Five games the whole family will enjoy this Christmas

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Family games provide enjoyable quality time that boosts young learner’s self-esteem as they take on new challenges. A perfect way to get families laughing and playing together, they also help children to develop thinking and reasoning skills, strategic problem solving, spatial awareness, concentration and focus. We’ve put together five of our top picks that each help to develop key skills and challenge inquisitive young minds. read more

Christmas Gift Guide: Testing Team Top Picks

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Have you already been handed your child’s wish list for Father Christmas? We’re here to help.

We’ve enlisted our team of Toy Testers to select their top picks and put them to the test! They’ve provided honest feedback and action shots to help you find the perfect present.

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1) Pretend & Play® Calculator Cash Register

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Tine said:

“The Learning Resources Cash Register, one of the brand’s classics, features over sized buttons and a built-in solar-powered calculator, which is ideal for children learning additions and subtractions in school. Big Girl loves pretend play and a cash register like this is fantastic for playing shop and making maths fun. Since opening the till, we’ve been encouraging Big Girl to charge us for everything we buy from her pretend shop (and sometimes cafe), input the prices on her till, and calculate the total. The till makes playing shop more real, particularly since the set includes pound coins and notes that look very believable and are the same size as real UK money. A very cool educational toy ideal as a Christmas present for both boys and girls!” read more

Christmas Adverts 2014

“Can I have that?” Please someone tell me I’m not the only one who has heard this question a hundred times in the last 2 weeks?

Every Christmas TV advert that has been on the usual children’s channels has prompted Squirt to ask if she can have whatever toy, game or accessory it’s advertising. She’s even started asking automatically, regardless of if she wants the toy or not. My +1 and I decided it was time of an intervention and have come up with an ‘automated response’ for the dreaded questions. Our answer is “wait and see what you get at Christmas”, which my +1 and I are relieved to say is working. read more

Elf on the Shelf

We are joining in the Elf on the Shelf fun again this year! The Elf of the Shelf tradition started over in America and is quickly becoming popular here in the UK. The Elf on the Shelf pack includes a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Father Christmas manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Father Christmas and the elves about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning. read more

Get into Gears!

Hi all

Gears! Gears! Gears!® is a very popular brand name in our household! Squirt loves playing with the different gears to make lots of different designs, and it’s something she enjoys with her Dad has he loves playing with construction toys! She was bought the Movin’ Monkeys™ Building Set for her birthday last year. She was a bit young for it at the time, but loved playing with the monkeys and all the different trees – they ended up in the bath on more than one occasion! Now she’s older she lovely building with all the gears and connectors and swinging the monkeys from the springy green vines. read more

Countdown to Christmas

Pinch, punch first of the month!

Bonfire night is just a few days away, and Squirt is looking forward to seeing the fireworks! I can’t wait to be wrapped up in scarves and gloves, with a hot chocolate in one hand and a sparkler in the other! We’ll be watching them from afar as Squirt’s not overly fond of the noise, which I think can be the case with a lot of youngsters. If you’ve got some little ones who aren’t keen on their noise, try an indoor light display with some light up toys. read more