Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal

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Disclosure - We were invited to Cinderella. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

It's been a very long time since we have seen a pantomime at Christmas time, in fact it was our first ever pantomime with little J and he's 10 next year! With no idea what to expect little J was swept up in the pantomime craziness and throughly enjoyed our visit to see Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal.

cast of cinderella theatre royal
What To Expect At Cinderella, St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, WA10 1LQ
With one wave of a magic wand, the audience will be whisked off to a glamorous ball this Christmas as Regal Entertainments present their spellbinding tale of Cinderella. Cinderella tells the story of a beautiful girl who is reduced to a life of servitude by her two ugly step-sisters, but that is all set to change when an invitation to a grand ball at the palace arrives. With a bit of magic and some help from her friend Buttons, Cinderella is transformed into the belle of the ball. But what will happen at the stroke of midnight? 

With real Shetland ponies, enchanted pumpkins and a sparkling fairy-tale carriage all filled with festive fun to entertain the whole family, Cinderella promises to be the most lavish pantomime in all the land!

cast of cinderella

First of all let's mention the amazing cast who brought this years production to life. Rachael Wood as Cinderella had everything you would hope for the character. She is pretty and has a lovely singing voice. Joe Sleight made a very believable prince charming and the two ugly sisters Kristopher Bosch and Richard Aucott had everything you would want from pantomime dames. Their costumes got bigger and better each time they came on stage. A duo we hadn't heard of before Jamie Leahy and Chuck were absolutely amazing. Local to St Helens and BGT runner up Jamie has an amazing talent and I was actually blown away by how good he was. Towards the end of the show I did ask little J how he thought Chuck could talk. He had no idea and when I told him Jamie was a ventriloquist he was shocked. Two highlights for me was Jon Courtenay as Dandini. Jon won BGT and brought his talent to the stage throughout but especially during the second half performing a song he had written just for the show. Last but certainly to least was Lewis Devine as the lovable Buttons. Apparently Lewis is a favourite at St Helens Theatre Royal and I can understand why. He is extremely funny and once little J understood the concept of a pantomime and that it's okay to talk about bums, farts and other toilet related humour, Lewis had him laughing so much and was definitely our favourite character.

cast of cinderella theatre royal

Cinderella runs from Saturday 3rd December to 8th January 2023. Please do note that due to Jamies age he will not be performing at every show. There are a list of dates available so please do check. 

Food And Drink
There was the option to buy typical theatre snacks such as crisps, chocolate, ice cream and hot, cold and alcoholic drinks. 

Prices vary so please do check ticket availability and cost 

There are a number of car parks in and round St Helens centre all within a few minutes walk. If you google 'parking for St Helens Theatre Royal' the various options will come up in the search. 

Disabled parking is available very close with some spaces outside the venue and other on street parking within a minutes walk.

cast of cinderella

Anything Else?
St Helens Theatre Royal is a small venue and makes the theatre experience really intimate which I love. 

Programmes are on sale and there are a handful of golden tickets hidden in side the programmes, find one and you will be able to go on stage to be part of the show. 

There is an option to go on stage after the show to have your photo taken with some of the cast. It is £8 and you will receive a photograph instantly and you can also take one on your phone. 

cast of cinderella

We all absolutely loved Cinderella and we laughed all the way through. Our highlight was the '12 days of Christmas' song. Had us crying with laughter. A great cast, a funny script and the perfect start to our Christmas celebrations. We will definitely be back during February half term for the Wizard of Oz.

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The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail

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Disclosure - We were invited to complete the The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail for the purpose of this post. We have been compensated for our time. 

The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail has arrived in Blackburn and you can enjoy it from the 2nd December - 31st December. The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail is free and lots of fun for all the family as you follow the map to explore Blackburn town centre to find all 13 Gingerbread characters including two selfie spots. 

gingerbread figure
What To Expect At The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail, The Mall, Blackburn BB1 5AF
If you want to take part in The Blackburn Gingerbread Christmas Trail then all you need to do is head to The Mall Ask Me Point to pick up a trail map. From here you can then follow the trail to find all 13 Gingerbread characters.

gingerbread figure

gingerbread figure

The trail will take you around Blackburn town centre and you will get to visit shops and venues you may not have been to before. The confirmed locations for the trail are

The Works
Newground Hub 
Rhode Island Coffee
Althams Travel
Reel Cinema
Grays Schoolwear 
Blackburn Library
and selfie spots in The Mall and Blackburn Cathedral.

