Once again, the Mums NI team received a very special invite to enjoy delicious mince pies and luxurious hot chocolate with none other than Mr & Mrs Claus themselves. This was an invitation that we could never refuse so we packed our trusty notebook and pen and took them up on their kind offer.
We were thrilled to be given a tour around the ever so magical Toy Workshop and allowed a sneak peek at the new toys the Elves are working on that will most certainly be on top of all the little boys and girls lists for Christmas 2019. This year be prepared for lots of interactive characters and the usual top toy brands, that always make the list.
So settle down with a cuppa and have a read through the list. Remember, organisation is the key to a smooth Christmas Gift shopping experience, it’s never too early to be prepared.
Leapfrog have gone and done it again with the introduction of this excellent Grill and Learn BBQ for toddlers in their beautiful iconic Leapfrog colours with an adorable smiling character. This BBQ will definitely be a hot item for Christmas 2019 with 9 pieces of play food to grill, a smart skewer that recognises the food items and their colours, a temperature control dial to help teach numbers 1 through 10 and plenty of fun phrases, rhymes and ever so catchy musical tunes to capture the imagination of your child. Play items can be housed in the pull-down storage unit to the front of the BBQ to keep them safe when not in use. Included are pretend sauce, serving plates, spatula and tongs - everything little BBQ-ers need to get the grilling started! Hours of fun are sure to be had with this toy while your child learns without even realising - the grill will warn children to “be careful as the grill is hot” which reinforces safety precautions where food prep and cooking are concerned. Top marks from the Mums NI team for this item.
All we can say is that this little guy from Furreal is quite possibly the most adorable life-like pet you will come across. Cuteness overload! We didn’t want to put him down. Cubby the Curious Bear is super soft and extremely expressive - he can move his head, blink his big eyes, twitch his ears, sniff with his nose, open his mouth and move his arms about. Cubby is fully interactive and makes plenty of cute babbling sounds when spoken to. He absolutely loves to play peek-a-boo, gives cuddly hugs, blows kisses, giggles when tickled, drinks from his sippy cup and chomps on his treat. When it’s time for bed, Cubby lets out some sleepy sounds and plays 5 minutes of soft music to help soothe your little one off to dreamland. Your child will have so much fun with their new best friend who responds with 100+ sound and motion combos. Cubby is the perfect toy for any child who loves animals.
Does your child love to create glittery (messy) masterpieces? Do you dread glitter tsunami? Fear not! Crayola is here to save the day with an amazing new way for children to be creative (less messy) with glitter - Glitter Dots! Parents the length and breadth of the country will be cheering in support of this product. Crayola have created little moldable glitter dots that can be squashed on to artwork without making a mess - no sticky glue required! Just choose a coloured dot, pop it out, squish it onto the page and taaaa-daaaah a sparkly mess free picture! Glitter Dots Sparkle Station comes with a variety of tools to help your child create fabulous artwork - 84 multi coloured glitter dots, 3 note cards, 1 hand roller, roller tool, 9 cutting wheels, 6 shape cutters, craft tool, trinket box, 2 clear roller sheets, work mat and instructions. This is definitely going on the list for our two glitter monkeys! A perfect gift for creative minds.
Want a game the whole family can enjoy? Then you will need to have Porcupine Pop from Hasbro Gaming. This awesome little guy is the ideal game for many family games nights. He comes with 9 darts and a die. It’s quite a simple set up - load the darts (spikes) into his back, pull the tail and roll the die. The number you roll is how many times you have to press down on his nose. Who will make his spikes pop? This is a great way to encourage turn taking and reinforce number learning with younger children. We absolutely love this little guy and guess what? He doesn’t even need batteries, so he’s good to play straight out of the box on Christmas morning! Our two loved this game so much that Santa will be bringing this as part of our Family Gift this year.
Lego have combined their Lego sets with AR to create new fully interactive sets called Lego Hidden Side. How you play with the set in real life unlocks superb digital content in the AR life on the app. Smart! This particular set is quite impressive with 1474 pieces to build and 8 minifigures including the heroes of the operation - Jack Davids and Parker L. Jackson. In AR the school becomes haunted, Headmaster Mr Clarke calls on Jack and Parker to help capture the ghosts that roam the school, defeat the Boss Ghost Mr Nibs, find the secret chambers and clues to help solve the mysteries and return the school to normal. Experience Lego like never before - buy the set, download the app and watch your Lego come to life! Hours of fun are sure to be had with these new Lego sets. This will be a big hit with all Lego fans. Love Love Love it! Well done Lego, big thumbs up from the Mums NI team!
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without an appearance from Hatchimals. This year sees a large purple Secret Surprise Egg in a Crown Jewels theme offering the ultimate Hatchimals unboxing for your little one! It stands at almost 30cm high and includes over 40 Royal surprises. Inside you will find multiple crackable compartments and peel & reveal sections where you will find lots of exciting accessories including stickers, crowns, Hatchtopia life tokens and jewel shaped lip gloss. You will receive the most adorable and sparkly Hatchimals Pixie Royal character and 6 Pixie Royals accessories for her as well as 10 exclusive Hatchimals collEGGtables characters each with their own crowns to wear. The large Surprise Egg doubles up as a storage and display case for all your new friends. We wonder who you will hatch! This is the perfect gift for all fans of Hatchimals.
