50 Fantastic Stocking Fillers for Boys – Part 2

50

Following on from 50 Fantastic Stocking Fillers for Boys – Part 1, here are 25 more brilliant and inexpensive stocking filler ideas for boys.

26. A Magazine

£1.99 WH Smith

27. Plop Trumps

£4.49 Tesco

£4.49 Tesco

28. Robot hot water bottle

£6.99 eBay

29. Scary skull soap

£3 Etsy

30. Personalised photo mug

£4 Asda

31. Beanie

Primark £3

32. Scarf

£4.99 H&M

£4.99 H&M

33. Toothbrush holder

£1.25 eBay

34. Chocolate coins

50p Tesco

35. Poster

36. Bath Crayons

£3 Tesco

37. Trading cards

£1 The Entertainer

38. Alarm clock

£1 Tiger

39. Personalised notebook

From £5.99 for A6 http://www.funkypigeon.com

40. Superhero stickers

41. Football socks

£3 eBay

42. Pencil case

£2 Wilkinsons

43. Samsung earbuds

£3.15 Amazon.co.uk

£3.15 Amazon.co.uk

44. Wristband flash drive

£1.39 (8GB) Amazon.co.uk

45. Smellies

£4 Superdrug

46. Fridge magnets

£4.99 Findmeagift.co.uk

47. Laser gun

£6 John Lewis

48.Cinema gift card

From £5 Vue

49. Travel game

£1.99 Argos

50. Chocolate gamer control

50 Fantastic Stocking Fillers for Boys – Part 1

50The countdown to Christmas is on. I’ve been giving Santa a hand and have come up with this list of 50 stocking filler ideas for boys. We won’t discuss how much I spent during the course of researching this article, but let’s just say if my boys aren’t happy on Dec 25th then I will be cancelling Christmas next year!

I started with the intention of putting all 50 ideas in one blog post, but it was too massive so here is part 1. Part 2 will follow.

1. Coloured USB cables for charging iPods. eBay 99p

2. Matching (or contrasting) wall plug for USB cable 99p from eBay

eBay 99p

3.Universal Power Bank

4. Balloon power boat

£2 Tiger (www.tigerstores.co.uk)

5. Wind up torch

Wind up torch £4 Ikea

6. Vintage camera mobile phone cover

£1.99 Amazon.co.uk

7. PacMan mirror

£4.99 Amazon.co.uk

8. Sunkist Camper Van

£6. Wilkinsons

9. Hexbug Nano

£4 The Entertainer (sold individually)

10. Toothbrush timer

£2.75 eBay

11. Chocolate calculator

£2.99 Findmeagift.com

12. Gross Cheques

99p The Book People

13. Blood bath shower gel

£4.99 at Prezzybox

14. Jumping frogs

£1.50 Hawkins Bazaar

15. Felt tip pens

£1 Tiger

16. LEGO Minifigures series 12

£2.49 John Lewis

17. Chocolate medal

18. Cosy fluffy slipper socks

£4 for two pairs Matalan

19. Superhero boxer shorts

£2.50 Sports Direct

20. Super Mario racing car

£2.99 Home Bargains

21. Terry’s Chocolate Orange

£1.50 Wilkinsons (currently £1 at Asda)

22. 100 Things You Will Never Find

£5.99 The Works

£5.99 The Works

23. Training football

£3 Sports Direct

24. Drinking straw glasses

£1.99 Findmeagift.com

25. Despicable Me Minion vinyl wall stickers

Click here for 50 Fantastic Stocking Fillers for Boys – Part 2

Film Review – Rise of the Guardians

In a display of spontaneous parenting (and because I wanted to see it) we took the boys (10 and 5) to see Rise of the Guardians (PG) on Tuesday night. We normally try and see a film as a family around Christmas because I think it’s a nice family activity and it’s more enjoyable than standing around freezing in the park, pushing the youngest on the swings while the oldest does his best to break his neck flinging himself around on his scooter. So, Tuesday night I felt all Nice-Mum and surprised them with a trip to the flicks.

As with all great kids films Rise of the Guardians is about a battle between good and evil and includes a voyage of self discovery. It has an exciting plot that progresses well. It was enough to keep both kids interested, and even though it was a late night for the youngest he didn’t get bored or (too) fidgety. It’s not always easy to find a film they both enjoy but this is one of them. It’s just over an hour and a half long, although I’m going to voice my normal complaint about Vue’s overkill with the whole ads, preview, Edith Bowman bit where they just show clips from all the films they’ve just showed the preview for. Adding half an hour of bumpf before a kids movie is pushing their patience somewhat.

