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Sooty Land – A Magical Day Meeting Sooty at Crealy

WSooty Land – A Magical Day Meeting Sooty at Crealy

We live a stone’s throw away from Crealy and it makes for a fun family day out. There are things for all ages to do including fast-paced rollercoasters right down to taking a stroll through the animal paddocks.

You can also make a holiday out of it and stay at Crealy Meadows with an option for Camping, Glamping, or one of their Lodges.

Two children standing in front of giant sooty at Sooty Land Crealy

Where it all began

We were invited to go along for the opening of Sooty Land at the weekend. I grew up with Sooty, Sweep, and Soo so it was such a treat and a trip down memory lane for me personally.

Richard Cadell, the Presenter, and Owner of the Sooty Show introduced us to Sooty with some background information about how Sooty came about. Sooty was discovered in a Blackpool Joke Shop in 1948 by Harry Corbett and was offered his own TV show after appearing on the BBC’s Talent Night.

Sooty has met many a famous face including the Queen and Prince Philip where he might have been a little bit naughty!

Sweep first appeared on the show in 1957 joined by Soo in 1964.

In 1976, both Sooty and Harry Corbett were awarded OBEs for charitable services.

Also in 1976, Harry Corbett’s son, Matthew took over as presenter of the Sooty Show.

In 1985 Richard Cadell joined the Sooty Show, and in 1998 Matthew Corbett retired leaving the show in the hands of Richard going forward.

Richard talked so passionately about his adventures with Sooty that it felt like a ‘Proud Dad Moment’ that Sooty now resides at Crealy.

Sooty will be celebrating his 70th Birthday next year which is pretty incredible since he doesn’t look a day over five!

Sooty Land

Sooty Land is a great addition to Crealy.

"Sootys

There are four new rides:

Sooty’s Magic Bus takes you up into the sky and gives your tummy a little flip when it comes back down.

Sweep’s Flying Circus is an aeroplane ride that goes round and round. You can make the planes go up and down yourself using the button.

Soo’s Sweet Balloon Ride where you sit in a hot air balloon and go round, like the teacup ride but in the sky.

Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Dizzy is a fast car ride that spins around and makes you feel like you’re going to crash into the other cars.

Soo's Sweet Balloon Ride at Sooty Land, Crealy

The Pier Building is home to:

  • An interactive Strike Arena
  • Sooty’s Carnival Games
  • Sooty’s Magic Mirror Maze
  • An electronic interactive climbing wall
  • Spider climb duo slides
  • Jigsaw Tetris
  • Magi Bricks
  • Giant Twister
  • Dance studio

Richard Cadell and  Sooty at the opening of Sooty Land

The Pier is also home to the Hall of Fame which was such a lovely trip down memory lane. It features many of the original props from the shows and is definitely worth checking out.

Grab something to eat

There are four additional places to eat:

  • Sooty’s Diner
  • Sweep’s Hot Dogs
  • Soo’s Cafe
  • Seaside Spuds

We went to Sooty’s Diner where both kids had chicken bites and chips and I had a Southern Fried Chicken burger and chips which was both reasonable in price and tasty.

"Sweeps

The Sooty Show

Last, but definitely not least is the Sooty Show which you can watch in the big top. It was funny from beginning to end, even including a few jokes for the adults. It was interactive and held the attention of my usually fidgety four-year-old from beginning to end.

We ended the day with ice cream and a meet and greet with Sooty, Sweep, and Richard which was the actual Sooty used in the shows.

Two Children sitting on a giant deckchair at Sooty Land, Crealy

Our Thoughts

Visiting Sooty Land was a huge hit with my kids, and I really enjoyed it as well. The rides were all great alongside the rides throughout the rest of the park. The Sooty Show was my favourite bit. The kids had flashing wands and joined in with the magic spells and other interactive bits. We laughed all the way through. Isabelle nearly fell off her seat at one of the cheeky jokes that she’s told everybody she’s talked to since we went. There’s so much to keep the kids happy both inside and outside. There are lots for all ages which is always a bonus for a parent with big age gap kids. I would definitely add it to your Devon Bucket list.

You can find other recommendations for Great Family Days out in Devon here.

  • We were given complimentary tickets to attend the press event, but all thoughts are our own. 

