Christmas is almost here! The phrase fills most of us with as much trepidation as excitement, especially those of us with our younger counterparts to think about (known popularly as “the children”). As christmas arrives it becomes our primary focus to ensure they have an enjoyable Christmas. While that’s not always solely about presents, getting the right gifts can be an essential part of the big day.
As year-long reviewers of some of the best and newest toys and gadgets on the market, we’re in a position to help you, the consumers, make an informed choice about what might be worth grabbing for the little ones on the big day. So without further ado, please enjoy our MONSTER CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE!!!
We’ve been lucky to get our hands on quite a few family-friendly games this year. They range from big box boardgames, energetic kids games and great social games. These are our favourites of the year.
Grabolo is fiendishly simple. It’s a game about matching colours and shapes but it’s fast-paced and really holds kids’ attention. It also packs away easily for transporting on holiday or even just to the grandparents! Check out our full review here.
Polar Panic is another really compact game, this time it’s a matching and finding game based on collecting different sorts of fish. Players turn over cards and keep an eye out in case two of them make a pair. Then they snap em up! It’s really popular with our kids as it’s just so simple to get out and play. Check out our full review here. Polar Panic is made by the sterling folks at Cheatwell Games who have also sent us a copy of Baffled to look at! Full review of that coming up soon!
What’s That Smell?
Not all games choose to include the element of smell and when they do, the result is invariably very whiffy! What’s That Smell? is a game of olfactory guessing and nasal knowledge! Be victorious by being the best at identifying the different pongs better than your opponents! Check out our full review here!
If other games just don’t have enough rodent racing or cheese storage for your liking then Hamster race might just be your thing! Race around the board collecting cheddar in the hopes of being victorious in the whirling wheel endgame. Check out our full review here.
We get sent a fair few toys to put through their paces (and our Offspring Testing Team are RELENTLESS) and these are some that really stuck out to us this year.
Untamed Raptors / Untamed Jailbreak
Made by the good people of Wowwee, the Untamed Raptors are a dino-themed branch of the Fingerling family! They roar, chirp and respond to a good head scritch. Check out our full review of the cheeky mini-dinos here. Blogger Bec Webb, writer of Twinning at Home loved our review so much she bought some! If that wasn’t enough, you can now also get Untamed T-Rexes and they’re breaking out of their cages! We’ve got a review of them coming up soon!
Incredibles 2 – Jack Jack Attack
We were immediately enamoured by this electrifying infant from the movie Incredibles 2! He comes with a range of lights and sounds and if you don’t keep him happy he goes into full overload! Check out our full review here.
These gross collectibles made a big splash when the kids reviewed them earlier this year. Released from their lavatorial prison with the use of water, these icky critters are an adorably grotty alternative to Shopkins. Check out our full review here.
Coming up soon on the site we’ll be reviewing the just-as-disgusting Fartists! Check back soon to see what we thought!
Fugglers are some off the oddest looking cuddly toys I’ve ever laid my eyes on but, despite their imperfections, Fugglers are an adorable plush toy and our kids loved them so much they took them around Butlins! Check out our full review here.
3. Boxes & Subscriptions
Some parents like to sign their kids up to a monthly experience that will either give them exciting new items to check out or provide new and interesting projects to work on together. We’ve been lucky enough to try a few out so these are our favourites.
If you’ve got a child with an inquisitive mind and a love of puzzle-solving, Mysterious Mail could be just their thing! Mysterious Mail sends your child a series of bundles of clues and artifacts to solve a centuries-old mystery. Check out our full review here!
Sensory Play Box
Earlier this year we were looking at products that could be good for children with sensory needs. We had a look at a subscription box from Sensory Play Box which contained a great selection of items for children to get their hands on. Check out our full review here.
Cell-Fie Education is a monthly subscription box of science experiments for a range of ages across several educational Key Stage levels. We had a look earlier in the year and made ourselves a butterfly house and butterfly feeder! Check out our full review here.
If you love science and are curious about other science/STEM subscription services, stick around for our review of The Curiosity Box later this month!
There are a lot of new robotic toys and gadgets on the market this year. We tested a few of them out as part of our ongoing ROBOT SEASON!
Boxer is an energetic, chatty robot from Spin Master. He comes with loads of game modes and doesn’t stop moving! Check out our full review here!
Vector is the most advanced personal robot companion currenrtly on the market. He can even recognise up to 20 different people and check the internet to find out information for you! Check out our full review here.
Similar to the Cubetto, Volty follows a preset route that you can program into him. He also helps kids learn about basic electronics! Our full review is still forthcoming so check back soon or subscribe to be notified when we post it!
5. Dolls & Fairies
Rapunzel was one of the biggest dolls we’ve ever seen! She’s big enough to sit at the dinner table, which we’ve now experienced far more than we would’ve preferred! She’s also super-articulate so has already learned a great many kung fu moves. Check out our full review here.
My Fairy Garden – Unicorn Garden
My Fairy Garden is a series of toys based around fairies and other mythical creatures but with the added element of doing a little gardening at the same time. This unicorn garden playset comes with grass seed so you can watch you garden grow! Check out our full review here!
Sing & Sparkle Ariel
We’re still putting our review together for this aquatic princess but we’ve already had loads of fun! Ariel sings songs from the popular Disney movie but some will only activate when she’s under the water! To be notified when our review goes up, subscribe here.
6. Science & Stem
Discovery Young Explorer Kit
This kit has everything a young explorer might need when traversing the wilderness. It has binoculars, compass, notebook and best of all, a field microscope. We took it to the woods and saw all kinds of wildlife. Check out our full review here.
My Living World
My Living World is a series of nature kits based on observing the lives of minibeasts. We tried out Worm World and Ant World, both of which were fun to put together and fascinating to watch. The ants are the most active and give a really intriguing thing for kids to look after. Check out our full reviews here and here.
Glow in the Dark Slime Factory!
This was a great bunch of experiments, all focused on making icky slime! It’s certainly a bit involved and will require focus, but the end results can vary from glowing dough to blue slime! We had a great time, even if our results were rather unpredictable! Check out our full review here.
If you love science and are curious about science/STEM-based subscription services, stick around for our review of The Curiosity Box later this month!
7. Arts & Crafts
This was an ingenious idea that we were fortunate to be sent. It’s a craftable Minecraft-style box head mask that you can colour in and wear. The kits also come with practice sheets and a tiny boxhead for your favourite cuddly animal! Check out our full review here.
These are a great alternative to Aqua Beads. Not only do they stick together using water but they can be used to create 3d shapes! Each set comes with a grid to assemble your objects. We tried out Trucks and Emergency Vehicles. Check out our full review here!
Fab Labs Glitter Tattoos
These were great. Simply apply a stencil and make great sparkly designs. We’ve got this out multiple times since we reviewed it and it’s still full of stencils to use and plenty of glitter. Great for impromptu sparkliness! Check out our full review here.
One product that doesn’t fit into any of the previous sections but still deserves a mention is our personalised Unicorn Oo storybook from Bang On Books! This was a great book that blew Claudia’s mind when she saw it. Bang On Books do a small selection of personalised books that are tailored to your child. They feature your little monkey as a starring character in their own story and it even features their photo too! Check out our full review here.
That’s it for this year’s recommendations! If you want to see what we get up to next don’t forget to subscribe for updates. Have a lovely Christmas!