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Editor’s picks: Last minute gift ideas for kids (that are educational and entertaining).

I start the year with the best of intentions. I really do. Every year I think, this is the year I will get organised. My life will work seamlessly because I will be a planning queen. From meal planning to present giving, I will never be caught out unprepared again.

Anyway, it’s February and that’s already a fantasy lost in time.

By February 'being prepared' becomes a mere fantasy. Image via iStock.

Perhaps I should just embrace my tendency towards the last minute and make it a personal strength, instead of lamenting it as a weakness.

School is back now, and the kids are well settled into childcare. I expect to be hit with a tsunami of birthday invitations any day now. You probably will be too. And if you’re anything like me, some last minute gift ideas won’t go astray.

May I present to you the last minute gifts for small people that will help them learn, as well as surprise and delight them?

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Blender.

Perfect for boys and girls alike (let’s do our bit to fight gender norms as soon as possible, yeah?) the Fisher Price Blender has a tonne of features for toddlers. You can put “fruit” in the blender, and push the buttons to make them go round and round.

All the while, the toy teaches kids about opposites, colours, counting and the alphabet. If you think about the kind of toys you wanted when you were a kid, this definitely fits the bill.

Image via Fisher Price.
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Play doh.

I know this is an obvious choice. But, I want to point out a couple of things that also make it a great choice. Firstly, a tub of play doh is about $3. Secondly, play doh is fantastic for sensory development in little people. Thirdly, if you go to a Toys R Us store, you will find a huge wall of play doh in every colour you can imagine. You will be (sorry, the toddler in your life) spoilt for choice.

A classic for a reason. Image via Toys R Us.

Georg Jensen Alfredo Aquamarine

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I gave this toy set to my godson on the day of his baptism. It’s definitely towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, I know. But for a special child in your life, this is a meaningful and timeless gift. What will start as a toy for toddler to help them gauge balance and construction, will become the subject of fascination for an older child, an object of decoration in adulthood and an heirloom to be passed on to their children when the time comes.

"A meaningful and timeless gift." Image via Georg Jensen.

A pounding bench.

At one point, I owned one of these. I took it to work one day (we needed props for a photo) and someone nicked it for stress relief and hasn’t yet given it back. I guess what I’m saying is, a pounding bench will be handy for a toddler as they develop their motor skills but also for you to help you cope with the tantrums they’ll throw on an hourly basis.

"I took it to work one day (we needed props for a photo) and someone nicked it for stress relief and hasn’t yet given it back. " Image via Toys R Us.
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Bajo Snail Shape Sorter.

A kid will love any sort of shape sorter you give them, to be perfectly honest. But I particularly love this one. The barrel sits on the body of the snail and turns as it’s rolled along, so not only does baby get to enjoy playing with shapes and blocks, it also makes noise as it’s moving. Very thrilling.

We gave the Bajo Snail Shape Sorter to our daughter for her first birthday. We play with it. A lot.

"A kid will love any sort of shape sorter you give them." Image via Flying Penguin.

Sensory Light Up Ball.

So, the children in the babies room at our childcare centre lose their tiny minds over these light up jingly balls, my daughter included. They light up if you bash them into the ground or hit them really hard and the bells jingle – perfect to help tiny ones learn cause and effect.

Best things about these balls? They’re not that annoying for parents so you won’t lose any friends if you give one to their child - and they cost about five bucks.

"They’re not that annoying for parents so you won’t lose any friends if you give one to their child - and they cost about five bucks." Image via Toys R Us.
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Fisher Price Chatter Telephone.

I have one word for you. Nostalgia. Name me a person who did not have a Fisher Price Chatter Telephone as a child and I will eat my hat. I lost my mind when I was pregnant with my first baby while browsing the toy section at David Jones. I bought a Fisher Price phone before I bought a pram. Priorities.

"I bought a Fisher Price phone before I bought a pram. Priorities." Image via Fisher Price.

Do you have any last minute gift ideas?

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