London Mums hot Christmas wish list
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- Published on Friday, 09 November 2018 15:17
- Last Updated on 17 December 2018
- Monica Costa
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London Mums have gone out again to source the best and most cost effective Christmas presents for the whole family. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in our wish list.
The best presents for babies are the practical and useful ones. My favourite this Christmas is the Sleeping Bag with Feet and Detachable Sleeves with the Pirate theme by Slumbersac.
Slumbersac’s Sleeping Bags with Feet and Detachable Sleeves are fantastic for active toddlers as they start learning to walk, giving them the freedom to move around, reducing the risk of falling over, while still enjoying the comfort of their sleeping bag at bedtime. I still remember my son walking during the night from his room to mine with one of these special pjs. This gorgeous sleeping bag is made from 100% cotton which is soft and silky to the touch.
My son did not like to have his feet covered at night. These designs allow them to pull the legs down so their little feet are tucked in for a warm and comfortable night’s sleep, or their feet can be left outside of the bag, so they don’t feel restricted. In addition, the long sleeves are detachable with press-studs and have slightly lighter padding than the rest of the sleeping bag, allowing toddlers to move their arms freely without restricting them. If you feel your toddler is too warm, you can simply remove the sleeves and then when needed, you can re-attach them again, making the sleeping bag a real multi-functional product that can be used in a variety of temperatures, at home or on the go! These sleeping bags come in many different sizes up to 6 years old. RRP £39.99 Available from Slumbersac UK.
Strictly Come Dancing: The Board Game
This family board game captures all the fun and excitement of the hugely popular BBC show. Players pair with an in-game professional dancer and journey through training where they must answer trivia questions, take on fun challenges and perform mini dance-offs. The two players who make it to the game’s ‘live final’ can perform a dance to one of the six tunes that are played on the revolving glitterball speaker, or they take on the finger Cha Cha challenge.
Available now from all good toy retailers and online
Floof Mr & Mrs Snowman Set
With global warming making snowfalls quite unpredictable in London these days and hyper kids jumping around over the Christmas holidays, London Mums have found the perfect alternative that can guarantee hours of entertainment (which means me-time for parents). This new Floof is a light-as-air, snowy white, moldable compound that is perfect for indoor snow play. Kids can mold it, squish it and build all kinds of creations – the fun is Floof-tastic.
The Floof Mr and Mrs Snowman set includes everything needed to build two mini snowman characters including 120g of Floof, and a selection of character accessories. It’s also easy to type up without leaving time deprived mums cleaning for hours afterwards. Now you can have snowy fun without the big freeze! RRP £12.99, www.smythstoys.com
This is a game we tried over the Summer and proved to be quite challenging. But we love a challenge. If you’re looking for a fun-filled skill toy that can help improve your cognition, coordination and provides fun all year round, Pindaloo™ from SWAG Distribution might be the right one and is great for all the family.
Once you teach yourself the first step, it will be impossible to put it down. It’s just starting to get into that rhythm that might be quite tough. Once you get into it from the beginner’s level, you can move up to learn more advanced range of tricks or even create your own ones. Pindaloo is available in red and blue, get in the loop now.
Tiger Tribe – Beat the Clock
Whether you’re inside or outside, at home, the park or even at school, the Tiger Tribe Beat the Clock Stopwatch Set is jam-packed with fun and constructive activities to get kids interested in exploring time– and beating it. My son used it during a sponsored walk at school to keep up time and have fun with his friends to test skills and reflexes against time using the innovative activity set. Age rating: 5+
RRP £17,99 The main stockistis Trotters Childrens wear and accessories
My 12 year old son Diego is a young nerd who likes to makes things out of cardboard and technology. This Winter he had the opportunity to review Dimm™the new smart toy robot who teaches kids how to code. The Dimm™kit costs £39.99 inc. VAT and comes with Dimm the robot, fun sensors and a brand new BBC micro:bit computer.
The great thing about this kit is that once you have build this robot, you can re-use the parts to build something else. After coding and playing with Dimm for a while, Diego has used the parts to build other machinery out of cardboard incorporating the technology available with this kit.
This is what’s included in the box:
- Flat pack Cardboard Dimm™
- BBC Micro:bit mini computer
- Sticker Sheets, medal stickers
- Instruction Book
- Cardboard Standup Binary
- Speaker with attaching Croc Clip Wires
- Temperature Sensor with attaching Croc Clip Wires
- Motion Sensor with attaching Croc Clip Wires
- Light Sensor with attaching Croc Clip Wires
- Spare Croc Clip to Croc Clip Wires
The Binary Bots website is child-friendly and useful if you are looking for inspiration on other geeky projects.
Tonies is a new innovative ‘audio player’ suitable for kids. The story behind this product is very interesting. Founders Patric Faßbender and Marcus Stahl are both fathers, each with two children, who were at the same nursery. They came up with the idea for the Tonies and the Toniebox, because they thought that most ‘audio players’ on the market had no playful elements. With all the recent developments in digital technology, there was nothing they could give to their kids to play while listening to music or stories. So they invented their own product. Very clever indeed!
Watch this video to have an idea of how that works.
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjouP8gdTgw ” /]
tonies® opens up the world of stories and play to let little imaginations blossom. Each figure is individually hand painted and encourages children to get creative in their play. Children can simply place a chosen Tonie (a little figure) on top of the Toniebox and the audio content starts playing; they can then remove the Tonie and it will stop. Or if a family is already bursting with magical stories, the Creative-tonies allow them to record or download 90-minutes of audio content. They are available in six stylish colours, sewn from sustainable fabric meaning the eye catching cube will fit into any playroom or family room (no more gaudy plastic!), they have also introduced special festive editions including The Snowman and a Christmas Songs Tonie. The great thing about this product is also that it is very robust and if it falls, it does not break as it is a good padding around the audio box. Tonies are available from Amazon, selected toy retailers and bookshops and via the tonies® website www.tonies.com.
- Tonieboxes RRP £79.95
- Tonies RRP £14.99
- Creative-Tonies RRP £11.99
Andrew Lloyd Webber five LP box set
Following the success of UNMASKED: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION, which reached the #1 spot in the UK Compilations Chart, Andrew Lloyd Webber continues his 70th birthday celebrations with release of the collection as a five LP box set which makes for a great Christmas gift. I love playing all his famous songs on my Dansette! The box set features recently recorded songs from renowned artists Nicole Scherzinger (“Memory”, Cats), Gregory Porter (“Light at the End of the Tunnel”, Starlight Express) and Lana Del Rey (“You Must Love Me”, Evita). It also contains recordings by world-class performers such as Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Michael Ball, and Beyonce. The collection is personally curated and overseen by Lloyd Webber, and is half-speed mastered at Abbey Road by Miles Showell, also containing a 20-page booklet with specially written tributes from Barbra Streisand, Glenn Close, Michael Crawford and Tim Rice among others.
As the most successful composer of musicals in history, Lloyd Webber’s productions have sold more than 330 million tickets worldwide. The Phantom of the Operais the second longest-running show in West End history. Catsand The Phantom of the Operaare two of Broadway’s four highest grossing shows. In addition to his worldwide sales and audiences, Lloyd Webber has been recognised by critics and peers with numerous accolades and awards including seven Oliviers, seven Tonys, three Grammys, one Golden Globe and an Oscar.
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
For slightly older children this toy provides great play value – it’s not only themed with popular and dearly loved characters, but it’s also intricate and challenging so it encourages sustained attention, engagement and perseverance. The complex nature of the toy provides not only captivating entertainment value, but there’s also an opportunity for a real sense of accomplishment, mastery and achievement once it has come together. The Harry Potter theme along with the complexity of the kit, means this is a toy that would appeal to both boys and girls, as well as the adults in the family.
