Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tried & Tested Alternative Easter Gifts for Kids

Product: Personalised Hand Painted Egg Cup

Price: £12
Available from: Gallery Thea

Initial Reaction: Its looks fantastic, good quality work

  • High Quality
  • Individually Personalised
  • Looks great

  • None

Value for money? Great value for something that is handmade and personalised.

Overall Reaction:  Great gift idea for any age and any occasion

Orders need to be placed by 16th April to guarantee delivery by Easter.
Telephone 01502 722 433 to place your order.
Visit to see the rest of the range.

Product:  Sodastream World Without Bottles -Limited Edition

The average UK consumer drinks 229 litres of soft drinks every year and the report claims that by making such refreshments at home using systems such as SodaStream, the UK could reduce PET soft drinks packaging by 84%, or 303,084 tonnes, every year.

That would mean greenhouse gas emissions associated with soft drinks packaging would be cut by approximately 600 tonnes every year, and water used in the production of soft drinks would be cut by around 66,300 million litres.

By switching from traditional soft drinks to SodaStream, the average UK household would use just 45 plastic bottles per year – as opposed to 433 traditional soft drinks bottles.

Price:  from £59.99

Available from:, Argos, Amazon, Supermarkets

Suitable from: Any age

Initial Reaction: Wow, we were so excited. I always wanted a soda stream as a child but wasn't allowed. We couldn't wait to get it out and play with flavours etc. The packaging was very Eco friendly and looked great and the colours on the machine were bright and modern.

Pros: Compact and easy to use. Looks great in our kitchen. Saves money in soft drinks and flavoured sparkling water. The plastic bottle is practical for family use and is great for the enviroment too. 

Cons: It only comes with one bottle and to be honest a spare would be great with a larger family. 

Value for money? Great value for money

Overall Reaction: We loved the SodaStream. My teenager uses it every day for sparkling water and often doesn't even use flavourings which is great as it encourages her to drink more water but also saves on the packaging waste from our usual soft drinks. 

The flavourings range from water flavourings to diet sodas and mixers such as tonic water and ginger ale. They are all reasonably priced for around £3.29 - £4.99 for the variety packs. Cylinders cost around £19.99 but you are refunded £10 of that when SodaStream receive your empty one back which seems like a good idea and also encourages less waste again. 
The system is really easy to use, you just fill the bottle to the level indicator, screw it into the machine and press the button 3 times until it buzzes and bingo, carbonated water and then you can add any flavouring you want. Easy Peasy.

This is a definite must for any household. Big thumbs up SodaStream. 
By Julie 

Product: Poundland's Easter range - Decorations 
Price:   £1         
Available from:   Poundland stores nationwide
Suitable from:    Varies - those with small parts not suitable for under 3 yrs 

Initial Reaction:  I was surprised by the quality and range of decorative Easter items from Poundland, as seasonal decorations are not something I've purchased from there before.

They were nicely presented - for example a pack of 6 decorative hanging eggs in an organza bag, tied with ribbon.
  • Amazing value for money.
  • Huge range of different products - cuddley toys, hanging decorations, chicks for cakes, cards etc.  
  • Good quality for the price.                              

  • I couldn't see anywhere on the packaging where these were made - I do have some concerns about how these are made for such a low cost.         
Value for money? Yes - excellent                      
Overall Reaction:  We loved all the products we were sent!  They are excellent value for money.  You can find something to suit most tastes and styles, and unlike some 'budget' shops, you can find decorations in Poundland which look pretty classy and like they cost you a lot more!

by Liz

Product:  Miffy PJ’s

Price:  £11-£13
Available from:  Marks & Spencers
Suitable from:    Sizes 12-18mths up to 8 yrs

Initial Reaction:  They look really cute and fit really well

  • Comfy to wear
  • Look cute
  • Wash well

  • None

Value for money?  Same price as most branded clothes.

Overall Reaction:  I really like these PJ’s they look really cute. BG found the comfy to wear and she loved Miffy on the front. They washed up really well and there has been no shrinkage. 

Product: Poundland's Easter range - Crafts 
Price:   £1       
Available from:   Poundland stores nationwide
Suitable from:    Varies - those with small parts not suitable for under 3 yrs 

Initial Reaction:  I love Poundland, particularly for basic craft supplies, but I'd not tried any of their 'craft kits' before so I was looking forward to using them.  The packs all looked like great value for money.  I was sent a large selection, including various sizes of Easter chicks, an Easter bonnet to decorate, mask kits, puppet kits, stickers and an Easter basket.
  • Amazing value for money.
  • Huge range of different products.
  • Most of the kits contain everything you need (some you need glue etc) but generally it's a really low cost way to do a craft activity.
  • More unusual products for Easter - such as puppet making            
  • You are likely to find something that appeals to all ages - from toddlers to adults.                               

  • Most packs are fairly self-explanatory - however, some could do with better instructions, particularly if you're not used to doing crafts with kids.         
Value for money? Yes - excellent                      
Overall Reaction:  We loved all the products we were sent!  They kept us busy for ages.  There's such a huge variety, and they are so low cost, that you can stock up, and choose an activity to suit the mood of the day - for example decorating a bonnet can be a free-style activity where your child can use their imagination and get really creative, or maybe use the chicks to decorate some cakes or chocolate cereal nests.  Or, you can choose a more structured kit.  As they pretty much contain what you need, there's no hunting around for bits of equipment - for example the felt hand puppets come with pre-cut felt shaped, pre-punched holes, a plastic needle and yarn. You just need glue!
The kits make for very pleasing results, and the little extras like googly eyes and finishing touches mean that you can make something to be proud of.  All this for a quid!!
I thoroughly recommend Poundland for their kid's craft materials, and now I'm a convert to their kits too.

by Liz

Product: Lego Sunblock Game

Summer’s here and you’ve found the perfect spot on the sunny beach, but so has everyone else! Move the sunshades and rubbish bins to make the others go home! The last person on the beach wins! A crazily crowded knockout game for 2 - 4 players.

