Is it that time of the year already? Maybe it is for some and not for others – it probably depends how early you like to get organised when buying and sending your Christmas presents – but either way Christmas will soon be upon us and with great festivities comes great responsibility.

If you're in charge of choosing a gift for a child, you could make this year's December 25 their best yet. While we adults are content with another pair of socks or the latest good-for-nothing gadget, kids will spend weeks thinking about what they might have the pleasure of opening on the big day. Christmas and Santa Claus counts for a great deal as a kid, so you should always carry on the good work of old St. Nick.   

Stuck for ideas? You're forgiven. Tastes and interests among the younger generation may have changed a little since your own sleepless nights on Christmas Eve, so we'll give you a bunch of suggestions to at least get you started.

1. Remote-controlled or ride on car - You may remember the remote-controlled car popping up in your own Christmas stocking. Here's an update: they're no longer as bulky or heavy as they used to be and now come in all shapes and sizes. The next level car gift would have to be the ride on – in a huge range of makes and models from a Mercedes G55 AMG to a Maserati Levante; some even come in electric versions! So whether you're spending £5 or £500, there’s one to match your budget.

2. Cuddly toy - Cuddly toys are great for relatives of any age that always seem to have a new one every time you go round. Be careful, though; if someone has an old and worn-out bear on their bookshelf, it doesn't mean to say they're still 'into' soft toys. But if you know they are, why not keep it current and buy them a plush toy of their favourite film character?

3. Lunchbox - Keep it themed and you'll make them the talk of the playground. Bento boxes, unicorn lunch bags and personalised insulated packs – the world of the kiddies lunchbox is probably a bit more sophisticated than it was when you had one.

4. Socks - Yes, you're reading this correctly; socks are great for kids if you make sure they're novelty ones. Pairs that have been designed in the style of Converse trainers, faces of monsters and film characters are ideal stocking fillers – and practical, even if the little tykes don’t realise it.

5. Onesie - Of course babies wear onesies all the time – they’re just called sleepsuits – but now the onesie is bringing happiness to older children (and adults!) so move over dressing gown and be gone bed socks. Popular for some years now, the trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping, so you should be able to find one that fits in with their tastes.

6. Sweets - Sweets are now perfectly acceptable forms of stocking filler fodder, so don't feel you have to stuff your child's sock with expensive goodies. Find something they like and won't crumble too much when the presents start piling up. If you wish to turn this into a fully-fledged present, a gumball machine is always a safe bet.

7. Desktop games - If you can't fit a snooker, ice hockey or ping pong table in their stocking – or the house, for that matter - go for the next best thing - the desktop version. Fun, stylish and compact, these games make you feel like you're playing in a mini arcade when you're actually in your own kitchen.

8. Baking kit - Bring together the main ingredients (leaving out anything perishable if you’re planning on sending it through the post of course), some novelty Christmas cutters or a baking tray and wrap everything together - their face will light up at the prospect of making a batch or two of cookies or brownies to share with friends and family.

9. Stationery and art supplies - Novelty themed pencils, a calligraphy pen, nibs and ink, paint pots, brushes and paper, a diary or journal - they all offer a different take for the creative child. Throw in a ‘how to’ book to help them learn to use the kit and they’ll be using it to make fridge and wall-adorning pieces for all the family!

10. Calendar - Not only does a calendar help a younger child to learn days of the week, dates and numbers, they can countdown to birthdays, holidays and yep – Christmas! They’re also lightweight and easy to pop in the post so makes for a good all round gift. First task: find out the child's favourite film character, athlete or pop group. Second task: look online to see whether they have a calendar available and buy the best one. Third task: relax - that was easy!

11. Wastepaper basket - Hint, hint, tidy your room, hint - get a bin that adds something to a child's room and they'll be pleased to use it. In short, this is anything that does a good job of disguising its function. Containers with a basketball hoop above them for long-range throws are a prime example and never get tiresome.

