As promised here are some gift ideas for small people: not just Christmas but birthdays and for people you know but not that well and / or if you have a small budget but want to get something that will be used and won’t irritate the parents!

Don’t buy anything with loads of tiny little pieces. Massive puzzles. Or that horrendous drill your own dinosaur set which we have been given three times now. The drill is the most exciting part but it breaks immediately and all the plastic dino limbs end up between your toes. We once got given a polyester cowboy outfit. It didn’t see the light of day. Ruthless but true. Oh and the acrylic xmas jumpers - we seem to get at least one every year. Talk about off the mark given my occupation - straight to the charity shop 😂

Here is my list in pictures. These are things that have had loads of repeated use.

We have spent hours loading up wheelbarrows and cutting back scrub in the garden. I bought some ladies secateurs because when you are 3 you want tools that work. They are sharp and I am strict about running with them but we have spent so much time using them - they cost £12 - money well spent and we got plenty of gardening done. I’ve decided real DIY tools are fine too. He wants to help so if he is being supervised, he can. The basket, surprisingly, has had plenty of use too.

We got given a lovely personalised bowl from France - it is now a treasured porridge bowl. It doesn’t clutter up the floor, it’s used daily and is tasteful/looks good in the kitchen. Emma Bridgewater is a good place to look and Brixton Pottery have lovely bowls although not personalised. I’m sure there are others. You can also buy wooden trays and wooden piggy banks from Hobbycraft and paint them yourself. Really inexpensive and a really nice (and useful) gift. The Tractor Ted lunchbox set - I know it’s covered in tractors but these are useful items and I need to accommodate these things somewhere 🤷‍♀️

You will be thanked for not filling up someone’s house with tat they can’t get rid of. A stash of play dough or a little bundle of notepad/pencil case/crayons (kitpas ones are the best) are good gifts for toddlers. Sticker books are popular and both inoffensive and inexpensive. Bath bombs are wildly popular. They are really fun and they disappear. I would not have known this pre children but they make a great gift. The Lush ones are good.

These are some of the toys that have repeated use in our house. It’s not necessarily just about the plastic for me (some of this hard plastic can be very easily recycled although I do think wooden is preferable) - we have copious amounts of wooden toys and they don’t get any use at all. Britain’s tractors, the farm animals in a tub from Sainsbury’s, pretend wooden food that you can load in and out of baskets and Magnatiles have all had a LOT of use here. Oh and those eggs - don’t know why but they have had a lot of use.

Books are a no brainer and this Poppy and Sam box set was Louis’s favourite present last Christmas. I think the Puffin Clothbound Classics are a great gift idea. They can be read the stories now and then read them themselves when they are bigger.