Price: from £5.99
Available from: Lego , Amazon
Suitable from: 6 Years

Initial Reaction: It’s really simple to put together and understand


  • Easy to put together
  • Not too complicated
  • Takes up to 15 mins to play so kids won’t keep bored.


  • Lots of little bits of lego

Value for money? Yes

Overall Reaction: Great game to keeps kids (and adults) entertained over the Easter Holidays and won’t break the bank.

Price: £12.00    
Available from: John Lewis.  See stockist link here
Suitable from: age 3

Initial Reaction: The first thing that struck me was the packaging. Traditional Easter gifts are renowned for over-packaging, but this came in a nice sturdy cardboard box which could both be re-used (can be coloured in and used as a carry case for toys or pens etc), and eventually can be recycled.

The egg set itself is bright and bold and has instant kid-appeal.   It has been cleverly designed with children in mind.

  • Great, recyclable packaging
  • Unisex design and colours
  • Holds egg firmly with lots of room for soldiers and egg shell
  • Non slip base
  • Special elongated spoon designed to suit the contours of the egg
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA, PVC and phthalate free
  • Would make an ideal alternative Easter gift of birthday present
  • We also found it ideal for ‘dips’ for snack time and lunches

  • A bit pricey

Value for money?  It’s a beautiful set, and compares with high-end ‘designer’ kids products.

Overall Reaction: We loved the style of this, it’s very practical and has some great design elements.

by Liz

Product: Selection of  Sainsbury's Easter items
Price: Easter mini bubbles – 50p, Easter carrot jump rope - £2, Bunny ears - £2
Available from: Sainsbury’s        
Suitable from:  3+

Initial Reaction: Good selection of Easter goodies (of the non-chocolate variety!)

  • Fun accessories for an Easter celebration
  • Good quality products
  • Alternative to chocolate Easter eggs
  • Children loved them and had great fun with playing with them

  • Slightly pricier than a non-Easter product the same ie standard skipping rope etc

Value for money? Average.

Overall Reaction:  Obviously not an Easter essential as such but good fun for the children if having an Easter themed party or just for playing with at this time of year.

By Louise 

Product: ‘Belle feeds the Chicks’ Art Print
Price: Mount only £32.80; Framed £56.30 both plus delivery
Available from:
Suitable from: 0 months
Initial Reaction: A very attractive piece of art which is very simple. Belle a young girl is feeding the chicks with her friend Boo the rabbit.
  • Simple and Stylish images
  • A contemporary twist on vintage charm
  • Set in natural environment
  • Timeless
  • Will enhance a nursery or Childs bedroom
  • Possibly more suited for a girl rather than a boy.
Value for money? It can appear quite expensive, especially if you go for the framed version but it will last for years and is timeless.
Overall Reaction:  If you are looking for a simple yet stylish print with a vintage twist to go in a nursery or to give as a gift then the Belle and Boo collection will be right up your street. The prints available are all lovely and very calming. I adore this print and it will be going up in my child’s nursery.
By Vicky

Product: Mini Lalaloopsy Dolls

Price: From £4.50 
Available from: AmazonArgos, Toys R Us
Suitable from: 4 +

Initial Reaction: "This looks like the best toy in the whole wide world" (Direct quote from my 4 year old)
Small and don't take up much room , cute and encourage imagination, accessories and play house are fun

Cons: The accessories are really tiny , the play house is cardboard and ripped easily. Some of the toys are rather fragile.
Value for money? Yes
Overall Reaction: My girls are really into small toys just now and both were really pleased with these ones. The dolls come with fun little accessories (such as one of the ones we had Pillow featherbed with a sheep , alarm clock and book ) . The house did not last at all but no one was bothered by that and with the accessories being so small they were quickly lost. The dolls have became firm favourites though and are still regularly played with weeks after receiving them. They are the perfect size to interact and play with the millions of other little toys (such as pet shops, my little pony's) that are on the market at the moment. 
By Laura 

Price:  £6.99
Available from:  The Baby Catalogue
Suitable from:  12 months

Initial Reaction:  Very cute but I didn’t think it would hold BG’s attention. BG was really excited when she saw it “my eggs mummy?”


  • Bright
  • Hardwearing
  • Teaches Colours and Shapes
  • Kept BG entertained for ages

  • Squeak is very quite                                                
  • Box can be difficult to open

Value for money? Yes

Overall Reaction:   BG loves playing with these, she takes all the eggs apart puts them back together again and then puts them in the box, and then starts all over again. Great toy. 

By Carol 

Product:  The Very Hungry CaterpillarMug, Plate and Bowl set
Price: £23
Available from: Portmeirion

Initial Reaction: It’s a lovely looking set, with good size proportions. BG loved it!

  • High Quality
  • Looks great
  • Freezer Safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe
  • Microwave safe
  • Good proportions
  • Comes in a great big Very Hungry Caterpillar box which is great for storage

  • Scared to let BG use it

Value for money? It is a little bit expensive but would make a lovely gift.

Overall Reaction: Great gift for a Very Hungry Caterpillar fan. I was a little scared of letting BG use it at first I didn’t want it to break but she loved it so much she was extra careful with it!

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