Reviewed by Nia Lock
I often need to buy gifts for children and I sometimes struggle to know what to buy, so it was great fun to try out a few new products which I hadn’t seen before.
Musti Eau de Soin Coffret Gift Set
The first gift I looked at was the Musti Eau de Soin Coffret gift set by Mustela. This set is intended to be given as a gift for a new baby. It comes in a pale grey gift box with windows, including a teddy shaped window, and has space on the top of the box for you to write a gift message.
The gift set consists of a beautiful soft pink bear (blue also available). Maximum toy safety is guaranteed by a double seam on the bear which exceeds European toy safety regulations and makes this an extremely suitable teddy from newborn. My baby is 2 but she has fallen in love with the bear because it has a very sweet face and is super soft. Her 4-year-old sister has also fallen for the bear and so they are (thankfully!) sharing her. The box states that the container has provided work to people with disabilities and uses vegetable based ink and sustainably sourced cardboard.
Also included in the gift set is the Musti Eau de soin delicate fragrance. The 50ml bottle is clear and rounded, perfect for small hands. The teddy bear has very much enjoyed wearing the perfume, as have the children. The scent is very soft, light and clean and is formulated to minimise risk of allergic reaction, being alcohol, paraben, phthalate and phenoxyethanol free. The perfume isn’t overpowering and doesn’t linger overnight which is good. It does say its suitable for newborns but personally I’d be reluctant to encourage anyone to alter the natural scent of a newborn baby because I don’t think anything could improve it. Also, smell is an important part of bonding. Having said that, it’s an enjoyable novelty for my young daughters to occasionally experiment with something which seems as grown up as perfume now they are not babies anymore, and it’s nice for me to know its more suited to their young skin than an adult scent would be. Rating: 3/5
Hector & Queen Felted Panda Slippers
The next item I looked at was a beautiful pair of felted Panda slippers from Hector & Queen. These are handmade from organic wool and are quite thick. They feel as though they’ll be hard wearing enough that my younger child will be able to wear them once the older one grows out of them, which makes them great value for us. The soles are suede which looks great, is comfortable to walk on and doesn’t slip on our floors. The size 5-6 years is about a UK child size 12-13.
The pleasing rounded shape of the toe works brilliantly with the embroidered wool panda face on each slipper, making the pandas (who we’ve decided are both boys) look extra friendly and happy. The ears of the pandas with their lovely pink detail are only sewn at the base so that they stand up realistically. The slippers pull on easily and stay on my daughters’ feet well. They are super warm and cosy and the fact that they’re wool means they’ll be breathable and less likely to smell of feet, not that tiny girls’ feet are particularly offensive of course. The slippers are machine washable so are suitable for everyday wear and up to 20% of every sale benefits TUSK who fund conservation, community development and environmental education programmes across Africa. Although these slippers are more expensive than some others at £22, they are a beautiful premium product handmade by someone talented and will be enjoyed in this house for many years to come. Rating: 5/5
Wicked Mega Bounce XL Inflatable Ball
The final gift I tried out was the Wicked Mega Bounce XL inflatable ball. This really would make a great and unusual gift for a child but the parents may be nervous of using it indoors! The box it arrives in is about the size of a shoebox and would be nice and easy to wrap up. The box contains the ball which is ready to inflate, a foot pump, a measuring tape and a valve plug removal tool. The instructions are printed on the side of the box and are simple to follow.
When I first looked at the pump and the ball I couldn’t believe it was really going to reach a 2.51 metre circumference. The pump makes a squeaky noise while in use which we all thought was very funny. It did take about 20 minutes to inflate and the pump popped off from both ends a few times during inflation which could become a little frustrating but in this instance my 2 little girls were having so much fun that a few mishaps added to the excitement. Eventually it was time to start measuring the ball to check it was fully inflated. This is done simply by putting the tape around the middle of the ball, you know it’s ready when the two ends of the tape meet and this is clearly marked by arrows. Incredibly it reached the 2.51 metres with complete ease and I quickly put the valve plug in.
This ball really is very bouncy and absolutely hilarious, it’s sheer gigantic size just makes everyone laugh and yet it can be easily picked up and pushed around by even the tiniest child.
Deflating the ball turned out to be as much fun as actually playing with it, eve with much squeezing, bouncing and squashing we still had at least 10 minutes of fun with it before it was ready to go back in the box. The pump can be used at the end of deflation to get the last of the air out to store and this meant it did fit back into its box, which was a nice surprise.
This is a great summer toy, we can’t wait to use it on our holiday where we’ll have a huge space to fully enjoy it but it was also great fun at home and at the park. Rating: 5/5