Recently, I wrote a blog on Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Newborns, in which I gave some wonderful ideas for those of you gifting to brand new tiny little ones this year. But what if you are buying for slightly older babies and young children? Well, although some of the newborn ideas would still be perfect, not all of them would. Babies grow and develop so quickly, and each developmental stage has its own needs and abilities. So, always happy to help, here are a few of my favourite great Christmas gift ideas for babies & toddlers 2019…..
This website is great for newborns, babies and children of all ages and I simply love all the products available to purchase from Sarah & Bendrix. Their wooden toys are all so gorgeous One of my favourites has to be Genevieve, the wooden pull-along duck. In fact, I love her so much I have one in my studio for little ones to play with. They are great for encouraging confidence and physical development and I am sure your little one will spend hours pulling them along. Even if they are not walking yet they can still be played with and pulled along when sitting.
Baby Ball Pits
These foam ball pits are just great for babies. My three all love a good play in a ball pit but we always struggled at home with balls going everywhere and nowhere to contain them. These foam pits are brilliant; they provide great cushioned edging and a fab place to store the balls both when in and out of use. Covered in a removable, machine washable soft jersey cotton cover, my particular favourite is the dark charcoal grey pit. The 200 balls are BPA free and the added bonus is you can select your choice of up to four colours of balls. Recommend for use by children over 12 months of age.
Available from Baby Ball Pits, £80, with free UK shipping.
Every child loves to build a camp so you can’t go wrong with a teepee for little ones, a great gift that will be played with as they grow for many years to come. It’s versatile for use indoors for a spot of house camping in the winter months, but easy enough to move outdoors in the summer for some garden fun, plus it provides some additional shade for your little ones. Super stylish and cute, I wish I had one when I was little. These teepees from myweeteepee are gorgeous and with so many fabrics to choose from there is bound to be something every child (and adult) loves.
Prices start at £108, available from www.myweeteepee.co.uk with free UK mainland delivery on all orders over £49.99.
Ride-on toys are a great gift for developing children and these ones by Wheelybug are probably my favourite. Nice and close to the ground which make it easy for young children to get on and off, they are also very manoeuvrable and designed so that they won’t tip over. Wheelybugs “are designed to offer hours of robust fun and help to promote self-confidence, spatial awareness and gross motor skills.” Plus they come in a range of styles and fabrics so plenty of choice. They come two sizes; Small is recommended for 1 – 3 years, Large is recommended for 3 years +. So if you have an older child they are covered too.
My favourite had to bee the bumblebee….buzz buzz buzzz.
All children love a spot of building and these wooden blocks by Happy Little Folks are gorgeous. They allow plenty of creativity and exploration, their only limit is their imaginations. Super minimalist and ethically made, they will loved by children and adults alike. They come in a range of colours but my favourite is the monochrome and mint set.
Wooden Train Track
Now, it makes no difference if you are a girl or a boy, I cannot imagine any child not loving the versatility of a BRIO train set. They come in a range of starter set sizes and can easily be found online with the likes of Amazon and John Lewis. The great thing about them is you can have family and friends add to it over the years as your children grow. Bridges and trains, signals and cranes, there is so much to select from. It is brilliant for imaginative play and creativity and all my three children (and their Mum) spent hours making new tracks and playing with the trains.
Whilst they are still young – and growing fast! – clothing is always a great idea, useful to Mummy and Daddy too. I love the selection of bodysuits and rompers from The Little Natural Co. “The Little Natural Co. is a baby and children’s concept store specialising in organic, natural and handmade products. With an emphasis on ethical and sustainable production, we are dedicated to providing trend-led natural products for you and your children, whilst also helping to protect the world they will one day inherit.” I love this, plus they are relatively local to me too, just down the road in Lewes. I strongly believe in supporting small local businesses, especially ones with such a ethos.
A particular favourite of mine is the parachute bodysuit, £21.50, great for either a girl or boy! Made from 95% organic cotton, it is super soft, super cute and side fastening which I think is the best type of vest.
Jigsaws are brilliant, and I love this rainbow coloured rubberwood number puzzle. Shaped as a smiling crocodile, with numbers 1 – 5 on chunky interlocking pieces, it’s just the right size for little hands. It’s great for helping children develop colour and number recognition. Plus, it’s a handmade, Fair Trade product, made in Sri Lanka from sustainable rubberwood. Lanka Kade also make 1-5 number puzzles with different animal designs, as well as 1-10 number puzzles and alphabet puzzles too.
Just about every child loves a play in the bath, and this adorable Floating Island by Plan Toys is fantastic. They will have so much fun seeing the turtle floating on his own little desert island, complete with sand, a coconut tree, crab and turtle swimming in the sea. Plus the Plan Toys floating island is made from sustainable rubberwood and Planwood which is made from recycled rubber-wood sawdust so it’s super-eco.
A Good Book
No present list would be complete, in my opinion, without a good book and these Muddle & Match books are a range I particularly love. I bought my son one when he was little and now that he has outgrown it I just can’t bear to part with it – it too has moved to my studio for your little ones to read. Hours of fun to be had reading the book with all the correct flaps down, and then you can make up your own versions giving the character the head of one page, the body from another and the feet from yet another! So many possibilities. Reading to any child is a must and this book is so much fun, for both children and adults. It will definitely spark their interest in reading.
Muddle & Match Jungle Animals, on Amazon
Photographic Portrait Session
As I wrote in Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Newborns 2019, another gift always worth considering is a portrait session. I provide a Milestone session for slightly older babies that fall outside the newborn window of around one month, and these sessions capture babies’ personality as they grow and develop. This Christmas I am offering Gift Vouchers which include a digital image, for those that you find hard to buy for.
However, do remember, there is nothing more precious than time and a gift a a night’s babysitting (or several!). Whether that is so Mum and Dad can go out for some quiet time together, or so that then can get their heads down early for the night for some much needed extra sleep, I have no doubt it would be a gift well received.
Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Babies & Toddlers 2019, by Samphire Photography.