Updated: Dec 17, 2020
With a couple of weeks' shopping online and in store left until Christmas, here's our top picks for kids and dads' (or mums, obv) Christmas prezzies!
*A little disclaimer before we take the festive plunge - the samples featured in the images in this blog post were generously gifted by the retailers and brands - that said, this is 'just for fun' and not a paid promotion.
Kids gift ideas
Build Your Own Marble Run
First up, an impressive 'build your own' marble run kit from BYO. Made entirely from heavy-duty card, this 153 piece kit slots together to create a satisfying marble run. Ours took about five hours to complete - it's a fantastic activity for parents and kids to do together.
Buy here: buildyourownkits.com/product/marble-run/
GIANT Nerf blaster toys
These huge Nerf Ultra semi-automatic blasters from Hamley's claim to launch the 'furthest flying Nerf dart... Ever" which we will be putting to the test on Christmas Day afternoon after lunch. Stay tuned to our Instagram stories to find out how we get on!
Get 15% off your order from Hamley's until 31st December 2020 with the code: MERRYCHRISTMAS05
Buy from: Hamley's website
Bakugan Battle Arena
The latest craze for kids Lyall and Richs' age is Bakugan - which (after a very detailed explanation from Rich) is a turn-taking battle card game featuring detailed characters which transform from balls on the battle-field.
It's actually quite an exciting, fast-moving game; for the benefit of ancient folks like Dad and I, we would describe Bakugan as somewhere between Hungry Hippos and Transformers - both of which we love so we're obviously on board.
Buy here: Bakugan on Amazon.co.uk
Launch and Defend Batmobile
At least 30 years since I last played with my die-cast Batmobile, I was SO excited when this cracking 2020 Batmobile electronic toy arrived, from Spinmaster Toys. Not only is the 2020 upgraded Batmobile USB chargeable and controlled via a wireless remote control, it features an exciting launch function that launches Batman right out of the roof into the air. It's wonderful.
Buy here: Batmobile on Amazon.co.uk
Batman characters and accessories
"Who's your fave Batman character, Rich?"
(In most evil voice possible) "The Joker..."
"Of course he is, babe."
By the way, my favourite character and by far my favourite sidekick from any superhero franchise is definitely Robin. Stylish, handsome, loyal and a little bit camp, he's everything I'd want in a sidekick best friend.
Continuing the Batman theme, these Batman characters and accessories by Spinmaster, including the pictured Batman mask are available from all the main toy retailers and online from Amazon.
Price: From £5.99
Buy from: Batman figures on Amazon.co.uk
My Studio from Studio.co.uk is a complete starter pack for budding influencers and creators, like Lyall and Rich! In the box you'll find everything you need to get started, including a large green screen, a mic, tripod, a robust, full-sized ring light and a smartphone holder. The green screen allows your little star YouTuber to appear in front of their favourite picture or video clip.
Lights, camera, action!
Buy from: Studio.co.uk
Kids' book choice: The Threee Goats UNITED
A story about standing up to bullies and self-confidence for kids, lovingly written by fabulous drag queen Aida H Dee. You may remember Aida from our Pride At Home UK festival in the Summer - she is famous for her Drag Queen Story Hour UK which takes her all around the UK to read to children in libraries and community venues.
This is Aida's first book and we are so proud to be among the first to receive a copy!
Buy from: 20% off via this link Drag Queen Story Hour UK Store
Gifts for Dads
The New York Times Best Earplug of 2020, 'Experience' and 'Quiet' by Loop are the world's best earplugs. Priced from £14, they're affordable and they work, really, really well. The packaging and included accessories make them a really lovely gift, to.
The 'Quiet' earplugs block all sound, completely. Literally I can't hear Tom snore or Richard sing at 5am, they actually are that good. The 'Experience' earplugs reduce noise by 20 decibels, cutting out loud or droning background sound but allowing nearby speech and music through - perfect for loud gigs (remember those?) and nights out (or those?).
Price: From £14
Buy from: The Loop Store
If, like me you struggle to find a wallet that suits your other half (or Dad), Trove have a clever solution. Design your own!
