Apologies to those of my readers who don’t want to be thinking of Christmas. I don’t want to be thinking of Christmas. I’d just like it to sort itself out quietly, happen peacefully and be over with, instead of somehow having become this two month frenzy of gift consideration and buying and let’s not even go there on some of the other traditions that are sneaking in.
But I have been sent some lovely things that the children have very much enjoyed, and while I’m struggling with pictures in this wifi free zone, I thought I’d give you the write up anyway.
First of all: Doc McStuffin’s Make me better Lambie.
This is a lovely soft lamb which would be incredibly cuddly except for the big battery box that supports the crying. Poor Lambie gets hurt and wails, and the only thing that fixes her is an injection in her bottom. This is with a magnet, so if the hypodermic disappears, bear that in mind. The major flaw in this is that you have to switch Lambie on and off to make her cry, which means opening up the velcro and fiddling around with the switch. Fortunately Smallest is quite dextrous and can manage this herself, but I can see that a less capable child might find it rather frustrating. The suggested night light aspect is a bit pointless – the light only comes on for ten seconds, which is barely enough time to get used to it being on before it switches off again.
Nevertheless, Lambie is a very lovely cuddly, and I do approve of the encouraging girls to be vets thing, so overall, not a bad toy. (I’ve seen worse.
Next we have Gumigem Bubba bag of teething toys. Most of these are suitable from birth, one from ten months, so do check which is which if you’ve a younger baby. The little bag is handy and very sturdy (feels like neoprene maybe?) and Tigerboy very much enjoys carrying it round and about, and playing with the toys. Despite him being 20 months, he’s still teething, and I like that these are sturdy enough to cope with him, much better than him just chewing on whatever he happens to find in the way of playmobil anyway! I like this a lot – different from the standard plastic teethers, and well worth considering.
Craft kits of different types – Pick’n’mix jewellery. This is definitely not a craft kit for younger children. Smallest just about managed to make the square beads with lots of assistance, but the roll up ones defeated her completely. The age guide is 8+ if I recall correctly, and I’d say some 8 years olds might struggle. Big and I found it OK, but it’s quite time consuming and fiddly, though the results are well worth it. Big found it somewhat frustrating that not all the colours shown in the manual were actually included in the felt so you couldn’t make exactly what was shown – this may or may not be a problem for other people. You do get bright and pastel colours so can make licorice allsorts or dolly mixture type beads, whichever you prefer. As a plus point, you do get a great little plastic box included to keep fixings in, which I very much liked and have in the past bought similar for several pounds, so that increases the value of the kit to my mind. Recommended for teens or even adults as a quirky gift I’d say.
Small will be sharing his Zu3D animation with you all when we get home, but I wanted to include it as an honourable mention. This time we’re looking at Dinosaurs in Space, and the kit includes modelling tools as well as the software, camera, plasticene and backdrop. The only negative I’d mention is that the backdrop is actually on the inside of the sleeve around the box, so you have to dismantle that to use it. Not a massive negative by any stretch of the imagination, but slightly annoying for those who like to put things away looking complete if you see what I mean.
I love Zu3D and what it encourages in the way of creativity – and I’d highly recommend them for children from around 8 or slightly older as long as they’re vaguely computer literate or supported by someone who is. Small at age 10 is completely self propelled with this stuff, but he’s very computer capable.
Disclosure – all above sent for review, Amazon links are affiliate links.
Hope those give you a few ideas for your gift lists, will be back very soon with some more tech related ideas, not least my thoughts on Kurio 7S.