 km per hour). Each Buggy is equipped with a clear plastic Roll Wing, meaning that it always rights itself after tricks and spins.
This speedy little buggy has a 2.4GHz controller – unlike the usual infra red – so you can jump, flip and roll with up to nine other cars at once, without any signal interference. Its ultra-light 42 gram body is incredibly durable, which is useful when you are planning jumps of up to 85cm high. It takes 20 minutes to fully charge, which gives 10 minutes of continuous race time.
6. One Fine Day Children’s Name Art – £60 (up to 5 letters, £70 (6-11 letters) including frame
This fully personalized children’s name art print is a great gift for a newborn or as a Christening gift, as well as being a beautiful present to adorn a girl’s wall. You can personalize the picture with a baby’s birth weight or child’s date of birth, and choose to have the name depicted in one of five styles (animal, boy thing, fairy girl, mouse and pixie).
Each animal or character represents the letter it depicts, so for example an ‘H’ would have a heroic scene in the ‘Boy thing’ style or a fairy twirling a hula hoop in ‘Fairy Girl’. This gives the added advantage for younger children of teaching them the alphabet.
Each one is a print taken from a hand-painted original, and the company promise to never make more than 250 of each name in each theme – so you won’t see all your kids’ friends with the same design on their walls.
7. Fijit – £54.99 (age 6+)
Fijit Friends are interactive toys that chat, dance, joke and perform, and have been touted as the top gift for Christmas. The toys are made with a durable plastic head, cute removable ears and a squishy rubber shell, allowing them to boogie to the beat of your favourite music. Their bodies and heads turn, bounce and wiggle, and even their LED face and eyes will light up in response to stimuli. The beat sensors recognize what type of music you are playing, so the toys will change their dance depending on whether you are listening to ballads or rock music.
Fijit Friends can recognize 30 words and respond with over 150 built-in phrases and jokes. When you wish them ‘good night’, they will start snoring while their tummies glow softly like nightlights. Fijit Friends come in four different options: Sweetie pie Serafina, Trend-setting Willa, Soprty Logan and Adventurous Sage.
8. Character Building Army Battleship (£49.99) and Tank (£29.99) (for ages 6+)
These Armed Forces construction brick sets are bound to keep kids entertained this Christmas. A great gift for children who want something a bit different to the well-known Danish brand, these sets are more reasonable in price as well.
The Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer is a 516 piece replica set enabling kids to build the largest and most powerful destroyer in the Navy. As well as building the ship itself, complete with rotating gun turret and opening hold doors, you also get a helicopter and five H.M. Armed forces micro-figures.
Or alternatively, why not go for the Challenger 2 construction set, which is a replica of the British Army’s main battle tank. The playset comes with a rotating cannon, opening turret hatches and two micro-figures. With its fully working tank treads this armoured battle tank can handle any rough terrain and move across a variety of surfaces. It even features an opening engine bay with removable engine.
9. Hexbug Nano Elevation Habitat Set – £34.99
Hexbug Nanos are tiny little crawling machines that behave like real bugs. Kids can use the included ramps, bridges and one-way gates to build a habitat on multiple levels, and then watch their Nanos skitter and flip around the environment, racing each other and fighting in the hexagonal stand-off areas. When the kids get bored, they can tear it down and build something new. As they add more pieces to their set, they can make the construction more elaborate, building the habitat higher and higher.
This is the ideal gift for kids that already have some Hexbug Nano creatures, but is also a completely self-contained kit for first-timers. Each Elevation Habitat Set comes with 2 Nano mutations and 52 easy connect pieces, giving kids the freedom to get creative and customize your habitat.
10. Turbospoke – £17.99 (age 8+) (not shown due to time)
Turbospoke is the bicycle “exhaust” system that makes your bike look and sound like a motorcycle. Using only the power of your bike’s pedals, Turbospoke transforms any push bike into a roaring Harley with three different motor sounds (including chopper and dirt bike) and then amplifies them for a realistic rider experience.
The sounds are made by a thin plastic ‘Motocard’ which is held against the spokes of your wheel. The sound then travels up the exhaust pipe, getting even louder. The engine sound starts as soon as the wheels turn, so the sound changes as your speed does, and it gets amplified by the exhaust pipe as you accelerate.