This Christmas it has seemed impossible to buy for Leo, and I have really had to sit down and think about what I think he would like and enjoy to find under the Christmas Tree. He's 5 going on 21 that boy, and his hobbies and interests definitely reflect that of an older child.
Leo is going through a Power Ranger phase this year, and as much as I am not a fan of the show, it has been lovely to see him show an interest in dressing up for the first time in his life. Leo has never really liked playing dress up, so when we came across a Red Power Ranger outfit back in the Summer I snapped it up upon his request. That outfit was worn all over the place, even to the pub much to my amusement. This has since grown too small for him, so to in keep with the only 3 things that Leo has asked for this year (you see why shopping for him has proved tricky!), I managed to locate a super Red Ranger Mega force costume that I know he will just adore. Of course the next thing on Leo's list was a Power Ranger Morpher... Not a toy. A real life Morpher that would allow Leo to become a real Power Ranger, I have had to explain that Santa might not be able to gift such an extravagant present, but he may be able to find a toy version for him... Little did Santa know just how expensive all of the Power Ranger merchandise is, even second hand. Who knew that these toys had become such a collectors item!?
Thankfully I have managed to locate a Morpher, and we have even ticked the third and final item off of Leo's Christmas List... A Motobike MXR450 16" Kids Bike! I can already invision my little Power Ranger riding around Christmas Day on his new set of wheels!
3 gifts around our tree Christmas morning might not be what Leo was hoping for though, so I have had to get a little bit creative...Leo loves science, tech and gadgets. He likes to build and get hands on with what he is doing, he likes action and games, so when I put my mind to it I started thinking about going for a almost educational theme on some gift items, of course this is combined with a splash of fun that almost disguises the educational nature of some of the gifts, so lets take a look at the ideas I have had for Leo this year...
Every year we always get Leo a new set of PJ's, we normally wrap them up and place them in his Christmas Eve Box (This is an entire other post in it's self!), this year we have a gorgeous Set of the Sail Away Cyberjammies all ready for our little man. I am loving Tartan right now, it was only the other day I insisted that the other half purchase a new Tartan shirt, and I absolutely adore these PJ's. There is something about the Red's and how the colours go together, that give this set a real festive feel to them. To top this off, they are really luxurious and soft, I almost wish that they were in my size!
No PJ set is complete without a hot water bottle, especially at this time of year, and Leo keeps talking to me about taking one to bed with him. Last year he had a festive hot water bottle in his Christmas Eve Box, but as it had a big Rudolph on it, it looked out of place for the rest of the year. With this in mind we have opted for a Animal Mad Hot Water Bottle - Milo the Monkey this year, so that he can cuddle up with it without Christmas being a constant reminder all year round.
Christmas is a time that we usually start to look ahead to Leo's wardrobe ensemble for the year ahead, with his birthday being in June (only 6 months away) I usually start buying ahead in the next size up just to be on the safe side. We fell in love with this Chunky Cable Knit Jumper from Minoti, and couldn't help adding this to Leo's Christmas Eve Box to help keep him cosy warm on our many travels between family members on Christmas Day.
We always, always include a new book in Leo's Christmas Eve Box, we love to sit down with a story or two, and this year is no different. This year we are adding two beautiful new stories to our collection, and these are both extra special because we have been able to personalise them with Leo's name...
First up we have My Kingdom Books with Prince Leo and the Spell of Fun-less-ness, this is a fantastic book and has to be summed up as where tech meets paper. I say this because it is the worlds first of it's kind in the sense that it is the next generation pop up book. My Kingdom Books works by creating an entire story of unique characters that is all based upon the name that you enter when you create your story online.
Once you have chosen your story and personalised it with the details you want, you can use it with the My Kingdom Books App that is available on both IOS and Android. The use of the app brings the story to life through audio and visual technology. This is absolutely amazing for Leo, he is currently learning to read, and this will help to encourage him to do so independently, and I really think that this is going to boost his confidence and actively encourage him to read more.
My Kingdom books retail at £19 and come with free postage all over the world.
The second book we have ready for Leo's Christmas Eve box is Amazing Pages - Leo Space Patrol, Alien Catcher. Amazing Pages is a uniquely personalised and educational book that can be completely tailored to your child, you can even add in a photo of your little one. What I Really love about this book is that you can personalise it beyond just adding your child's name, you can be as detailed as where they live, their surname, their school and even their favourite food!
With Leo now starting to read, it's going to be wonderful watching him picking out all of those familiar words, and I know that this is a book he is going to treasure for a long time to come, the pages are bright, fun and have Leo's face smiling out at him!
Amazing Pages Books are priced from £19.99.
We love Christmas Eve, and I may even go as far as saying that I love it more than Christmas Day itself. I say this because it's at the very forefront of the magic, everything is still yet to happen, the anticipation is gripping, and you know you have so much to look forward to as a family. Christmas Eve for us usually means a trip on the Santa Express, home to a cheeky takeaway and then lot's of family time including the Snowman and the Snowdog, before we finish last minute wrapping once Leo has been tucked up into bed.
