Fun & Educational Christmas Gifts for Kids

Fun & Educational Christmas Gifts for KidsWelcome to my collection of fun & educational Christmas gifts for kids. I love it when I find something that I know the kids will enjoy but that will also help them learn something new or develop a skill. Here’s a list of some of my favourite educational Christmas gifts for this year.


Articulate for Kids board gameArticulate for Kids

This is a kids version of the ever popular Articulate. Not only is it perfect for an hour of family fun, it also helps kids develop their vocabulary and literacy skills. You can find a more detailed review and the chance to win a copy in our previous post here.


History Heroes – InventorsHistory Heroes Inventors game

This is a fabulous spin on the old idea of collecting and trading cards. The beautifully illustrated deck contains a host of famous historical inventors with a list of facts about them. Players then try to guess the inventor from the facts. Perfect for those kids who like to learn all the facts and figures about characters.


LWin a personalised lost my name bookost my name book

I wrote about these gorgeous books a little while ago so you can find all the details here but in short they are a lovely personalised story that spell out your child’s name. A great gift to keep for years to come.


My First BananagramsMy first bananagrams

This revision of the well known word game includes several changes to make it easier for emerging readers (ages 4-6, I’d estimate) to join in with the rest of the family. You can find our review and some suggestions of learning activities we have tried in our post here.

I hope that has given you a few ideas for your little ones this Christmas. Do leave us a comment if you have a favourite educational toy or game you’d like to recommend. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Don’t forget to check out our recommendations for Yummy Mummy Gifts too.

25 Christmas Fine Motor Skill and Learning Activities

Today – A collection of Christmas themed fine motor skill activities and learning activities for pre-schoolers and younger primary school children.

25 Christmas Fine Motor Skill activities and Learning ActivitiesPretty much everything pre-schoolers do are learning activities in one way or another but today I have a collection of Christmas crafts and activities which will either give those fine motor skills a work out or provide a fun opportunity so see some science in action. Learning should be fun, after all!

Fine Motor Skills & Learning Activities for Christmas

I hope you enjoyed these Christmas Fine Motor Skill Activities. Don’t forget to check out our other Christmas posts.

Venison meatballs with wild mushroom and chocolate sauce

Today – Venison meatballs with wild mushroom and chocolate sauce recipe

These richly flavoured venison meatballs celebrate all that is wonderful about late autumn and midwinter ingredients. They are a nod to the Nordic love of a good meatball, and this intensely flavoured sauce marries brilliantly with gently spiced savoy cabbage and the punchy beetroot and potato horseradish mash. Delicious with a glass of red wine, or indeed a good British beer.

Venison meatballs with wild mushroom and chocolate sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 x packets of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Venison Meatballs
  • 1x 30g packet of by Sainsbury’s dried mushroom selection
  • 1 small glass (125ml) red wine
  • 1x 500ml packet Sainsbury’s signature beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 200 ml Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference creme fraiche
  • 40g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 1tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying the meatballs
  • 1x savoy cabbage, core removed and chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Venison meatballs with wild mushroom and chocolate sauce recipe:

Start by placing a spoonful of vegetable oil in a medium-large frying pan and warming over a medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry until evenly brown on all sides for a few minutes. Meanwhile place the wild mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 250ml boiling water so they swell up. Once they’ve infused for about 10 minutes drain the mushroom liquid and reserve this for the sauce. You may want to add a clean J-cloth to a sieve before draining the mushrooms so you keep any grit from the liquid. Rinse the wild mushrooms to clean them of any grit as well. Chop them finely and keep for the sauce.

Remove the meatballs from the pan once they’ve been seared on the outside and place in a separate bowl while you prepare the sauce. Using the same pan, add the red wine, the beef stock, the mushroom liquid, Worcestershire sauce and reduce this over a high heat by about half. While this is reducing roughly chop the cabbage. In a separate saucepan, place 50g butter and the caraway seeds, warming over a gentle heat before adding the cabbage and the vinegar or lemon juice along with another tablespoonful of water. Cover the pan and wilt the cabbage over a medium heat, checking every few minutes to stir the cabbage.

Next add the creme fraiche, dark chocolate and mustard to the pan with the mushroom liquid and keep simmering for a couple of minutes. Check the seasoning – it should have a rich, deep savoury flavour, and if need be add sea salt and black pepper to balance out the flavours. You can add a little more dark chocolate if you wish, or indeed more creme fraiche.

Once the sauce is the right flavour for you, add the meatballs and chopped mushrooms and gently simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Serve with Sainsbury‘s beetroot, potato and horseradish mash.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Venison meatballs with wild mushroom and chocolate sauce recipe. Do check out our other recipe posts too.

[This autumn, Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Scandinavian chef and author Signe Johansen to celebrate the UK’s new found love for hygge. Hygge (pronounced hoo-GAH) is about taking the time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Together, Signe and Sainsbury’s have created this recipe to demonstrate how you can bring these principles into the kitchen to cook fresh, wholesome, delicious Scandinavian-inspired dishes using familiar ingredients. Driven by an appreciation of exciting and innovative taste combinations, Signe’s exclusive recipes take quality British produce, like wild Scottish venison meatballs (available from Sainsbury’s), and combines them with classic Scandinavian flavours to embrace the hygge values of comfort and warmth.]

