Katy Loves...

Last Minute – Kids


It’s nearly here!

So here’s a bit of inspiration as you dash around this week before the kids break up ON FRIDAY! *hyperventilates **makes another list ***updates list

FURRY FUN – This weekend we went to Oxford’s Build a Bear Workshop and Ria and Dom couldn’t have been more helpful as Akira and Kaya built the coveted Elsa and Ana, filling them with just the right amount of stuffing to make them huggable.  Who knew arguably the biggest stars of 2014 could come in bear form?!  We chose not to put a song in our bears as I didn’t relish the thought of “Let It Go” blasting out at midnight they were lovely enough already!  There are tons of accessory for them, including wigs which the ears poke through!  Genius!  LOTS of envious glances on the streets of Oxford.

BUILDABEARBABY ANNABEL – I grew up with a BIG love of dolls and my kids seem to have inherited the nurturing instinct!  These are just the best doll for kids of all ages, girls and boys.  Here’s why.  I’m actually <coughs> the official Baby Annabel “Mumbassador”! *fluffs feathers

KNEX – We’re new to the Knex game and loving it already as it seems the only limitation is your mind!  I’m always searching for things that Kaya and Akira can do together aged 8 and 5, and this is one of them.  I know this motorised Ferris Wheel will totally float Kaya’s boat on Christmas Day and, at almost a metre high it should look pretty impressive when it’s finished.  The little treasure chest holds  endless possibilities for Akira too and I look forward to seeing what he can dream up!

KNEXSUPER-ME-HERO – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this brand of backpacks and bags!  We went to Texas in the summer and I discovered the brand there. Except I remembered I wanted to get a bag for Akira on the flight home.  Yup. Finger on the pulse me! Thankfully the wonderful people at Gigi Brooks sell them over here!  Hooray!  A backpack with a cape and mask?  How perfect can a kids life get?!  And you can even have them monogrammed.  And the Gigi Brooks luxury packaging? DIVINE!  Most impressive box they’ll open this Christmas!

DRESS UP – We love a bit of dressing up in our house.  And that’s just me and the Mr!  No, seriously, I love watching the kids imaginations take off as they decide who they’re going to be next and what adventures they’ll be having.  All Fancy Dress  have helped us out at the last minute for a couple of school history days as they have such an amazing selection – Kaya was an inspired Boudica for Hero Day!  We had a dressing up chest in my childhood home and I love being able to encourage my own kids to get creative now.  I’ve got them both Egyptian Costumes for Christmas, so we can head to ancient Egypt and warm our chilly bones!

COSTUMESCIENCE SETS – I’m a huge fan of getting the kids involved and interested in the world around them and science sets are a great way to do that!  Thames and Kosmos have the most amazing range for all age groups and my two love doing their experiments.  The Chemistry Candy set is a big hit in my house and I know these magnets are set to be huge too!  I secretly love how the sets enable them learn whilst having fun and I’m pleased to say that, already, Kaya is properly excited by science.

PIMP THAT ROOM  – I recently got these FAB star wall stickers for Akira’s bedroom from Mamas & Papas. Of course, Christmas doesn’t have to be all about toys – you can give them bits for their rooms too.  If you were feeling extra ambitious and full of Christmas cheer you could even apply them on Christmas eve so your kids wake up seeing STARS!  NOW you’re talking baby!

LEGO – We’re long term fans of Lego.  Akira’s now past the Duplo stage, so both mine are into regular lego. I was lucky enough to work with legendary Lego builder Duncan a few years ago (he made a sleigh and reindeer in Covent Garden this year) and we were laughing at how much his workshop would totally do it for me!  All little labelled drawers… colour AND size coded… stuff of dreams!  Although we did establish that the best option for creativity is to put all your kids lego in a big box and let them get to work!  •twitches **ignores desire to reach for Kragle!


