Thursday, 21 November 2013

Christmas Gifts for the Whole Family

Christmas at it's best is all about the whole family enjoying time together.

So Christmas gifts that the whole family will love to play are a always a winner.

Obviously, there are new games consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One available for this Christmas, but there are also loads of other toys and games that the whole family will enjoy and that won't break the bank.

This list of Christmas gifts the whole family will love are a combination of toys we've already had hours of fun with plus some we've hoping Santa will bring this Christmas following expert reviews from the god children.

If you're looking for more Christmas inspiration check out the brilliant links from other bloggers at the bottom of this post ... and feel free to share your own ...

Marble Run

You'll struggle to keep the grown ups away from the fun of building ever more complex structures and then racing your marbles down them ... 

We have the Galt version which we love but MarbulousMindware and Marbleworks all have popular versions that are pretty similar and Hape have a lovely wooden Quadrilla version.

Magic Kit

Trainee magicians might need a little help with the magic tricks in this kit Melissa & Doug from but the whole family will appreciate the show .... we bought this for various god children and it was a big, big hit!

Spot It!

It can be hard to rope in older kids and grown ups for the most basic matching games but Spot It adds in some extra quick thinking fun ... although don't bank on beating the sharp eyes of the little ones ...

Snap Circuits

The Snap Circuits are a brilliant introduction to electronics and under some guidance even very little ones can help out ... once you've all got the hang of it, get competitive and see which team can build a working circuit the quickest ...


Qwirkle is another matching game that is great from aged 4 to 6 when kids can manage basic rules but is also challenging enough for the oldies who can come up with ever more complex strategies that never quite win ...

Stomp Rocket

We have had hours of fun firing our Stomp Rocket in the park, in the garden and even ... hmmm! ... in the house. It's the simplest thing but it's amazing how far you can get these little rockets to go and even very littlies can join in running after the rockets ...

Praying Mantis Kit

If like us your family have had fun raising butterflies, they will love this kit for raising praying mantis.

The ideal time for raising them is January to April so this makes a perfect Christmas present. Like the butterfly kits you need to order the eggs with the card in the kit so you may want to open the box yourself and order them before Christmas. Unfortunately, unlike the butterfly kits you do have to pay extra for the eggs - they cost about $12 - so factor this into your budget.

Screws & Nuts

Variations on traditional Meccano are a massive hit with kids from 3 to 93!

We've got my old set of Meccano but also a brilliant big plastic version called Build It, (Meccano do a similar versions called Micro Build and Build & Play), which can be used to build all sorts of things and is great combined with cardboard boxes to build cars, trains, buses etc ...


Dado lets kids build 3 dimensional structures from interlocking shapes. Each piece is 3 inches square so the whole family can get involved building towers and more up to 3 feet tall ...

Mega Bloks

A big bag of Mega Bloks - kind of super sized lego - is a great Christmas gift for babies and toddlers from 1 up.  Littlies will be happy just putting their first towers together but the rest of the whole family can be roped in to building knock downable towers and hide away tunnels ...

.... we've had ours for years, and it's still going strong!


A Christmas classic Jenga is guaranteed to have the whole family in fits of laughter as the bricks come tumbling down ... just be prepared for tiny ones to knock over your efforts ...


Suspend from Melissa and Doug is another fun take on trying to balance the pieces without bringing the whole lot crashing down ...


Twister needs no introduction ... great fun not only for those playing but also for the really oldies looking on ...

Connect 4

Connect 4 is another absolute classic from everyone's childhood ... it's obviously only a two person game but because it brings back happy memories of Christmas past the kids can be sure that they will always find one of the oldies who is up for a game ...

Do hope you have some fun and a seriously Merry Christmas with some of these ideas ...

For more inspiration do check out other Christmas posts ... and don't forget to sign up below for our fab Mums Make Lists mailer which is full of simple tips for mums juggling tooo much!  

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  1. These are great ideas! I have been wanting to get my daughter a marble run for awhile now. I found this post at the Kids co-op. I would love it if you shared a post at my new link-up:

  2. These are awesome, I am going to check these out for my four year old.

  3. Despite being 34, I now want to put one of those marble run things on my own list to Santa! Our son's only seven months old so still a bit young unfortunately.


    1. You're never too old for a marble run ;-)

  4. Your list made me smile, Alice...some greats classics on there plus some new fun games I hadn't heard of before!

  5. Great List! Thanks so much for sharing, i needed some ideas for nieces and nephews :)

  6. What a great list - love the marble run and praying mantis set. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

  7. Oh my word what a great collection of ideas! I've been thinking of a marble run for the Boy, especially now that Topsy and Tim turn out to have one...

    1. Oh my goodness .. if Topsy and Tim (we are such big T&T fans!) have one you must :-)

  8. Love that you included lots of creative and imagination-building games and those oh-so-favorite classics!

  9. Great ideas. I love the marble run :)

  10. there is nothing better than a fab game with the family x

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  11. What a great list. I had a twister game when I was young! That was a long time ago. We have had connect for a long time also. Thanks for sharing this at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party.

    1. We're definitely going to get a new Twister ... and just can't wait to play. Happy happy memories :-)

  12. Great ideas! We have about half of these already (especially the games, we're a huge game family). I love the idea of doing Marble Run together as a team instead of the kids fighting over using it one at a time.

    1. Teams are definitely the way to go ... not that we're competitive or anything ;-)

  13. Hey! Great video! If you like this video, you will LOVE learning more about these wonderfully soft, snuggly, and fun “pets” for kids! Check them out here:

  14. there are some great games here i'd never even heard of. Thanks for linking up to the Sunday Parenting Party, I'll pin this so others can be inspired.


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