Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tried & Tested Christmas Gifts for Children £30 and Under

big red train kid size cushion


Available from:  Scamp Baby Gifts 

Initial Reaction:  It arrived wrapped in tissue paper and just looked so lovely.
  • Handmade
  • The trains are screen printed
  • Case is machine washable
  • Feels nice
  • Looks great
  • Good size
  • Nice and plump
  • It’s really hard to find anything wrong with this
Value for money? A good price for a handmade product 

Overall Reaction:  You can tell a lot of love and work has gone into this cushion. The fabric on the back is bright and the trains look great.  It would look great in any nursery and babies will love the bright colours. And of course it’s handy for parents when they are feeding! Scamp Baby Gifts have a great range of handmade products, a site to visit for Christmas and New Baby gifts!    
By Carol 

Hot Wheels Wall Track 

Price: Starter set : £29.99 Downhill Flip Drop-Track £29.99
Available from: Amazon, Toys r us, Argos, Tesco 
Suitable from: 4 Years 

Initial Reaction: My eldest son (4) loves all things cars. In fact we already own some of the regular hot wheels tracks. So when this toy arrived he was beside himself with excitement. He couldn't wait for it to be assembled. 

Pro's: It's a great idea to have the tracks on the wall. With previous hot wheel tracks we have had to put them away and reassemble (not easy) them regularly as they take up a lot of floor space. They work better than some floor based tracks because you have gravity on your side. 

Con's: You need a fairly large clear piece of wall to put the tracks on. We had to rearrange furniture. 

Value for money: The price is in line with other Hot Wheels sets. I think they are a little expensive. 

Overall Reaction: The tracks have been a popular toy in this house, my little boys love them. However I have never found Hot Wheels tracks hold their attention for very long. Good for short play sessions

By Ella 

Price:  £29.99 
Available from: ParamountZone 
Suitable from:  14+ 

Initial Reaction:  Well made product. My son couldn't wait to have a go.

  • Supported by android phones, not just iphones (check website for full list of phones)
  • The app will be updated when new features are available.
  • Crash resistant material
  • Charges via USB cable (included)
  • Can be controlled just by tilting your phone.
  • Very difficult to control until you get the hang of it.
  • Could damage wallpaper if used in a small room.
Value for money? Good (it's currently on offer) 

Overall Reaction: I would move anything breakable out of the way to start with. Despite the fact that it was very difficult to control at first, my son soon got the hang of it. There were a few unfortunate crashes into the walls and the ceiling though. Even though the helicopter crashed at speed more than once, it did not damage it in any way. 

Apart from the fact that the baby was terrified of it, this gadget is actually brilliant and great fun to play with. I think it’s definitely a toy for the boys :) 

By Sarah

Zoobles Mama and Babies Playset
Zoobles Nursery Playset Price:  £24.99 
Available from:  Tesco Direct , Amazon (£14.99) 
Suitable from:  4+ 

Initial Reaction:  The set looks great with a Mama Zooble and two babies. They play on the swings and slide and their pushchair. Pros:
  • Quite a bit to do
  • Kept BG entertained for ages
  • Two activation points, the Zoobles roll into a ball and then you put them on the spot and open.
  • Sturdy
  • A bit of a pain to get out of the packaging
Value for money? Yes there is quite a lot to do 

 Overall Reaction:  BG had great fun with this putting the babies on the swings and slides and the pushchair. It keeps her occupied for ages and I love watching her playing with them. Great gift for Christmas.

By Carol 

National Geographic Kids Subscription
National Geographic for Kids cover image Price:  £28.99 for 12 months 
Available from:   

Initial Reaction:  Great magazine pack full of things to do. Pros:
  • Educational but
  • Lots of to
  • Well laid out
  • Get sent to you directly every month
  • Great pictures
  • None
Value for money? Yes you save with a subscription 
Overall Reaction:  It’s a great magazine packed full of information and fun things to do. A great Christmas present

   Lite Sprite Prisma Sprite, Pod and Wand 

 Welcome to Lite-Topia, an enchanted land that sparkles with colour and light. Use the Lite Wand to share colour and light with Lite Sprites and the interactive world of Lite-Topia. LITE WAND Magical colour and light displays. Lite-Topia SFX and audio guideance. Select colour from the built-in library and share it with Prisma and the rest of Lite-Topia. Capture colour from your world and share it. Receive colour from another Lite Wand. Play built-in games: Colour Hunt and Colour Mix. Send spells to Sprites and playsets. PRISMA. Comes with special forest pod home. Includes 10 built-in 'favourite' colours. leader of the Sprites. Catches colours and spells from the LiteWand, and shares colour with other Sprites 

  Price: £29.99 (for wand and sprite ) £17.99 (for more sprites) 

Available from: Amazon, Argos , 

Suitable from: Recommended for 6+ 

Initial Reaction: They looked cute but confusing .

