If you’re wondering what to get your youngsters for Christmas this year, or are planning to donate to a charity Christmas gift appeal, I’ve put together a wonderful collection of fun and educational gifts for all ages – from toddlers to teens. Plus, you can win a kids’ microscope kit in my festive giveaway so read on to enter…
With festive tunes playing and fairy lights all around, I’m enjoying a cup of cinnamon tea while I put together today’s Christmas gift guide. And I’m SO excited to share these fantastic toys and gadgets with you – but not just because of the festiveness of it all – but also because these are some of the gorgeous gifts that I’m taking to my local gift appeal this year.
GIFTS FOR TODDLERS
We don’t have any children in our household but that doesn’t mean that we don’t get excited about buying gifts for the kids in our life at Christmas. And we are even more stoked to be able to gather together some fantastic presents to take along to The Benjamin Foundation in Norwich this month.
Our nieces and nephews are mostly in the toddler-zone, so I usually turn to environmentally responsible brand Hape for lovely gifts for this age group. Their toys are educational, of high quality and have won countless awards for long endurance.
Plus, Hape’s global charity program “We Care We Share” donates a toy to a child in need in Syria, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Nepal, Greece or to an autistic child in China each time that a set of BLOCKS is purchased – so that’s a double-charity-gift win! For our donation to the Benjamin Foundation, we chose the Caterpillar train set and the Discovery Train, both of which are suitable for 18months+.
GIFTS FOR KIDS
There are SO many gift appeals for children all around the country (and the world, for that matter) that there’s sure to be one nearby to you. Our local charity helps families in the region and the gifts that are donated are given to children, teenagers and young people who might not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas.
Let’s start with something useful – the Playbrush. It’s a small device that turns any manual toothbrush (one included) into a smart brush that teaches kids how to brush their teeth. It connects to an app that has free interactive games that reward the time they spend brushing their teeth. What a great way to encourage kids to look after their teeth, eh?
Another gift that’s great for slightly older children is a crafting kit, which is why I snapped up a couple of these Sew-Your-Own Elvis the Elephant tote bag kits when I spotted them in the Rex London sale. It’s suitable for children of primary school age (with adult supervision) and will provide hours of entertainment while they sew their own bag.
I also found some gadgets in the children’s gifts collection at Prezzybox that I can imagine would go down a storm with older children. The ‘World’s Smallest Walkie Talkies’ would be SO much fun for siblings to play with together and with a range of up to 30m, they could chat from separate bedrooms! The animal torch can project 24 images of animals onto any surface and is a fun way to learn about different species of mammals and reptiles from around the world. Plus, it includes batteries, which is an important consideration when you’re donating a present to a gift appeal.
I also couldn’t resist getting this Giant Bubble Gun with LED lights – probably because I would have LOVED to have one of these as a child. This kit also contains refills of bubble liquid, providing ongoing enjoyment for children aged 3+.
GIFTS FOR TEENS
Charity gift appeals aren’t just for kids – many charities support young carers and teenagers and young people at risk of being homeless, who may have arrived in an accommodation centre with very few possessions of their own. It can be easy to overlook this older age group when shopping for toys and treats for a gift appeal, so here are a few ideas to get you started…
I’ve gone for a few practical items, as well as some fun games for teens, starting with ion8 leak proof water bottles, which are BPA free and have a hygienic flip top cover. ion8 have collaborated with Friends of the Earth to end plastic pollution and create reusable water bottles so I’m happy to gift these bottles to teenagers.
Another practical gift is stationary, and it’s one of the recommended items for older children on the charity gift appeal list. Of course, this gift could be given to any age, which is what makes it such a handy gift for appeals as they can wrap it up for any child or teenager. I’ve gone for some easy-to-carry compact ruled notebooks and equally mini, chunky Shorty pens from Pen Heaven. These will suit teenagers and young adults and can be combined as a set that can be wrapped up together.
But it doesn’t have to be useful things for the older age-group. They will still appreciate games and gadgets, so I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes and imagine what they might enjoy. This air hockey table was a definite winner when I spotted it on the Prezzybox website. It can be played on any table with just the contents of the kit, so it’ll be a fun activity for Christmas and beyond.
I also liked the idea of these little Make-Your-Own kits from Rex London for teens and older children. Although they might seem better suited to kids at first glance, I personally know a 30+ year old who would be perfectly happy to receive one of the kits in their Christmas stocking! The retro style appeals to most age groups and it’s always fun to build something with your own hands – especially during that quiet time on Christmas afternoon or boxing day. And there’s no glue or scissors required, making them easy to build and enjoy straight away.
Also, with the popularity of TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, I know plenty of teenagers who are into science (and they’ll certainly be studying it for their GCSEs) so I thought this retro-style microscope kit would make a great gift for this age group. It includes slides, labels, tweezers and collection bottles to allow budding scientists to start working with this lab apparatus straight away.
And the great news is that Rex London have offered my readers the chance to win one of these fun-yet-educational Introductory Microscope kits in my giveaway so enter the competition via the Rafflecopter below – good luck! And please let me know which charity gift appeal you’re supporting this year – if you share details of your local appeal in the comments below it’ll be a great resource for other people in your area PLUS your comment counts as an entry into the giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Competition open to UK residents only. Giveaway runs from 17th November to 12th December 2019. The winner will be chosen at random from all Rafflecopter entries and will be contacted by email. The winner will need to provide a UK delivery address to receive their prize.
Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂
It is the local Shopping Centre.
We have several places in my local town
We have one in our local specsavers, collecting for the local womens hospice
We have a food bank at the end of our street that is currently running a Christmas appeal
We don’t have one locally although we always donate to our local children’s hospice. Thetford is close to my in-laws.
There is a local lady who collects for the Snowdrop Trust annual Christmas Party in Bognor Regis. People can donate new toys at drop-off points at TINT hairdressers in Emsworth, Portsmouth Rugby Club and Sonner Toys in Portsmouth, as well as at the FPR offices in Bognor, Chichester, Havant and Brighton. They provide inhome support for children with terminal illnesses.
None that I am aware of. Thanks for the chance.
We have one in Canterbury
Our local Sainsburys in Colne Lancashire have a big collection from customers each year its placed at the end of the tills so you can just pop something in as you do your shopping. Fab idea
the keel row in blyth collect gifts for kids, and they do a fantastic job
I know the school is doing the shoebox appeal one, we have given a few bits already
at our local tree if life centre
we have an unofficial food back in our village i support
There isn’t one.
Local Scouts & Church
At Stapleford Community Centre, it’s called ‘Shoebox Appeal
Our local community centre – provides hot food and drinks –
They are always so grateful of donations
we have food clubs in most areas of the city and the food bank as well xx
We have one at our local church in town
Our village Church xx
Local Bank in town.
My daughters school did one
We have a few local in our town, always give when we can.
The local church, they gift to families in need
Food bank and also at school and cubs have collections
i donate to a charity on our local high street every year x
A Women’s Aid shelter in our nearest town that I collect for every year. There is also sadly a foodbank opened up in our village so I will contributing to that too.
I always contribute to the local food bank every little helps x
Charity closest to my heart is Demelza Children’s Hospice
I give to the local food bank, and in the supermarkets i always place an item in the trolleys for the homeless
Local Samaritan’s Purse plus local food bank.
I have one in my town. The local secondary school has a toy bank appeal
I always give as much as I can to the local foodbank here especially at Christmas time.
we have a number of collection points in our village for both toys and food
The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval is close to me and they collect Christmas gifts to donate hundreds of vulnerable children in North Tyneside. We always donate.