Top 10: Gifts for kids
Kids can be hard to buy for, they constantly change their minds and when you finally settle on a thoughtful gift - it probably still won't entertain them as much as your iPhone will. Regardless, here are our top 10 picks for kids to help you narrow down the options this Christmas.
Mud&Bloom subscription box
Mud & Bloom is a monthly subscription box delivering seasonal nature crafts and gardening activities to your door. Each box contains everything you need for four seasonal growing and craft activities along with instructions, nature news and games to teach children about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil etc.
The boxes have been created for 3-8 year old's by qualified teachers and support the national curriculum. Single boxes start at £11.95 per month, or you can pay £69 for 6 months and £131.40 for 12 months. There's also currently a 10% discount running, so if you sign up you'll receive 10% off your first box using the code FIRSTBOX10 at checkout. However, this offer only applies to the month to month boxes, not the 3, 6 and 12-month gift subscriptions.
The Sound of Supercars book
This book is designed for kids who are crazy about cars. Every engine sounds unique and the 12 vehicles featured in The Sound of Supercars were selected and arranged according to their engine size from the 2-cylinder Morgan 3-Wheeler to the mighty 16-cylinder Bugatti Chiron.
With pictures and info about each vehicle on every page, this book is the ideal gift for the little petrolhead in your life. Plus, it's less than £10.
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Disney villain face masks
Much like the Star Wars facemasks in our Star Wars Gift Guide, these are perfect for anyone who fancies a pamper sesh while also understanding that Disney villains were the real leading ladies. In this pack of three, you'll get facemasks of Ursula: super hydrating cucumber to soothe and moisturise - Maleficent: antioxidant green tea to refresh and revitalise skin and Cruella De Vil: calming coconut for nourished and supple skin.
Having tried these ourselves, we can confirm they're quite luxurious (and cold). They'll also certainly get a laugh from your friends.
Scooters are a great gift for kids, and Micro has the most comprehensive range for all ages. The three-wheeled Micro Mini is ideal for 3 to 5-year-olds with its intuitive lean-to-steer design and lightweight frame. For kids aged 10 and up, the Micro Speed is light, agile and fast - the perfect companion for hop-on hop-off journeys. But the Speed's real difference lies in its integrated shock dampening system - acting like suspension on a bike to absorb bumps in the road.
The pleasantly named Micro Sparrow is the first electric model Micro has designed for children. Unlike other electric scooters, it doesn't have a throttle — instead, it uses a 'hybrid' system where the electric power comes in gradually as your child increases their speed on the scooter. The idea is to make it intuitive and safe. It's very light at just 5.1kg and top speed is 9mph.
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LEGO is a great gift for kids who love to create. There are hundreds of options for what to buy, especially at this time of year when LEGO introduces its new seasonal sets and there are a few promotions on as well. For something Christmas-themed, we'd opt for the CREATOR Gingerbread House. It's a big outlay but with 1477 pieces it should keep 12+ kids busy for at least most of Boxing Day.
For something smaller - and cheaper - the £10 CITY Police Patrol car is a simple build of 92 pieces for kids aged 5 and up. The set includes a police officer minifigure, a police car with a removable roof and two police traffic cone accessories. The Duplo Frozen Ice Castle is also bound to be a hit with little ones who love Frozen. For ages 2+, the 59-piece set includes three figures (Anna, Elsa and Olaf) and the Disney Frozen castle with a slide, table, chairs and kitchen equipment. There's a button-operated light brick that provides multicoloured illumination for the castle. LEGO says this buildable toy for toddlers is designed to encourage role-play and storytelling to help your child develop language, social and emotional skills.
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Instax Mini 9 polaroid camera (and film)
The Instax mini 9 is a compact instant camera with a selfie mirror and close-up lens. Brand new features include the high-key mode for brighter photos and the automatic exposure measurement for aperture settings. One of the biggest selling points of the mini 9 is how simple to use it is, especially for children and those who have never used a polaroid camera before.
When you buy the camera, you'll also get a hand strap, close-up lens attachment, AA batteries, the instruction manual and one pack of 10-shot mini film. It's also a good idea to buy some additional film with the camera as you're likely to find 10-shots isn't enough. This 20-shot pack of film is usually about £15, but is sometimes discounted.
RazorX Cruiser electric skateboard
The Cruiser is a considerably cheaper electric skateboard than most others on the market. Of course, there's more to it than that, but this offering from Razor is far less costly than rival electric skateboards - which is one of its main selling points. It goes up to 10mph (16kph), lasts 40 minutes on a single charge and is suitable for ages 9 and up with a 220lb (100kg) weight limit - which makes it suitable for this 24-year-old reviewer and our younger product testers.
Basically, it's a great entry-level e-skateboard - making it ideal for kids and skateboard novices. In fact, we think it's one of the best options to get to grips with the world of electric skateboards (and skateboards in general). It also won our award for Toy of the Year 2019.
Kingston HyperX Cloud II gaming headset
A good gaming headset is essential for any gamer, whether your kid loves Fortnite, Borderlands or Super Smash Bros. The HyperX Cloud II is an affordable, high-quality headset that works with all the major gaming platforms, as well as offering very decent sound quality for a range of other mediums. In fact, we'd argue this is one of the best gaming headsets under £100, although it's getting on a bit now.
The Cloud II offer big 53mm drivers and a detachable microphone, with the comfortable ear cushions meaning the headset feels comfortable even after wearing them for hours. Although you don't get wireless connectivity or active noise cancellation, the sound quality is excellent for the price. Add in the extras you get, like an extra set of earcups, the carry case and the sound card, and it's a no-brainer in our mind.
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Scalextric Micro Wacky Races
Alongside its full-size sets that are popular with older kids (and more likely grown-ups), Scalextric also has Micro sets, aimed at younger children, from four years old. Priced at £55, it comes with two cars (1:64 scale) - the Mean Machine driven by Dick Dastardly and Muttley plus the Turbo Terrific driven by Peter Perfect. You can also add Penelope Pitstop's car, the Pink Pussycat, which is sold separately for £13.
The mains powered set has more than four metres of track and there are nine suggested layouts that include a loop-the-loop or a vertical stunt ramp. The cars feature the Magnatraction magnetic system to help the cars stick the track plus there are two hand controllers which can be adjusted to limit the speed. The set may seem pricey but it's good value considering how much track you get along with the two detailed cars. It's also cheaper than alternatives like the Carrera Go Mario Kart set - and much better quality too.
Sphero's Specdrums are app-enabled musical rings that make the world your instrument by turning colours into sounds. Connect to the Specdrums mix app and tap on anything to create and mix any sounds, beats and loops that all play through your phone or tablet.
Tech includes an accelerometer, light sensor and LEDs to help children learn how to curate sound packs that allow you to mix and produce entire songs with the tap of your finger. You can also connect Specdrums to any other music software that accepts Bluetooth Midi, such as Garage Band and Ableton Live. Review coming soon to Honest John Kit.
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