5 Minute Fun gift guide

It’s Christmas advert time, which can only mean one thing…

Lots of people with too much time on their hands will take angrily to message boards and whinge about how rubbish the adverts are. I do wonder who these people are. If they’ve got that much spare time, maybe they could do my Christmas shopping. Although, on second thoughts, I don’t want the Scrooge brigade ruining Christmas for me. Because, if I’m honest, I love Christmas…

I’m not a Christmas nutter. I don’t count down the days from July to the big day. But I start to feel festive as soon as the days crisp up and the nights draw in. And that’s about the time I start Christmas shopping. This year’s no different. Although it is a little different, because our toddler is here. And that means there’s an extra reason to make Christmas special, and much less time to do everything in.

One piece of toddler-related admin I hadn’t anticipated is the Christmas present list. People keep asking for it. Turns out we have to think of all the things our daughter might like/we don’t mind cluttering up the house, so that people can click a link and buy them. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but isn’t a pile of unsuitable gifts and a couple of surprisingly well-chosen gems kind of the point of Christmas? I do sound ungrateful, I know. I’m running on three hours sleep and it’s making a Scrooge out of me…

I’m starting to wish I could clone myself like that bloke Dave in last year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas ad. If I could simultaneously stand with my hand on the toddler’s tummy, sleep, work and surf Amazon, then happy, festive me would return. If you feel the same, then I hope you’ll find this toddler Christmas list useful.

1 Christmas traditions 

We’re starting the Christmas traditions with the toddler this year – decorating the tree together, leaving wine and a mince pie for Santa (ho ho ho), and hanging her own Christmas stocking. This one from Mothercare is perfect. Cute and personalised, she’ll treasure it for years to come.  

2 Stocking filler

Our toddler is a massive fan of building towers (and knocking them down). These stacking Djeco Topanifarm cubes (£14.99) have added cuteness with animals to house inside each cube. We can see her loving these for years to come.

3 First wheels

We’re asking Grandad to buy this Nicko 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike (£39.99).

We were also tempted by Scuttlebug, a fun three-wheel ride-on, which is an absolute steal at only £49.99 for Amazon Prime members. The bike won because it converts easily from three to two wheels and has an adjustable saddle height so it’ll grow as she does.

4 Starter train set

I’m not sure if this present is for the toddler or for Daddy, but if it encourages daddy-daughter time then that’s more than OK with me. We went for the 20-piece basic train set from Ikea (£8.00) because it’s a sleek-looking bargain, and the pieces are compatible with most other train set brands.

5 The perfect bath toy

I’ve been looking for an exciting bath toy that won’t go mouldy or break the bank, and I’ve finally found it. This Nuby Hoopla Octopus (£6.99) will keep the toddler busy hooking hoops, and it’s a decent price that the in-laws won’t baulk at.

Techy tot

We’ve cracked and we’re getting the toddler her own tablet, because she uses my phone now… and that’s getting annoying. Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet gives her the widest choice of apps and us the best control of what and how long she’s watching. It’s also great value at £49.99 (or £99.99 if you buy the kids edition with kid-proof case, 2-years warranty and 1-year subscription to Fire).

7 Brilliant book

One thing I’m embracing about toddlerhood is the transition from chewing books to being interested in the pictures. We’re also big on animal noises at the moment, so we’ve got out eye on this listen to the pets book (£6.99).

8 New togs

The toddler needs warm clothes and she’s too young to be disappointed by a soft present (remember that feeling?!) I’m loving Jules Oliver’s Little Bird range at Mothercare because it’s gender-neutral and looks like my own childhood. This cool, cosy sweatshirt is only £8.25 – £9.75, depending on size.

9 The practical present

Days out with the toddler are a hundred times easier when I remember to bring food. I’m asking for this cute Skip Hop bee bag (£14.00) to help me get organised. It’s neat, keeps everything cool, and will save me a fortune on kids’ menu meals that she never eats.

10 Classic car

For 30 years, no childhood has been complete without a ride in a Little Tikes car. And owning your own has got to be on every toddler’s wishlist! Plus there’s 20% off now at ELC (£43.99).