This year we are really excited to have a lovely new game to play, The Very Merry Christmas Game . The Very Merry Christmas Game can be played with up to 4 people, so it's absolutely perfect for my cosy family of 3. The idea of the game is that you pull a cracker using the included cracker cards with the aim of stealing a better present from someone else's stocking! Cheeky eh? What is going to prove very comical is when one of us lands on the Carol Singers Space... This means that one of us will have to sing our favourite Christmas Song in order to not loose one of our presents!
The idea is that you scheme your way to getting all of the best pesents in the game avoiding the sprout cards along the way (I personally like sprouts, Leo... Not so much!)
The game is available now and retails at £19.99 and is available from Debenhams.
Of course snacks are essential on Christmas Eve of all evenings, especially when you have such a fun family game to play! We can't wait to whip out our Judge Popcorn Maker. Popcorn is one of my regular go to snacks, and Leo is as much a fan as I am. We buy it quite a lot so I had been intrigued by the idea of a popcorn maker for a while, because I knew that it would definitely get used regularly enough to warrant it.
The Judge Popcorn Maker makes a fresh bowl of popcorn in less than a minute with just one scoop of kernals. We like to melt coconut oil over ours and then sprinkle coconut sugar over the top. It makes a beautiful sweet flavour, and you wouldn't envision for one second that it's good for you!
Educational Fun Toys for Christmas
HEXBUG's have been a love of Leo's for many years now, he was always captivated by the little robotic critters, and even now he can't peel his eyes away from them. It's been a few years since Leo had a new set of his own, and I thought that it would make a fun addition to this years Christmas list. HEXBUG's have come on in leaps and bounds since we last had one in the house, the can now climb and fly! We have been loving the look of the HEXBUG Nano V2 Gravity Defying Robotic Creatures, where you can actually launch them. The set looks fantastic, and I am going to purchase a few more V2 HEXBUGS so that come Christmas Day Leo has an entire bug zoo to contend with.
Amazon currently have this on offer at £19.99.
I am especially excited about the #StickBot Zanimation Studio (£39.00 from Amazon), it's suitable for children aged 4+ and it allows you to create and animate your own masterpieces in front of the green screen! I might say this is for Leo, but I can't wait to have a proper play with this myself.
We will be creating a Christmas Day Zanimation so keep your eyes peeled for that!
The Brainstorm Toys Rocket Projector & Room Guard - Leo has recently got a new bedroom, and we have opted for a space theme. We have kept it pretty simple with subtle touches, but this is a fantastic addition to the look and feel of the room. It's 35cm tall and the projector boasts an impressive 24 images of planets, astronauts and spacecraft on three changeable discs so that you can swap the images as you so desire.
The projected images are up a a metre wide, how cool is that!?
The rocket even has it's own room guard, a motion sensor triggers lights and launch sounds should someone enter the room after it has been set.
Flick the switch and your rocket blasts into room guard mode. A motion sensor triggers lights and launch sounds with each unwanted visitor. Fun flight sounds when rocket is in play mode. Cool launch pad stands on your desk or hangs on your wall. Secret code unlocks fascinating online space info. Includes bonus Launch Zone door sticker.
The Brainstorm Rocket and Room Guard retails at £29.78 on Amazon.
In keeping with the space theme, I couldn't help but add a Telescope to this list. Leo adores space, he's always talking about the stars and asking questions about meteors, so this is going to be something that we can enjoy together, and hopefully be something Leo will learn from too.
The Discovery Kids 40mm Astonomical Telescope is a super introduction to children (and adults like myself who have never had a telescope in their life!) to view the moon and stars at night. It comes with an aluminium tripod and a diagonal mirror for a more comfortable viewing angle. It can also be used for daytime observation of nature around you.
The Discovery Kids Telescope is available from Amazon for £17.82
The Micro Drone V2 from Prezzybox.com - £24.95 - Now this is something that will have to be done with Mummy and Daddy, well potentially more Daddy... Maybe even just Daddy. Both Luke and Leo have been eyeing drones up over the past 12 months, so when they both realise that they have one under the Christmas Tree, we are sure to be spending the entire day outside...
This Micro Drone can be controlled with the included remote control, it can even complete 360 flips in the air. It comes with a LED light so that you can even fly it at night time (You know when the kids have gone to bed!)
Finally we have the Live Butterfly Garden by Insect Lore- £14.95 from Prezzybox.com - I have always been fascinated by these sets as it lets you get up close and personal with nature. You send off the voucher that comes in your pack, and redeem it for a cup of caterpillars! Once they arrive you get to watch them eat and grow before they form cocoons and transition into Butterflies! Then you get to enjoy watching them for a day or two, before you finally release them out into the world.
Disclaimer: I was issued samples of the above products in exchange for this feature (unless otherwise stated). All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.