12. Board games - When you were a kid you might have had a few board games involving dice, moving a counter around and trying to get to the end first. Genres of board games now are vast and range from quiet and civilised to loud and messy! Perhaps try choosing something the whole family can enjoy after the Christmas dinner. Turn off the TV and let the battle commence.

13. A watch - This might seem like an old-school gift for modern day children, but – as with all of the more practical gifts – if you can find a themed one featuring their favourite cartoon characters or cool functions, it’ll be a hit.  

14. DAB Radio - With a huge selection of stations on digital radio, and many DAB systems geared to link via Bluetooth to other devices and play music through, a DAB radio will be something an older child will love using. Especially if it comes with an alarm function to help them get up for school in the morning! 

15. Savings bank - While us adults have become reliant on debit cards and chip-and-pin, children are still scraping together their pocket money and storing it in makeshift containers. Give them a traditional piggy bank if you like, but there are a lot more options too – how about a safe that locks (with just a basic mechanism), or a personalised money box with their name or a photo on it?

16. A DVD or box set - With digital broadcasting, YouTube, catch up, on demand and freeview in most households now, chances are their favourite TV characters are never far away from view – but there are still plenty of options for bringing something different to their screens. A series that you used to love but that’s not on anymore could be a nice connection to establish, and if they’re into science and nature, animals or even musicals, a box set should tick the box.

17. Action figure / doll - You can surprise yourself with this one. Are Action Man and Barbie still clinging onto the store shelf after all these years, or has something bigger and better stolen the limelight? What is true now though, there isn’t as much of an expectation to give gender-specific toys like this to boys and girls. Suit it to their personality and age instead – they’ll be far more likely to play with and enjoy it!

18. Musical Instrument - An entry-level version of a guitar or drum kit could make a rockstar out of your young relative yet. Perhaps you could subtly ask them what they wouldn't mind taking up, or what their hero in their favourite band plays. Yes, it’ll be noisy but they’ll adore making music and ‘entertaining’ the family!

19. Mini skateboard - Much to the delight of stocking fillers around the world, skateboards now come in super-mini sizes as well. Complete with a trainer sole type board for optimum grip, they continue to be a 'must-have' piece of street kit and let’s face it, are much easier to wrap, package and post than a hefty mountain bike.

20. Play tent (or a proper one!) - If the sofa cushions are constantly disappearing to be used as den walls, try providing a ready-made one in the form of a play tent. These can pop up out of the bag ready to go, come as a wigwam or other style and will give them the same sense of privacy (or secrecy!) they love. For older, more adventurous ones, swap that for a real tent made for the outdoors – they can invite a friend or two over and camp out in the backyard!  

21. Jigsaw puzzle - Providing fun for all the family since what seems like the beginning of time, jigsaws are still worth of a place in the stockings of today. Choose a theme the child will get excited about and want to complete – a few big pieces for little ones, lots of little pieces for older ones. Hours of fun (and probably peace and quiet!)

22. Book - Is the latest book in your child's favourite series just about to hit the shelves? Find out what they're reading and ask them what they're into – if you cant do that, or they’re not really sure themselves, your local bookstore will have sections by age with the most popular reads to choose from.

23. Building toys - Duplo, Lego, Meccano, Stickle Bricks, K’nex… there’s a building themed toy out there for all sizes and abilities – just check it’s compatible with the kid’s age so they don’t swallow small pieces (small children and babies particularly) or that its not too easy / limiting for the older ones.  

24. A poster - A picture of their idol or one of their favourite animals, or cartoon characters on glorious glossy paper will always go down well. It might be even better if you have it laminated or framed to protect and increase the lifespan – otherwise a blob of BluTac will do the trick.

25. School bag - A rucksack or satchel can still transform a school uniform, whether it’s something with their favourite brand, pop group or cartoon character emblazoned on it. Encourage their individuality!

Buying presents for children isn’t always the easiest of tasks but you can't beat that smile of approval when it hits the spot.

When you’ve selected, wrapped and packaged your gifts, ready for posting – get a quote from ipostparcels to see how cheaply we can collect and deliver your parcels this year. Merry Christmas! 


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