boy sat in a sleigh

boy looking at a gingerbread character

boy looking at a gingerbread character

the letter E

Each Gingerbread character has a letter. All you need to do is collect all 13 letters and arrange them to make a festive phrase. Once you have completed the trail write the festive phrase on your trail map and hand it back in to the Ask Me Point in The Mall to be in with the chance to win £100 vouchers to spend on whatever you want. 

posting a letter

This is our fifth trail around Blackburn and it really is a lovely way to spend time together and it's free which is such a rarity at the moment. We also love exploring the town centre and the mall. There are lots of beautiful buildings to visit such as the cathedral so you could definitely make a day of it. 

If you would like to take a look at the other trails I've popped the links below.

If you do visit the trail please do tag is in your photos on social media @PlaydaysRunways

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Christmas at Trentham 2022

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Disclosure - We were invited to Christmas at Trentham. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Returning for 2022, the Christmas at Trentham illuminated trail is designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic, accentuate the flora and fauna and see the stunning historic landscape in a world of light and colour.

Christmas at Trentham was our first Christmas trail this year and it's one we have never visited before so we were excited to see what Trentham had to offer and share our thoughts on the trail and any tips that might help when you visit. 

Christmas at Trentham

Christmas at Trentham, The Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8JG

Selected dates from Friday 2nd December to Sunday 1st January 2023 - 4:30pm -8pm (time slots may vary by date) 

Christmas at Trentham

What To Expect at Christmas at Trentham
As soon as you step foot through the visitor centre doors you will be blown away by the amount of lights that await you. As we have never visited Trentham Gardens before we had no idea just how large the estate is, it was breathtaking. 

To enjoy the trail all you need to do is follow the one way path that will take you on a journey through the gardens. The trail is clearly signposted with the opportunity to weave in and out in certain areas.

two boys toasting a marshmallow

Food and Drink
Only food purchased at Trentham is allowed with the exception of baby food. There are two opportunities to purchase food and drink. Firstly you can take a detour within the first ten minutes of the trail to the refreshments area. There is an option to buy snacks such as pancakes and pizza plus hot and cold drinks. There is an outside seating with heaters just in front of the food stands. 

The food and drink was not cheap. We had already eaten however we did take a look and it could be quite costly especially for families of four or more. 

Half way around the trail there is a tea room which offers hot, cold and alcoholic beverages. A price list is clearly advertised on a board as you enter. There is also a chance to purchase a mince pie. There is plenty of in and outdoor seating available at the tea rooms however the outdoor is not under shelter so would not be ideal on rainy days. 

Outside the tea rooms is the opportunity to toast your own marshmallow. This cost £3 and we were given a huge marshmallow on a long stick that we toasted over the fire pit. 

Toilets are available outside the visitor centre before you enter and also at the tearooms. 

The paths were flat in most places and the surface was easy to walk on however there are some small inclines in places. The paths were wheelchair and pushchairs friendly. There is a low narrow bridge in to the laser garden but there are ropes either side to hold on to if necessary. 

Prices start at £22.10 for adults and £14.60 for children. There are a range of different ticket options including family, twilight viewing and igloo. 

Children under 3 are free of charge. 

A disabled person purchasing a ticket may bring one essential carer companion free of charge. Please select this ticket type at point of booking.  

You can Book your tickets to Christmas at Trentham online

There is free parking available on site, on a first come first served basis. Blue badge parking is available within the main car park. We found a space straight away just at the entrance. 

boy walking through a light tunnel

Anything Else?
Wrap up warm and prepare for all weathers. The Christmas at Trentham light trail is an outdoor experience with no shelter. 

I don't like to put a time limit on this type of experience as there is so much to see however I would say if you are pushed for time you could complete the trail in less than an hour. 

There are plenty of opportunities to take photographs and staff along the trail are happy to take family photographs if asked. 

There is lots of space and the paths are really wide in places. 

There are two fairground rides by the food stalls which you can access about ten minutes in to the trail or at the end. The ferris wheel and swings are £3 per person. We went on the ferris wheel and thought it was great value for money with at least 8 rotations.

Book early! These type of experiences tend to sell out very quickly so make sure you book in advance. 

family standing under the christmas tree

Have you visited the trail or are you planning to?  If so I would love to know. Do leave us a comment or message us on socials. 