Sooty and Sweep behind the bushes at Sooty Land, Crealy

Easter Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Tweens

Easter Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Tweens

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that I have rather large age gaps between my children. Most of the time it’s really difficult to get the balance right when planning day trips or activities that suit everybody. Obviously, the eldest at 22 is not included in this round-up, but will of course get his fair share of chocolate goodies. I find that crafts, baking and games seem to be things that interest both the three year old and the eleven year old, so we’ll go with this theme.

This round-up is a selection of Chocolate alternatives since both kids tend to get more than their body weight in chocolate from friends and family. 

A selection of Easter Gifts for Toddlers and Tween aged children inside a giant pink easter egg

Ceramic Painting Sets – £1.00 each – Pound Shop

I found these lovely ceramic painting sets in the Pound Shop. They had a choice of an Easter Egg, a Chick and a Bunny. Each set came with a set of three paints and a mini paintbrush.  The surrounding Easter Animals were also from the Pound Shop and were available in various themes including Easter Animals, Farmyard Animals and Jungle Animals.

Ceramic eggs and chicks surrounded by Easter animals, paint pots and paint brushes

Play-Doh Colour Burst Set – £4.99 – TK Maxx 

I picked up this really cool Play-doh set which has four pots with sprinkles of different colours that you mix together. It looks really cool when you first get it out and the colours swirl into each other.

A set of Play-doh colour burst Play-doh surrounded by Easter Animals

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bogey £6.99

I picked up a book for both Freddie and Belle at the school book fair. This was my choice for Freddie who finds anything that includes bums, farting, pooh, and bogies absolutely hilarious. This book is really funny and includes a few fairytale favourites including Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Goldilocks. It also comes with three pingable bogies. It was a huge hit!

Uproar – £8.99 – McMiller

Uproar is a bit like snap, but you turn two cards over and find two matching words and sound out whatever the sound is including a hungry pig and slurping soup. This is aimed at 8 years and upwards but as long as you can read, you can play. It is absolutely hilarious, and in fact, my eldest will probably pinch this to play with his mates as part of their pre-drinks before going out.

Uproar game similar to snap but with words

The Smart Girls Guide to Life – £6.99 – Amazon

Isabelle has been struggling with anxiety recently and so we’ve been doing lots of work on feelings and emotions, and how to deal with them. This book has loads of stuff including the kind of quizzes that I used to do in teen magazines and an agony aunt type section.

Scratch Art Set – £6.99

Belle really enjoys these scratch art kits so this Easter-themed one will be a perfect gift.

A Personalised Easter Bunny Mug – £8.99

One of these mugs will be perfect for Freddie who likes to have a cup without a lid now. Even more perfect for hot chocolate.

Easter Craft Jar – £6.00 – Hobby Craft

A huge jar full of everything the kids need to keep them entertained during the Easter Holidays.

Easter Craft Jar full of Easter themed crafting items for kids

Acrylic Paint Pens – £10.18

These Acrylic Paint Pens are perfect for decorating Eggs in time for Easter. They can be used on lots of other stuff too including wood, pebbles, canvas, and glass.

Easter Toss Game – £8.99

This game can be played inside or outside and come with four beanbags. This would be suitable for both Freddie and Isabelle so a win win situation for me as a Mum.

Bath Bombs – £7.99

Again another gift that both ages will enjoy. Belle loves bath bombs and Freddie who loves to copy everything she does, now likes to have them in his bath as well.

Easter Stampers – £8.49

These stamps are great for little hands, and each one is inside an egg. This set of 12 eggs could be used as part of an Easter Egg Hunt.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be to find Easter Gifts that would be suitable for both age groups.

Happy Easter!

If you are looking for something to keep the little ones entertained then Pom Pom Painting can be a lot of fun!

 

*This post contains some affiliate links and gifted items. Affiliate links mean that I receive a small payment when you click and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. 

Recipe: Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

I wish I could take credit for these Red Velvet Pancakes, but this recipe has been put together by the Chef’s at Gousto.

Recipe for making Red Velvet Pancakes with photograph of pancakes topped with cream and chocolate shavings

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

For the pancakes:

  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
  • 130ml milk
  • A couple of drops of red food colouring
  • 30g dark chocolate chips

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 120g cream cheese

To serve:

Chocolate sauce and chocolate shavings

How To:

Step 1: Grab a bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add the eggs, honey, veg oil, milk, and food colouring.

