How To Choose Awesome Gifts for Amazing Children

Many years ago when dinosaurs walked the earth I was a child. There was no internet, barely any TV and only one of the three channels available showed adverts to inspire my childhood Christmas gift lists. Nowadays it can be a real challenge to surprise and delight modern children so here are some tips on how to choose awesome gifts AND where to find the best Christmas presents for boys AD)

Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

First, a bit about my Christmas gift sourcing history. With seven children I consider myself something of an expert!

In my late teens as a young and ridiculously keen journalist working at a local newspaper in Worcester I ran a personalised Santa letter reply service which turned out to be spectacularly popular with hundreds of children sending their letters in.

I loved the scrawled personal letters but was shocked at how many children just cut pages out of one of a UK's well known store's catalogue and stuck them in an envelope.

Mostly kids back then wanted bikes and dolls and Lego and novelty food preparation gadgets - you know, those things that make flavoured slush, chocolate coin makers and milkshake mixers with cows head motifs.

These gifts are still as popular today as they were back then (my daughter has that slush maker on her list AGAIN this year) so if you are unsure what to get, one of these novelty foodie gifts might go down well and keep the child on your life occupied at least during the Christmas holidays.

My grandparents used to recall the days when a satsuma and a walnut in a stocking formed the basis of their Christmas haul and I do wonder what my Great Grandad would make of modern wish lists.

Christmas stockings Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash

There's a lesson in that though - sometimes simple is sophisticated, and a thoughtfully chosen selection of their favourite edible treats to be enjoyed over the festive season could be a winner.

It astounds me how much my children still enjoy exploring selection boxes which can be picked up during your grocery shop but for those tricky tweens and teens you could choose a more elegant and adult option from one of the many high end chocolate shops on line and on the High Street.

Imagine how many stocking fillers and gifts I've had to source over the years with seven children? Luckily we don't believe in spending a fortune so it's not so much the cost which is the issue but finding new, interesting and unique gifts to suit each child's personality and interests.

Thankfully nowadays there are some fantastic websites offering carefully curated toy selections which make me wish I was still little.

One of these is Wicked Uncle - just the name gives you a clue as to how imaginative this site is going to be. One click and I found Quizzie, a little robot who asks questions and squirts water at you if you give the wrong answer. He's super-cute and costs under £20! My entire family would love him. Post Christmas dinner entertainment sorted!

Quizzie robot

Generally I don't have too many issues finding bits and pieces for my girls. Even my older daughter who is not a typical girly girl is quite easy to buy for.  However there is only so much Disney themed tat you can buy.

I love this aqua bluetooth speaker they'd both like which would dance along with them as they sing along to their fave Disney songs. Another top choice from the Wicked Uncle website.

aqua bluetooth speaker

Let me tell you, finding gifts year after year for five boys, none of whom are into football or in fact any sport can be pretty tricky.

If you are lucky enough to know a child who IS into sport it might be worth thinking sporty for their gift. And although High Street stores are great for team shirts and equipment, there are some other great options.

For instance I loved this set of magnetic football tables which allows footie fans to keep track of how their fave team is doing. I suspect it's not just children who would love find this present under the tree! A bargain at under £15 too.
magnetic football charts
Other themes to follow which are great for all children but often appeal to boys include science, space or the natural world and if you are actually a wicked Uncle, Aunt or Grandparent you will get extra points with the parents for selecting something with educational value as well as fun.

You could order a solar system puzzle, butterfly farm, dinosaur torch projector, doodle your own world map pillowcase, wooden volcano brain teaser or a grow your own monkey nut plant - all these exciting choices were from just one page on the Wicked Uncle website.

If you are buying for a child with additional needs it's probably wise to check with the parents before clicking any "order" button.  They may prefer toys which are labelled as suitable for younger or older age ranges, they may have special interests or physical issues which need to be taken into account when choosing a gift.

Autistic children often like sensory toys but just like any child they have their own personal preferences. Not all autistic children like to chew or enjoy fiddle toys so for the perfect gift unless you know them very well take time to ask the person who knows them best what would delight them. It may be something very unusual you would never have thought of or equally exactly what you were thinking of but it's best to check.

They say it can be as enjoyable to give as it is to receive and I've certainly learned this is true, especially if you are excited and pleased about the gifts you have chosen for the ones you love.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash offering a gift at Christmas

One top tip though - if you buy a toy which requires batteries, include batteries with the gift. It's quite hard to source triple A's on Christmas day.