Saturday 2 December 2023

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Kids 2023

Welcome to the Christmas Gift Ideas for the Kids edition of Life Unexpected's Gift Series for 2023.

I feel like I have been super prepared this year and somehow I actually started my Christmas shopping back in July for my now 12 year old Leo, and 7 year old step daughter. 

I have been on a mission to make this Christmas as amazing as humanly possible, being a blended family (and still a relatively new one) means that we are only on our Fourth Christmas, and only the Third one where we have been a complete unit. 

This year though is our very first one all together on Christmas Day.

This year we get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! 

Of course this means I have gone all out with Christmas Eve Boxes, matching family PJ's and I have completely lost all control over my present buying. 

It has actually been a lot of fun having to shop for a boy and a girl. It's opened up a completely different dynamic that I haven't been able to show case on my blog before.... So here we go!

Advent Calendar Ideas for 2023

Playmobil Novelmore - Battle in the Snow Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar's have come such a long way since I was a child, in my early years I recall not being allowed chocolate calanders and used to be incredibly excited by the simple ones that had pictures of the nativity scene behind each door! It wasn't until I got older that Chocolate Calendars made their appearance!

This year the children will have a chocolate calendar each, Leo has opted for the Lindt Teddy Augmented Reality Advent Calendar. I found this for £10.00 in the CoOp which was a good few pounds cheaper than in competitor shops.

Along side their chocolate this year, we thought it would be nice to include something a little different for each of them.

Playmobil Novelmore - Battle in the Snow Advent Calendar

Playmobil have a great selection of 2023 Advent Calendars, and we have always loved a good Playmobil set! Leo at 12 is definitely growing up but has proven that he is never too old to enjoy a play figure, although he doesn’t really play with objects in the conventional way anymore, he does like to display them around his room (along with an abundance of Prime bottles!)

Leo has been sent the Playmobil Novelmore - Battle in the Snow Advent Calendar. The count down starts on the 1st December and goes all the way through to Christmas Eve. Behind each door are figures, weapons, armour and knight accessories. As each door opens you will find that you are building a complete Winter Novelmore scene!

With a little girl in the house, we also get to look at alternative advent offerings, which makes my heart so happy! The Disney Frozen Musical Christmas Advent Calendar by Danilo is absolutely magical, and I am very excited to present this one to you.

The Disney Frozen Musical Christmas Advent Calendar by Danilo

The Disney Frozen Musical Christmas Advent Calendar by Danilo

Each day over December as you open each door, you gradually build the Frozen scene. Behind each door are stickers and magnetic stand up characters! Anna, Elsa and Olaf are behind 3 of the doors and they attach directly to the mechanism in the base. 

When the music plays the characters actually move and glide around the ice rink to the Official Disney Frozen soundtrack - Winters Waltz by Christophe Beck.

It's an absolutely gorgeous way to count down until Christmas, and something completely unique. I would have been absolutely over the moon to receive this as a child. This advent calendar has been designed to be robust and resilient against little hands and is suitable for children 3 years and over.

The Disney Frozen Musical Advent Calendar retails at £23.99.

I will be updating Instagram with snaps and clips of both of the above calendars, so keep an eye out on Lifeunexpecteduk!

Christmas Eve Box Ideas for 2023

Christmas Eve Box Ideas 2023

Both of the children have their own Christmas Eve boxes that the Elves bring back from the North Pole each year and place lovingly under the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve.

Inside the Christmas Eve Box for Christmas 2023

- Matching Christmas PJs - £5 - £10 depending on size from B&M Bargains

- Christmas Gonk Mug - £3.50 from B&M Bargains

- Hot Chocolate Elf Bomb - £1.49 from Aldi

- Gingerbread Mug Huggers - £1.50 from Home Bargains

- A selection of Christmas Chocolates and sweets from Broadway - Cotswold Chocolate

Christmas Eve Box Ideas 2023

The idea of the boxes is to get the excitement buzzing ahead of Christmas Day, they will contain everything they need to get snuggled down and cosy ahead of the celebrations. After they appear magically under the Christmas Tree, the children will open them up and get into their matching PJ's while sipping hot chocolate from their new festive mugs.

This year there will be an additional gift under the tree before Santa Clause flies through the night. Once the family are suited up in their matching Pyjamas (Parents included!) we will sit down and play the Christmas Express Board Game from Cheatwell Games.

This is the most Christmassy game we own, it's a board game for children aged 6+ and the aim of the game is to be the first one to travel along the train track from the Home Station, all the way to the North Pole. 

Of course it isn't as straight forward as just rolling the dice and moving forward the awarded number of steps. You have to avoid the Hustle Bustle, Reindeer Crossings, Snow Storms and the Naughty Elf along the way!

The game is easy to follow and learn making it a great family game addition that you will enjoy year in and out.

The Christmas Express Board Game retails at £22.99 - At the time of writing this it is £15.49 from Amazon.

Christmas Stocking Ideas for 2023

Stocking Gift Ideas for Kids 2023

I like to keep Christmas Stockings simple but fun, they have to include silly toys that will entertain the children until we head downstairs (and hopefully they will be firm favourites that they will enjoy throughout the rest of the festivities). 

This year I have got them both matching contents for their stockings regardless of age. 

Each of them have:

- A light up YoYo - £1 from Homebargains

- A Light up Nickelodeon Bouncy Ball - £1 from Homebargains

- Gooey Alien Egg

- A un-official Tamagotchi - £4 off eBay

- Chocolate Coins, Chocolate Santa 

- Sweets

- Hot chocolate Disc

Around the Christmas Tree Gift Ideas For Children

Main Christmas Present Ideas for Kids 2023

With Christmas Morning in full swing, the Santa gifts all huddled around the base of the tree awaiting excited children to arrive and tear the crisp wrapping paper away. The parent's will hurry to the kitchen to make a much needed coffee and get nestled on the sofa so that they don't miss a moment.

I always make lists of things for the children nice and early, my Amazon basket is usually brimming with gift ideas during the Summer months. Then I slowly start purchasing them over the following months so that when December arrives I am usually just finishing things off (and everything is bought and paid for ahead of time!). This has been the only way that I can do it this year, with the cost of living crisis in full swing and money just having stretch even further than ever before.

Connetix is an award winning STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Approved Magnetic toy. Connetix Magnetic Tiles actively supports learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. 

Aside from being a great construction and problem solving toy, the children can enjoy playtime with the magnetic tiles without feeling like they are even learning. 

We have been sent the 120 Piece Pastel Creative Pack, all the tile pieces are lovely pastel shades in varying different shapes and sizes that mean you can make some absolutely wonderful creations! For us this takes your traditional building blocks that I used to enjoy as a child, to an entirely new level. The kids can build car ramps, multi storey car parks or even dolls houses and castles!

The adults have equally enjoyed playing with this toy, along with both the big kid and the smaller kid! Thankfully they haven't minded sharing.

There are numerous different sets that you can purchase to expand your collection all appealing to different budgets. 

- 100 Piece Creative Pack - £90 but currently on offer at £72

- 62 Piece Creative Pack - £65 but currently on offer at £52.14

- 24 Piece Creative Pack - £37.50

You can view the full range on their website.

I would highly recommend this set as a Christmas gift idea that is set to be one that gets some serious play value from the moment that is unwrapped. It would make a great shared Christmas gift if you are purchasing for 2 children.

The Connetix 120 Piece Pastel Creative Pack retails at £115.00. 

The Twin Phantom 2 Player Badminton Racket Set from Badminton HQ

I really like the idea of shared Christmas presents between the children, it gives them some common ground and something that they can do together. Another idea that we had for the kids this year was some Badminton Rackets for them to enjoy when the weather lets up and they can get back outside. Obviously come Christmas Day, I expect that they will be standing either side of the sofa and batting the shuttlecock back and forth to one another!

The Twin Phantom 2 Player Badminton Racket Set from Badminton HQ retails at £12.95.

Our two have sadly grown out of some of the younger gift offerings, but I happen to have an almost 2 year old nephew who I like to enlist in helping with this category. My nephew Parker was sent the Tomy John Deere Kids Key 'n Go Johnny Tractor, which has gone down a real treat.

Parker is at the age where he is discovering keys and exploring his way in the world, so this rather substantial sized tractor has been something he has really enjoyed. It boats 15 interactive features with movement, lights and sound that encourage learning through play. 

The Tomy Jon Deere Kids Key 'n Go Johnny Tractor

The Tomy Jon Deere Kids Key 'n Go Johnny Tractor

There are 3 different key locations on the front, middle and back of the tractor and when the key is placed in any of those holes it prompts a different light/sound or for the tractor to move. It is a great toy to teach little children all about cause and effect (Which is something that Parker is all over right now, ask Granny about his colouring on the walls in crayon!)

The Tomy John Deere Kids Key 'n Go Johnny Tractor retails at £32.99 but is currently on offer for £24.99 at the point of writing this guide. 

The Tomy Jon Deere Kids Key 'n Go Johnny Tractor

The Christmas Tree Gift Ideas - SHOW STOPPER

Now for the show stopper gift idea of this years gift series!

My step daughter has had a child's scooter with big chunky plastic wheels for many years now, she has looked at Leo's scooter and not understood why her's doesn't perform to the same standard his does. I knew that a wonderful gift idea for her would be her very own stunt scooter! 

We have been sent the Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Scooter from and it is exactly what we were after. We opted for the Teal/Pink colour way which is exactly what little miss would have chosen should she have been presented with the choice herself. 

Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Stunt Scooter

Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Stunt Scooter

Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Stunt Scooter

Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Stunt Scooter

This is her very first stunt scooter and it is designed for children 8 years and over. With this under the Christmas Tree this year, it means that we can take both of the sproglets to the skate park so they can both scoot around together while Leo demonstrates what to do.

The Madd Gear MGP is a fixed scooter that cannot be folded and arrives in the box 95% built! All we have had to do is pop the bars on, tighten the clamp and it was ready to be wrapped! It was really easy to put together and I even managed to do this myself! 

This is a real piece of kit and in comparison to her old scooter, it is the bees knees. The hard plastic wheels that she has been used to that don't travel all that well over tarmac and the associated lumps and bumps are now a thing of the past. The 110mm 5 spoke Aluminium core wheels on the Kick Extreme are exactly what you would expect to find on a stunt scooter and means it just glides along beautifully. 

We decided that this would be better built ahead of the big day as we have a funny suspicion that come 8am we may be down the street playing on scooters. 

The Madd Gear MGP Kick Extreme V5 Scooter retails at £134.95 but is currently on offer at £119.95 at the time of writing this gift guide.

Disclaimer: Some of the items in this gift series have been gifted in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. If I have purchased something I have specified this next to the item. 

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