No, I’m not kidding. I mean, I’m part exaggerating, as we all know nothing on Planet Earth could make Christmas shopping for kids easy, but the team over at Fundamentally Children have bloody well given it their best shot.
Perhaps look away if you’re the parent of a teenager or older child, as I’m sure you’ve been given a very specific Christmas list that you are under no circumstances to sway from.
But for parents of teeny ones like me, you may not really know where to start when it comes to shopping for presents this Christmas. I personally don’t follow many parent blogs (I know, ironic) and I don’t have many mates with babies, so when it comes to the latest trends and toys I’m actually rather clueless. Of course I constantly see bits and pieces that it looks like Remy might possibly enjoy, but then I’ll buy it and it gets tossed into the shiny plastic crap pile with the rest of the… shiny plastic crap.
Enter, The Christmas Good Toy Guide. This thing has saved my bloody life.
Each toy is tested by the Fundamentally Children team and some super lucky children, to ensure that they’re long-lasting, age-appropriate, good for learning and development, and most importantly – that they’re fun!
Each toy in the guide has already passed the “yeah this is pretty decent” test, so you know you can trust them, but additionally they are each rated out of 5 on Fun, Skills Development, and Ease of Use, as well as given a price tag range: £ for under 20 quid, ££ for under 50, and £££ for over 50, which is mint for student parents like me who would like to casually skim over the things I can’t afford.
One of my favourite things about this guide is their “Budget with the Four Gift Rule” page. They outline the concept of buying four specially-selected gifts each year if you’re on a budget; something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. I love this idea and will almost definitely be nabbing it for the years where our purse strings are a little tighter than usual.
Focusing on the 0-2 years section, (because, obviously!) it’s split the toys into categories based on what they’re typically for. There’s a Sensory Babies page, filled with squishy books and musical rings, a Curious Thinkers section, for all of your puzzle and playset needs, and even a Lucky Dip page, for all of the toys that are amazing but might not fit into their own little category. I love this layout, as we tend to end up with loads of similar toys (anyone else have an endless supply of squishy books?), so this gives me a bunch of ideas for different types of things I could buy instead.
The guide age range goes all the way from birth, and ends at “9 years and up”, which I think is fairly acceptable given they slowly stop playing with toys around that age. I personally feel like they’ve covered everyone in this handy little guide though; they include a page for most useful apps if that’s your kinda thing too.
Overall, I can honestly say I’m super impressed. You guys know I wouldn’t recommend a product I didn’t genuinely love, but this has really helped out your fave clueless mama this year! If you’re interested in having a little look yourself, you can find the eBook here: https://www.fundamentallychildren.com/christmas/
Disclaimer: I was paid a small fee for posting about the guide online, but was given no guidance in terms of what I wrote. In short, I could have trashed it if I wanted to, but it’s a very useful resource and I think all parents could benefit from checking it out 🙂