Christmas Gift Guide: Testing Team Top Picks

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Have you already been handed your child’s wish list for Father Christmas? We’re here to help.

We’ve enlisted our team of Toy Testers to select their top picks and put them to the test! They’ve provided honest feedback and action shots to help you find the perfect present.

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1) Pretend & Play® Calculator Cash Register

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Tine said:

“The Learning Resources Cash Register, one of the brand’s classics, features over sized buttons and a built-in solar-powered calculator, which is ideal for children learning additions and subtractions in school. Big Girl loves pretend play and a cash register like this is fantastic for playing shop and making maths fun. Since opening the till, we’ve been encouraging Big Girl to charge us for everything we buy from her pretend shop (and sometimes cafe), input the prices on her till, and calculate the total. The till makes playing shop more real, particularly since the set includes pound coins and notes that look very believable and are the same size as real UK money. A very cool educational toy ideal as a Christmas present for both boys and girls!”

Ages 3+, RSP £33. Read the full review on Mummy in the City!

 

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2) Code & Go™ Robot Mouse Activity Set

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Clare said:

“Sometimes you just see a toy and think – I know my kid is going to love that. Like any four and a half year old Monkey expects instant gratification so I loved the fact that he had to think about this. Once he understood how it worked and which coloured buttons did what, he was well away. Laying out the sequencing cards, checking and then making any required adjustments. I would happily recommend this to all my friends, at RRP of £50 it is on the higher price end of the Christmas Toy List. However it will not get forgotten two weeks after the big day, there is hours of play in the Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set and the educational benefits are well worth the price.”

Ages 5+, RSP £50. Read the full review on Mudpie Fridays!

 

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3)Design & Drill® Brightworks

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Jenny said:

“The Educational Insights Design and Drill Brightworks toy is perfect for any child who enjoys construction work and using hand tools.
Simply attach a drill piece to the drill and screw (or reverse to unscrew) the coloured bolts into the base plate. The drill lights up as you pull the trigger and once your design (patterns and pictures provided in a leaflet) is complete you can turn on the lights on the base plate to light it all up.  The lights even react to sounds, so they can flash in time as you sing a song or drum a beat on the floor!  My 5 year old loved this and it’s especially good on winter days when it’s dark in the morning and earlyevening, allowing him to get the most out of the light up action.  It’s also perfect for his fine motor skills, which in turn should prepare him for writing and pencil holding, something he still needs a little help with.”

Ages 3+, RSP Price £32. Read the full review on Monkey and Mouse!

 

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4) Zoomy™ 2.0 Handheld Digital Microscope

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Emma said:

Zoomy is the perfect gift for curious kids, this easy to use digital handheld microscope is easy to set up and even easier to use. Children of all ages will love taking a close up look at objects around the home and outside. We think Zoomy is the perfect tool for encouraging an interest and curiosity about the world; children will be amazed at the detail and features they can suddenly see. Zoomy is a great STEM resource that children will use enthusiastically for many years.”

Ages 4+, RSP price £50. Read the full review on Science Sparks!

 

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5) Gears! Gears! Gears!® Movin’ Monkeys

 

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Jocelyn said:

“This is what I like about the Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin’ Monkeys™ Building Set. It gets my two working things out together, creating different layouts, chatting about what they were doing and fully engaging them whilst they play. They are both utterly absorbed whilst they are building and are so proud and keen to show off their creations to me once they’re happy with them. They are aged 4 and 7, and I’d say this set is great for that age range.”

Ages 4+, RSP £41. Read the full review on The Reading Residence!

 

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6) Primary Science™ Shining Stars Projector 

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Jade said:

“I was really excited to get the Shining Stars Projector out. I love anything that the boys might be able to “watch” rather than physically play with as they usually end up arguing over toys at the moment. The assembly was really minimal as it only consists of the projector, the circular slides and the base. Each circular slide consists of eight images that you’re able to project on to any plain surface, although I would highly recommend doing it in as dark a room as you’ll get a better view. Night time is really good as you can choose to set the projector on its base or you can hold it in your hand if you wanted to, and all while talking about what image is being projected. This could be in place of a bed time story too!”

 

Ages 3+, RSP Price £20. Read the full review on Raising the Rings!

 

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7) New Sprouts® Puppy Play

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Cassie said:

“Now let’s be honest, how many people asked for a puppy for Christmas when they were younger? How many people have children who have already asked for a puppy for Christmas? Well if you’re not considering getting a real puppy then I think the New Sprouts Puppy Play Set is the answer. It’s the perfect way to get your child a little puppy to look after without having to deal with any of the mess and responsibility that comes with it. So far Lily has got it out to play with each day. It’s really nice to leave her alone to play with it and see her talking to the puppy and really engaging in imaginative play. It’s great to see how this toy is helping with Lily’s language development.”

Ages 2+, RSP £20. Read the full review on Lily’s Little Learners!

 

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8) Design & Drill® SparkleWorks™

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Niki said:

“We have found a really fun toy that the kids can’t get enough of at the moment with this Educational Insights Design & Drill SparkleWorks set from Learning Resources. It is an ideal toy for kids who love to build and create, those who like to keep their hands busy as well as their minds.
It’s a great balance between physical and mental activity, all whilst being fun and not giving the kids any clue that they’re learning and developing the whole time.  We are really enjoying playing with our Design & Drill SparkleWorks set and can’t wait to make some more patterns of our own with it!”

Ages 3+, RSP £32. Read the full review on Play and Learn Everyday!

 

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9) STEM Simple Machines

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Shelly said:

When our Simple Machines Activity Set first arrived the kids unpacked the box and were already exploring the different items and figuring out how everything worked before I even had a chance to read the instructions. They quickly figured out the pulley system and my youngest loved this ( I actually spotted him using the pulley a few days later as an elaborate means of lifting some knights out of his toy castle.)  A few days later I did eventually get around to the reading the instructions and my husband actually suggested to the kids that they sit and go through the cards together (the set comes with a number of cards with challenges on them). The kids happily sat and I was very pleased to see that by just spending a few days before hand playing around with the different bits they had figured out most of the answers for the challenges already.

Age 5+, RSP £22. Read the full review on O Family Learning Together!

 

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10) Math Marks the Spot™

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Rachel said:

Math Marks the Spot is fun and educational and Little Man loves it. We decided to play a nice easy game by just making sums and then the first player to get all their coloured disks on the mat was the winner. Little man rolled the numbered dice and then the + /- dice. We made the sum and then raced to get our disk on the correct number on the mat. It would make a fab Christmas present, what’s better than leaning whilst having fun playing? Maths isn’t Little Mans strongest point at school, so I feel this is going to really help him along.

Age 5+, RSP £31. Read the full review on Blogging Mummy!

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