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Shop local at Christmas – gifts for kids

Forget the chains and Amazon, shop local in Somerset and Dorset for the kids this Christmas.

Do be miffed

Dick Bruna first drew Miffy in 1955 and she’s still going strong. This Miffy, from the Hambledon Gallery in Blandford Forum, comes in yellow, turquoise and bubblegum pink corduroy. Forget the kids, we want one! £18.95

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Flower power

We love the retro feel of this brightly coloured hair clip from Yeovil-based Inky and Mole. £10

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On your bike

The Dorset & Somerset Beehive Toy Factory are known for their balance bikes and ride-on toys but this Giraffe Balance Bike looks head and shoulders above the rest. Suitable 1–2 years. £39.99

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Compare the meerkat

The most fun a child can have with an arm up a meerkat’s rear end: a Hansa meerkat puppet. Available from the World of Bears in Taunton. £32.99

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Join the dots

Over 50 activities in the Londji Arts & Dots activity book, from The Blue Zebra children’s store in Sherborne, should keep the little blighters busy for a while. £10

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Balancing act

Nine stackable, sustainable wooden ocean animals from Boos Toys in Poundbury. £14.95

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Strum away

A first acoustic guitar, the Djeco Animambo Guitar is made from wood with metal strings and available from the Muddy Award winning My Small World toy shop in Bath. £39.99

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Elf not on the shelf

Any child who loves The Tomten books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren will enjoy playing with these six wooden rainbow coloured Nin® Tomten – or house elves – from Loving by Nature in Dorchester. £19

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Building

You’ve heard of Lego and Meccano construction sets but Kapla? This kit consists of 100 identical pine planks which can be used to build all sorts of structures without glue or fixing. No, we’ve no idea how it works, either, but it sounds intriguing. From Little Imps in Glastonbury, £25

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Boy (or girl) racer

Vroom, vroom! The wheels on this wooden Pintoy ride-on racer from The Toy Barn in Sherborne, move in all directions, so watch out! Suitable from 18 months. £69.

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