Christmas in Spring

The April/May birthday bonanza

April is jam-packed with birthdays in this house, and because my little one is an April baby, I made friends with mums who had babies at a similar time.
And not only does that mean nearly every weekend from mid March to the beginning of May is booked up with soft play parties (sometimes two in one day!), but it also means we have a LOT of presents to buy.
I reckon we need 10 presents, so thank goodness for B&M. It’s just down the road and stocked to the rafters with brilliant presents for little ones at bargain prices (I’m not being paid by them, I promise. Maybe I should be…)

I’ve budgeted for £5 per child. This may sound stingy, but remember, we’ve got 10 to get in total. Plus I’ve also got my own dad’s birthday, a friend’s six-year-old and one of my oldest friends to buy for as well. And another friend has just had a baby! For me, April is almost as expensive as Christmas.

The £5 guide price – I won’t say limit incase I spot something brilliant for £6 or so – may seem low, but toddlers are easily amused and you can actually get your mitts on qute a lot of entertaining toys for that price. I think most parents in our group of friends are on the same wavelength, judging by what they say and what they are buying.

So here’s what I managed to get:

– A 12-car carry truck – £4.99 (I actually bought 3 of these as they are so brilliant)
– A tub of plastic animals for £3.99 – available in Safari, Farm and Dinosaurs (I bought 3 of these too)
– Battery-operated toy dogs that walk and somersault. You can still buy these! I adored mine when I was little. £4.99
– Princess dress up set including tiara, necklace, clip on earrings and plastic shoes – £4.99
– A two-foot high StormTrooper for a Star Wars fanatic – £16.99 (but he’s a special friend, plus his parents gave our son a lovely present that was definitely a lot more than £5)
– Plus 3 rolls of wrapping, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Peppa Pigs ones for 99p each.
– And one birthday card for a grown up for 59p, and is not cheap looking at all.

Other good ideas for reasonably priced presents for toddlers could be:
– a bubble rocket, which I think is from Hobbycraft. My son got one for his birthday and it’s brilliant. You jump on the air-filled plastic block and it shoots a plastic rocket into the sky. If you fill the base with bubble mix it will blast off with a trail of bubbles behind.
– play dough plus shapes and cutters
– Happyland/PlayMobil or Duplo toys to spark their imagination
– A mini space hopper. Our boy was given one which is yet to be blown up but I know he’ll love it.
– Bath toys – always a good choice. I’m bored of our bath toys, plus most of them have disgusting black mould inside them and I’ll probably end up chucking them out soon.
– Books.
– Colouring pens and colouring books
– Clothes. Boots MiniClub has a good deal on for 2 for £8 on boys and girls basics, while Next has fab polo shirts for boys on offer for 2 for £10 (correct at time of publishing).

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