Rise of the Guardians is by Dreamworks (who brought us the likes of Shrek, Puss in Boots, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda) and it lives up to its family film pedigree providing entertainment for children and adults. The characters and sets are well drawn and gorgeous to look at with beautiful colours and detail. Each of the main characters has their own unique personalities and quirks and is totally believable. I could quite happily suspend my disbelief in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, et all for the duration of this movie. The plot is a little wooly at times but not in an annoying way. I loved the casting – Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny was funny without being cheesy, Isla Fisher was perfect as the Tooth Fairy in raptures over Jack Frost’s white teeth, I loved Alec Baldwin’s Santa Claus and Jude Law’s husky voice added just the right amount of threat to the Boogeyman.

It was a little scary at times for the five year old who spent the second half cuddled up on my lap. In the spirit of all great children’s films it has an uplifting finish and he’s suffered no repercussions with the portrayal of nightmares and fears. It is definitely PG rather than a U. It’s not about Christmas as such, but the inclusion of Santa and plenty of snow provided courtesy of Jack Frost (the leading character) make it nice and festive. I recommend you go and see it and if you go to Vue, take advantage of their Cheap Tuesday where adults get in for the same price as kids and it’s much quieter than on a weekend. Rise of the Guardians is out in both 3D and 2D. We saw it in 2D because I’m not a massive fan of 3D films and the youngest drives me crackers by forever losing his glasses because they don’t sit on his face properly. Some of the flying scenes are probably great in 3D, but I don’t think I lost anything by seeing it in 2D.

Elf on the Shelf… ish

My five year old son is, well, five, so I thought that Elf on the Shelf might be an extra carrot/stick in my December parenting arsenal. When I investigated the cheapest I found was around £25 and I am far too tight to pay that for something that looks like this:

So I shelved (sorry…) the idea until I was in the pound shop last week and I discovered these beauties. I think you’ll agree that they could practically be twins – in the freaky sense, anyway.

Son was sceptical about the origin of the “elf” but the beauty of him being five is that he is a die hard Santa believer and when he suggested we get rid of it I said we couldn’t possibly because Santa had sent him. It’s kind of working in that he’s a little freaked out but I’m sticking with it because he hasn’t had a nightmare or anything and any way I can get someone else to be the bad guy “do you want the elf to tell Santa?” is a way I can stay looking golden.

He’s on a high shelf which would require a chair to get to, but this is how I frequently find him

If you get a chance you definitely need to google Elf on the Shelf related blogs. Some parents really get carried away, some totally tongue in cheek and others really creative and funny, like Lil Blue Boo’s

Reindeer Gingerbread Men

Check out my cool reindeer bickies made from upside down gingerbread men! They’re in plastic bags because I made them for the school Christmas Fair/Fayre (never sure on the spelling of that one). Copied from Inspired by Foodie Quine (awesome foodie blog – check it out). I was so impressed with how easy they were. I tend to make more cakes than biscuits and I’m still a bit hit and miss with the temperature sometimes on my new-ish oven, but I used this recipe from CookUK and it was a doddle. I did muck around with the spices using 1tsp of ginger and 0.5tsp of cinnamon.
I also tried making snowmen with the bickies turned the other way around but they looked like something you’d see on Cake Wrecks so my kids made short work of them.The recipe is easy and foolproof enough to do with the kids and icing anything is always great fun (unless it’s the cat, in which case I don’t recommend it).



Random Likings

1. Toothpaste Squeezer

Just recently – ok, for the last year or so – my eldest has been driving me nuts complaining that once the toothpaste tube is half used that it’s “empty” and he can’t get any toothpaste out. It goes against the grain for me to chuck things away unnecessarily and I remembered the little clamp we had on the old metal tubes of toothpaste when I was a kid (you know, back in the day when there was only one type of toothpaste and nothing for different ages). I picked these babies up for 99p on eBay and am hopeful they relieve me of the twice-daily irritation. 

2. December

 I love December! The whole excitement of the lead up to Christmas Day (or my personal favourite, Christmas Eve) is intoxicating. It’s not just the whole kids and Christmas thing I enjoy, but the thought of being able to relax from work for a few days and eat lots of delicious food guilt free. I am being strict with myself now (both work and food wise) so I can really enjoy myself over Christmas.