Lyall designed these Trove 'Swift' wallets for his Daddy and Dad - a lovely stripy panel with a navy blue body for Dad, a stylish black panel with a black and mint green stitch for Daddy (absolutely no input from Daddy what-so-ever in those choices, honest guv. Well... a splash of inspiration perhaps!).
The best thing about these little wallets is their size. They're card-sized and slim, making them ideal to slip into a skinny jean pocket.
Price: From £30
Buy from: Trove.cc
Dolce Gusto Genio S+ coffee maker
Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus coffee maker is, quite frankly, a gorgeous kitchen gadget. There's an espresso feature for Dad and a temperature control feature for Daddy which means I can make a lovely warm coffee to drink fast before the school run! It's excellent.
By the way, the coffee pods are available from all the main supermarkets and online retailers, in all sorts of flavours including (drum roll please...) Nesquik milkshake!
Price: from £69.99
Buy from: Dolce-Gusto website
This year's top pick for dads is the Fitbit Sense. It's a voice controlled (Google assistant/Alexa) beauty of a smartwatch, with a colourful HD touch screen, apps including Spotify, an ECG and sleep monitor along with everything else you'd expect from a Fitbit (honestly if I were to list all the features I'd be here for hours!).
Buy from: Fitbit website
Avanti candles & gifts
Leicestershire-based Avanti candles are an artisan candles and gift maker, just around the corner from Daddy & Dad HQ. Their candles and wax melts smell wonderful. Old Rouge is our current fave fragrance. Avanti candles have chunky wooden wicks that continue to smell lovely for hours after the candle's blown out, too. Lovely.
Price: Wax melt kits from £10, candles £19
Buy from: Avanti candles website
Beer Hawk craft beer gifts
For beer lovers (like me and Tom) Beer Hawk have us covered, with various selection boxes containing delicious craft beers and a beer glass. My personal favourite from our selection was Key Lime lager - so refreshing. Tom loves Camden beers. Anyway, these affordable gift selection boxes start at £10. The Beer Hawk Christmas Case (pictured) is £35 and includes 12 craft beers and a beer glass, all presented in a lovely red gift box.
Price: from £10
Buy from: Beer Hawk website
HUGE pick 'n' mix bags from At Sweet Wishes
For parents with a sweet tooth (no kids allowed near this one, obv), the UK's #1 online confectioner At Sweet Wishes bundle together all your favourite nostalgic penny sweets into enormous 1kg and 2kg gift bags. The picture above doesn't nearly do justice to the size and weight of this bag of sweets - it's ENORMOUS.
They're surprisingly affordable, too, with 1kg pick 'n' mix bags starting at just over a tenner.
Price: from £11.99 (for the 1kg Christmas 'mega mix'), 2kg 'mighty mega mix' (pictured) is £21.49
Buy from: At Sweet Wishes
Parents' book choice: Strategic parenting guides
If you are familiar with the Daddy & Dad blog, you'll already know we're winging this parenting mayhem just as I expect most of you are. Friends of Daddy & Dad and parenting experts Susan Groner and Claire Nicogossian Psyd (try saying that one after a large merlot) have produced these excellent parenting guides - easy to read and packed full of positive ideas to keep Daddy Hulk at bay.
My favourite tip from Susan's book, Parenting with Sanity and Joy is tip #45 - Adjust your attitude about mistakes. Susan suggests families talk about their daily mistakes over dinner - something we've tried with resulting hilarity... Richard: "Today I accidentally stuck a perfectly good pencil into my sandwich" was probably the best yet.
Mama You Are Enough is available from Amazon.co.uk, priced £12.99
Bonus content... Christmas family-fashion round-up
That's almost it for 2020 - what a selection, eh?! But before we go, here's our top Christmas jumpers and winter family-fashion tips!
Christmas jumpers from Studio.co.uk
Price: from £5 (we couldn't quite believe it either!)
Buy from: Studio.co.uk
Licensed jumpers from PopGear
Price: from £23.99
Buy from: PopGear
Family 'Elf' pyjamas from Threadbare at Next
Price: from £16
Buy from: Next
Kids' winter streetwear from Beat Boyz Club
Price: from £14.99 (for tshirts) and £24.99 for the SNOODY™
Buy from: Beat Boyz Club