5 gifts for children that stole my heart this festive season
I know it’s quite untraditional for a business to list their favourite products from competing businesses, but truth be told fabula is far more than just a business to me. It is an expression of my parenting experiences and an honest attempt to offer others a solution to a problem we might collectively share. And that’s why this festive season I happily soaked in all the content and advertising from others in the (educational) toy market to share my genuine opinion, as a parent first and the Founder of fabula second on products I’ve loved! So here we go:
#5 Bosch Work Bench. So this year we moved countries – and therefore homes. Needless to say that comes with a lot of DIY, and I have been both surprised and amazed at the amount of interest my 3-year-old daughter Ayra takes in it. She loves opening things up, figuring out how they work, fit into each other and building something amazing out of apparently nothing. And her set of Bosch work tools have been absolutely fabulous to give her that slight bit of extra support through safe (parent-assisted) DIY, maintaining a delicate balance between going too hard core and being purely play-tools. Not to mention, help teach a very important life skill early!
Available at thetoyshop.com at £16
#4 Small & Bright subscription boxes. If there is one thing this year has taught me, it is that finding engaging activities for children isn’t just a full-time job, it’s the kind that needs you to commit to regular overtimes too. And that’s why the subscription boxes by Small & Bright are absolutely life saving brimming with age-relevant exciting activities that are all designed to encourage the right developmental stage of your child. With different contents between the ages of newborn and 24 months, each box has been carefully curated to offer something new every month.
Available at smallandbright.co.uk at £33 per month
#3 Sheni and Teni – Thundergirl’s Self Awareness Workbook. Even as a brand, Sheni and Teni resonates with me quite strongly because of their single minded ethos to create an accessible and abundant avenue for children to learn about the African culture. But this workbook specifically is amazing because it holds their hands through an exercise of self awareness where children can ask themselves questions that are designed to lead them through a deeper understanding of their own personality. Rare, organic and honest!
Available at sheniandteni.com/ at £10
#2 Telephone Money Box at After Noah. Truth be told I absolutely love After Noah. I am fascinated by the store, their family owned proposition and overall, the general culture of the business. And this time of the year, the store feels straight out of Jingle Jangle! But this Money Box specifically warmed my heart because this year we began the conversation around money with Ayra. She has begun receiving a coin every Monday and Wednesday which she saves in her Money Box and spends some of it every Saturday on her weekly sweet treat. I’ve learnt that most shops and brands don’t design Money Boxes for children, they do it for parents who are the pockets spending the money. That is why it is so difficult to find one that isn’t fragile, can handle lots of opens and shuts and most importantly allow the child a visual of the money they have kept inside – because that is the single biggest driver to encourage saving! And this Telephone Money Box ticks all of those boxes.
Available at afternoah.com at £10.99
#1 The Year We Muddled Through. No one can deny that 2020 has been quite unlike any other year of our lives. This book is a great summary as well as a look at the silver lining of this crazy time that encourages children to recognise, comprehend and accept the changes the world has gone through. But beyond the rhymes, the book also pulls the string of every adult’s heart reminding us about the strength and beauty in every transformation, summarising a year none of us are likely to forget. I think it would be a pity to bring 2020 to a close without leafing through this book, either with your bub or just alone.
Available at waterstones.com/ at £7.99
So that’s my list – obviously quite heavily influenced by the route my life charted this year. But when I think about it, maybe this year, this pandemic, has brought more in common across all our lives, than we would have any other year. So I hope you find these products just as relevant and exciting as I did and we can continue to share notes, as engaged parents. Here's wishing you a blessed festive week with your loved ones!