Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas gifts for children

This mama is feeling rather smug - I finished all my Christmas shopping a couple of weeks ago, woohoo! I tend to begin at the end of the summer, keeping my eyes out in charity shops for suitable gifts. This year I picked up some cute kids drinking glasses, a big assortment of plastic animals, and some vintage annuals all for less than a tenner. Another charity shop spree got me a kids electric guitar and a huge box of construction toys, which would retail at about 200e, but I only paid 14e, score!

I also check out the online secondhand markets both in Ireland and abroad. Some sellers don't charge shipping so you can pick up stocking fillers for even cheaper than you would get them in the discount stores. We've also been really lucky at Christmas fairs, the kind that local schools and churches run. These are really fun days out for the family, you can pick up gifts (secondhand toys, homewares and baked goods) eat some homemade cakes, drink tea, meet fellow community members and vow to see more of them in the New Year.

The kind of gifts I buy are guided of course by the current favourite pastimes or toys that my kids enjoy, so this year it's arts and crafts materials, action figures, construction toys and every plastic animal under the sun. Video games are always appreciated, as are retro gaming consoles, my old Gameboy being a current favourite.

And of course you can't forget the classic present - books. We were recently sent a beautiful pile of Barefoot Books and hand puppets for review which my children have really enjoyed. Some books came with CDs which are great for in-car entertainment and the hand puppets kept us happy during the long trip through France recently. The puppets are the perfect size for little hands and beautifully detailed. We received the lion and monkey ones:

 Barefoot Books began as a small operation and has grown with representatives worldwide, Elizabeth Durkan is the Irish contact, you can see her website here.  The illustrations are quirky and cute and there are great quality books for all age ranges and reading abilities. Barefoot books and games would make perfect Christmas gifts as they're very reasonably priced. Here's a link to their website:  the Facebook page and Twitter

What are your failsafe gifts for children?
Nee x

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