Also you can always keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you, you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.

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Three Aspects To Look At When Choosing The Right School For Your Kids

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post

When selecting the best school for our kids' education, we want to ensure that they get the very best. Not only do we look for a quality institution with outstanding teachers and an impressive track record of success, but also one that emphasises values such as respect, discipline, and learning in its students. For those struggling to decide which school is suitable for their children – don't worry! In this blog post, I'll explain three aspects you can use when considering schools so you can choose the one best suited for your family's needs. Ready? Let's dive in and start exploring how to select the perfect institution!

kids in a classroom

1. Academics
When choosing the right school for your child, it's essential to look closely at the academic opportunities available. Do they offer high-quality instruction in core subject areas? How have their students performed on standardised tests and in college applications? Consider visiting the school in person to better understand what type of education your child will receive. Ask probing questions about curriculum, coursework, and student achievement expectations; this should indicate how well-prepared your child will be for their next steps. Academic programs can vary from area to area, so consider what different schools can provide and whether or not they meet your family's educational goals.

2. Faculty And Staff
When selecting the right school for your kids, it is important to research the faculty and staff. Great schools have qualified teachers with years of experience and a plethora of knowledge they can bring to their classrooms. A good staff will also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills for educating, supporting, and engaging students. Additionally, a wonderful school should maintain small student-to-teacher ratios because that allows more individualised attention. Finally, when looking at a specific school, consider inquiring about their hiring process; in particular, question how they vet and evaluate the qualifications of their faculty members. Ultimately, choosing a school with incredible faculty and staff will help ensure your child gets the educational support they need to succeed.

3. Facilities
When searching for the right school to send their children to, one important consideration is the quality of facilities available. Most prospective parents will want to ensure that a school has high-standard and well-maintained facilities that are kept up-to-date with advances in educational technology. Good amenities such as classrooms, science labs and sports courts are desirable to many parents, particularly those from more affluent backgrounds. Yet, it is important also to consider how the school utilises these facilities during all hours of the day — not just making them available for lesson and study time, but promoting extracurricular activities and socialising between students outside of class too, like making primary school trips. Herein lies a much broader commitment to providing our children with an enriching learning environment, both inside and outside the classroom.

In Conclusion
Schools are important to consider when looking for a place to live. The right school can provide your kids with the education and support they need to succeed. There are many factors to consider when choosing a school, but the most important thing is finding a school right for your family. With so many schools, it can take time to figure out where to start. But by considering your child's individual needs, you can find the perfect fit.

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Paw Patrol Grand Prix Video Game Review

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Disclosure - We have featured Paw Patrol Grand Prix in our Christmas gift guide.

Paw Patrol are on a roll on their fastest mission yet – To win the Pup Cup! Where no track is too big, no racer too small! Race around Adventure Bay, Jake’s Snowboarding Resort and the Jungle as the PAW Patrol pups and up-to 4 players at once – but look out for the obstacles left by mischievous Mayor Humdinger! This kart racer includes an easy control option for little ones with auto-acceleration to guide them around the track, as well as a hard mode for experienced track stars. So, buckle up for a PAWsome race around 11 tracks with your best pup pals!

Paw Patrol Grand Prix

We have teamed up with Outright Games to offer one lucky the winner to win a download code for Paw Patrol Grand Prix on a console of their choice. 

All you need to do is complete the entry form below and remember to keep popping back for bonus chances to win. 

The giveaway closes on 11/12/22 and the winner will receive a code to download Paw Patrol Grand Prix for a console of their choice. There is no cash alternative and if the winner does not respond within 28 days a new winner will be chosen. 

The giveaway is now closed

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Cocomelon Play With JJ Video Game Plus Giveaway

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Disclosure - We have featured Colomelon Play With JJ in our Christmas gift guide

Come over for a fun CoComelon playdate with JJ at his house. You’ll get to meet JJ’s friends and family, play musical minigames, and have fun with shapes and numbers! There are lots of fun interactive objects to pick up and play with, you can sing along to CoComelon favorites like Yes Yes Vegetables and Wheels on the Bus, and not least – build your very own CoComelon sticker collection along the way!

cocomelon play with jj

We have teamed up with Outright Games to offer one lucky the winner to win a download code for Cocomelon Play With JJ on Nintendo Switch.

All you need to do is complete the entry form below and remember to keep popping back for bonus chances to win. 

