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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stuff to Look Out For - 10 Great Gift Ideas for the Kids

Dare I say it? With Christmas just around the corner (good Lord, I actually said it), it's time to start picking up something here and there for the kids. (I hate talking about Christmas in October, but I also hate last minute Christmas shopping.)

I've got 10 ideas for you.

(All of the products you're about to read about, I received complimentary, but I haven't been paid to write about them. They have all been a hit in our house.)

1. Hi-5 Sharing Stories DVD and Spin Me Round CD Pack
Honestly? I still have fond memories of the original Hi-5 team. They were the ones that entertained my two eldest boys when they were toddlers and preschoolers (even though I swore, prior to having children, I'd never watch Hi-5. I didn't count on the music being so darn catchy. Damn it).

But the four-year-old doesn't seem to care. He LOVES Hi-5, and the CD of the above mentioned pack is currently driving me insane making the rounds in the car during the week when his big brother's are at school. Natch.


Hi-5's new season is starting up on Channel 9 this Monday 17 October, and they're releasing one of the first DVDs from Season 13 on November 17.  Just in time for Chrissie. Woot!

2. Psycho Duck - Carol Newton & Fran Nott
This is a fabulous book. Carol and Fran are English teachers who wanted to create a series of books that address literacy and comprehension. Psycho Duck is the first in a series that is not only a fantastic read, but a fabulous teaching tool.

The book is illustrated by Naomi Kelly.

The book's grammar and comprehension exercises at the back of the book are a great teaching tool. (It's no surprise the books are making their way in to schools. Perfect.) The book is also peppered with questions throughout so the reader can stop and think about what it is they're reading. A GREAT way to introduce comprehension skills.

To find a list of stockists, order a copy, more info on the book and lesson plans, check out the Psycho Duck website. Love.

3. Lego Heroica
You know we love Lego around our house, right? We do. I mean, when I step on it...not so much. But generally, LOVE Lego.

Check out the Lego Heroica game the boys received:


I'm really impressed with all the games Lego have released in recent years. They've provided my boys with hours of entertainment, and they love playing the games with their friends. It's great they get to build, then play. Win/Win.

4. Ninjago - Masters of Spinjitzu
More on Lego...this new DVD (out now) was a HUGE hit with my boys. I can't remember the last time - if at all - they watched a DVD over and over and over again in one sitting. They want more. Stat.


5. Ready, Set, Grover 
I love this. We were sent the latest game from the Sesame Street series on Wii, and the four-year-old loves it. It combines exercise and entertainment. Win/win!


It came with a cute Wii remote cover, that the four-year-old immediately put together with his current Elmo cover. Cute!

I love that the game promotes living a healthy lifestyle.

6. Georgie Dog by Annabel Trends
The seven-year-old is a fan of stuffed toys. Like, HUGE fan. He just loves them. (A bit like me as a kid, actually.)

Annabel Trends (I already love their soft toys) offered to send the Georgie Dog - a big, creamy, fluffy, cuddly toy dog. The seven-year-old was mightily impressed.


If your child loves fluffy toys, he/she will LOVE this one.

7. Octonauts - Books & DVD
If you have preschoolers, and you haven't heard of the Octonauts, then, well...where have you been? Truly.

The Octonauts are cute little adventure heroes who dive into action whenever there's trouble under the sea. Their new DVD Meet The Octonauts has the four-year-old completely spellbound.


ABC For Kids DVDs are always good value. Keep an eye out for the books as well (RRP$12.99).

8. Little Kitchen Around the World - Sabrina Parrini
Have you noticed how many more kids are cooking these days? I remember when my niece and I attempted to make cupcakes when my sister was working one day during the school holidays (we were in high school at the time). We put the cake tin IN THE MICROWAVE. Sparks flew. In more ways than one. *sigh*

Released by SBS, Sabrina Parrini's Little Kitchen Around the World is a great cookbook for kids including recipes from all over the world.


Each recipe includes the country of origin, level of ability and serving amount.

The recipe shown above - Tuna couscous - has quickly become a fave in our house. Nom.

The photos that are placed throughout the book are gorgeous. It makes the food look so inviting!

The only thing that's missing is the time to complete each recipe, but perhaps the book has taken in to consideration the different age groups that will use the book?

Anyway, I love it.

9. Baby Born Doll
My friend, Jen, recently took her daughter, Miss C, along to a special Baby Born celebration. I reckon you should put a Baby Born doll on your list. Look how cute they are...

I don't know why, but my friends and I had Baby Born dolls in either our late teens, or early 20s! It seems weird to write this now, but it's true. A few of us ordered them. We didn't actually 'play' with them, per se. Just ordered them and kept them (although, admittedly, I changed my doll's outfit a number of times). I think we had 'new doll' envy or something. I recall dropping mine off to my niece's house for her to babysit whilst I went out clubbing that night.

I can promise you, I've never dropped off my boys to someone so I can go clubbing. Left them with Hubby to go drinking with bloggers, yes, but not 'clubbing' per se.

Just sayin.

I know Miss C loves her new doll. (Just quietly, I hope she brings it over again soon for a play. :) )

10. UNO - Personalised 40th Anniversary Cards
What? UNO has been around for forty years? I had no idea. But I LOVED playing UNO as a kid, and it's a card game we play at least once a week in our house after dinner as a family, but usually more.

Well, now - to celebration 40 years of card playing - you can personalise your UNO cards with your own pics! Yes you can. Cool, huh?

You just go to their website, download the program (both Mac and PC are available), then get started. Order your cards and for $19.95, you have yourself your own personalised UNO cards!

How fun is that?! The kids could do a set with their friend's pics, or you could put one together of the family. Nice.

To be honest, I haven't done mine yet. I've had such little time, but I'm planning to because I LOVE this idea. :)

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Next week, I'll have some more great products to share with you. :)


Rebecca Newman said...

I do like those Uno cards. Also: how can it be October already?!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Some great ideas there Jodie,you certainly had scored quite a few goodies. Thanks for sharing the ideas xo

Kellie said...

Love UNO! My partner and I play all the time, so much fun :)

Kellie said...

Loving these ideas. I have my eye on a few for Ella! :)

Mum on the Run said...

The UNO cards is a winner!! Bookmarking that.
Thanks :-)