There’s nothing more touching than a personalised gift. My favourite website to source personalised Christmas gifts is www.personalisedgiftsshop.co.uk and here are my top items from that online shop.
This brightly coloured canvas bag can be personalised with a name or short message. I have chosen this because its quality fabric makes it a gorgeous gift. The bag is perfect for a winter sun break, summer holidays or even everyday use as a tote. It can be carried over the shoulder, or in hand and measures approximately W:53, D:19cm, H:59cm including handles.
The Personalised North Pole Express Hessian Christmas Sacks are ideal for sorting and containing gifts on Christmas morning. Made from strong 100% natural hessian and tied with a jute string, these sturdy mailbags are made to last. I got one made with my son Diego’s name on it and will be using it to put his Christmas presents every year from now on. The front of the Christmas sack is printed in eco inks and bears a red Royal Mail crown and the words “North Pole Express Mail Service for” in bold capital letters. You can add the full name of the lucky recipient with up to 12 letters for the first name and 15 letters for the surname to make each bag truly unique and special. It measures approximately 79cm x 52 cm.
The Personalised Large Oak Keepsake Box – Christmas Postcard is both stylish and practical. It can be filled with goodies to treat the kids on Christmas Eve, or it could come direct from the North Pole with a particularly sought-after gift inside. It’s got all the stamps to prove its origin. The box itself has been lovingly made and created to resemble a traditional postcard for that extra charm and character. The words, ‘Merry Christmas’ have been added to the easy, lift-off lid with room to add the recipient’s name and a message. I got it personalised with my son’s name and will use it to put all his letters to Santa (ssssh, don’t let him know that, though). The box is made from solid oak and measures approximately W:21cm L:13cm D:8cm.
My son loves his new Christmas jumper. We sourced it from M&S and has lots of Christmas llamas on it. It’s different from the usual Santa, Penguin or trees illustrations and a bit quirky too. M&S have combined Christmas with the latest llama trend for a quirkier festive spirit.
Adults can get a similar jumper so a whole family could look absolutely hilariously gorgeous during the festive season. Ah Ah! Available in store and online.
HAVAIANAS WINTER SUN FASHION
There are never enough bags a girl can own. This super colourful shopping and beach bag is inspired by Brazil’s original and authentic flip-flop. I love the floral and tropical prints. It is really spacious (Handle Drop 9″/23 m / Width 23″/60 cm / Height 13″/35 cm) and made from high-quality canvas, lightweight and durable. RRP £ 25.00
OLVERUM BATH OIL
This isn’t just an amazing facial serum but the creator behind it is truly inspirational. Angela Langford was on Masterchef and then she founded her own brand of natural skincare products. Being on the telly was a surreal experience for Angela she but grew throughout the show, cooking for Charles Campion (who loved her crab dish), to Marcus Wareing (who called her dish a dogs dinner!), to cooking with some of her food heroes – Bruno Loubet, John Campbell and Tom Kerridge. Angela won through the rounds, eventually making Finals Week. She only lost out on a last day place in the Final having been in a cook-off with the eventual winner, Ping Coombes. Her love of cooking continues not only in her food festival appearances, or her pop-up restaurant here in Somerset, or her TV appearances on the BBC (she’s since been a guest judge on the show, as well as BBC Children In Need and BBC Breakfast) – but in her skincare. And now she is devoted to finding a recipe for great skin. She is very meticulous in her craft and it took time for me to get a sample of the bloom & glow, a fabulous radiance restoring face oil made with chia seed and sea buckthorn. I put it onto my face before going to bed and I wake up in the morning with a baby soft skin. Chia seed & sea buckthorn are blended together to deliver high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamins & antioxidants – it improves skin’s elasticity, calms inflammation & restores radiance. Highly recommended.
Christmas would not be the same without some sweet treats. I don’t eat many sweets but I indulge a bit over the festive season. My favourite ones this year are from Tesco, affordable and good looking items in the kitchen or Christmas dinner table. The musical lantern with mini cookies containing Dark chocolate chips is my favourite of all.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums