Top 4 affordable Christmas gifts for 4 year olds

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Your 4 year old may have very specific tastes and likes or dislikes, but there are certain presents which won’t break the bank and which I believe all kids of this age will love.

Here are some ideas for Christmas 2017:

2 Wheel Scooter

Generally at this age they are progressing from a 3 wheel to a 2 wheel and there’s lots of different brands out there from My little pony to Paw patrol. My little girl loves riding to and from preschool on hers and it saves a lot of time; I can hardly keep up. A foldable scooter is very handy for when they suddenly decide they’ve had enough… inevitable when you’re still a long way from home!

All Set for Preschool

Magnetic 1st calendar: English and Spanish

My 4 year old has started wanting to know what’s happening each day, what day of the week it is and seems to be getting a general understanding of months. I felt at this age a calender helps them to know what’s going on and understand months and seasons too. I’m going to get this calender for my daughter for Christmas as it also shows the words in Spanish, which is the language they teach at our local primary school too so it should be useful for years to come! You can also buy these calenders in English only; available in blue or pink.

Little Live Talking Bird

Little Live Bird and Cage

This interactive bird has given my little girl hours of amusement. Suitable for both boys and girls, they can press the button to record their voice and it plays back in a funny parrot style pitch. The cage has space for 2 birds so they can collect a second as well as the other pets in the Little Live range.

As well as the recordings, the birds also have set tweeting songs and phrases which will amuse you little ones.

Tell the Time Wooden Clock

Whether they’ve already started school or not, over the next year teaching them to tell the time in a fun way will be a vital skill. You can play together with this clock and teach them as you play!

Best Buys for Newborn Twins

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If you’re expecting twins, you can lighten the load by getting prepared. Aside from getting 2 of most things, I found a few products which may help you in the first few months or years.

Uppa Baby Vista 2015 with buggy board

Double buggy – the obvious one, however the hardest choice to make. There are so many makes and models, side by side or tandem. The most popular double buggies out there are the Bugaboo Donkey, the Mountain Buggy Duet, and the Uppa Baby Vista to name just a few. I chose the Uppa Baby Vista as most of the side by side prams wouldn’t fit through our front door and it’s been a fantastic pram. We used the carrycots downstairs for day and night sleeping so they got alot of use and it was so handy being able to lift the Maxicosi car seats on and off. I’ve now also got a second hand Baby City Jogger which I bought for our hols to Crete but now lives in the car boot. This saves setting the Uppa Baby up and down and lifting it in and out of the car.

Changing table downstairs – I didn’t need this with my first singleton but this has been a MUST with the twins for the first 15 months, at which point it became a dangerous climbing frame and had to go! It helped to store all the nappy changing essentials and spare clothes downstairs without leaving the other baby unattended. When they get on the move its also handy to change them higher up out of reach of their twin who might try and steal your wipes, run off with the nappy, eat the poo and other monkey business they get up to!!

Swivel bath seats – the stage when they first start sitting before being fully independent is difficult and requires many pairs of hands in the bath. I always do bath time with my husband but even so it was so much less stressful to know they weren’t going to topple backwards or even try and climb out when they got on the move. This freed one of us up to organise things for bedtime or do something as luxurious as go to the loo! The only downside is sometimes it was awkward getting them in/out of the seats and needed the 2 of us but worth it even for the short period we used them.

Bouncy chairs… LOTS! – you can’t really have too many of these. I think we had 4. Keeping some upstairs is handy if you need somewhere to safely put them whilst settling or changing the other baby or getting dressed or even having a shower yourself if you’re lucky enough!) We also bought a rocking swing seat which helped settle one of the twins. After a few weeks when we started the night shifts my husband would place them in the bouncy chairs and sit crossed legged in front of them to do the bottle feed.

Mastering tandem feeding with the Harmony Duo Feeding Cushion

Harmony duo feeding cushion – this was an essential for tandem breastfeeding but it’s also useful for propping up the babies to bottle feed. Look around at other pillows though as well, as there’s a great range out there like the Peanut and Piglet and the Twin Z cushion. Don’t worry about the price for short term use as they maintain good value on the second hand market.

Baby monitor with 2 cameras – we used, and would recommend, the Motorola MBP36s. The sound and picture quality are both fantastic and you have the option of adding a second camera. This has come in really useful for the nights when we’ve had to separate them (we keep a travel cot in the spare office room) and also when we’ve been away and found it easier to sleep them in separate rooms.