This giveaway is now closed

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Ryan's Rescue Squad Video Game Plus Giveaway

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Disclosure - We have featured Ryan's Rescue Squad in our Christmas gift guide.

Ryan’s friends have been kidnapped by evil Dark Titan, Robo Combo, and Packrat – and you are the only hero who can rescue them! Set out on a quest packed with slime, spaceship-flying bosses, and Ryan’s Surprise Eggs. Collect Sun Coins and Surprise Eggs to unlock new shop items and customize your character with fun alien hats, gamer gear, and much more. And use your platforming skills and special moves to save the day. You can’t beat these bad guys alone, so it’s a good job hilarious Ryan’s World characters have got your back. Use Gill’s Barrels, Moe Spaceship, Peck’s Slime, and more to stun and defeat enemies. You can even ride on a giant Shelldon! You’ll find them all as you explore the amazing worlds of Toys, Pirates, Space, and Prehistoric, where Ryan’s friends are waiting for you to rescue them. So, choose which hero to be – Ryan, Combo Panda, Alpha Lexa, or Gus the Gummy Gator – and jump into Ryan’s World. Invite a friend or grown-up to play with you in local two-player mode. And try exciting games like Spaceship Flight and The Floor is Lava. Can you defeat Dark Titan and his fiendish allies?

ryan's rescue squad

We have teamed up with Outright Games to offer one lucky the winner to win a download code for Ryan's Rescue Squad on a console of their choice. 

All you need to do is complete the entry form below and remember to keep popping back for bonus chances to win. 

This giveaway is now closed

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6 Tricks To Get Your Man To Dress Up Smart

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post.

You don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings, but you would like it if they dressed a little smarter from time to time. After all, seeing them in the same t-shirt and shorts can get a little samey. You want them to spice things up a little. 

Struggling with ideas? Here’s what to do:

three shirts
Gift Clothing And Accessories

Telling your partner to wear nice clothes probably won’t work. In fact, it’s likely to lead to conflict.

But gifting them items you’d love to see them in might work. That’s because you're not forcing. Instead, you’re doing something nice for them and biassing their wardrobe in your favour at the same time. It doesn’t mean they’ll start wearing the clothes you buy them immediately, but give it a little time and they will soon come around. 

Go To Events That Force Him To Dress Up

Another option is to invite him to events where he can’t not dress up. Make sure that he knows it's black tie so that there are no excuses or last-minute t-shirts.

Offer To Clear Out His Wardrobe

Another tactic is to offer to clear out his wardrobe and get rid of the old items you don’t like. Chances are, he’s quite indifferent to what he wears, but he might continue donning clothes that you don’t like, just out of sheer convenience. Get rid of them and replace them with more attractive options and see if he notices. 

Buy Him A Tailored Suit

Generic suits look good on rake-thin models, but not on most normal men. That’s why it’s so essential to get your partner a tailored suit. You want him to wear something that looks good and makes him feel comfortable at the same time. 

Remember, tailored suits tend to offer better quality than random suits you buy at high street stores. Therefore, they also last considerably longer, bringing more enjoyment in the long run. 

Keep The Fit In Mind

Men’s body shapes can be all over the place, so you’ll want to focus more on the fit than the brand. Some suit polo shirts while others achieve sartorial splendour wearing t-shirts or similar items. 

Ultimately, a good fit is the key to success. If clothes fit poorly, the whole outfit will lack style and cohesion. 

If your man is particularly muscular, make sure that you make the right choices for him. Bulging biceps and shoulders look odd when combined with the regular type of clothes you can buy from the store. Ideally, you want stretch-fit options that hug the shoulders and draw in the waist. Don’t get clothes that add too much volume as these just make bulky men look top-heavy (even if they never skip leg day). 

Choose Clothes That Complement Your Partner’s

Lastly, you can try choosing clothes that complement those of your partner. Look for options that complement their style so that you can both strut your stuff with confidence. If your partner feels like choosing better clothes helps you identify as a couple, they will be more likely to do so. 

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Adding Christmas To Our Living Room With Poster Store

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Disclosure  - We were given a voucher to spend on Poster Store for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Throughout the year we change our colour scheme to match the seasons. It's a lovely way to keep the house looking fresh and it really does make you embrace the season more. As Christmas will soon be here I have started packing away my Autumnal colours of orange and brown. I have been introducing some red which is the perfect colour for Christmas time. One thing I have struggled with in the past is finding prints for the living room. One of our walls has two frames and above the fireplace has one. All we do throughout the year is change the poster inside to match the season. I was on the lookout for posters that are perfect for Christmas and match the tone of the rest of my decorations. As the boys are getting older I have toned down our decorations however I still want there to be references to Santa within our decor. Whilst browsing Poster Store I found some posters that were a perfect match and when they arrived they were even better than I imagined. 

christmas poster above a fireplace
Snowy Town Poster
Illustration of a town with blue, green and red houses surrounded by snow on a winter night. The print has a white margin that gives the motif more depth.

christmas poster

Santa's Sleigh Poster 
Illustration of Santa's sleigh with his reindeers flying away to the sky in the moonlight. It is a snowy full moon night and you can see two other reindeers in the snow. The print has a white margin that gives the motif more depth.

christmas poster

Holiday Ornament Poster
Cosy illustration of a Christmas ornament, a glass ball and inside you can find a house in green with a red door. The house is surrounded by snow and trees. The print has a white margin that gives the motif more depth.

christmas posters on wall

Each poster can be shipped to you in a variety of sizes including

21x30cm (A4)

Prices vary depending on size and you can choose to receive your poster with or without a frame (at an additional cost). There are a variety of of frames to suit your interior design and colour scheme.

More above Poster Store
At Poster Store you will find Scandinavian designed posters and frames and all posters are printed on sustainably produced high-quality paper.

They have a large poster selection of different themes & categories for all tastes and release a new poster collection every Tuesday. I found the search function very easy and was able to find Christmas themed posters within seconds of searching. 

You will also find lots of inspiration when browsing as the images on the website will help you create your own gallery wall tailor-made for your home. 

If you would like to update your poster collection you can receive 35% off your order. All you need to do is type in the code PLAYDAYS at checkout. You will receive a discount of 35% on posters (except Selection Posters). The offer is not combinable with other discount campaigns. Valid from 9th to 13th November.

We are really pleased with our choices and they've made a great addition to our Christmas decor. 

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Tips To Help You Prepare For Christmas

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. The idea for this post, thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. Everything builds up to Christmas day and if you are not prepared it can make Christmas the most stressful time of year too. There is plenty you can do to help you prepare for Christmas day and make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible. Here are our tips to help you prepare for Christmas. 

merry christmas sign
dinner table set

Decide Who Is Hosting
If you have a family Christmas it is wise to decide who is hosting as soon as possible. Making Christmas dinner is a big task and if it falls on you to host you will want to know sooner rather than later. 

Buy Christmas Food Early And Book A Home Delivery Shop Just Before Christmas
In December we start adding a few food items and treats to our weekly shops. It helps spread the cost of Christmas and it saves panic buying a few days before when all the shops are running low on stock levels. We always make sure we book a supermarket home delivery a few days before Christmas too as supermarkets are always so busy stressful on the days before Christmas. A home delivery takes the stress away all you need to do is order online and wait for it to arrive. 

christmas presents

Christmas Present Shopping Early
Hopefully by now you will have started your Christmas shopping but if you still have some Christmas gifts to buy start browsing online now. It's so much easier to shop online as you can find lots of gift ideas and inspiration from the comfort of your sofa. A great way to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the high street shops. 

Watch and Wrap
I actually like wrapping presents but when you have a lot of wrapping to do it can become a huge chore. We always pop on a Christmas movie that we have seen many times before and have it playing while we wrap. It makes the time go so much quicker.

christmas planner

Fill In Your Calendar, Planner Or Diary
December is a busy month and you may be out an about more than usual. Make sure you use a planner or calendar to fill in your social events, school activities, days out and get togethers. There is nothing worse than double booking.

Stock Up On Batteries
Buy extra batteries so you have spares in case any friends or family members give your children battery powered toys. Most small to medium children’s toys will require AA or AAA batteries. Larger toys may require C or D batteries. Having spares to hand will also mean that there are no tears if batteries do end up running dry before the end of the day. There are some toys can drain batteries very quickly too if played with continuously.

Enjoy The Day 
We all spend so much time preparing, planning and waiting for the big day to arrive that its easy to get to the point where you actually miss the entire day through trying to make sure that everything runs perfectly. Remember that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends so make sure that is what you do. If you have children then these will be the days they remember the most. They will remember the time you spent with them more than the present they forgot about years ago. 

