Clever Toys to Save Festive Playtimes

Parents will be familiar with that age-old Christmas struggle: an influx of new toys materialises in the house, get played with once or twice, then accept their inevitable fate as next year’s spring clean victims.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. We’ve found a few gift ideas that promise something a little different for your little ones. They’re beautifully designed, well thought out, and created with a goal of encouraging curiosity, creativity and imaginative play.

We can’t remember the last time we went a day without a good podcast or audiobook, and now children can join in on the fun too with the Toniebox. This clever gadget is essentially an audio system for children that plays stories, songs and more – encased in a squishy case that’s soft enough for a bedtime cuddle but tough enough to survive playtime too. A Toniebox can be loaded with much-loved stories like Thomas & Friends and Frozen 2, or even your own tales narrated and recorded by family members. Ready and perfect for naps, long car journeys and playtimes, this is one gadget parents shouldn’t be without next year.

From £69.95

Babies and toddlers can be fickle characters – and their minds often change, especially when it comes to what makes them laugh and play. Enter: Lovevery. For the first three years of a little one’s life – timed to coincide with important developmental windows – Lovevery delivers beautiful play kits packed with toys to get babies learning, playing and developing. And ‘beautiful’ isn’t just us being kind: these are the kind of toys you’re not even embarrassed to leave strewn across the living room floor. SOLD.

From £80 per kit.

toucanBox is a subscription box with a difference: it’s all about crafting. For a monthly fee, children can enjoy a box packed with goodies to get their imagination running wild – including crafts with easy-to-follow instructions, a magazine packed with games and inspiration, stickers, and your child’s name on the front to make it all the more magical. It’s a gift that will delight little ones month after month.

From £10.95 per month