Moses basket with rocking stand x2 – Many people, myself included, stress about what to buy before the baby arrives, not knowing how or where they’ll sleep best. I’d suggest just getting 2 Moses baskets with rocking stands and then even if you end up getting a co sleeping set up (a next to me crib or cot up to side of bed) you may still use them downstairs. We used 2 Moses baskets upstairs and used the pram carrycots downstairs with stands (these were designed for overnight sleeping). Saying that, mine loved to snuggle together in the same moses basket or carrycot for the first few weeks which was adorable!

There are so many baby gadgets out there it can get overwhelming and when the babies arrive you’ll be tempted to buy everything under the sun to make life easier and help them to sleep. Try not to think you’ve got to get everything before the babies arrive and just wait and see how your babies respond and settle. Just play it by ear a little bit and don’t forget you can always do online next day delivery once they’re born for anything you missed.

This is only a list of the things that helped us and of course all babies are different so please add a comment if you bought anything for your twins you couldn’t have coped without!

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Boomerein Twin Rein Review

My first video and first product test is below! Be kind as I’m still learning but I had lots of fun making this little video and it’s spurred me on to make some more and try out other twin products.

Let me know what other twin related videos you’d like to see or products you’d like to see reviews of. I’ll do my best to share more with you when I find time amongst the crazyness of parenting and working life.

Day 12: Potty training and Low Morale

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As our holidays are coming to an end and the hubbie is back to work tomorrow we were both a bit down in the dumps as we travelled back home.

We’d been staying at my parents house for the past 2 nights and this morning the tiddler had 3 accidents both with and without clothes on her bottom half. These left me feeling like we’d taken a few steps backwards as they all happened in the house where she’s usually great. I guess I could put it down to being in a new place and not remembering where the potty was.

I was tempted to just put a nappy on her and started to wonder if she just wasn’t really ready. I started doubting I should be doing this and worrying that accidents would make her feel embarrassed.

On the journey back home I started reading parent forums and realised I wasn’t alone with the set back. I also discovered so many comments from other parents who found that their tiddlers would only go on potty when they were naked on their lower half. Noone seemed to be able to suggest a solution to this and it seems there are so many frustrated parents coping with constant accidents as soon as any trousers or underwear go on.

With further research I found a potty training technique (probably one of many!) called the Fellom Diaper Free Toddler Programme. This reinforces the idea that in the early stages of potty training underwear or close fitting clothes on the lower half cause confusion with nappies. He suggests that for the first 3 months the toddler should be naked below the waist and wear loose fitting trousers (or skirts or dresses) with nothing underneath when outside the house. After 3 months with no accidents he then states underwear can be introduced. Training pants are ideal to save the odd accident.

When we arrived home and checked the post our training pants and car/pram seat protector that I’d ordered from Amazon before we went away had arrived. Being back in the house the tiddler started running to the potty herself and did 2 poos as well! This gave me the boost I needed that she was definitely ready, as even upstairs where she couldn’t see the potty she asked Daddy for the potty and was able to hold until she was downstairs (she still resists going on the big toilet).

We don’t feel the need for the sticker chart now she’s got the hang of it and just give lots of praise. For out of the house I’m going to try and get some loose fitting trousers and carry on commando until she’s fully got the hang of it. We’re going to have the odd accident so carrying spare clothes, timing toilet runs and using the Seat Protector
should help. Feeling positive!

Garden Toy Favourites

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This British weather is a real tease at the moment. One minute it’s baking hot and we’re slapping the suncream on and pursuading the tiddler to keep a sun hat on, the next it’s crazy hailstones and we’re trying to remember where we threw the wooly hats in our excited “summer has arrived!!” dance.

My one and a half year old has loved playing out in the garden but she started to get a bit bored with just taking some of her indoor toys outside. She was happy for a bit with her ride on car, pushing her dolly around and ‘helping’ me out by digging out flowers weeds but soon we started buying garden toys to keep her amused…

Here’s a few garden toys that have been a hit so far this year for my toddler.

Bubble Wand
This bubble wand was only a couple of quid and my tiddler has had so much fun from it. Plus once the mixture has run out we can just refill it with washing up liquid and keep going!


Aside from the standard way a slide should be used, the tiddler has found other ways to entertain herself with the slide. For example rolling balls down it, sending her teddies down, climbing up it. When it was a really hot day a couple of weeks ago we poured water down the slide and had it going into her paddling pool!

A great way to tire them out before bed. We picked up this second hand one for £5 from Gumtree.

Watering can
The tiddler loves to copy everything I do in the garden so I bought her a dinky watering can. We planted green beans just before Easter and she’s been loving watering them (and her feet) and watching them grow.


Toddler Swing
I chose a toddler swing that will adapt into a normal swing when she’s older. I think we’ll get many years out of it as she first used it aged 6 months.

With summer nearly here do you have any other fun garden toys a toddler would like? I’m looking for a few more ideas and hopefully we might actually get some decent weather for it!

These are a few of my Favourite Things…

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… are probably not on the list of my tiddler’s favourite things.

I feel like I’ve been writing too many negative things recently about things that wind me up and my mummy fails so here’s a more positive look into the life of my 1-and-a-half year old cutie. As well as “mine” and “no”, one of her most used words is also “wow!!” It still amazes me and brings a huge smile to my face seeing her delight at the simplest of things in the world around us that, as adults, simply just don’t impress anymore.

These are a few of my tiddlers favorite things:


Love how fish are greeted with a “wow”… I feel no need to pay lots to take my tiddler to an aquarium when she is frankly in awe of fish in a pet shop. The World Museum in Liverpool was a good trip too as it’s free and has a small aquarium on one of the floors. Having said that, this photo was taken when we went to the SeaLife Centre for my Goddaughter’s 1st birthday. I must admit it was amazing and they all loved it!

Mr ‘Bubble’ (aka Tumble!)

Her face lights up and she sings along to the theme tune in her own babbling way with the odd recognisable word thrown in when she can. She loves carrying round her spotty bag filled with more of her favourite things.


In the language of Peppa Pig’s brother, George, she excitedly shouts “Dine-saur” when she sees a Dinosaur. We recently went to the Natural History Museum in London and she nearly fell over backwards looking up in awe at the huge skeleton in the entrance hall. It was brilliant seeing her running into the entrance shouting “WOW!!! DINE-SAUR, DINE-SAUR!!!” Must make the most of this before the ‘I’m-too-cool-for-this-crap-boring-museum’ teenage years.

Playing Mummy


Feeding my baba

The most played-with toy she received for Christmas when she was 15 months old has got to be her Dolly, or “baba” as she calls it. I already love her so much but when I see her affection towards her “baba” I think I love her even more! She puts her dolly into her highchair and feeds it with a spoon (don’t need to spend money on special dolly highchairs!!) and plants loving kisses on her lips. She amazes me with her insight into looking after a baby when she puts the dolly into her pram in the hallway, covers it with a blanket and rocks it forwards and backwards saying “sshhh, sshhh, sshhh”.

The other day I heard her in the kitchen saying “oh dear baba, oh dear” again and again and went in to find the dolly had fallen out of her toy pushchair and was face down on the floor. I imagine you’d panic if you had a newborn and heard “oh dear baba” coming from the other room!!

Dancing with the Tombliboos

Every evening before bed we watch In The Night Garden and her most favourite part which has her abandoning her milk and leaping off the sofa is when the Tombliboos do their dance. She makes us laugh as she sways side to side, stamping her feet and turning round in circles. Yesterday she grabbed both of my hands to pull me off the sofa saying “dance” and we danced around the room in fits of giggles! So much for winding down before bed eh?


This is a new game and now she can say “horsie” she accompanies the word by climbing onto our backs and giggles as we ride her around the house. It’s funny when she wants to play at an inappropriate time though, like in the middle of story telling at the local library!

So those are a few of my tiddler’s favourite things. There are so many things that amaze her and I know I must enjoy this young, innocent age as they grow up so fast. She inspires me every day to look at the world around me in a new way. I’d never normally notice a little ladybird on a leaf as I rush about my day and it’s no bad thing being made to slow down and notice the little details.


Carrying my Mr Tumble Spotty Bag

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Rainy Day Playdoh

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Rainy Day Play

We all struggle to amuse our bored tiddlers sometimes on rainy days. The other day I just wanted to slum it in my PJs and couldn’t face battling the wind and rain to get to a playgroup. She was getting a bit bored of her usual toys and  had ‘helped’ me hang the washing up, do the hoovering and was bored of colouring. So we managed to have a fun hour with Playdoh, some plastic cookie cutters, Creation Station Dough Tools
and a Dough Modelling Plastic Rolling Pin.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own then here’s a good recipe:

Recipe for Playdoh

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tarter
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup boiling water
Food colouring.