Pros: Educational but fun , can get kids running around . Unique toy 

Cons:  Rather expensive – sometimes colour part on bottom of wand does not respond easily 

Value for money? No 

Overall Reaction:  We loved this toy from the beginning – my husband and I spent an evening running around trying to find the different colours and all my children and niece (ages from 2 – 8) also had a great time playing with it. The different “modes” offer different fun and the children also loved swapping colours between the two different “sprites”.  

It was played with lots in the beginning and it is still played with now a few months later . Its great for getting the kids running around and searching for the colours. It is expensive though and I feel almost £20 for extra sprites is a lot. Overall a fun, magical toy that is a little different from other toys on the market .

By Laura

Price: £21.99
Suitable From : 3 Years
Available from: Stores nationwide check list here 

Initial reaction: When I was sent this to review I was really excited! I was a child of the 70's and fondly remember my orange space hopper.  With Happy Hopperz, bouncing just got even cooler!  These cute, bold coloured animals are fast becoming an iconic product.


  • Quick and easy to inflate and deflate, these take up much less storage space than traditional sit on toys.
  • Aids core balance and stability as well as helping develop co-ordination skills.
  • Fun and funky - this is fast becoming a 'must-have' toy.
  • Wide range of colours and animals to choose from.
Cons: At 3 years old my daughter decided she was too old for it - like she's so grown-up now! I really don't get her sometimes - I personally would love an adult version for myself! Our friend's 2 year old absolutely adored it though, as do other children who've visited. There was quite a bit of falling off while they got the hang of it, so I'd recommend using indoors on carpet etc or grass outside. 

Value for money: Yes. I was actually surprised at the price - I'd seen them at the Baby Show and expected them to cost a lot more. 

Overall reaction: These are definitely ones for 'cool kids'!  Really quirky characters, a great innovation and I think they'll become a household name.  Great fun - Happy Hopperz, if you're reading, can we have a grown up version please?!
By: Liz
Price: £24.99
Available from: Amazon, Mothercare,
Suitable  from: 12 months
Initial Reaction: My 20 month old son was very excited when we opened the box to the fun, pull along toy airplane. The packaging could not be removed fast enough! The toy consists of 4 different passengers and their companion, from different cultures – England, Africa, China and Australia.

·Fun music which isn’t too loud or annoying for parents
·Interactive features for children to push and spin plus lights and sounds to keep them amused.
·Often difficult to find a toy that a child under 3 understands that offers stimulation and is safe for them – this one seems to plug that gap.
·Provides opportunity to talk about who is travelling on the plane and learn about different  cultures.
·On/off button on the top so gives the child control of switching it on/off
·Lightweight so lots of “whooshing” and swooping!
·Toddlers love pull along toys which this is, only thing of note is the pull along cord is a bit short so child cannot stand and pull it along. Still possible to do if sat down or crouching though. I realise this is possibly a safety precaution but I am struggling to find anything negative about the toy!
·The red button that chances the children/pets is sometimes a little tough for small fingers to press but they soon get used to it.
Value for money? This toy is excellent value for money especially given how much time they spend playing with it.
Overall Reaction: A wonderful gift for a toddler and lots of potential for future use with the cultural element and learning about different countries. Can see this toy becoming a firm favourite in my little boy’s toy box!
By Louise

Air Hog, Vectron Wave

Air Hogs Vectron Wave  This spaceship shaped Vectron shoots spinning through the air! Control it with the palm of your hand or fly it back and forth between two people using the catching stick. 

Price: RRP £25 
Available from: Argos (£19.99), Debenhams (£22.50), Toys R Us (£24.99),  Tesco Direct (£19.46) 
Suitable from: 8+ 

Initial Reaction: Easy to set up but important to read instructions 

  • interesting twist on a classic catch game
  • lots of fun
  • can be played in and outdoors
  • Unless the instructions are read fully, it looks like the Wave is faulty as it flies up to the ceiling all the time – operator error as opposed to Wave’s
Value for money?  Yes 

Overall Reaction: Fascinating how the Vectron Wave works. My boys, aged 10 and 8 found it fascinating and enjoyed playing with it both inside and outside. 


By Karen

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