Step 2: Beat the wet ingredients together then stir in the dry ingredients until you have a batter. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

Tip: Don’t over-mix your batter! It will make your pancakes less fluffy (and no one likes a limp pancake).

Step 3: Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan. Ladle in 1/6 of your batter then sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top. Cook for 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on top of the pancake, then flip over and cook for another 2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Tip: Use medium heat until the pan is hot, then reduce to a medium-low. Blasting the heat will burn your cakes (or crêpes). Once they’re cooked, keep them warm under a tea towel.

Step 4: While your pancakes cook, mix the cream cheese and remaining honey together. This is your sweet, cream cheese frosting.

Step 5: Serve your pancakes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Then add a good drizzle of chocolate sauce over the stack. Enjoy!

More Pancake Tips from Gousto’s Senior Chef Jordan Moore:

  • Use a non-stick pan.
  • Add the mixture to a really hot frying pan.
  • Add a little more oil between cooking each pancake.
  • Use butter, coconut, or rapeseed oil for frying.
  • Spread the mixture out in the pan as quickly as possible.
  • Always add the liquid to the flour gradually, and keep whisking to avoid lumps.
  • When it comes to gluten-free flour, the best ones to use are rice, buckwheat, or coconut flour. For dairy alternatives for milk, you can use almond, rice, soya, or coconut milk.
  • If age-appropriate, adding protein like nuts and seeds to your pancake will help to maintain your blood sugar, keeping you fuller for longer.

Don’t forget to check out our other Pancake Recipes which include a Simple Pancake Batter, American Pancakes and Pancake Kebabs all of which are delicious.

Review: Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

Last week in the depth of our covid isolation we were very pleased to hear the knock at the door that signaled the arrival of the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck which we were kindly sent to review. Freddie has inherited all of Isabelle’s Playmobil recently and loves to set up little scenes and play with the various characters.

All three of my kids have been fans of a Rubbish Truck and like to watch the weekly bin collection out of the window (at 6.30 am I might add). They even get a wave some weeks when they spot Freddie’s face pressed against the window watching their every move.

If you’re a Playmobil fan then you will know that there is a little bit of set-up required for most of the Playmobil sets. I was quite pleased that the setup for the Rubbish Truck was minimal. The trickiest part being the stickers which I really wished were done for us, but it’s not much of a hardship.

I did, however, manage to put the wheel part on the wrong way round which meant that the wheels didn’t go round.  This was easily fixed.

Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck Review by Freddie

What you get with the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

You get the Rubbish Truck of course
A big yellow wheely bin
A green wheely bin
A brown wheely bin
Two Dustbin Men
A fire extinguisher
Walkie Talkies
Some rubbish for your bins which includes a couple of fishbones

A toddler boy sitting next to a Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

The Truck’s Features

This set comes with everything that you need to set up a great refuse collection service. The bits of rubbish to put in the bins is a great feature.

The wheely bins attach onto the back of the truck and can be emptied by pulling the lever up just like in real life

You can remove the front window for easy access to put the characters in and out of the truck

The whole back end of the truck tips up when you reach the rubbish dump, just like the real thing

The flashing light is a great addition to make this a realistic role-play toy

Toddler boy unboxing the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

A Bit of Info

You can buy the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck at most toy retailers.

This set is aimed at children aged 4 – 10 years as it has small parts.

It retails at £24.99

Toddler boy playing with the Playmobil City life Rubbish Trck

Our Thoughts

I thought that the actual Rubbish Truck would have had the biggest appeal, but Freddie was very impressed with the little wheely bins. The set comes with tins and fishbones and the wheely bins fix onto the back of the truck so that they can be emptied. That was until he spied the light on top of the truck which can be pressed for a proper dustbin lorry orange light. Not many of the Playmobil sets have lights or sounds so this was a huge thumbs up in terms of role-playing for real-life play.

From a Mum’s point of view, the Rubbish Truck gets a huge thumbs up from me. It’s a lovely addition to our existing sets which include a house and playpark. I also think that the price is really great for everything that comes with it.

Toddler boy fixing the wheely bins onto the back of the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

You can have a look at some of our other reviews and recommendations here.

