Dad-ing

Stocking Fillers and Gifts so awesome you cross out Santa’s name and write your own

There’s no way you’re letting the man in red take the credit for these toys, gifts, and fun 2020 distractions. It’s time to write ‘love from Santa’ on the toothbrush, Old Spice gift box, and the Satsuma orange already back in the fruit bowl. You get the credit for everything this year, you’ve flippin’ earned it!

First, a giveaway!

Ok, two giveaways but the second one is at the bottom because I want you to scroll aaaalll the way down through this epic list of toys I put together. Just read it ok? I spent ages on it and the toys are actually super fun. I should know, I’ve been playing with them and re-wrapping them before putting them under the tree.

The prize: A unique and interactive spin on the traditional advent calendar. Instead of toys or chocolate, each day you can read a new Disney, Pixar, or Marvel story leading up to Christmas. Books are individually wrapped in paper sleeves to keep the titles a surprise. They’re very interactive and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

For a chance to WIN a Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar, Frozen Storybook Collection Advent Calendar, and the Disney Christmas Countdown Tin full of activities, stickers, and other hands-on fun, you need to:

and enter here:

WIN a Disney Storybook Advent Calendar and Frozen Christmas Countdown Tin

2020’s Coolest Gifts!

MARIO’S BACK – IN LEGO

First up – LEGO and Super Mario together in one set! The iconic toys that I’ve been playing with since I can remember are together to create a new world of roleplay and excitement.

With all the noise, action, ‘blllingg’s, and “itsamee, Mario!” plus the fun of building and re-building the sets with all the famous characters, including the ultimate baddy, Bowser.

Super Mario Lego Sets

We’ve been playing for this for weeks and it’s really fun. I honestly don’t know who’s had more fun with it, me or my daughter, although I’ve been told to keep the noise down after she’s gone to bed, so it might be me. Whatever, it’s super fun with Super Mario!

I’m having way too much fun with the LEGO Mario!

STORYBOOK ADVENT CALENDARS

Igloo Books US 2020 Advent Calendars

Igloo Books US, a division of Bonnier Books UK, is excited to announce the launch of their new Storybook Advent Calendars for 2020. These include three different versions: Disney – featuring tales from Disney and Pixar including Dumbo’s Snowy Day and Toy Story, a dedicated version for Disney’s Frozen (which includes content from Frozen 2), and Marvel Super Heroes. 

Each one comes as an over-sized paper-over-board wallet, which is tied together with a ribbon. Inside are twenty-four paperback books which include beloved Disney, Pixar, or Marvel characters. As an additional surprise element, the books inside are individually wrapped in recyclable paper sleeves to be opened every day leading up to Christmas, December 24th being the last day. The Disney Advent Calendar includes festive stories from both Disney and Pixar, while Frozen and Marvel contain a collection of stories from each franchise.

CURLI GIRLS

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Curli Girls – $14.99 from Toys R Us and Canadian Tire – The premise is simple but my 4-year-old has been loving this. It’s a plastic doll with hair that you pull on and it goes curly. It also comes with a hair curler and decorating beads to jazz up the hairstyle.

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Once your kid is done, just run the hair under warm water and it goes back to straight to start again. You can do all kinds of hairstyles and pulling the hair feels a little like a stress-relieving toy. Pretty satisfying and it’s already won the top spot on my daughter’s pillow! Move over Mr. BunBuns! 🐇

CUTETITOS – Toys wrapped in pizza!

Cutetitos Pizzaitos – $12.99 – $14.99 from Walmart, Toys R Us, Canadian Tire – I’m gonna chalk this up to yet another trend I had no idea was happening. Cute stuffy toys wrapped up like a burrito, or in this case a pizza.

It’s crazy soft and a lot of fun. Just out is Series 5 of the Cutetitos craze and, according to my nieces and daughter, these are a HUGE deal!

BLOOMING BLUMES – Just add water

Blume Dolls – $varies from Walmart, Amazon, Toys R Us – We’ve been playing with these all Spring and Summer and they’re lots of fun. The action is in the unboxing but the dolls and their accessories provide plenty of opportunity for imaginative play once you find out which one you got. Just sprinkle some water on the ‘soil’ (paper) and see which one emerges for your excited kid to play with.

We recently got a huge box with a few sneak peeks of the new series in the Blume collections – check it out:

MESSY SLIME – yay

SLIME! – Parents hate it but the kids absolutely love it. It’s a great way to interact with a tactile substance, work on hand motility and have some messy fun while they’re at it. Pro Tip: Put a carpet covering down!

