After a long year of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we're all looking forward to spending Christmas with family and friends, eating delicious food and relaxing in the sunshine.
But Christmas can also be a time of extreme stress and indecision as you attempt to figure out what to buy for friends, family, in-laws, your kid's teacher etc.
We're here to help with a definitive Newshub Christmas gift guide series.
In this edition, we've got a selection of the best gifts for the most judgemental souls - children. They'll tell you if they hate what you give them, so you better make sure the present is a good one. Hopefully this guide saves you from having to stand in an overly bright, overstimulating kids' toy aisle.
Hill St Kids Baking Kits, RRP $39.99
What better way to entertain the kids these school holidays by putting them to work making something from which you can reap the benefits? You've probably seen Hill St mixes on shelves around the country, but in my opinion, their kids baking kit takes the cake (sorry). Perfect for little people with busy hands, there are two vanilla cupcake kits to choose from, Cosmic and Jungle Cupcakes. The kits feature themed cupcake cases and toppers, a mini whisk and a colouring-in scene. Plus, each kit is vegan-friendly and free from nuts and dairy.
Discoveroo Fruit & Veg Set, RRP $48.50
Do you know a child that could really do with eating some more fruit and vegetables? Turn it into a game with this gorgeous set available from Father Rabbit, which is a great addition for any little kitchen. The nine-piece set includes fruit, vegetables, a wooden knife, a cutting board and a tray, and reportedly makes a very satisfying chopping noise - a crucial element of course. Take it as an opportunity to encourage kids to eat the rainbow.
'Trees that Count' Snap, RRP$26.95
Another option for rainy days during the school holidays, this version of Snap is probably a little chicer than the torn-up old playing cards you used after school. For one thing, each playing card has beautiful illustrations from artist Ezra Whittaker-Powley, with fun facts about 14 trees unique to Aotearoa, including the pōhutukawa, nīkau palm, mānuka, and more. And for another, every pack sold also gets one native tree planted in Aotearoa. Play a few rounds and as soon as the weather clears, get the family outside to identify some of the native trees you've learnt about.
Puma Cruise Rider Kids' Sneakers, RRP $90
Want your gifting recipient to be the coolest kid in the playground? That's easily done with some sneakers, like these Cruise Riders from Puma. Lightweight and comfortable, but more importantly, incredibly cute and pastel, these sneakers have a rubber outsole and platform insole, meaning they can take the heat if your kid is off and running. Of course, if you want to be matching with your little one, you can, of course, get them in adults' sizes as well. We're not saying you have to... but the option is always there.
Bunnings Block Warehouse, RRP $34.98
Do you have a tiny Bunnings fan who loves a trip to the tool and gardening mecca as much as you? Embrace the Bunnings life over the school holidays with this 168-piece set puzzle set that will really keep them occupied and out of the way if you're doing some dangerous DIY in the house. Each set allows users to build their very own Bunnings Warehouse complete with a plant-filled nursery, timber yard, and everyone’s favourite sausage sizzle stand. We'd recommend rustling up a couple of sausages on the barbeque to eat while putting it together, just for the full authentic experience.