The Good Toy Guide’s Must-Haves this Christmas!
By Dr Amanda Gummer
Knowing the right toys to buy can be challenging – especially this year when you don’t know whether you’ll need to be educating the children as well as entertaining them. Fortunately, with these must-haves, there’s plenty of fun AND learning opportunities for a wide range of ages and interests.
The colourful and magnetic building cubes are a great way to encourage little ones to get creative while helping their colour sorting and spatial skills. Made from recycled plastic and wipe-clean, they are also sturdy and easy to stack for small hands.
JUNKO gives kids the opportunity to up-cycle their junk into toys with re-usable J-FIX clips! Plus it’s made in the UK. Encouraging children to make toys out of things they already have around the house is a great way to engage their creativity and engineering skills whilst teaching them about the importance of recycling.
This playset is great for encouraging imaginative play and getting children talking about their own homes and what it would be like to live in this amazing treehouse. Small world play enables children to develop their communication, storytelling and social skills – as they act out different scenes, they learn about the world around them.
The versatile construction set that encourages creative problem-solving and develops an understanding of 2D and 3D shapes. The set offers good value with the option to add to it over time with other Geomag kits to grow the complexity.
Stars of the award-winning CBeebies series, Numberblocks MathLink® Cubes are a lovely way to develop maths skills in a fun and accessible way, with the familiar characters and colours. We really liked the instruction booklet which parents found helpful in making the most of the learning opportunities.
This family game is a lovely way to develop turn-taking through drama and acting. Our testers particularly enjoyed doing the different actions and noises, which resulted in much hilarity! We really liked the illustrations on the cards, they were vibrant and appealed to our testers.
The Kidnoculars Extreme are the perfect tool to encourage children to engage with and learn about nature. Looking and listening to their surroundings teaches them observation skills and promotes the learning of new vocabulary centred around science and nature. Plus, they also act as a prop for imaginative play.
This contains everything that a budding animator needs to create their own stop motion animation movies. The freedom of choice really lets children get creative and think of their own storyline while experimenting with different methods, encouraging their speech, language and communication skills.