For those of you that know me, you’ll know that I’m not good at sitting still for long, so when I found out I’d be in a cast for 6-8 weeks, I knew I’d need to find some fun activities that I could do with my daughter, that would distract me from the strict instructions to not go anywhere, while keeping an easily excitable kid still for a while!
She isn’t a fan of watching TV (I’ve tried so hard to get her to watch a movie!!) and gets restless very easily, but does love crafts, drawing, roleplay and creative activities. So how about toys?
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for affordable gifts or just looking for an after-school activity that you know will keep them entertained for hours, days or even years, here are some of Lily’s favourites that I know will grow with her for a very long time!
1. My Fairy Garden – Interplay UK
I bought the My Fairy Garden Lilypad Garden in a clearance sale before Christmas, and I would definitely recommend it for children who love to use their imagination.
The My Fairy Garden sets allow you to step into a make-believe fairy world, while growing your own miniature garden – simple, easy and fun!
Lily was instantly in love after seeing her one was called Lilypad, but the sets come in all shapes, sizes and with boy and girl fairies, to give your kids the choice of something you know they’ll fall in love with!
She loves putting Lily inside her little home, giving her tea, putting her on the swing, and blowing the frog around the moat, but most of all she was so excited to plant the grass seeds and watch the grass grow!
The My Fairy Garden sets really do inspire kids, help them fuel their minds, while learning about growing their own plants or flowers in their own special way.
For her birthday we are looking to get her the night light fairy garden, but I do know she would love them all, and we’ve even bought some for friends as you can pick some packs up for only £5 – £10!
For more on My Fairy Garden, click here…
2. Fuzzikins – Interplay UK
Those who follow us will know that Lily is possibly one of the greatest Fuzzikins fangirls!
She fell in love with them at Gloworm Festival last year and still insists they have to come on every single adventure with us.
She has the Fuzzikins campervan that we love to take on daytrips or weekends away, thanks to them being able to be cleaned for every new day and packed away in the campervan along with the pens – no mess, all in one place, and so easy to get out when she wants them… not to mention the fun of taking them all on their own adventures in their campervan!
For Christmas, we then got her the Fuzzikins school and she was totally blown away, spending at least 6 hours of Christmas day and each of the following days playing with them… so much to keep even the most creative minds happy!
They not only come with their own fold out school, complete with dining area, classroom and playground, but also a cute little bell, and loads of accessories to colour in and play with too.
What’s more, they can be folded up back into the box very easily, leaving it quickly tidied up between plays, or back out again when she wants them – particularly when they have a school bus (aka campervan!) to catch home!
She really enjoys roleplaying her school days with them and taking them on “school trips” too, so she can’t wait for more to add to her collection – especially because they can all be easily cleaned to colour again… and I totally love the excuse for joining in with the colouring too! 😉
Individual packs can be picked up for under £5 – so great stocking fillers, gift ideas or for a special pocket money treat too!
For more on Fuzzikins, click here
3. Sylvanian Families
Now, these are something else Lily fell in love with at Gloworm Festival, and now her collection is beyond growing… it is blooming!!
Her favourites are the nursery series babies and everything they can play on – from the little trainset through to the adventure pirate ship, however she loves taking them on their ferris wheel, roleplaying with the parents and children in the ice cream parlour and house, through to taking them on their sunshine nursery bus!
The opportunities with Sylvanian Families are endless, and having played with them myself as a kid, I’m more than happy to play with them with her – especially as I know they are all such great quality and she will play with them for years to come!
What’s more, we visited the pop-up store in London 3 times while it was up, and that just fuelled her love of Freya Chocolate even more!
Although Sylvanian Familes aren’t often in the sale, you can get surprise bags for under £3 and the nursery series for £10 – £15, so they would make lovely gifts – and great for stocking up on when you do see them in the sales!
Now, what’s next to add to her collection?!
For more on Sylvanian Families, click here
4. Coding Critters – Learning Resources UK
For something more educational, but still just as fun, we bought Lily the Coding Critters for Christmas – and we were definitely not disappointed!
This STEM toy teaches kids as young as 4 the basics of coding, without even the need for a computer!
Lily is a big fan of dogs, so we knew instantly to get her the dog version, but you can get them in packs with cats, bunnies and dinosaurs too!
She can use the little book to help guide Ranger and her pup Zip on little adventures, through the tunnel, collecting the ball and even giving each other kisses!
Switch them out of Coding mode and you can also play with them too – so much fun in one little pack!
As your kids get used to them and get more familiar, you can take them on more complicated coding adventures, but for now Lily loves the basics, playing with Zip on the slide, and the little noises he makes when you pet him!
Learning Resources UK have a whole host of STEM toys designed to make learning and coding fun for kids of all ages – and I really can’t recommend the Coding Critters enough!
They are £40 through the Learning Resources UK website but you can get 15% off just by signing up to their newsletter!
For more on Coding Critters, click here
5. Gelli Play & more – Zimpli Kids
So, this is something I’m adding to this list as I was very sceptical about all of the slime and gel products from ZimpliKids – I was nervous about the texture, the mess, and how to get rid of it too!
I was totally proved wrong and although was very kindly gifted some, I’ve donated several packs to her school as they have giant sinks and enjoy sensory fun activities like this – the teachers were so happy with them!
From making Gelli Slime through to the Gelli Play and the Snowball Play, I couldn’t pinpoint a product she likes the most!
She loves to build with it, mash it, make pies, make mountains for her toys, and basically just make a mess with it!
Am I bothered? Not anymore.
Although I’m still reluctant to bath her in it, now I know it is eco friendly, UK manufactured with no nasty things, and just washes away by adding water, I’m more than happy to let her play with all the products in the inflatable bowl or on a tray – including burying false teeth in it for Halloween to building a snowboard slope for her Fuzzikins… plus, she loves it!
It keeps her quiet for hours, definitely fuels her imagination, and just one pack can last a long time – plus you can pick them up for under £5!
What’s more, they also have everything from novelty bath bombs to emoji chocolate making kits, so definitely a brand to check out for school class party gifts!
For more on Zimpli Kids products, click here!
Lily is 4 years old and currently half way through EYFS at school. These reviews are based on some of her most played-with toys and activities at home. If you have families with young children and can recommend any other toys, just drop me a line as we are always open for some inspiration!