3. Christmas Find and Colour
9781741837421 I See Snowman Search & Find And Colour


 These activity pads are £3.99 at The Works (online and in store) and well worth it. They’re huge (50cm wide or so) Where’s Wally type things where you have to find items in a larger picture. There are two levels of difficult in the one picture, with a list of words for older kids and drawings for younger ones. Each pad has heaps of pages, with the Snowman ones being in black and white for colouring. My 5 year old particularly loves them and he and his 10 year old brother will quite happily do them together. Anything they do together without arguing is a rarity so I am doubly glad for these activity pads! The Works have a good choice of Christmas stories and activity books and is worth a visit if you’re looking for something to keep your kids quietly occupied.

4. Tweetie Tag Necklace

This cute necklace caught my eye when I saw a tweet about it this week. It’s made by Victoria Wallop and costs around £50. I like this trend for identity and charm style necklaces (even though I’m not a necklace wearer myself. I you like this you might also want to check out Chambers & Beau. 

5. The Polar Express

Despite a love for, and a large collection of, Christmas films I have never seen The Polar Express, a fact which elicited shocked gasps from friends when they discovered it yesterday. Before I go crazy and spend a whole £5 on it tell me, is it really one I should watch. I think it’s never appealed because it has a train so prominently in it and I always hated Thomas the Tank Engine, but I am willing to be convinced otherwise

Monopoly zAPPed – a Review

 
When catalogue shopping kings Littlewoods got in touch to ask if I’d like to review the new Monopoly zAPPed Edition I nearly bit their hand off. Would I?!  I played loads of Monopoly in my youth (back in the day when there was just the one version) and my kids are just as keen as me on the classic so both Monopoly and Monopoly Junior get played quite a lot in our house. Monopoly zAPPed needs to be played with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. You download a free app and you’re good to go. As yet there is no android version.
Let’s start with the look of the game. It’s a lot slicker than the old version. The board has some snazzy graphics with the train stations looking more like bullet and less like steam trains. The old utilities have been replaced by modern counterparts like Satellite, but all the property cards are the same. The pieces are cool little plastic numbers with the car looking like a red Ferrari! My ten year old son held up one asking “do you want to be the chapel?” Chapel? It’s the base of an iron love… Some domestic eductation required there. Setting up is almost the same except instead of dealing out the money (and keeping a few hundreds for yourself if you’re the banker. C’mon – we’ve all done it) you register your credit card and scan it on your device (we gave this game a go with both an iPod Touch and an iPad), which then goes in the middle of the board for the duration of the game. 
Play is virtually the same as the original version of Monopoly except all monetary transactions are done by swiping your credit card. Chance, Community Chest and Get out of Jail are done on the iPad/Pod/Phone too, with little games to compete to see who won. These were my least favourite part as despite landing on Community Chest three times I never won the money as I couldn’t get the hang of the game that went along with it. The kids, however, had no problem and thought my ineptitude was a great laugh. If you’re the sort of person who is anal about lining up your money neatly in a line by denomination and always got a bit stressed when other players chucked theirs any old how into a pile you will appreciate the streamlined look of this game.
With such rubbish weather on the weekend we gave this game a thorough workout and generally agree that it was good fun and, the kids in particular, preferred it to the original version due to the novelty of swiping their credit cards, the screen (natrually) and the video games within the game. The downsides were that you can only have four players, sometimes the card doesn’t swipe automatically and it takes a little while for the iPod/Pad/Phone to register it’s there, and play is actually a little slower than the old-fashioned handing over of the money. 
Hasbro say it’s suitable for ages 8 and up and I would probably agree with this. My five year old was totally confused by the money because it is in massive and unfamiliar denominations (like some sort of generic faux Euro) rather than the paper dollar denominations in numbers he can recognise. I liked that you can clearly see how much money everyone has, but then I’m nosey like that.
I’ll admit I was a little sceptical that this would live up to the origianl version which I love so much but I was proven wrong. Hasbro have left the essence and rules of the game pretty much unchanged so it’s just as competitve as it always was. If you’re looking for a great compromise between a family game and getting the kids off their personal screens then, at £30, Monopoly Zapped is a fab choice not just for Christmas but for any time of year. It won’t be gathering dust on our shelf, that’s for sure.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all words and views are my own. I used stock photos because I couldn’t work out how to play with my iPod Touch and take photos at the same time!