What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts
Book Recommendations / Christmas

What’s Under The Christmas Tree – 2017 Gifts

sponsored post/contains affiliate linksWhat's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

It’s my favourite time of the year again… CHRISTMAS!! Well, almost. I am actually organised this year! All the presents almost sorted. I always order online because the thought of wading through the crowds? No thanks. I want to peruse things in the comfort of my own home. Maybe you do too? So I’m sharing my finds with you!

We’re about quality, not quantity over here and I’m so excited with what I’ve found this year. I can’t wait to see their excited faces on Christmas morning! They actually haven’t given me many clues into what they might like this year so it’s been up to me. I’ve been paying close attention to the things they enjoy most, and found gifts that I think they’ll love.

Read on to find out what made the cut…

Matador Blocks

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

I have had my eye on these blocks for a while. My 6-year-old, in particular, loves to tinker. I know she is just going to love these. The possibilities are endless with this wooden construction kit! It comes with lots of ideas for things to make but is open-ended so there are no limits, AND you can get a motor to go with it too so you can make your constructions move! You might have seen Miss 6 making a car recently and trying to get it to move by using a motor out of an old toy. This is right up her alley!

What I love also is that you can start with a small set and add on others if you need to for more children down the track. In fact, there are lots of different additions you can get like a hot cars set for the car lovers, cogs, and extra tools. There are also two different types of blocks; the Ki series for children 3+ years (bigger blocks for little hands), and the Klassik series for children 5+ years (smaller parts for more complex inventions). We’ve gone for a Klassik set and I anticipate we’ll be adding to it in the future! To see what these blocks can do, check out this video.

Amazing, right? I cannot wait to see what creations the girls come up with!! You can find these wonderful blocks HERE at Sweet Elephants. (I also recommend the rainbow blocks too while you’re there, the girls really like them).

Makey Makey

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

I don’t remember how I came across Makey Makey but I’m SO glad I did! It is SO cool. This will be under the tree for Miss 8 this year. Ok, now let me try to explain what exactly it is.

Makey Makey is a circuit board that you connect to a computer via USB. You then use wires to connect Makey Makey to conductive objects, turning those objects into keyboard keys! SO basically, you can turn anything into a computer key! You can then use one of the many Makey Makey apps or an online game/instrument/anything and control the computer with your new ‘keys’. It’s an invention kit with endless possibilities. You could make a piano made of bananas, a pinball machine, turn an artwork into a musical instrument, set up a surveillance system for your bedroom, a maze, your own game of operation, and millions of other things.

You really have to see it to understand how cool it is. Here’s a great video…

I can’t even imagine what the kids will come up with! They are really interested in circuits and electronics and always inventing things so this is going to give them many more possibilities.

We got our Makey Make HERE at Core Electronics. This is a great online store with loads of things if your kids are into electronics. I’m also thinking of upgrading to a bigger Snap Circuits kit because ours has gotten a lot of use.

Marble Run

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

This year, Miss 2 received a small marble run for her birthday and it was a huge hit. Everyone wants to use it! And so I thought an upgrade would be perfect.

We got the Hape Quadrilla Vertigo marble run because it has a massive 133 pieces, 50 marbles, and comes with a drawstring bag. I love that it can be put together any way the children want, allowing room for creativity and problem-solving. I imagine them all sitting around it working together. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s all wooden and non-toxic too. I think we’ll be having a lot of fun with this one on Christmas day and I really think it’s one of those toys that will be loved for a long time. I mean, even I can’t wait to play with it, ha!

We got the marble run from the lovely Eco Toys, HERE. They have so many beautiful and eco-friendly toys, I think the Kinderfeets Kinderboard would also be an awesome gift.

Tool Set

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

I am all about REAL tools for kids. Kids want to do real things, and they are SO capable! Both the big girls have their own toolsets and Miss 3 is always wanting to get her hands on them. It’s time for her to have her own tools. I found this gorgeous little set, and she’s going to be thrilled with it. It does say for ages 6+ and you know your child best so do use your own judgement. In our case, Miss 3 will be supervised when using her tools, especially the saw, but she is very capable and I have no doubt she’s quite ready to have her own. She already uses her sister’s hammers and screwdrivers when they let her. Now I just need to get her some scrap wood so she can get started whenever she likes!

This wooden toolset can also be found HERE at Eco Toys.

Art Supplies

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

You can always guarantee that art supplies will be on the list here! The girls are BIG on art and Christmas is such a good time to stock up on things, or add a few unique things that they haven’t tried before. This time we were lucky to receive a bunch of cool stuff from Micador. They are one of my favourite brands for art supplies because they are great quality and reasonably priced!

Pictured (from left to right), we have.

  • A visual art diary. We use lots of these for art and the big girls tend to have a few on the go at any one time for different things (art, ideas, plans, etc).
  • Oil pastels. We go through many of these. They’re one of their favourite drawing materials because they’re so vibrant and satisfying.
  • Watercolour palette. These are my absolute favourite dry watercolours. They have LOTS of colours, they’re super vibrant, and they last for ages and ages.
  • Dark Arts Magic Black Light. This will be something Miss 6 will enjoy. She’s always running our torches out of battery, ha! You can make models with the modelling foam and they glow with the black light.
  • Glow Paint Pens. Everyone loves squeezy paint pens.
  • Air Clay Jewellery Kit. The girls enjoy working with modelling clay, so I think they’ll like this air dry variety, especially because they don’t have to wait for me to oven bake it!
  • Drawing Paper. I like these drawing pads because the pages are easy to tear out for little hands. Sometimes when they tear them out and it doesn’t come out perfectly they then don’t want to use the sheet of paper at all! eek! This pad is easy for them.
  • No-drip paint. Washable, non-toxic, non-drippy paint for the little ones!
  • Barnyard Besties. Chunky washable markers for little hands.
  • Painting paper. A3 for the large amount of paint the little ones put on.
  • Triangle pencils. Bigger pencils, easy for the little ones to hold.
  • Zoo crew crayons. Crayons that are also finger puppets, for the littlest.


Another thing that’s ALWAYS on the list. This year the girls are getting…

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

For Miss 8

Who is Jane Goodall? Miss 8 is my animal lover and right now she’s really interested in the work of Jane Goodall. We have another book on her childhood and I thought this would be a great addition to learn more about her work.

Smart About Sharks. Some of her favourite animals are sharks! This gorgeously illustrated book is perfect for her.

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

For Miss 6

Where’s The Artist? Miss 6 is currently interested in different art techniques and learning to draw realistically. This book popped out at me one day and I thought it looked great! A trip though time, discovering different art movements and how they changed from one to another.

This Phenomenal Life. I’ve had a flip through this one and it is divine! SO beautiful and SO fascinating. “This Phenomenal Life tells the story of the wondrous ways that we humans are related to the natural world around us. Every single atom of our body is made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies, and we share the same biochemical basis of life with all living beings on earth, from a single-celled amoeba to a giant blue whale.” I think this is my favourite of the Christmas books. It’s wonderful.

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

For Miss 3

Grandad’s Secret Giant. I see this one in my Instagram feed all the time and everyone loves it so I had to see what it was all about. Doesn’t it look beautiful? “This delightful heartfelt story of belonging and friendship teaches the importance of tolerance and acceptance to young children.”

Feelings. Three-year-olds have BIG feelings, don’t they? Sometimes hard to understand or explain. And that’s why I thought this would be a great addition for Miss 3.

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts

For Miss 2

The Ugly Five. New Julia Donaldson book. Need I say more? One of our all-time favourite authors. Miss 2 is going to love this.

This Is Sadie. This is another one I’ve read so many good reviews about. It’s about a girl with a big imagination and a love of stories. It looks really beautiful!