*We were sent the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck for the purpose of this review

#365daypennychallenge Money Saving Challenge

#365daypennychallenge

So it seems that everyone loves a little challenge so why not try the #365daypennychallenge with me.

I’m hoping that 2022 will be the year that we finally buy a house, but I also think that we really need and deserve a family holiday after the last couple of years which have been pretty shitty for most of us.
#365daypennychallenge

 

So what is the #365daypennychallenge?

Essentially you save a small amount of money each day starting off with 1p and increasing it by a penny each day. The best way to do this is by buying one of those tins that you can only open with a tin opener to save you from dipping into it for car parking change or similar.

I’ve created a #365daypennychallenge tracker sheet which you can print off and mark the days as you save.

We don’t stick to the chart as such, we just pick an amount each day and cross it off. So, for example, one day I might add in £3.65 and the next I might choose 10p. This works also if you’re a bit short of cash say towards the end of the month.

Print off your #365daypennychallenge Tracker Sheet.

I would love to know if you have any other fun ways of saving money.

Happy saving!

365 Day Penny Challenge

I also have a Chip account which is an automatic way to save small amounts of money directly from your bank account.

Turkey Cacciatore

Leftover Christmas Turkey Cacciatore

Use up your leftover turkey to make this simple Turkey Cacciatore pasta dish. Hands up if you’re craving a ‘normal’ meal after the Christmas binge. I love turkey and all the trimmings as well as all the cheeses, crackers and stuffing but there has to come a point where normality makes an appearance. This is a great way to use up that last bit of turkey in a non-Christmassy way.

Recipe for Leftover Christmas Turkey Cacciatore

Turkey Cacciatore

  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 3 x 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • A splash of Red Wine Vinegar
  • Around 500g Leftover Turkey cut into chunks
  • 2 Balls of fresh mozzarella
  • A handful of breadcrumbs

How To:

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in the olive oil until the onion is softened.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and oregano. Season and then simmer for around 20 minutes until the tomatoes thicken.

In an ovenproof dish, add the turkey and pour over the tomato sauce. Shred the mozzarella over the top and pour over the handful of breadcrumbs.

Put in the oven for around 20 mins on 200 degrees until the cheese is gooey and golden.

Serve with either pasta or jacket potato.

Easy Breadcrumbs:

An easy way to make breadcrumbs is to toast a couple of slices of bread. Rub over a garlic clove and drizzle with olive oil before putting in the oven for around 15 mins. This should be easily crumbled with your hands or add to a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin.

Enjoy x

*This post was originally posted in December 2019 but it’s a good one!

 

Looking for Kid’s Subscription Boxes? Have a look at the Best 4

Looking for Kid’s Subscription Boxes? Have a look at the Best 4

Since sub-box market has skyrocketed you can always find a subscription box for everything. At the request of our beloved audience, we did some research and came up with the list of the best 4 kids’ subscription boxes. So without further ado let’s get started!

4 of the Best Kid's Subscription boxes for kids on the market at the moment

Build-Ur-Bricks

We all know that LEGO sets are quite expensive these days and especially those sets which are inspired by blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and Star Wars. No doubt that they are fun and exciting to build but once build, you are more likely to lose their pieces or lock them in a storeroom somewhere, now this is the moment where Build-Ur-Bricks plays its role and offers you the best option. They offer you to get your children LEGO sets without even purchasing them, you just need to return the set once you’re done with it. The interesting thing is that all of the pieces are cleaned professionally before their next delivery and their user-friendly website makes it easier to order yours now.

Pop in a Box

Pop in a Box is a subscription service that offers you a vast range of Funko Pops collectible figures, exclusive releases, and a lot more at a very reasonable price. They offer you multiple options to take a start such as you can receive 1 pop a month and it will cost you £8.49 + P&P. You can also upgrade your subscription plan to 12 pops a month. They guarantee you that there are no secret handshakes and you can pause or cancel your subscription anytime. This is one of the best subscriptions for all those collectors out there. The thing which we love about Pop in a Box is that their customer service is so friendly and are always there to help you.