From the makers of Hatchimals comes this year's hottest toy - Hatching Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. Folks, this little guy is going to be a BIG hit with all HTTYD fans. Baby Toothless is just too cute! He really is. Instead of lovingly rubbing the egg to make this cutie hatch, you have to get him aggravated by rocking, tapping and shaking his egg. Rough and tumble is the key folks. When he’s suitably angry, he will hatch. Then you will have your own baby dragon to train how to fly and plasma blast. He can move his ears, flap his wings, bob his head, light up his eyes and make plasma blasts - he’s just awesome. Toothless knows when he is being shot up in the air or dive-bombing and reacts accordingly. To make him plasma blast, hold his tummy for a few seconds then let go and his mouth will glow with plasma. If he’s being a bit naughty, you will need to perform Riders Bond by placing your hand on his head. He has 5 built in games: a Roaring Competition, Ask Toothless (yes, no, maybe), Dragon Fire (Hot Potato), Follow the Alpha (copy sequences) and Dragon Dance. These are activated by turning the dial underneath him. After a long day’s training, feed him his fish to replenish his energy levels by placing the scales of the fish at his mouth. At the end of the day place Toothless back into his egg shell base for a dragon nap ready for a new day ahead of playing adventure. We think this little baby Toothless is the best Hatchimal to date. Your child will love him!
Calling all Fortnite fans! Play Fortnite in real life with this Fortnite inspired Nerf AR-L motorised blaster! Be the fastest blaster on the field with this guns’ deceptive lightness. Line up your target using the two flip up sights, then hold the acceleration button to power up the motor and pull the trigger to release your dart. Included with the blaster is a 10 dart magazine and 20 Nerf darts. Along the top of the blaster is a standard N strike tactical rail for you to attach any of your existing nerf attachments (none come with this blaster). Excellent fun is to be had with this Nerf blaster folks. It’s a great size and the colours are fabulous. This would be the perfect gift for all those Nerf and Fortnite fans! We love it!
Pictionary has went and got a make-over by ditching the paper and joining the digital age - say hello to Pictionary Air! The whole family will enjoy this updated version of a classic family game. Just download the app and use the light tipped wand to draw your image from your chosen clue card in the air. While you are drawing, the other contestants point their smart device at you and the app will pick up the light omitted from the wand and display it on their screen for them to guess what you have drawn. You can get creative with your sketches by interacting with them eg draw an umbrella and hold the handle, draw a football and pretend to kick it - your imagination is the limit with this game. For younger players who need some extra time to complete their sketches you can adjust their round timer in the Custom Mode. If you’re playing solo or doing a bit of practice, use Freestyle Mode and you will be able to customise your sketches with silly images such as mustaches and hats etc. Save your creations to the app and have fun playing them back with your family and friends. Hours of family fun are to be had with this great updated game. We think it would be ideal to bring out for kids birthday parties! Excellent!
Has your child ever wanted their own owl? After watching Harry Potter our two mega fans have been asking non-stop for their own snowy owls, thanks HP! Well now they can have them as they have arrived in the form of Owleez. Owleez are beautiful interactive baby Owls that your child can teach to fly. They are available in pink or snowy owl options. They are adorable. Help your new hatchling learn how to fly by swooshing them through to air and listen to them make happy noises. Baby Owleez come with their favourite food to chomp on, a delicious bunch of berries - yum! After eating, your Owleez might need to be burped so hold them face down and pat their back until they have passed wind. Then practice flying again. Swoooosh! Your Owleez might attempt to fly at this stage. If not, keep practising as practice makes progress. When your baby Owl is ready to fly, place them into their nest, stand back and get ready for TAKE OFF! Owleez neck will start to lift up and the wings will protrude ready for flight. At first they might only fly for about 3 seconds, but when they have practiced more and are confident, Owleez will fly for around 15 seconds. It’s the first interactive pet to actually fly! The kids will absolutely love this and it’s said to be one of the most sought after gifts this year. So get it on the pre-order!
Ever wondered what the colour orange sounds like? Or the colour purple? Well, now you can hear the whole spectrum of the rainbow with the help of Sphero Specdrums! These utterly amazing rings assign sound to colours. We are blown away by them. You basically download and connect to the Specdrums MIX app, put on the ring and tap on a colour to create some awesome beats, loops and tunes - we’ve tapped clothes, fruit, toys, sofa, curtains, drawings, crayons etc. Or you can play on the colour mat that comes with the ring. Tap colours, make music. It’s as easy as that. Play solo or jam with your friends. If you’ve got more than one child, we recommend purchasing the double ring pack to keep the peace. This little gadget is addictive and perfect for the child/teen/adult who has an inquisitive mind. No skill in music is required to play, just a willingness to tap, explore and enjoy. Five stars from the Mums NI Team!
Mums NI Top 5 Tips for keeping Christmas gift buying affordable
Christmas can be a very expensive time of year for most families, so we have put together our top 5 tips to help you reign in the spending and cut the costs of your gift buying. You could save yourself a pretty penny by following these steps: