And it’s week two of my Christmas gift guides! 4forlittlies! Ironic given that I’ll have 4 littlies come January (+one teen).
While others are fawning over the 2019 ‘must haves’: plastic gadgets, hatching fur balls, and battery powered characters, we have never indulged in hype. When it comes to crimbo gifts, our children aren’t even encouraged to write a list. They can of course ask Santa for one present when they visit him in his grotto, but we’d rather find hidden gems that even they couldn’t have imagined. For us, the magic is in the surprise. In knowing that we can find the perfect gift for their personality. We champion products which encourage our children to use their imagination, help others and learn more about the world around them. We also believe in quality over quantity! So with all this in mind, I’m so excited to share our chosen items with you. As in my previous guides we follow the mantra….
Something They Want
NatureMake: Nature Inspired Craft Kits *
‘Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men’William Allingham
The most beautiful gift you can give your child is just that! Childhood! A sense of wonder! Naturemake crafts UK facilitate this with the most exquisite material boxes. We’re not talking some pom-poms and sticky tape here! Oh no! Instead, raw organic and natural products are supplied with the unique aim of building fairy homes, elf gardens and mermaid retreats. They encourage everyone involved to let their imaginations take flight. From miniature worlds, to enchanted boats, tree house getaways and magical creatures, Naturemake crafts has a set for every budget and imagination.
We spent this week testing out their boat building box and, although ideas, images and gallery links are provided in the kit, children are encouraged to build freely. Using a mixture of dried flowers, nuts, recycled paper, pressed leaves, natural fibres and wooden sticks and logs, we fashioned sail boats for fairy folk and tiny pirates.
This isn’t the first time we have built with Naturecraft. They recently visited Rupert’s school, where he put together a gorgeous African style hut…… other than helping with the glue gun, my boy, at age 6, was able to do all of this himself. That really is testament to the simplicity and charm of this product.
But it doesn’t stop there. I was so enchanted with this that I have ordered some mini stocking fillers for the other children. Ernie also has a much bigger kit (Fantastical set) to open on Xmas day. I can’t wait to see what exciting creations he comes up with! And, with prices starting at less than £5, they really are a must have gift this season!
(If you live in the Devon area you can also visit Naturecraft workshops and hire them for parties)
Something They Need
Eco Warriors: Flash Cards and Treasure Hunt Game*
We live in a throw-away culture, where materialism trumps the need of the planet and supporting your own family. Christmas can easily become a selfish time of year, even the act of giving itself serves to stroke egos. We limit our gifts for this reason. In fact we don’t even take credit as parents because, in our family, all gifts come direct from the North Pole. Our Santa gives regardless of behaviour, he’s not used as threat or fear, and I hope, by teaching my children the value of unconditional love, they’ll consider their fellow man and do their part to make the world a better place.
Which is why my something they ‘need’ is Helpful Kids’ eco warrior set. 100% plastic free and eco friendly, this exciting treasure hunt game encourages children aged 5-12 to care for their home, environment and belongings. With an optional reward chart and choice of fabric flash card holder, it’s delightfully presented and a truely empowering gift for littlies.
The kit includes:Helpfulkids
– 10 flashcards with a different rhyme and super-action on each side
– Treasure Hunt clues for each of the cards
– Reward chart (I Feel Proud) plus 30 Eco Warriors stickers
– Child & parent instructions
– 1 large cotton bag which holds the flash cards
Luxury sets, digital downloads and additional reward charts are available from their Etsy shop, meaning this product can be enjoyed by families of all sizes and budgets.
Something To Wear
I could list a million of my favourite children’s clothing brands in this section. But it might surprise you to know that this year we have purchased very few high street items for our brood. Instead, I’ve done what I love best, thrift shop rummaging, bargain hunting, eBay searching and supported independent businesses on Instagram. Below is a shout out to all the fabulous Mum led businesses on the gram, who I have either purchased from or worked with this year!
I’m so excited to reveal our Xmas pj tops for 2019 and wanted to give a special mention to Oh Little Bing, who’s embroidery is so exquisite, that I knew I had to order her ‘when robins appear’ for Xmas Eve the moment I saw them on the grid! Plus, if you’re pregnant, I totally recommend watching her stories, as she shares her personalised orders. It’s been my go-to place for daily baby name inspiration. Be warned though, this work is in serious demand, with the website often selling out within minutes of opening. Your best bet, if wanting to order, is to follow on Instagram.
I also couldn’t resist these little shoes for our New Year baby. Gifted via Baby Chum acollective website for all things independent baby and child! You may also find some other items you like beyond clothing…. like this stunning personalised matt white bauble!
Something To Read
Autism with Lola: Playing with Bourbon Badger – A book to teach children about autism:*
You may remember a while back that we have questioned if one of our children is autistic. There’s certainly signs there and while we have taken the decision not to pursue a diagnosis at this time, it’s something we return to and review often.
When it comes to socialising, we champion kindness and understanding. Our children mix with class mates and family members from all walks of life. Some have additional educational needs, some have different familiy set ups or even cultural traditions which differ to our own. All have different houses or routines…. every child is unique, with incomparable character quirks and personalities! Opening our children’s eyes to how others interact with the world around them is a vital role for parents and as a family we often use stories as a way to see into those worlds.
From books about dealing with anger or big life changes, to explaining where babies come from….. the words on a page empower us as parents and give us the words needed to demonstrate empathy and understanding,
As well as education, they offer a glimpse into the lives of others and teach our children that the world as they view it, is not the same for everyone.
Written by Mum of three Jodie, ‘Autism With Lola’ tells a story of kindness amongst woodland creatures. It introduces young readers to the themes of disability and understanding.
It has proven to not only help children who are not neuro-divergent to understand those who are, but it has also helped autistic children understand themselves! This has lead to them being able to start communicating their feelings to their parents and caregivers.Jodie Isitt
Alongside the story itself, are useful resources for parents, teachers and caregivers and optional activity books to empower them to explore the themes in more depth. Not only does it offer eloquence for children with autism, but it offers those around them and their peers valuable insights into ways to support, without compromising their own well-being,
It’s my passion to create gentle stories for young children, in the hope that it will explain what it is like to live with autism and anxiety and help shape a kinder and more inclusive future for the children of the next generation.Jodie Issit
I hope I have inspired you this week to think outside the (gift) box when buying for your children this Christmas.
*as always some items were gifted as part of this review, however I would never work with products or brands that go against my ethos or style.