What do you buy for the family that loves to explore the world? It’s not always easy to choose gifts for people who try to travel as much as they can, and spend their downtime at home dreaming of their next escape. I’ve put together a few suggestions, for the travel-lovers in your life.
Discovery Kids Telescope, Planetarium and Walkie-Talkies
The Discovery Kids range is inspired by the Discovery Channel and features gifts that help children learn, as well as being an awful lot of fun.
The 40mm astronomical telescope features a 25-50X magnification objective lens and is designed for looking at the night sky. It’s lightweight and portable, so it’s perfect for taking on outdoorsy breaks, camping or glamping under the stars. For children over eight.
For kids that like to go off and roam (including tinies – these are for ages four and over), there’s the lightweight digital walkie-talkies. They’re small enough to fit into the palms of little hands, work up to a range of 3km, and include a nightlight for after-dark exploration.
My favourite is the Globe Planetarium. It sits on a bedside table and, when it’s dark, can be switched on to shine constellations onto a bedroom ceiling and walls. There’s a ‘revolve’ setting, and you can switch on a commentary about the stars and planets, as well as using a Cybersky CD to go online to find out more. For children over eight.
Ciao Gusto food hamper
A delicious meal or snack can leave the most powerful memory of a place. Visitors to Italy often rave about the cuisine; so a good gift for people who’ve spent an enjoyable time there, is a hamper of Italian food, to remind them of their trip.
Ciao Gusto is a family of Italian food and drinks brands. They include everyday products that are on sale in every Italian food store, but which you often can’t find in many UK shops – like moreish Noberasco dried apple slices. They also include gift items from small producers, like sumptuous cherries in syrup from Fabbri, a company that’s been running for over 100 years; and tasty antipasti from the Medusa range of seafood, which dates back to the 1800s.
The Ciao Gusto range is all available to order from its own Ocado page, but if you would like to find out how to win a hamper of ingredients and delicacies, there’s a competition running now on the website of Villa Pia.
LeapPad Platinum by Leapfrog
On long journeys, there’s only so long that children can be kept happy just by listening to music, and playing games like I-Spy. An electronic device like a tablet can be a blessing for all the family on a road trip or long-haul flight. We recently tested out the new LeapPad Platinum from Leapfrog, and I’d recommend it as a first tablet for young children. It comes already loaded up with a handful of cute games, and you can buy more. The parental controls are very tight, so there’s no chance your youngster could end up on some dodgy youtube channel. If you want to see it action, here’s a clip of my daughter, playing with her LeapPad:
Rockin’ Baby pyjamas
They’re gifts that keep on giving….for every garment bought from Rockin’ Baby, they donate another item to children from communities in need. There are some gorgeous pyjama sets for children aged 2-12, featuring woodland creatures – to accompany little travellers on those trips to winter forest getaways.
Of course, all families need some time at home….so the pyjama sets could come in handy for that, too. Here are a couple more gift ideas, for adventurous-minded children, when they’re relaxing on home turf.
LeapTV from Leapfrog
A bit like a Wii, but for a younger age group: 3-8 year olds, the LeapTV is an interactive gaming system where children can play age-appropriate educational games. The LeapTV comes with some built-in games, and you can buy extra game cartridges with popular tie-ins like Bubble Guppies and Sofia the First.
We recently tested out the LeapTV. Here’s my daughter, trying out one of the games that’s built into the LeapTV:
Taking the Shopkins craze to a new level, Kinstructions includes building bricks along with the familiar Shopkins creatures, so that children can exercise their fine motor skills by building little worlds for the Shopkins. There’s a food court (pictured here), a town centre, a bakery….the Shopkins themselves come apart, so children can mix and match the characters in their set (there are eight with the food court, including one ‘mystery character’ who you can’t see from the outside of the box). These sets are best for children aged six and over.
Do you have any suggested gifts for travel-loving families?