Mix the flour, salt, tarter and oil together. Put food colouring into the pan of boiling water and the dry ingredients. Cook over medium heat until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Knead a few times let cool. If it remains too sticky add a little more flour until it’s just right!

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Quick easy Birthday or Father’s Day card!

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This is a really simple, non messy but really personalised card you can make to send a loved one from your tiddler. Whether they’re a newborn or a toddler they’ll love helping you make this card.

What you needimage
Piece of coloured card  (same or 2 different colours)

A pen.



A baby or child’s hand to draw round.

How to make it
Draw round your baby or toddlers hand onto the coloured card. You’ll need a right hand and a left hand to cut out.  Or if they’re older they could do this themselves.

Cut out the 2 hand prints.

Cut a rectangle of coloured card and write ‘THIS MUCH’ along the length. Make it in a concertina. Use this to join the hands together by glueing each end to the back of each hand.

It’s now pretty much finished! Just write “Daddy I love you…” on the front handprint. (Or “Grandma I love you…”) Write your greetings on the handprints depending on the occasion and don’t forget to write “love from…” on the back handprint!

Top 3 Birthday or Christmas presents for a 1 year old girl

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Sometimes it’s hard to know what to buy for a 1 year old. You want to get something that can be used right now, but something that will also be good value for money and last a while as they get older. I’ve put together a list of my Top 3 presents our little girl tiddler has loved the most, has played with the most and that I think will last for a least a couple of years as she grows and develops. In last 3 months She has had her 1st birthday and Christmas and out of all the fantastic presents she received the Top 3 are:-

1) Toy Kitchen

At this age, copying what mummy and daddy do and say is the main way tiddlers learn. My little one will even mop the floor for me if she sees me do it first! Ever since we spent ages one afternoon hanging out in a shop whilst she played with their toy kitchen, I’ve been desperate to find one that is compact and affordable. I found the Plum Cabin Wooden Role Play Kitchen in the Black Friday sales on Amazon and then on Christmas Eve my husband and I joined the countless other parents up and down the land in the annual DIY-a-thon putting it together! She loves playing with the pans and utensils, taking her toy food in and out of the oven, and opening and closing the doors. Even if your tiddler isn’t walking yet they’d still love standing up to the kitchen surface to bang the pots and pans. I’m hoping she’ll get a few years of enjoyment out of it… and then be practised enough to make us breakfast in bed! 😉

2) Dolly

I never really saw my tiddler as a ‘girly girl’. She is in some ways quite boistrous and will destroy towers and throw all the furniture out of her Happyland house, however since she turned 1 I’ve started noticing more girly traits. For example she takes an interest in shoes and will sit for ages trying (and failing) to get her shoes on which just surpasses the cuteness scale. She is also so loving and caring when she plays with the dollies at the childminders’ house. I turned up to pick her up once and she was fondly placing a dolly in a toy highchair and was then pretending to feed it. When her childminder reported how she loves to play with the dollies and look after them I just had to add it to her Christmas wish-list.

Her Aunty and Uncle chose the ‘My baby sister’ doll from ELC which she has taken a fancy to. It has a soft body which makes it a bit more cuddly and she affectionately hugs her dolly in close to her chest and carries her around everywhere. It comes with a dummy, bib, and a bottle which when placed to the mouth makes the cheeks move to make a suckling motion. It also says “mama” and “dada” when you press the dolly’s hands and giggles when you tickle the tummy. The good thing about the dolly is that there are so many other accessories and things you can add to make play time changeable. She received a dolly pushchair from her grandparents and loves to push her dolly around the house and also bathes the dolly in the sink of the toy kitchen (see above). In the future I’d like to get dolly nappies, bathing accessories, and grannie has offered to knit some dolly clothes.

3) Ride on Car

This is a present she received for her 1st birthday that has had A LOT of use. She’s just not stopped playing with it and usually goes for this before any other toy, dragging it both in and outdoors. It has definitely had different uses as my tiddler has grown and developed. Initially using it as a walking aid to push along, lifting the seat to transfer smaller items in and out of it, playing with the phone on the front and then she started climbing on to it, sitting on the seat and pushing it backwards and can now walk her legs to travel forwards. We get lots of giggles when I push her around the house on it and she loves tooting the horn! I’ve had friends to visit with children aged 2 and 3 who have also enjoyed playing on it so it should last for a while yet. You don’t need to spend much either!