Toys As Gifts

Toys - Best Gift Guide

Every Christmas for many, many years, children have always asked for the same thing every year: toys. It’s a staple of Christmas day – the kids wake up, rush out to see what’s under the tree, and open up their toys.

Whether the toys are made with new, top of the line technology, or something simple and classic like a Frisbee, kids will enjoy whatever Santa brings to put under the tree – but you want to be armed with ideas for your gift giving purchases.

There are some toys that are perfect for almost any age, and then there are those that are best for specific age groups such as babies, toddlers, younger children – through the tween and teen years.

Sometimes, you’ll find that some of the main gifts work best if they have some of the accessories to go with them. These can make great add-ons or even stocking fillers if you want to make sure they’re all set.

And it’s not just Christmas, kids want the latest toys all year, and will be writing lists of their favourites in the months leading to their birthday.




How To Spend It Well At Christmas 2018 – Episode 1 Toys

Phillip Schofield is back with his look at the best things on offer in the shops for Christmas – How To Spend It Well At Christmas. As per last year, episode one took an in depth look at toys for children. Along with some help from famous faces and members of the public, the latest toys were put through their paces and judged for our benefit.

The programme started with Phillip on one of the stars from later on, a ride on unicorn! It was an entertaining start in true Schofield style.

Board Games

The first category to be looked at was board games. Actor Simon Gregson, who has been playing the character Steve MacDonald in Coronation Street since 1989, was joined by wife Emma and his two eldest sons Alfie and Harry, and a group of families in Manchester to test 5 of the latest games. Continue reading

Decoupage: A Fun Way To Be Creative

Decoupage | Best Gift GuideKeeping the kids entertained on weekends and holidays can be difficult, particularly during the winter months when playing outside isn’t really an option. But there are so many wonderful craft ideas available to kids that this no longer has to be a problem.

Crafts helps kids use their imagination and art skills to make something they can treasure. Most often these treasures can be made using everyday household items and so are a cheap option too!

Continue reading

Anki Cozmo : Is This The Best Robot You Can Buy?

I first came across the Anki Cozmo robot last November when watching Phillip Schofield’s How To Spend It Well. It looked great, and so clever, learning as it played.

So 8 months down the line I thought I would take a more in depth look. First of all, an introduction from Mark Wesley, one of the engineers that works on the Cozmo.

 

First of all I have to start with the fact that it is not large at around 20 cm square. When I think of robots I always imagine them at least knee high, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in functions.

Cozmo is an intelligent robot that plays with you, and learns about it’s environment. It shows feelings, and it’s rather cute face (display) will keep you amused. Thanks to artificial intelligence, Cozmo can express hundreds of emotions. It also learns to recognise faces – up to about 8.

Using the app that is required, you can code Cozmo with Code Lab – a simple coding tool. Simply drag some blocks on your app and Cozmo will follow the instructions. He is also great at lifting his Power Cubes and stacking them on top of each other.

Using Explorer Mode you can see on his display what he sees. I think this and the Code Lab are perfectly demonstrated in this video:

Who wouldn’t want to play tricks on their teenage brother?

I’ve mentioned that Cozmo is quite small, but he is extremely tough. As well as being built to last, there are no worries when it comes to data security.

What age range would appreciate Cozmo? It’s recommended for ages 8 and upwards. But with owner reviewers up into their 40’s you can see that it has a wide attraction. If you have more than one child then they can all have apps on their phone or tablet to control Cozmo – but not all at the same time. Maybe a great idea for when they are at home at different times.

It comes boxed with 1 Cozmo robot, 1 charger, and 3 Power Cubes. I was very impressed by one reviewer who said that by playing with Cozmo her 9 year old son, whos suffers from autism, was learning about playing for the fun of playing rather than having to win. He doesn’t have many friends so finds the social interaction of Cozmo a great addition to his life.

Overall Cozmo is a great toy robot. It is a toy built by a robotics company, which puts it way ahead of any toy company made robots. Yes it is small, and it is expensive, but the coding skills learnt, the way it interacts with you as it learns, and it’s all round entertainment value make this a great buy for someone interested in a little friend.

If you do buy Cozmo and you want to take him to friends, you may be interested in the hard carrying case specifically designed for purpose.

10 Classic Garden Games For The School Holidays

With schools across the country about to break up for 6 weeks, how are you going to keep your young ones entertained? I am sure there will be holidays and day trips planned, but these can prove expensive. With the best will in the world, there will be days at home.

Whilst your children may be happy to be indoors either watching TV or playing on their computer games, you may be itching for them to get outside in the sunshine (presuming that this great weather we have had so far this summer continues. Never a given when it comes to school holidays!). Continue reading

How To Spend It Well At Christmas With Phillip Schofield – Episode 1, Toys

How To Spend It Well At Christmas with Phillip Schofield

So, did any of you watch Phillip Schofield on ITV last night in his new three part series, How To Spend It Well At Christmas? In this series Schofield and celebrity guests, along with members of the public, test drive the latest gifts, gadgets, food and drink just in time for Christmas.

Last night’s episode, the first, was all about toys. Well, Christmas is for the kids, isn’t it, so only fitting that he kicks off the series with this subject. Mind you, it looked like some of the adult guests were having just as much fun as the children involved. Continue reading

Arts & Crafts

Craft for children | Best Gift Guide

Arts and crafts gifts are great for just about anyone, young or old, because they’re a good way to spend some time relaxing and working on something, and it’s also productive most of the time.

Anyone can pick up arts and crafts fairly easily, and make some pretty interesting things, whether they’re beginners or experts. One of the most popular crazes in 2017 among young children is making slime. Continue reading

Electronic Toys

Electronic Toys | Best Gift Guide

Electronics have greatly improved the quality of toys nowadays, adding sounds, lights, and other feedback that makes toys more interactive. These responses will make your kids a bit brighter and more creative, and it adds a whole new level of fun to your kid’s toys.

One great example of an electronic toy is the plug and play classic games. They’re very easy to use, and great for any kids, younger or older. They’re little joystick boxes that you can plug into the TV and play classic 1980s arcade games on. Continue reading

Educational Toys

Educational Toys For Young Children | Best Gift Guide

When you have a young child, it’s important that you get them learning from an early stage so that they can be successful learning later in life. However, you want to present educational material in a fun, enjoyable way, instead of sitting your toddler down in front of a white board and trying to teach them.

There are tons of educational toys available that will help your child go above and beyond and excel in academics later in life. One really good tool for young kids is the LeapFrog Scribble and Write. Continue reading

Musical Toys

There are many musical gifts you can get a child in your life. They range from drum sets (electronic or traditional) to gifts like karaoke machines –  kids love to use for things like family fun night or sleepovers.

If you are a music lover yourself, you will understand the joy that making music can bring, and will want to encourage that in the children in your life. Whilst their efforts may not sound much like to begin with, with encouragement who knows what they will grow into. Continue reading

Remote Control Toys

Remote Control Toys

Many young children take up similar interests to those of their parents, or things that they’ve seen on TV or in movies. Naturally, there are plenty of people out there that are interested in cars, especially if their parents were the same way.

For any car lovers out there, whether they be young or old, there are plenty of fantastic gifts out there for them. Even if they just like anything with wheels on it. Many young kids love playing with R/C cars because it’s so fun. Continue reading