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Are you looking forward to celebrating Christmas? Are you Prepared? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

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7 Must Have Toys This Christmas From Very

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. The idea for this post, thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own. 

The boys have been talking about Christmas and have already started to talk about what they would like for Christmas. I usually try and make little J wait until at least the middle of November before he can write his list to Father Christmas but it has been getting earlier and earlier each year. His list is already on it's way to Santa and he's got everything crossed that he gets everything on his list and a few surprises too. I  like to browse the internet and catalogues myself to see what this years must have toys and games are. I always like to see what the new crazes are and also what classics make it into the must have toys list for Christmas. Whilst browsing I came across Very and they have a huge selection of toys and games perfect for Christmas. Here are 7 of our favourite must have toys and games this year.

Dear Santa letter
boy playing with an ice cream truck
I do like toys that are not only bright, colourful and fun but are educational too. Leapfrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart encourages the child to use their creativity as they use 8 flavoured scoops of ice cream and 3 different toppings to feed 1 of the 6 hungry character cards. The ice cream cart is a great addition to role play as the child can use their imagination either playing alone or with their family or friends.  With sounds and speech, the cart talks to the child and thanks them for their work!

The ice cream cart also encourages children to learn and discover colours, counting, flavours and numbers.  Children also need to match the ice cream they make to the character card and stacking the ice cream helps develop hand eye co-ordination.

child playing with Fortnite figures

Fortnite has been making it on to Christmas wish lists for the last few years with its popularity growing each year. You can now take Fortnite from the screen in to your play with their range of toys and figures. Children can play with their favourite characters using their imagination to bring Fortnite adventures to life. 

Each 6 inch scale model has posable legs and arms so you can bend them in to any poses and have them ready for battle with harvesting tools, back bling and weapons. 

boy playing the operation game

A little friendly competition and turn taking is healthy for children's development and Operation is a great way to spend time with family and friends. We have owned many versions of Operation over the years but the original is a classic and definitely our favourite. 

When it is your turn to be the doctor all you need to do is turn over the next surgery card, pick up the tweezers and operate on cavity Sam removing the pieces without setting the buzzer off. 

It takes a lot of skill and patience but it is so much fun and Operation is the perfect choice for a family games night. 

boy playing with a Pokemon Go Box

Gotta catch them all! Pokémon has been so popular even since I was little and it looks like it will continue to be a 'must have' for years to come with new collections being released every year. This year is the year of Pokémon GO and the Pokémon GO TCG Elite Trainer Box is the perfect choice to start your collection. 

The box comes complete with a variety of booster packs, foil promo card, 65 card sleeves, 45 energy cards, player guide, 6 counter damage dice, 1 competition legal coin flip die, markers and box. 

All that is left to do is assemble a deck and develop your strategy!

boy playing on the Meta quest 2

Virtual Reality is definitely the future of gaming with VR experiences opening up in cities across the UK. You can have the excitement of Virtual Reality in your own home with the Meta Quest 2. We use our Meta Quest 2 all the time and the one thing that still shocks me is that it does not need a PC or console to connect to. 

You have access to purchase hundreds of games with a small selection of free games too. It will change the way you 'game' as you are leave reality behind and become part of the game. 

The games range from the ever popular Beat Saber rhythm game to the up and coming Among Us. 

As well as gaming you can also use your Meta Quest 2 to have front row views of concerts, movies and entertainment events. 

boy playing with a hot wheels ultimate garage

Another timeless classic is Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels have been selling cars since 1968 so there will always be someone in your family or friends who have owned a Hot Wheels car or play set. As time has gone on the cars have evolved and play sets have got bigger and better with interactive features allowing endless hours of play. 

Our favourite is the Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage which allows children to use their imagination to race cars, beat the challenges and avoid the hungry Robo T-Rex. 

With space for over 100 cars, elevators and the chance to connect to other play sets, the Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage is definitely a must have for any fan. 

boy hugging an among us soft toy

Christmas in our house wouldn't be the same without a teddy bear or soft toy on the boys Christmas lists. This year we are collecting the Among Us Huggable Buddies from the popular mobile, console and VR game. 

Standing 25-30cm tall they are perfect for bedtime cuddles. 

I really do enjoy browsing all the must have toys and I do like to see a variety of toys and games suitable for all ages and budgets. 

Have your children made their Christmas list yet? I would love to know if any of our choices are on their list.
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