Ever since he saw an advert for a chocolate 'Coin Press'* Ethan has been crazy over the idea - Every time he sees the advert he hits the roof, he just can't get enough of the idea of making his own chocolate coins! (He's become obsessed with chocolate coins in general, this year, he's even said it's what he's looking forward to the most this year, maybe we can scrap the presents then haha)
This Chocolate coin press from Tobar is available from John Lewis for £20 and I think it'd easily put a smile on the faces of So many children, I nearly jumped for joy when we were offered the chance to feature it. The set comes with chocolate to melt, foil, net bag and then the press on which you can melt the chocolate, and then after it's chilled you put it back in and it wraps it in foil and then through again to press a design upon it - I can tell you now that the chocolate won't last long because Ethan will be wanting to make these endlessly. You can, safely, expect a full, tried and tested, review of this in the future.
I've got a specific item, here, but I'm going to make a blanket statement and just say 'Lego'. These little plastic blocks seem to be one of the most timeless toys out there - For his last Birthday I gave Ethan a bucket of my old Lego (we're talking 20 years old) and it's been one of his most played with toys since. We've not got a lot of sets because most of them are so intricate that they will just be taken apart and not go back together (until he's older of course) - When I saw this, though, I thought it'd be perfect. Even if Ethan doesn't keep the structure together it gives him a whole variety of great coloured blocks to add to his collection as well as lots of great mini figures which he'll recognise from the movie. This particular set, thanks to my best friend, we managed to get in a sale for about £12 but after a quick google search I can see it tends to retail for around £17.99 and it can be found in loads of places including Argos and Smyths Toys.
But there's So much you can get from lego, you could get a basic bucket of blocks or any range of exciting sets (and this doesn't just have to be for Children; both my husband and best friend still love lego and my best friend's collection is getting rather crazy!)
This adorable little guy is a Snuggleasaurs* and I couldn't say no to that little face when I was asked to feature him in this gift guide - I think he has the cutest, almost sad looking, little face and he's so so cuddly. Ethan's seen these on tv, too, and instantly said he wanted one. He used to have a dinosaur cuddly toy but it had to go because it got so bad with the damp in his room so this cuddly guy should offer up a rather good replacement.
As you can see, it has a spot on its tummy where you squeeze it/press it and, be warned, it makes a very loud noise. The noise is nothing like the cute appearance, it's very loud and roary - I am sure Ethan's going to jump when he first presses it, hopefully he's over his dislike of loud noises enough that the cute exterior will keep him interested.
You can pick this up from Hawkins Bazar for £10
More stuffed toys, from a surprising place this time; this is the Cuddles Time Sitting Dog and the Cuddles Time rabbit, both from Lloyds pharmacy. I wouldn't, really, have thought of Lloyds Pharmacy as somewhere to shop for Christmas gifts but I've learned something this year, these lovely stuffed toys are one of many examples of things they have to offer.
This is the Cuddle Time Reindeer - I don't have my own photo of him because I wasn't able to get him. I was supposed to get him, from Lloyds Pharmacy but there was a mix up and they sent the dog instead and, then, to say sorry for the Reindeer not being available anymore they sent the rabbit too haha.
The reindeer is only £3.99 and I can't find him on the Lloyds Pharmacy website but you can keep an eye out for him in local stores, just look how cute he is!
I've got some examples of some books which would make fantastic gifts this Christmas but when it comes to books I feel like it's more about remembering that books Are a fantastic gift. So many people don't enjoy reading these days but it's a real shame, giving a book for a gift is just amazing as you're offering that person a little slice of a different reality. But I always remember that video clip of the child who cries because he got books... I'm very relieved that Ethan isn't that child (he's getting a Lot of books for Christmas) and I hope that lots of other children are lucky enough to get books this year too.
Anyway, on to the books in question - The first set of books I'd like to recommend are these beautifully illustrated stories by a local lady called Caroline H. Green. Her daughter-in-law is someone I've known (mostly via other people) for a number of years and she often helps her promote her books and when considering that she thought of me! I'm going to do a more full review of these at a later date but I thought they'd be beautiful to feature in my gift guide because they're such lovely stories and I'm in love with the illustration (Caroline illustrates them herself, as well as writing them) - If you'd like to see more about her site and how to get the books then you can see her site here: http://www.carolinehgreen.com/shop.html
I just had to include this when talking about books for Christmas gifts because they've really caught our attention in this house. I won't talk about these, much, as I've just reviewed them, but 'The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas' would be a really amusing gift, or even something to read on Christmas eve (that's what we'll be doing) - I've reviewed the whole series of these, and got a giveaway running on my post here: http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk/2014/11/the-dinosaur-that-pooped-series-by-by.html
As with all of the other categories I'm just showing you a selection of DVDs that you might want to consider for gifts this year - We've been sent the newest Thomas dvd 'Tale of the Brave' which was just lovely because Ethan's mostly grown out of Thomas but he's just started showing an interest, again, and this has helped to fire that along. I really want him to keep liking Thomas for a lot longer, he's not even 5 yet! The film is lovely, it's got some worrying moments because it's about the trains being scared and needing to be brave, but they're the trains of Sodor Island, of course they overcome their fear!
Ethan really loved the DVD and it'll become a regular, I think, I'm so glad he's had the chance to watch it because, due to his reduction in interest, I wouldn't have bought it myself but this has reminded him why he loves Thomas and his friends. You can buy the DVD for £7 from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Friends-Tale-Brave-DVD/dp/B00JZS4GTY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417107738&sr=8-1&keywords=tale+of+the+Brave
I couldn't believe it when I saw that there's a Mike the Knight movie now! I always thought that it was such a lovely cartoon when Ethan watched it and it is one he's often rushed to the telly to see. In 'Journey to Dragon Mountain' Mike has to help his father retrieve a stolen jewel to save Glendragon, it sounds like it's a Mike the Knight episode in epic format which I'm sure plenty of little ones would love, you can buy it for £5 here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mike-Knight-Journey-Dragon-Mountain/dp/B00JZS4FW2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1417107828&sr=8-8&keywords=mike+the+knight+dvd+movie
Lastly we have 'Ocean Rescue' which is a new compilation of some of the newer Fireman Sam episodes - I encouraged Ethan to watch the traditional Fireman sam when he was younger, but he's also loved the more modern ones, too, owning a movie and some dvd collections too - Sometimes it's nice to get a collection of episodes rather than a film as it'll allow you to turn it on and off rather than being stuck watching the tv for an hour or so. This one costs £8.58 from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fireman-Sam-Ocean-Rescue-DVD/dp/B00JZS4H8E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417108125&sr=8-1&keywords=fireman+sam+ocean+rescue+dvd
And that is it for my Children's gift guide, it's been a long one, eek! You can expect that I will review a number of these, in full, at a later date (maybe when all these lovely Christmas posts have subsided a little)
Lots more exciting posts to come!