Brainboost

Brainboost is a bit different from the above-mentioned subscription boxes as they approach you with different creative and educational boxes.  They offer you boxes for children of all ages from 2 to 12 years old. They assure you that with their subscription you will see a noticeable difference in your child’s development and there’s no commitment so you can pause or cancel your subscription anytime you want.

toucanBox

 This is a subscription box that was developed by some educational experts and each month they deliver a box right at your doorsteps and allow your kid to learn something new with the play. They present every single box beautifully and it’s full of books and materials that will surely help your children to build and develop curious and critical thinking. toucanBox helps you to build a strong bond with your children with their new projects every month.

This was pretty much it for today as we’ve shared 4 of the best kids subscription boxes you can try out. You can also share your thoughts with us by dropping a comment section below.

 

*Collaborative Post

 

Are you set up for Working from Home?

Are you set up for Working from Home?

Are you set up for Working from Home? Let’s rewind to pre-pandemic times and it was my dream to work from home. Ditching the 9 – 5 and all the office drama behind was my dream, and so I started plotting and planning my own new way of working. I’d already started my blog which had evolved naturally from an online retail shop as selling was not my strong point (probably not great for the retail industry).  My blog was making me a small amount of income, but not enough to replace the income that my employed job brings me.

Are you set up for working from home?

However, my background is in admin having worked in the NHS for nineteen years, and that combined with my blogging skills which I’ve picked up along the way made me think about what I could use them for. That’s when I first heard the term Virtual Assistant. It seemed to tick all the boxes in terms of describing the skills that I could offer to people and so my research began. I found myself some Facebook Groups and a course and started asking ALL the questions.

Then the pandemic hit and I was just on the cusp of officially opening the doors of my new business. The world went slightly crazy and I put everything on hold. I didn’t know what to do for a few weeks, before realising that it still was my time to launch – a lot of people and businesses were adapting and much help was needed. So I took the plunge and announced it and the inquiries started to come through slowly. I also went from working part-time at the hospital to being given a laptop to continue my work from home, which I was really excited about. I’ve since started a 50/50 split between home and the office, but I enjoy being at home far more than at the office.

What do you need to Work from Home?

Well, how long is a piece of string? This is entirely dependent on what work you do. As a Virtual Assistant or even a Blogger, you can set up with pretty much a laptop and an internet connection. No specialist equipment is needed but there are other things that can make your life easier and much more proactive.

A Dedicated Work Space

This might seem like a no-brainer, but having your station set up with everything you need to do your work means less distraction and creates a working mindset. Even better if you have an office that you can go to during your usual office hours, so it still feels like ‘going to work’.

Stationery

Make you have all the things you would usually have to complete your work in your dedicated workspace. So I have pens, notebook, pad, diary, and highlighters, and usually a cup of tea on the go at any given time.

A Laptop or Desktop computer

I have my beloved MacBook Pro and was given a laptop for my NHS work with all the relevant programmes that I would need to use. In the office I was used to using two screens so I had to adapt to working from just one screen which was a lot smaller.

Internet Connection

You’re going to need an internet connection for remote working. Ours has its moments of being completely pants, but generally, we have a good connection and thankfully haven’t had any problems during the pandemic.

Work Pattern

Working remotely can give you so much flexibility, but you do need to have core working hours whether these are your original office hours or new hours created to fit around family duties. My office hours for the NHS are 8 am – 4 pm and I get up and ready exactly how I would for a day in the office and start work as I would usually. I tend to take my breaks as I would at work as I’m in ‘Work Mode’ and this works for me. Don’t be tempted to work more hours that you’re being paid for, espcially those of us who maybe live alone.

Taking Breaks

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to go through the day without having a break. Take regular breaks to top up your water bottle and stop to have lunch. Move away from where you’re working to eat so that you get a bit of a break. In an office environment, you’re likely to have colleagues to sit and have a chat with or people that you bump into on your way to and from the kitchen which you won’t at home.

Anker Nano Fast Charging Plug

Access to Plug Sockets

Wherever you set up your dedicated workspace, make sure that you have access to plug sockets to make sure you can charge your laptop and phone within reach. I’ve been using the Anker Nano II Fast Charger which will charge your phone, laptop, or tablet up to three times quicker than your usual charger.