The Mega Slime & Putty Lab from the National Geographic collection has:

  • 8 COOL VARIETIES OF SLIME and PUTTY including Magnetic Putty, Fluffy Slime, Glow-in-the-Dark Putty, DIY Slime Lab, Liquid Slime, Color Changing Putty, Snotty Slime and Bouncing Putty
  • WITH STORAGE TINS and ACCESSORIES for a complete Lab kit
  • EXPLORE THE SCIENCE BEHIND SLIME AND PUTTY with the 16 page, full-colour Learning Guide
  • QUALITY-TESTED NON-TOXIC FORMULAS are 100 percent safe for kids and adults

ALL THE SCIENCE

This sweet, sweet Microscope. Sure it’s entirely for me, but my daughter would probably be interested too.

  • TWO MICROSCOPES IN ONE! Use the lower LED lights to view biological specimens on slides or switch over to the upper lights to examine 3D objects in intricate detail
  • INCLUDES OVER 50 ACCESSORIES! Explore our curated set of prepared slides using the detailed Learning Guide then create your own with reusable blank slides and covers, tweezers, eye dropper, Petri dish and more
  • SIMPLE YET POWERFUL learning tool that’s easy to operate, solidly constructed and comes with two sets of high-quality optical glass eyepieces for 20x and 50x magnification
  • COMPLETE BRINE SHRIMP EXPERIMENT including hatchery station, shrimp eggs, Petri dish and Lab Manual. Track the life cycle of brine shrimp!

ALWAYS FUN- LEGO KITS

Good luck convincing the kids this isn’t for you. The LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster 10261 Building Kit comes with 4124 pieces – “Fun, creative construction toy for boys and girls aged 16+ and for fans and big kids of all ages.”

At $479 Canadian Dollars, this is more of an investment than a toy. Still fun though!

  • Build a fully functioning fairground Roller Coaster with 2 trains, lots of big dips and even a cotton candy machine with this advanced building set!
  • This roller coaster playset comes with 11 mini-figures, including rider figures, ride attendants, spectators, a smoothie stand and a cotton candy cart and can be upgraded with LEGO BOOST and LEGO Power Functions for an even more immersive experience
  • Enjoy assembling train rails, cars and lots of fun props for The fairground Roller Coaster, which measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep
  • The LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster 10261 fairground toy can be built together with all other original LEGO construction toys and LEGO building blocks for creative play

More affordable, and suitable for the younger budding engineers, is the LEGO Creator 3 in1 Fire Dragon 31102 Building Kit, new for 2020.

At just under $25, it contains:

  • Support kids’ imaginative role play with this exciting LEGO Creator 3-in-1 set featuring a fire dragon, a sabre-toothed tiger and a scorpion!
  • Kids can stretch their building skills as they fly with a fire dragon, face a sabre-toothed tiger, dodge a scorpion strike or let their creativity loose and build their own models
  • With this awesome LEGO Creator 3-in-1 set, kids will have endless fun building a fire dragon, rebuilding it into a sabre-toothed tiger, and rebuilding it again into a scorpion!
  • With models of a fire dragon, sabre-toothed tiger and scorpion, this 3-in-1 LEGO set is a great holiday, birthday or anytime gift for boys and girls ages 7+

ANOTHER GIVEAWAY? Just call me Santa-James

Ho, Ho, Ho! This one is for the Super Hero lovers – I’m giving away a Marvel Storybook Collection Advent Calendar and Marvel Christmas Countdown Tin.

WIN Marvel Storybook Collection Advent Calendar and Marvel Christmas Countdown Tin

Stay tuned – there are gonna be more additions as we get closer to the big day!

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11 Comments

  1. Kasia

    October 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    These are some interesting holiday gift ideas. I bet the kiddos will love them.

  2. Susan

    October 15, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    What a fantastic list of gifts for kids! My girls would have loved the Curli Girls doll… it looks like fun… I bet I’d get addicted to pulling on that hair. And LEGO is a must for every kid.

  3. Tamara

    October 16, 2020 at 2:56 am

    Love the idea of a book advent, bonus that it’s Disney or Marvel, instead of one with toys or chocolate.

  4. Michael Kwan

    October 16, 2020 at 7:59 am

    These advent calendars seem way better than just a piece of chocolate each day! Stories are the best.

  5. Heather

    October 16, 2020 at 9:57 am

    My kids would love the science kit. Also those advents are cool!

  6. Tairalyn

    October 17, 2020 at 8:54 am

    You know why I love having you as a friend online… you hold NOTHING back when it comes to Christmas! Celebrate in October? SURE WHY NOT! You’re my fav!

    1. James

      October 17, 2020 at 8:56 am

      Yay Christmas! No point in holding anything back if it makes you happy! Celebrate the fun stuff and outshine the stinkers! ALL THE DECORATIONS!

  7. Amy Moyer

    October 18, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway!

  8. angela eagle

    October 18, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    my granddaughter loves Disney and dolls

  9. Amanda

    October 20, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Christmas in October heck yeah! Love seeing this already! ❄

  10. Bonnie

    October 22, 2020 at 9:14 am

    This would be great
    I’d love a frozen advent calendar

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