I remember so vividly the one year when I came downstairs on Christmas morning to find a bike under (well next to) the Christmas tree, wrapped in a huge red bow. I'm not sure whether I was still "a believer" at that age but either which way it was the most exciting moment of my life thus far - a mint green racer with white handles. It must have been an 80s thing as I really can't imagine kids on them now....
In amongst our huge range of gifts and stocking fillers for babies through to older children are nestled some really WOW gifts - items that are beautifully crafted and offer endless play opportunity, toys to cherish and pass down to younger siblings and things that will simply stay in the family forever.
Choosing favourites is always so hard but the top of my list has to be the exquisite Noah's Ark from Holztiger. A beautifully constructed wooden boat handcrafted out of maple and beech wood with a detachable cabin and deck. The ark can also be moved about during play thanks to a roller bar attached at the base. It almost has to be seen to be believed, it's so much bigger than you might expect and drew so many little faces to the shop window when we had it there on display! You could add Noah and his wife Naamah as well as any of the 50 or so animals we have online and in-store. It's a lovely one to keep adding characters and animals to over the years.
Banwood bikes have such a gorgeous retro feel to them - inspired by vintage bikes for adults with a strong Scandinavian influence they are so beautifully reminiscent of a bygone era and the adventures I read about in books as a child.We have limited stock of the classic pedal bike in blue and green, ready to despatch in time for Christmas! The lightweight alloy frame comes with a brown faux leather saddle and matching handle grips plus a detachable wicker basket, perfect for furry friends and an all important snack! The cream wheels are 16" and the bike size best suited to 4-7 years - start off with the stabilisers and remove them once your child becomes more confident.
Moon Picnic make some truly lovely wooden goods and its a brand we've stocked for several years now. Our current range includes the beautifully crafted wooden forest mushrooms and eggs in baskets, the ever popular weather station and, due to arrive any day now, the stunning new perpetual calendar!
The wooden calendar features a beautiful original design by Moon Picnic and is made from sustainable FSC solid beech wood. It is perfect for encouraging number, day and month learning as well as planning for special days ahead! You can change the calendar by repositioning the magnetic discs for any month of any year – it provides such a beautiful combination of playing and learning and is sure to become an heirloom piece in any family. This lovely wooden calendar is available to pre-order now and is due with us the early part of December.
For the littlest ones you can't go far wrong with a rocker and we have a number of different types available. There's a pretty pony and caramel rocking horse in a typically traditional design from Janod as well as a beautiful blue elephant. We also have the iconic Keith Haring crawling baby from Vilac and a stunning pegasus and palamino pony by PlanToys - these are made from sustainable curved rubber wood and are recommended from 12 months of age.
Korean designers Oioiooi have created an ingenius and adorable alphabet block set consisting of 60 solid wooden blocks made of beech and walnut and finished with beeswax. The set comes with a picture book and a cotton storage bag in a sturdy drawer box and each letter has corresponding shapes that your little ones can find and match together in a variety of themes perfect for story telling and decoration. It's both beautiful and educational and one of my favourite new products this year.
There are so many other items that I haven't touched upon - the vintage metal ride-on racers from Vilac, the stunning Victorian dolls house by PlanToys, the play kitchen and tool bench from Sebra, the wooden knights castle by Holztiger, table top games such as football, pinball, hockey and bowling, ALL the Maileg - I could honestly go on and on forever!
Lots and lots to look at online, wonderful for Christmas, birthdays or just because!