25 Christmas Printables for the Holidays

25 Christmas printables for preschoolers and up including Christmas puzzles and worksheets, printable Christmas games and Christmas colouring sheets.Today – 25 Christmas printables for preschoolers and up including Christmas puzzles and worksheets, printable Christmas games and Christmas colouring sheets.

It’s never too soon to start prepping for Christmas and it’s always handy to have a couple of activities for the kids ready to go for when you need a few minutes, whether it’s to crack on with your Christmas cards or just enjoy a mince pie. Here’s a collection of 25 Christmas printables covering everything from playdough mats to colouring sheets for you to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Christmas Printables for Preschoolers

Christmas Bingo Boards from One Creative Mommy
Shelf Elf Pack from 3 Dinosaurs
Christmas Bingo Game from Gift of Curiosity
Santa Says Game for Christmas Parties from The Resourceful Mama
Christmas Busy Bags from Powerful Mothering
Nutcracker Learning Pack from 3 Dinosaurs
Christmas Cootie Catchers from Red Ted Art
Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt from Twitchetts
Christmas Countdown Day 13 from Simple Fun for Kids
Fill the Alphabet Stocking from Cutting Tiny Bites
Christmas Cutting Practice Sheets from Makeover and Motherhood
12 Days of Christmas Dot Marker Page from 3 Dinosaurs
Christmas Letter Tile Sheets from Fun-A-Day
5 Piece and 10 Piece Christmas Puzzles from Simple Fun For Kids
Christmas Memory Matching Game from A Little Pinch of Perfect
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.Coloring Placemat from Sunny Day Family
Christmas Pack with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 3 Dinosaurs
Christmas Playdough Mats from Tot Schooling
Christmas Printable Pack for Preschoolers from Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Dear Santa Stationery (Printables) from Makeover and Motherhood
Christmas Rhythm Game from Lets Play Music
Christmas Songs for Kids from True Aim
Counting Christmas Lights 1-20 Busy Bags from Powerful Mothering
Christmas Themed Color Coloring Pages from 3 Dinosaurs
Christmas Themed Fine Motor Tracing Worksheets from Powerful Mothering

I think there are Christmas printables for preschoolers there for all tastes but if you have come across another one you particularly like do leave us a link to your favourite Christmas printables in the comments so we can all check them out.

Of course there are lots of great Christmas related posts around at the moment. If you’re at a loose end you could check out Cass’s Savoury Puff Pastry Christmas Tree, Ali’s Ethical Gift Guide, Jenny’s Christmas Pudding Popcorn Cakes, Kirsty’s Egg and Dairy Free Peppermint Snowmen, Fiona’s Christmas Gift Tree Decorations, Becky’s Wish Tree, Joy’s Sensory Snowman Cards and Amy’s St Nicholas Day video.

And of course, don’t forget to check out all the Yellow Days Christmas Fun posts.

7 Christmas Crafts for Older Children

7 Of The Best Christmas Crafts for Older KidsToday I’m very happy to have a guest post for you from Queen of Crafts Maggy Woodley. She’s sharing a lovely collection of Christmas crafts for older kids. Decorations and ornaments that need a little more concentration or dexterity than the usual preschooler crafts.

It is lovely to be back and share some more crafty fun from Red Ted Art. Today it is all about CHRISTMAS! Well of course, with Halloween over, it is now time to look ahead and start planning for Christmas. We have some lovely Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers, but today, we share a set of ideas for older kids and grown ups! There are also some handy Christmas Printables for quick and easy Christmas crafting!

Christmas crafts for older kids

  1. First up we have some ADORABLE Christmas Treats Santa Sleighs. Do you remember receiving big packs of confectionery for Christmas as a child? Well, I do. This is one step up from those yummy gifts – turn your chocolates and lollies into the cutest “DIY Chocolate Santa Sleigh”. This is now a MUST at our Christmas. Fun and easy to do!
  2. Origami Star Bowls – now I know many people get scared and run a mile when they hear the word Origami! They “no way, it is too hard, I can never remember the steps”…. I know how you feel.. that used to be me. But I promise, it is EASY to learn how to make these stars and they look AMAZING. People will be so impressed with your Christmas decorating skills!
  3. Need something thrifty? Love traditional DIYs? You will adore these traditional nature wreaths – all you need is some WEEDS – oh ok, IVY from the (neighbour’s) garden. You can pull these together in minutes and add customising details.
  4. I mentioned some fab Christmas Printables earlier – I love these simple 3D Christmas Tree Coloring pages. Zen out and have some “me time”, with a nice cup of cocoa or a glass of mulled wine.. then turn your coloring into a pretty mantle piece decoration (or table centrepiece).
  5. Need LARGE decorations, that are quick and easy to make? Have you seen these oh so clever Paper Bag Stars? Wow they are AMAZING, are so so sooooo easy and look fantastic. Oh and they only take minutes to make. Use cheap white paper bags for snowflakes or colours to match a décor.
  6. And how about some cute decorations for the Christmas Tree? Check out these adorable little Penguin Corks. So so sweet! And a good reason to keep the prosecco flowing this Christmas season!
  7. If you need more Christmas Ornament inspiration, we have a HUGE STASH of them for you over on Red Ted Art 50+ ideas to keep you busy all Winter!

I hope you have enjoyed this sample of Christmas crafts for older kids and that you are inspired to have a go this winter. It really is lovely to get together with the kids or friends in the evening and have a cozy crafting session!

Check out our other Christmas fun posts too.