Health and Safety

As you would in the office, it’s important that your setup supports you in terms of health and safety. If you’re working for an employer, they should provide you with the necessary equipment needed to complete your job. Obviously, as we were thrown into the pandemic, a lot of this was overlooked, but going forward if you continue to work from home this should be re-assessed.

Lighting

A window seat in the office is usually the top spot for most people, but having good lighting at home is also important. Not just for the view or grabbing a bit of natural light, but also for the all-important zoom calls that you may have to do as part of your job. I do Teams meetings for my employed work and Zoom Calls for my Virtual Assistant business (networking and client calls) and it’s important that you present yourself as you would in person and that the recipients can see you.  A nice light room just makes the experience much better.

Anker Ultra Clear Portable Conference Speaker

Networking or Socialising

So we lost our social lives when the pandemic hit, and homeworking meant the loss of the coffee room chat and the presence of work colleagues. We all threw ourselves into zoom meetings both for work and to chat with family and friends. We’ve all done the huddling around laptops and phones whilst straining to join in family chats and quizzes. We’ve since been using the Anker Ultra Clear Portable Conference Speaker. It has amazing sound quality, enabling it to be used by a group of up to 8 people whilst blocking out additional background noise. You can hook it up to your laptop, tablet, or phone via Bluetooth or a USB cable. Its portable and lightweight and so easy to use, making your group chat or zoom experiences much better. You can also play music and podcasts through it so it’s my new best toy!

Headphones

Not everybody is fortunate to have a home office so earphones have been a lifesaver for many. Whether these are wireless or corded, they can stop the distractions of homelife that may be going on in the background.

Are you going back to office? I’m hoping not as it fits in so much better with my family life.

*This is a collaborate post with Anker and items were gifted to me for the purpose of this post.

Tween Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Ideas 10 – 13 Years Old

Tween Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Ideas 10 – 13 Years Old

As well as the Pre-school Christmas Gift Guide I thought I would put together a Tween Christmas Gift Guide guide for parents of kids aged 10 – 13 years old. Belle has just turned 11 and considers herself not to be a child anymore, so here are some of the things that she is currently hankering after as well as some things I know she will love despite her being so ‘grown-up’!

Usborne Pencil & Paper Games

Great for the car or to take to a restaurant. This Pencil and Paper Games book has loads of pages that you can tear out with noughts and crosses, squares, and hangman. There are in fact 20 different games that you can play. She didn’t even mind putting her phone down for a bit to play these.

Fidget Toys Box

Fidget toys seem to be the craze and Belle still plays with hers, as does Freddie (3). This set has various fidget toys including poppers and cubes that they will sit and play with for ages.

Sharpie Markers Set

Belle is really into stationery and got has had this set a couple of times over the past year. She uses these at school and at home to make her work look all pretty and colour coordinated. They are also great for the adult-type colouring books as the colours are bright and easy to colour with (don’t leave lines).

 

L.O.L Surprise OMG Remix Super Surprise

Belle is still very much into L.O.L dolls and Barbie (her fave YouTuber is My Froggy Stuff) and so this set was at the top of her Christmas list last year. It’s quite pricey, but it does come with four OMG dolls and oodles of accessories. She took herself off to make her own YouTube video unboxing of this.

 

Sandwhirlz Kinetic Sand Set

This is quite a therapeutic set as you chop up the different kinetic sands using the various tools it comes with. Belle plays with this, but Freddie (3) also really enjoys playing with this set.

 

Happy Confident Me Life Skills Journal

I’ve heard good things about this journal so I’ve bought a copy for Belle for Christmas. Making sure that our kids have a way of expressing their feelings so they grow up confident, independent and happy is so important. Belle is already started to compare herself with others and has daily tantrums which are not fun for any of us. This has lots of colourful pages which she can use her favourite gel pens. I’m sure she’s going to love it.

A Bluetooth Speaker

Belle has this one which she has hooked up to her phone. She plays it far too loud, but she loves to make up dance routines and pretend TikTok videos (she doesn’t have the actual app) but she uses it almost daily. It keeps its charge for ages as well which is always a good thing.

Scrunchies

Belle loves scrunchies and has a LOT. I’ve pointed out many times that she only has one head and there are only so many scrunchies she can wear at any one time, but apparently you need to have oodles of them. Be warned that you will find these things in all the places around your house.

Keep Calm and Colour Unicorns

There are various versions of this colouring book including mermaids and cats. These make a great present with a pack of fine line pens or gel pens.

These are just a few ideas of things we’ve either bought for our eleven year old daughter for Christmas or things she has had over the past couple of years. You can also see what we have in mind for our 3 year old in the Pre-school Gift Guide.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

Pre-School Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for 2 – 4 year olds

Pre-School Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for 2 – 4-year-olds

Freddie is currently three years old so this Pre-school gift guide is a selection of gifts based on things we have bought for him that he has enjoyed playing with and also some of the things we are looking to get him for Christmas.

Superwings Jett Supercharged

Freddie is a huge Superwings fan and we got him the supercharged transforming Jett as a little reward for starting pre-school as we knew it was going to be a huge change for him. This Jett not only transforms but it has lights and sounds. Jett is never far away from him and so if you have a Superwings fan this would be a huge hit.

Little Brian Paintsticks Art Station

We’re big fans of the Painsticks and have had a few of the sets. We’ve bought the Art Station and put it away for Freddie for Christmas. I don’t doubt that he will love this. You can have a look at out previous review which shows the Little Brian Painsticks in action.

 

Play kitchen Sink

We bought this Play Kitchen Sink for Freddie back in June for his third birthday and it was a total winner. It might not be quite the weather for it at the moment, but this is such a good toy. You lift up the sink and add water and then the tap has a pump that makes it into a working tap. Pull the plug and the water drains into the bottom to be pumped up again into the tap. It also comes with a lot of play accessories such as cups, plates, and play fruit and vegetables

Orchard Toys Bug Bingo

Freddie likes to play games now, but they have to be quick and able to keep his attention. This little bug bingo game only takes about five minutes to play and is definitely a good introduction to games. We have several Orchard Toys games and puzzles and this is currently Freddie’s favourite.

Paw Patrol Moto Pups HQ Playset

This playset comes with Chase and his motorbike which you put on the ramp and pull it back before it shoots out with accompanying sounds. You can of course buy the additional Paw Patrol Pups with their motorbikes (maybe a good idea for family and friends to buy).

Kindle Fire Kids Tablet

I was slightly reluctant to get Freddie a tablet, but during lockdown, he became a bit of a pro with my phone and so I was constantly losing it to him whilst I was helping Belle with her school work. In my opinion, the Kindle Kids tablet is the best as far as options for games, books, and shows to watch. It doesn’t have additional things to constantly buy and there are no ads. There are loads of educational games and activities and it comes encased in a case that prevents damage from bumps and drops.

Playdoh

If you have kids then there’s no escape from Playdoh. If you don’t buy a set yourself, someone at some point will buy one for your children. We are a messy play house so we have a LOT of playdoh and accessories which the kids never get bored off. Freddie got a Gold Mine set similar to this set which comes with gold (it’s sparkly) and black playdoh.

Henry Hoover

What is it with kids and hoovers! This Henry Hoover is quite cool and does actually pick up some crumbs which is always a bonus. I remember when I looked after my nephew when he was a toddler and he insisted on taking his hoover everywhere we went. We left it in the bank, and the look on the face of the lady behind the desk when I came back looking for it was priceless!

Baby Shark Fishing Game

This game is a lot of fun, but just a warning, the Baby Shark song plays endlessly!

Tuff Tray and Stand

You can buy a Tuff Tray with or without a stand, but this is the one that we bought for Freddie and he prefers to play standing up. You can make the use of a Tuff Tray as easy or as complicated as you like. Set them up with paints, playdoh, arts and crafts, jigsaws, water play, slime the possibilities are endless. The stand has different height settings so you can make it the perfect height for your child and can be used indoors or outdoors.

Magnetic Play Block Set

These magnetic sets are great as you can make loads of things with them. This is one of the sets that we bought to set up on Freddie’s Tuff Tray as a non-messy play idea. We got these when Freddie was two and it’s still one of our go-to quiet play activities.

Chicco Ducati Balance Bike

Freddie is our first child to have a balance bike and this one is perfect. Freddie was two when we got this for him and it was the perfect size and weight for him to be able to ride. These days he rides like a lunatic on it and is probably on the cusp of needing to upgrade to a bigger bike.

I hope these suggestions were helpful x

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