Christmas Gift Ideas for all the Family Review

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Image source: Pexels

Reviewed by Melody Floyde

With Christmas fast approaching it’s time to get my thinking cap on to try to come up with new and exciting ideas of what to buy for some of the trickier members of my family.

I particularly struggle with thinking of things to buy for my two sons that will be fun but practical and not take up a lot of space. I was lucky enough to be asked to review two potential gift ideas!

As both my boys love to use their scooters I was intrigued to find out more about Scooterearz, Bagz and Reflectz as they sounded fun but practical too.

Firstly Scooterearz, these are hand mitts for children’s scooters that fit onto the handlebars to keep their hands warm whilst scooting.  They retail at £14.99.

We were sent a classic blue pair of Scooterearz to try, these are black on the outside with a lovely soft fluffy blue interior. They arrived in brightly coloured packaging that was very appealing and told me all I needed to know about the product. My son couldn’t wait to get the packaging off.

The Scooterearz are universal and are designed to fit all makes of scooters; they are attached by slipping the elasticated openings over the scooter handlebars. My son has a Globber scooter and it was a bit tricky to get the Scooterearz over the handlebars as it was a tight squeeze, but after a bit of pushing and pulling they were on and fitted well.

These are such a great idea as the child can hold onto their scooter handlebars as normal because of the way their hands slip inside the Scooterearz. They keep the hands lovely and toasty and are also wind proof and waterproof and are so much more practical than gloves. The Scooterearz are also very safe as the child can easily let go of the handlebars if they need to as they do not inhibit this in any way.

When not in use the Scooterearz can be removed and they have a clip to attach them together to minimise the chance of losing one!

I have to admit that I was curious as to why they were called Scooterearz but once they were on my son’s scooter this was obvious as it does look like his scooter has ears!

Alongside the Scooterearz we were also sent a Bagz to try. My son was so excited to get this out of the packaging and immediately set to filling it with all his bits and pieces to take out with us.

The Bagz is another great product. It is a small round bag that can be attached to the front of a scooter or bike and also used as a rucksack.  I found it very easy to fit the Bagz to my son’s scooter; there are three Velcro straps that fit to the handlebars and T-bar, and it feels very secure once on. It is also very quick and easy to remove again.  As we discovered there is quite a decent amount of space to fill with toys and other essential items for your trip, and it would also be ideal for taking snacks and maybe a small drink too.  The Bagz is waterproof and also has a wipe clean lining so would make a great lunch bag too as any spillages could be easily cleaned up. I love this product as it means I no longer have to carry all my son’s bits while he’s scooting as he can carry them himself.

My three-year-old has become very attached to the bag and takes it everywhere with him when we go out now. I have to agree it makes a lovely little bag for a toddler as it is just the right size for him to stash his toys and essentials in.

We were sent a Superhero Bagz but there are several designs to choose from. The superhero one is nice and bright with a lightning flash logo and looks really cool on my son’s scooter. They retail at £14.99.

Finally, we were sent a Reflectz sticker, this is a large reflective sheet that sticks to the scooter T-bar and helps children to be safe and be seen in the dark. These retail at £4.99. We were sent a superhero design that matches the Bagz and they look great together as a set. I have to confess that I was dubious whether it actually was reflective but having tested it with a torch I can confirm that the blue stars and circles definitely are!

I really like the idea of this product as it is very practical and much more appealing to children than a plain reflective sticker. However, it did seem to be a bit tricky to cut to size and to apply to the scooter in the right place without getting air bubbles under it.

All in all these would make a great practical Christmas gift for any child who loves to scoot. They can be purchased separately or as a bundle at a cost for £29.99.

I would give them a big thumbs-up and an overall score of 4.5/5, only marking down because the Reflectz were tricky to apply!

As both my sons also love swimming but my three-year-old is not yet confident to swim without aids I was really pleased to be asked to review the Splashabout Go Splash Swim Vest. We have tried a number of different swimming aids from shark fins to woggles so I was curious to see how this would compare.

We received a vest in “Set Sail” fabric and I was immediately impressed by the quality and design. The vest is bright blue with colourful sailing boats on and has a lovely soft pale blue trim which would help to minimise any chafing if it comes into contact with bare skin. There was a sturdy black zip and a Velcro tab to hold it in place when done up. The vest has non-removable floats in it and is surprisingly lightweight.

From a practical point of view, we were sent a medium sized vest which is for ages 2-4 years or 68-69cm chest according to the packaging. As mentioned before my son has just turned three and it was quite a squeeze to get this done up on him so I don’t think it is likely to last him until he’s 4 (he is quite chunky though!). The vest does also need to be a fairly tight fit so that it doesn’t move around when he’s in the water so it was perfect for now.

My son was excited to try out his new “boat vest” so we headed down to our local pool. He immediately jumped into the water like usual and after a few minutes of being a little unsure he found his balance and was able to swim happily from side to side. The swim vest is great because it doesn’t inhibit his arms, allowing him to scoop the water and kick like his teacher has taught him. It provides enough buoyancy to keep him afloat and to give me peace of mind to let him swim on his own. I was also impressed that once out of the pool the vest dried fairly quickly. I just hung it up with his other swim gear.

Unfortunately, we only got to test our swim vest in the local swimming pool but I think this would also be great to take on holiday as it’s lightweight and folds flat so it wouldn’t take up much space in a suitcase. It also has a sun protection factor of 50+ which is an added bonus.

I would definitely recommend the Go Splash Swim Vest and at £17.99 it is very reasonably priced.  I would definitely consider buying this as a Christmas gift for a child as it is practical and takes up very little space!

I give this a 5/5.

As well as the children, I also struggle for inspiration when it comes to gifts for my partner. I hadn’t even considered toiletries as a possibility, but we were both very keen to try the Duo of Shaving Products for Men from REN Skincare. This consists of 50ml bottles of both Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil and Multi-Tasking Aftershave Balm which retails at £32.00 (£42 if bought separately).

I had never heard of REN Skincare so after a bit of research I was really pleased to find out that they are pioneers of “Clean” skincare. All their products are naturally derived and free of skin unfriendly toxic ingredients, and they also come in recyclable packaging. What’s more, once empty, the bottles can be returned free of charge for recycling by post to FREEPOST REN (UK Only) – what a fab idea!

Anyway, back to the products, I could tell from the minute they arrived that we were looking at quality products. The bottles arrived in a very sturdy box clearly marked with the REN logo and branding, they were securely packed amongst recyclable foam peanuts so arrived in perfect condition. The bottles each came in their own boxes and were also in a very nice cotton drawstring bag which my partner will be able to use as a toiletry bag in the future.

The bottles themselves are very sturdy and strong and both have easy to use pumps. I sent my partner to test the products and his verdict was that they were both excellent. As he has very sensitive skin he was pleased to find that they had no lanolin or any other allergens in so it was safe for him to use them.

Firstly, the Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil was easy to apply and smelt lovely, it had a kind of warming spicy smell which actually reminded me a bit of Christmas. It helped the razor to glide over the skin and gave a very close shave leaving my partner’s skin feeling smooth and comfortable.

Secondly, the Multi-Tasking Aftershave Balm was easily absorbed and non-greasy and again left my partner’s skin feeling very soft. It also had a lovely fresh smell.

For both products it was noticeable that because of the quality, a little went a long way. So, while I was initially surprised at how small the bottles were, they will actually last for a decent amount of time.

We were both very impressed with the REN products and I will definitely be sneaking to the bathroom to use them myself as I think they would be equally as good for women even though these are aimed at men!

I would highly recommend REN, and although the price is a lot more than I would normally spend on shaving products, I would give them a 5/5.

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