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Kids' Christmas Gardening Gifts

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 14 Dec 2010 at 02:22 PM

"I want an electric toothbrush and a hula hoop, and a DS with Nintendogs, some wax, and chocolate and socks".

Thus reads my 5-year-old son's Christmas list (well, at least after I've corrected a few imaginative spellings).

I like it.  It has a certain eclectic flair the way it veers from middle aged man, to techno geek, via preening adolescent and 1950s skittish school girl. Plus, I know he will be as happy with some stripy socks as he will with the Nintendo.

That is why kids are a pleasure to buy for.

Adults - that's another matter. I loathe buying gifts for them.

Admittedly, I do have some particularly tricky ones to deal with. First my father, for whom you can really only buy Terry's Bitter Chocolate, hunks of stilton cheese, or most bizarrely of all, a bottle of Advocaat.

Then there's my mother, the uber control freak, who will pointedly say "I wouldn't mind that for Christmas". This would be immensely useful if it wasn't for the fact these utterances always occur sometime in late July when no-one is really thinking about Christmas (except, obviously, my mother who gets a little uncomfortable if all presents aren't purchased, wrapped and filed away neatly in the loft by October at the latest.)

Worst of all, my eldest brother, for whom I now buy nothing as he is the least diplomatic present recipient I've ever known "Why on earth did you buy me THAT?", "I've already got it.","Why did you think I'd want THIS?"... you get the picture.

So my advice - ignore adults and indulge the kids. Plus, let's face it, their stuff is far more fun.

In honour of this, and for anyone as behind as I am in their Christmas preparation, I've selected my favourite kids' gardening gifts.

1.Reindeer Poo in a Box - £5. Yes. Seriously. Kids can not only grow their own Christmas tree in odourless reindeer dung but they also get to legitimately use the word "poo" every time an adult asks "What did you get for Christmas?".  Genius.

2.Soft Play Gardening Set - £25. A great way to keep the destructive younger gardener entertained with 14 soft play pieces including three pots with removable soil and flowers, a watering can, trowel, rake. seed bag and a garden storage bag.

3.Wooden vegetable plant markers - £10.99 for four. Choose from 12 designs and your kids will have something good to look at in the veg patch even in this weather.

4.Water diviners - £6.95. Cheaper than metal detectors and more amusing as a spectator sport. They might even prove useful in a drought...

5. Cornflower blue window box  £8.49. The perfect size to add some flowery charm to playhouses.

6. Giant garden pick up sticks £10.99. I create this game myself every time I try to get a bamboo stake out of the shed although the kids find it less fun

7. Forest Pirate Galleon £499.95. More play ship than play house, which is no bad thing.

8. Grow your own pet food £2.45. Get the kids to grow their pet some food.  More exciting than cleaning out the cage. Available for dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, canaries, budgies, guinea pigs, chinchillas, iguana, tortoise and gnus (OK, I made that last one up)

9. Windowsill seed kit - microleaves £9.95 Grow green things which are not sprouts. Always a good plan.

10. Children's giraffe growbag planter £14.95 - Great for growing climbing plants. Less good for growing giraffes.



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