Stocking Stuffers

A few other things the girls will be getting in their stockings…

Lego: There are a couple of little sets they have their eyes on!

Knitting: The older girls want to learn to knit so I’m getting them some knitting needles and wool.

Cross stitch supplies: They also want to learn to cross stitch!

Tickets: There are a few shows coming up like Deadly 60 and Operation Ouch that we’re getting the girls tickets to.

Documentaries: Some David Attenborough and Jane Goodall documentaries.

Homemade potions kit: Miss 3 LOVES to mix potions so I’m making her a little kit with food colouring, bicarb soda, vinegar, etc.

Playdough: Homemade for Miss 2.

Baskets: A couple of these beautiful bolga baskets for the little ones to collect their treasures in.


And that’s it! What gifts will be under your tree on Christmas morning this year?

If you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out last years post HERE.

For more book recommendations, browse the posts HERE.

What's Under The Christmas Tree - 2017 Gifts


November 5, 2017 at 10:05 pm

You are so organised! They look like beautiful gifts. I haven’t ordered anything yet, but I add to a list in my note function on my phone whenever I think of something.

My two boys (7 and 6) are really keen to make their own YouTube videos, so we are going to get them a tripod and microphone and the programs they need.

My eldest son would love mindstorm Lego, but it is really expensive so I am hoping it will be in one of the pre Christmas sales. He also loves rock climbing so we will get him his own gear and a pass to our gym so we can go more regularly.

My six year old is always building forts so I am going to put together a kit with ropes and strong clips and pulleys and things like that. He loves to cook and reading is just starting to click so I would like to get him his own cook book with pictures and simple instructions.

My two year old daughter is obsessed with lip balm so I want to get her her own set. She will also get a lot of art supplies. She is constantly turning everyone into frogs with pretend wands so I am going to put together some sparkly bits and pieces with a wood dowel so we can make a wand together.

November 5, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Beautiful list!! Thank you for sharing!! I have a question (and please link me if you have already written about this) but do you guys “Do the Santa thing” with your girls? I am so torn and go back and forth each year. We do it very mildly here, Santa does not steal the show so-to-speak, but I keep having this little voice in my mind thinking we should ditch the whole Santa thing all together (many different personal reasons, and choices). I just love your blog so I thought I would ask and see what you guys do.

November 6, 2017 at 12:16 am

Hey, I love your website and I appreciate the gift ideas. This is a little off topic but my son is 4 and I wanted to homeschool/unschool but he is an only child. You have four children, your own little herd, is it cruel to homeschool one child? Any suggestions?

November 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm

The Matador set is fabulous. We got klassic set for dd when she turned 5 and her brother 8 loves it too. Thanks for the tip about a motor that would be perfect right now. I got ours on Gumtree and it’s so nice that we can add on if needed.
I so enjoy making good choices that last for years, better all around.
Your girls will have a lovely time growing with these toys.

Jessica Powers
December 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

We’ve got a new title from Wide Eyed: One Hundred Things to Spot, because there is a cat to be found on every page which will please our kitty lover. A short sleeve rainbow dress, that I hope will replace the long sleeve one she loves (NZ is HOT this year), and a wee realistic stuff turtle to be gifted on Christmas with whatever Daddy bought today. On the Solstice I’ll be giving her a sweet Etsy-bought unicorn toy and a unicorn headband. No Santa in our conversations as parents yet, and at 2.5 she thinks he is a gnome thanks to liking my family’s Wil Huygen/Rien Poortvliet books. …family is coming up, she is the youngest of only two kids, and it sounds like there is going to be a huge stash of goodies from great-nana and auntie. For the new year I followed your link and have lots of art supplies coming for our Messy Mondays (mess isn’t an issue, but it’s a good day not to have to leave home and this will keep us delightfully engaged).

April 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

Thank you for this list! I just used it for some birthday gift ideas for my almost 8 year old son. I went with the marble run and Make Makey. Keep being awesome!

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