Christmas Crackers (For Pre-Schoolers)

I've got some recommendations for you. Hope you don't mind? I will try not to overwhelm you with daily posts, but there are some products that I'd like to share, starting here today with my recommendations for presents under £15 for Pre-Schoolers.

Who Loves Me

These personalised flashcards are an absolutely gorgeous way to communicate with your toddler or baby. They are incredibly easy to make on the Who Loves Me site: simply upload a photo, input a name, choose a symbol (from one of forty+) to go on the back and type a sentence about that person. We've had these made for The Boy with me and hubby, and both sets of grandparents included, as well as my sister's children. I'm intending to supplement these with pictures of his other cousins and aunts and uncles.

Not only do they help your little one to remember who people are, but they can be used to help language development and, for the more curious amongst us, creating a little family tree. Made from thick card, with a very deep finish to the colour; these are long-lasting and excellent quality.

Price at £1.99 a card, £11.99 for 8, £17.99 for 16

Orchard Toys

These fantastic tangrams are very sturdy and made from thick cardboard (75% recycled materials). They are an ideal toy to help develop awareness of shapes and colour, promote problem-solving and logical thinking, with the aim being to use them to create a variety of different picture. Think fuzzy felts but on a bigger scale and less likely to get broken.

A pre-cursor to mathematical development and spatial awareness, these are a cracking addition which I know that The Boy is going to adore playing with!

Priced at £2.25

Personalised Peppa Pig Book

Obviously, I've blanked out The Boy's name with baubles!

For us this is going to be the perfect Christmas book. The Boy is starting at playgroup after Christmas (eek!) and he adores Peppa and George. What better way of explaining to him what will happen and encouraging a positive attitude to it than getting his favourite porcine to tell him all about it in a personalised Peppa Pig book! Creating the book is easy; simply select the gender, hairstyle, hair colour, eye colour, skin colour and input your child's name, and the rest is done for you. For those children who have already started playgroup and are going onto Nursery, Pre-School or 'proper' school, those options can also be selected. There is also the option to have a message printed on the first page.

I love the story, it really promotes the first trip to playgroup as a positive experience, with your child featuring on every page, being the centre of attention and shown to be really clever. Now, do they do one for mums to help cope with the trauma?

Available from Prezzybox for £14.99

Eric Carle's ABC Game

The Boy absolutely adores the ABC song, sings it at least eleventy billion times a day and can recognise the letter in his own name. The next step is to try and encourage letter recognition from different parts of the alphabet. His curiosity has been piqued with the alphabet magnets on the fridge. He asks what the letters are.

The Eric Carle ABC Game involves both upper and lower-case letters of the alphabet. The object of the game is to be the player who collects the most animal cards. The 52 spaces on the board feature all the letters of the alphabet in both upper and lower case. Every time a child lands on a letter space, they have to look at the cards and find the animal who’s name begins with that letter (Big “A” is for Big Ant, little “a” is for little ant). The correct letter is printed on the back of each card to check the answer is correct. By using the spinner and counting up to four spaces, they will also reinforce their counting skills.

Priced at £6.99 RRP

Fingerprinting Art Set

This nifty little art set is fun with a difference. Using the ink pads to print the tips of their fingers onto the paper, little ones can then use one of the twelve different stampers to create animals, people, plants, etc. There are coloured pencils included to add more detail to the images. Endless possibilities for pictures and creative play, this is bound to go down a treat with children aged three years and upwards: being allowed to get mucky? Great fun!

Available for £7.95 from Prezzybox

And because you lot know me only too well, this list of recommends would not be complete without a gem from the lovely ToyJeanius!

Animal Habitat Puzzle

This beautiful duo-puzzle is perfect for teaching your little-ones how to match up an animal to its habitat. With the trademark vibrant Djeco illustrations, each of the ten puzzles is made up of two pieces; one piece has a picture of the animal and the other has a picture of their usual home. It's made even easier for younger children because the background colour of the matching pieces is the same. Depending upon your little one's stage of development, you can use just a few of the duos or all of them, with small children being able to match the puzzles by colour, learning the names of the animals and their habitats as they do so.

I love Djeco products for the quality and sturdiness, the timeless appeal and the ingenuity of their products. You can get 10% of this product (or any others that you fancy from ToyJeanius) by entering the code 'TheBoyandMe' at the checkout!

Available from ToyJeanius for £6.95

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  1. Jenny Paulin says

    You are organised. I was but it has all gone a bit to pit with the heating keeping me from my home!! These are great gift ideas thank you and it reminds me of the on line gift shops I should check out for my boys. Thanks for sharing xx

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