The small character packs are perfect as stocking fillers, as are the small boxes like the Star Wars sets.  Loving the Creativity Tower and Castle too but possibly my FAVE Lego offering of ALL time is the Research Institute – complete with Astronomer, Chemical Lab Scientist and Palaeontologist – ALL female!  GET IN! They sold out FAST (no surprises there!)  on the experimental (no pun intended) short run, but we say make more please Team Lego and I’ll pounce like a Christmas Elf who’s had too much gingerbread!

V-TECH KIDDIZOOM SMART WATCHES – Perfect for age 5+ and with a 1.4 inch colour touch-screen and 50 analogue and digital faces to choose from, this is a “watch” with a difference!  Just the fact that you can change the I know will totally do it for my two! It has a camera for taking photos and videos, which you can then pimp with stamps and effects, alarm (help me!) games, stop watch and voice-recording! Ooh – maybe mummy will actually get to watch a film on Christmas Day! *faints

VTECHGAMES – After years of avoiding board games because Akira was too young and would get BORED (see what I did there?!) we’re fully embracing them for 2014!  And, in addition to all the classics, there are some great options out there I love the look of, including:

Rubiks Race – Suitable for age 5+ and based on the Rubik’s Cube, this looks like lots of fun that will test our reaction and brain power to the limit!

Pig Out  – Suitable for age 5+ I think we’ll enjoy putting on our snouts and collecting food on Christmas Day!  Simple – yet sure to be effective in THIS house!


SPY NET VIBRASONIC WALKIE TALKIES – I’m TOTALLY pretending these are for the kids, but we all know the truth!  HELLO?! How cool?  With a range of 250 feet, I know my two are gonna LOVE these on Christmas day!  Truth is, they’d actually be perfect for Trey and me, for room-to-room contact on Christmas Eve!

“Kids asleep yet?  OVER”
“Negative Ghostrider… hold back with the stockings – OVER”
“I can’t believe everything is finally done and wrapped – OVER”
“Pour me a Bailey’s – OVER”!

FLYING TINKERBELL – My kids have coveted this in the supermarket for AGES! It’s the one thing they’ve always made a beeline for in the toy aisle, so I’ve acquiesced! If you see a random UFO sailing over your fence during Queenie’s speech, send her back!

BATTERIES – Psst…Public service broadcast…. “Don’t forget the batteries”! You KNOW relatives are going to give things that need batteries, so get a stash in that cupboard, ready for the big day! Yeah, you owe me!

*lies down

K x


  • Reply Donna @ Little Lilypad Co December 17, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I <3 Build a Bear, I have to admit we have quite a lot of bears with certificates !! I am also a big fan of Baby Annabel …. although we have another doll that cries on a certain little persons wish list this year!

    I am loving the look of the watches though, my 9 year old would love that!

    • Reply Katy December 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Ah – BAB IS too much fun! So excited for Christmas now! xx

  • Reply Emma December 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I have fond memories of a visit to Build a Bear when we lived in Copenhagen. My son chose a beating heart for his bear which was very sweet, whilst my daughter chose a birthday song for her rabbit to sing. It was hilarious although it wouldn’t shut up! Lots of lovely suggestions there for Christmas, I feel so out of the loop when it comes to kids toys and games in the UK! 🙂 xx

    • Reply Katy December 17, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Ah – love memories like that! Mine loved putting the hearts in. So sweet x

  • Reply Clare Goldsack December 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Ooooh great tips! I’m liking the Knex sets and the Rubik’s Race game and that’s just for my hubby 🙂 xx

    • Reply Katy December 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Haha! Mine’s the same! I know I’ll be reminding him of the age of his opponents on Christmas Day! x

  • Reply Alice Hassall December 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Loving the Vtech watch! And those Back Packs too! x

    • Reply Katy December 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      I know the watches are totally gonna do it for my two! And the backpack is just about the coolest kids backpack EVER! I admit to being slightly obsessed! xx

    Leave a Reply