Rocket Scooter Satchel, Honey & Toast, £75
Honey & Toast have nailed it. Practical yet chic, stylish yet fun, their hero product is a satchel with a difference – the ultimate accessory for school runs. It is easy to attach to a scooter and doubles up as a backpack once you have reached your destination. Even better, everything is made by hand – cut and stitched in a small factory in Somerset. Honey & Toast like tradition, they ‘vote for long-lasting over throwaway and mischief over mundane’ and even offer a bespoke personalisation service. You can have a doodle of your child’s, their name or initials applied to their satchel. The possibilities are endless. We’re sold!
website to place an order.
The Foolish King by Mark Price, £8.99
Mark Price has seemingly managed the impossible. Hailed as ‘one of the most entertaining and inventive introductions to chess ever created’, he has devised a way to teach the game of chess to children by providing the basics through an engaging story. Mark’s interactive tale of the ‘secret history of chess’ with an abundance of memorable characters is a surefire way to pique your child’s interest in chess. Reviews rave about the book, and the accompanying app: ‘The illustrations are excellent, Martin Brown’s brilliant and familiar wide-eyed and characterful figures jump off the page, bringing an otherwise quite obscure game to a new audience’ and ‘the instructions are manageable and introduced at a pace that is not overwhelming, and examples of all the moves are included’. What are you waiting for?
Buy the book
Instant Table Tennis, £17.95
Turn virtually any surface into a table tennis tournament for the whole family to enjoy. This present isn’t just fun and interactive, it’s also wonderfully well-designed – the posts to hold the net clasp around the edge of the table and the net automatically stretches to the correct width, always keeping taut. Clever. Complete with two bats and two balls, it’s easy to store and transport, meaning this isn’t restricted to the home… take it on holiday and continue to challenge the leaderboard. Game, set and match!
Available to buy
2-in-1 Earth and Constellations Globe, £39.99
For the more educationally minded among you, this will tickle your fancy. During the day, this is a globe showing political boundaries, natural features, capitals and major cities. Not just for keen geographers, would-be astronomers will love switching the light on at night and seeing key stars and constellations with both latin and common names. It’s quite snazzy too – an advanced light sensor automatically turns on the LED illumination whenever the room darkens, magically transforming the earth globe into a fascinating map of the stars.
Buy from John Lewis
Biscuiteers Birthday Luxe Biscuit Tin, £45
When only an edible present will do, don’t settle for a run of the mill Colin the Caterpillar. Biscuiteers have a wide range of fun and sparky biscuit sets, often personalised and always beautifully presented. This happy birthday luxe set is perfect for children and once the biscuits have gone (it won’t take long, trust us) the tin is a perfect home for keeping colouring pencils together or storing other treasures. Biscuiteers launched in 2007 with the mission statement ‘why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ We couldn’t agree more.
Biscuiteer website to order.
toucanBox Creative Craft Subscription Box, from £5.95
Inspired by Montessori learning and championing STEAM, each toucanBox is built by educational experts to help develop key skills. For relentlessly inquisitive children who will love the parcel arriving every month with their name on the box, this is the gift that keeps on giving. There are various options, from the petite box, which fits through a letterbox, to the super box, which contains materials and instructions for four craft projects – perfect for siblings. Virginie Charles-Dear founded toucanBox when she was housebound with a newborn, and her four-year-old was waiting to start the latest art project she’d seen on TV. It’s ‘a regular treasure trove of fun and educational themes to keep the kids entertained in a productive way’ and is amazingly good value for money.
Order your toucanBox
The Great Hall at Hogwarts 3D Puzzle, £35
What’s not to love about a 3D Hogwarts puzzle? One for the slightly older kids (recommended age is 14+), the parents will love you for providing hours of quiet concentration. Bring to life your favourite school of witchcraft and wizardry and whilst you’re at it, you can even combine the Great Hall with the
Astronomy Tower (for serious HP fans) to create a super puzzle of 1,725 pieces. The magic is at your fingertips!
Beechwood Hall and Cosy Cottage Sylvanian Families Gift Set, £109.99
Some brands never lose their popularity. Sylvanian Families were created in 1985 and are still going strong, providing hours of playtime. My sister used to tie a pair of my mother’s tights from one side of the bathroom to the other and cover them in soap and water to create mini water slides for her Sylvanians – perhaps it’s best not to mention this to the lucky recipient of this gift box if you want to stay onside with the parents. If you feel like splashing out (perhaps you are trying to make up for previous last minute gifts from Sainsbury’s ten minutes before you walked through the door) then turn up bearing this super duper deluxe set and you will quickly become the most popular guest.
Buy your Sylvanians from
Personalised Book of Nursery Rhymes, £19.99
It’s hard to go wrong with children’s books, especially if they are personalised, such as this nursery rhyme collection which is bound to be treasured for a lifetime. The book of nursery rhymes is a lovely mixture of old favourite, traditional nursery rhymes as well as personalised poems based on your child’s name. To make the book even more personal and truly unique, you can add a message on the inside of the book for that extra special touch!
Order your personalised book
One for everyone to get involved with – Dobble is a loud, fast and interactive card game designed to tear eyes from screens. Suitable for age 6+, there are five variations of the game within the pack. Dobble is a race using observation skills and reflexes and provides endless competitive fun. Pair it with a couple of other games which get the brain working, such as
Boggle, £27.99 or Jungle Speed, £15. Giving games as presents always goes down well at family gatherings as they can be played immediately.
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We have all been there. The terrible dawning realisation that the very date which seemed so far away when you scrawled it into your diary two months ago is nearly upon you.
Whether it’s your niece’s 3rd birthday tea party, your youngest cousin’s common entrance celebration party (yes, this is a real thing) or your godson who seems to have grown from baby to toddler to a scarily articulate six-year-old in the blink of an eye, the present panic is an all-to familiar feeling and despite the invitation stating: ‘No presents, only your presence’ from pushy Aunt Mary, you know this is absolute rubbish. She expects something thoughtful yet educational. There’s no way you will have time to trawl round toy shops or find the perfect present on your own, and you just know that certain family members will smugly produce the most perfect present.
Fear not! School House has helpfully rounded up ten failsafe birthday present ideas to help you with this tricky task. Don’t forget to finish your present with the unforgettable flourish of
personalised wrapping paper. Now you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your present will go down a storm. Topics: