By Kimberly Bond and Adreen Hart-Rule

The Dream Toys List for 2013 was revealed a couple of days ago by the Toy Retailers association. But we know that mummies and daddies often like to look for alternative toys for their little ones at Christmas time. The VFTS editors have decided to help you along the way with our top ten fun, quirky, and budget Christmas gifts.

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]   First on our list is this funky ‘Paint your own wellies’ kit from Tesco. The kids can decorate their own wellies with the paint provided and then they’ll be able to go splash in the puddles (and the snow when it comes along!). Of course the children will love showing them off to everyone too. £11.66 from Tesco. 

Kids can make a unique pair of wellies this christmas! Picture from Ebay.

Kids can make a unique pair of wellies this Christmas! Picture from Ebay.

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]   This beautiful ‘Elmer’ musical box had to go on our list because it will make a great gift for babies and little ones to keep until they are older. Wind up the box and it will play music while the two elephants ‘dance’ to the music. Suitable from 3 years old to play with or an ‘on the shelf’ gift for a baby. £18.00 from John Lewis.

Elmer music box, suitable for 3 years up or as a gift to keep. Picture from John Lewis

Elmer music box, suitable for 3 years up or as a gift to keep. Picture from John Lewis

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]   The LeapFrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket is a perfect set for any little one to learn in multiple ways. Not only does it teach the child about food with the plastic dinner set included, but also about colours, shapes and manners with the fun songs that it sings! Sure to be a hit with toddlers, plus there’s a volume control for the parents too. 3xAA batteries included, suitable from 6 months to 3 years. £13.33 from Amazon.

 

Leapfrog sharing basket which encourages learning from baby to pre-school age. Picture from Amazon.

Leapfrog sharing basket which encourages learning from baby to pre-school age. Picture from Amazon.

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]    Clothes for the Christmas and winter season are always a popular gift and Matalan has brought out a great range this season for your little one. This very cute unisex Reindeer onesie is available from Newborn to 12 months. £9.00 from Matalan. 

 

Reindeer fleece onesie, just one of the range from Matalan.

Reindeer fleece onesie, just one of the range from Matalan.

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]    Beatrix Potter’s timeless selection of books are a must read for any child, and you will probably remember all the stories from your own childhood. This box set from the BookPeople contains 23 hardback editions of stories, from Peter Rabbit, right through to the tale of  Jemima Puddle Duck. £30.00, thebookpeople.co.uk

The Peter Rabbit collection is a beautiful gift for children of all ages. picture: the book People

The Peter Rabbit collection is a beautiful gift for children of all ages. picture: the book People

Anyone is an 80’s/90’s kid will remember the delights of Fuzzy Felt and the endless hours of making pictures with simple felt shapes. Now your children can enjoy this too, with this Fuzzy Felt Farm Animals set from Amazon. Fuzzy Felt encourages imaginative play and story telling, and is suitable from 3-4 years+ £7.33 Amazon.co.uk 

Fuzzy felt is a fantastically simple gift and toy! picture from Amazon

Fuzzy felt is a fantastically simple gift and toy! picture from Amazon

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]   For toddlers who are just getting active this ‘Lights and sounds’ mat from the Early Learning Centre is a great way to get them started. It helps them to count the numbers up to 10 as well as lights up when they step on certain parts of the mat. You can also have lots of fun teaching them how to hop and jump indoors as well. Suitable from 12 months. £20.00, Early Learning Centre 

 

Early Learning centre Lights and sounds funky footprints mat

Early Learning centre Lights and sounds funky footprints mat

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]  Every mum and dad knows that having a baby in the car is going to end in tears at some point, especially on long journeys! This toy though, from Taf Toys, is intended to distract your baby whilst travelling, as it can be attached to the headrest of the seat and the baby can touch and play with the characters. It is for rear-facing car seats and is suitable from birth. A great little gift if you travel regularly. £22.95 from preciouslittleone.com or £17.95 from John Lewis. 

Taf Toys toe time infant car seat toy will provide a great distraction for your baby. Picture from Binxie.com

Taf Toys toe time infant car seat toy will provide a great distraction for your baby. Picture from Binxie.com

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]   This toy goes back to basics as it is a simple wooden hammer bench – the user knocks the pegs with the hammer and then turns it upside down and does it all over again, without ever knocking them out! Hours of fun are sure to be had. Suitable from 12 months, from Kiddicare.com 

 

This wooden hammer bench goes back to basics for toddlers. Picture: Kiddicare.com

This wooden hammer bench goes back to basics for toddlers. Picture: Kiddicare.com

[mantra-button-dark url=”#”][/mantra-button-dark]  The first toy on the list for the Dream Toys 2013 is the Coast Guard Lego set, but we feel your little ones might get on better with simply a big bucket of Lego! As you probably had one yourself, you know it will last until their teen years and can build up to a collection of thousands of Lego sets to share with friends and siblings. Lego is suitable from 4 years above, but there is also Duplo – bigger bricks for smaller fingers. Lego tub boxes start from around £15 on Ebay and at Asda. 

 

Lego tub set, just one of thousands. Picture from Ebay.

Lego tub set, just one of thousands. Picture from Ebay.

 

DUPLO Cars set, suitable from age 2. Picture: pixmania.com, £18.00

DUPLO Cars set, suitable from age 2. Picture: pixmania.com, £18.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coast Guard lego

 

 

 

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About Author

Kimberly Bond is the Managing Director and founder of Visit from the Stork CIC. Although not a mum, she is passionate about ensuring that young parents have the right information at the time they need it and giving them engaging content through the website and magazine. Kimberly is a first class honours Journalism graduate from Staffordshire University.

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