Top 10 Toys for Christmas – A Gift Guide by Learning Resources

Give the gift of learning this Christmas with our hands-on selection of fun and educational learning toys! Our top 10 Christmas toys have all been tried and tested by some top family bloggers and their curious little learners. You can rest assured they will last way beyond the festive season and provide hours of fun!

In our top 10 guide we have a wonderful range of gift ideas that encourage a love of learning. From coding to construction, imaginative role play and family games to collectibles, there is something for everyone!

Meet the top 10!

 

 

 

1) Botley™ The Coding Robot Activity Set

Challenge inquisitive minds and bring coding to life this Christmas with Botley the Coding Robot! Botley is 100% screen-free and the ideal introduction to coding. This hands-on coding activity set helps children to develop:

  • Early programming skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving

Georgina from Sen Resources Blog gave Botley a whirl and thought it was a brilliant, novel and absolutely adorable toy, she said:

“We’ve been trying out the (absolutely adorable!), Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set this week and have been amazed by its ability to engage children in coding. Not only that but it’s a brilliant, novel toy- that truly captivates children’s imagination. Botley is a blue robot that children can program to move in sequences of different directions (forwards, backwards, left and right) across the floor. He also has clever features such as being able to perfectly follow a black line and amusing characteristics like his humming of a ‘dum de dum’ tune, whistling and his ability to tell you when he gets dizzy!”

Ages 5 – 9, RRP £79, Read Georgina’s full review on Sen Resources Blog!

 

2) Beaker Creatures™ Liquid Reactor Super Lab

Travel through space and spark your little one’s curiosity this Christmas with Beaker Creatures! Combine the amazement of learning through science with the anticipation of surprise collectibles.  This bubbling super lab set is great for:

  • Hands-on science experiments
  • Science Exploration
  • Fine motor skills

Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure liked how her boys Bear and Monkey could play with Beaker Creatures together, she said:

“We had a great time doing experiments. We also found that the set was great for encouraging teamwork as there are two hydroplungers and two beakers, meaning the boys could take it in turns to do different parts of the experiment. Bear has asked for extra Reactor Pods (which can be purchased separately) so he can do the Beaker Creature experiment again and is looking forward to our next science experiments afternoon.” 

Ages 5-9, RRP £25, Read Emma’s full review on Our Fairytale Adventure!

 

3) Gears! Gears! Gears!® Machines in Motion

Develop your little inventor’s imagination with this hands–on Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion building set!  With 116 mix & match pieces, the design combinations are endless! This set gives the gift of:

  • Developing fine motor skills
  • Encouraging critical and creative thinking
  • Hands-on learning and play possibilities
  • Exploration and discovery

Niki from Play Learn Every day tested Machines in Motion with her son Ethan and daughter Ivy. Niki loved that both children could play with the set in their own way.

“I love that both children can play with this set in their own way and that it can lead to hours and hours of open-ended play time. There are a few pieces that are unique to this set, and I think that’s why it is great to have the instructions for a few builds to get you started.  Then after the children have seen how to link together the new pieces to make the wheels and pulleys they will definitely be inspired to include these in their own structures.”

Ages 5 – 9, RRP 38, Read Niki’s full review on Play Learn Every day!

 

4) Sculptapalooza™

Squish the family together for a festive, fun game night with Sculptapalooza™. This fast-paced sculpting battle combines the creativity of Playfoam® with engaging, imaginative game play! The perfect gift for:

  • Family game nights and parties
  • Imaginative game play
  • Developing social skills
  • Sensory exploration
  • Encouraging teamwork

Nigel from DIY Daddy squashed his family around the table for a game of Sculptapalooza:

“It really is a simple game, but so much fun. It’s a fast-paced hands-on party game that will wake up your imagination and really make you think, and it’s a race against time. What more could you ask for in a game? Nothing in my opinion. There is an unlimited amount of options when it comes to sculpting. You can add props to whatever you are sculpting or sculpt something using just your imagination. The options are endless. This is what makes this game so much fun.”

Ages 10 – 14, RRP £19, Read Nigel’s full review on DIY Daddy!

 

5) Pretend & Play® Original School Set

Pretend & Play School Set

Excite little ones with this brightly coloured, imaginative play school set! Ideal for helping young learners feel confident about starting ‘big’ school whilst providing imaginative play opportunities based on their own experiences. This school set encourages:

  • Imaginative play
  • Letter and number recognition
  • Speech and language skills

Jen from Chic Geek Diary tested our School Set with her son Noah, she said:

“I’d have loved this as a child as I was always playing teachers, although my classroom and equipment was make-believe! Noah loves it too and has been playing teacher whilst myself, Daddy and Ava are the children! It’s been wonderful to incorporate this set into everyday play, right before he starts school himself. It really does contain everything you need for being a teacher or student.”

Chic Geek School Set review

Ages 3 – 7, RRP £32.50, Read Jen’s full review on Chic Geek Diary!

 

6) Design & Drill® My First Workbench

Power up imaginations and get creative with the Design & Drill My First Workbench. Offering children endless hours of unplugged play, this workbench supports early learning skills such as:

  • Colour Recognition
  • Patterning
  • Following Direction

Claire from This Mummy Rocks constructed a review of the Design & Drill My First Workbench with her boys Cohen, Mckenzie and Caelan. She loved how the boys showed skills such as sharing, listening to instructions and following through on the instructions, she said:

“Cohen (3) was the first one to go to Learning Resources Design & Drill® My First Workbench. He picked up the hammer and inspected the bolts and nails. He started to hammer in the bolts into the boards. He said ‘Mummy, I am working like my Grandad!’. He seemed very proud of this as he is always helping his Grandad do odd jobs! Mckenzie (7) tool of choice was the drill. After pressing the button a few times and tampering with the bolts, he worked out that he had to flick a tiny switch on the side to change the direction of the drill to screw the bolts in and out. I showed Mckenzie the colourful patterns in the user manual to copy and create. But he preferred to create his own. Caelan (6) joined in. It was great to see that Caelan and Cohen made a role play game together. Giving each other instructions and taking on a role within their play. They showed skills such as sharing, listening to instructions and following through on the instructions. Great cooperation skills!”

Ages 3-5, RRP £38, Read Claire’s full review on This Mummy Rocks!

 

7) Pretend & Play® Pet Vet Hospital

Brighten up Christmas with imaginative play and gift our Pretend & Play Pet Vet Hospital. The perfect present to:

  • Develop speech and language skills
  • Encourage social and emotional development
  • Encourage imaginary play

Sonia from Mummy Constant introduced imaginative play to her children Isla and Noah with the Pretend & Play Pet Vet Hospital, even their Great Grandma joined in! She said:

“We took the vet hospital to Great Grandmas and she enjoyed playing with the children too. Isla and Noah were both vets, in their surgery, Great Grandma took in her poorly dog. They said the dog had a broken leg and an ear infection. It made us both laugh. They sat and played with the set for a long time, I was surprised at how long it kept them quiet. Also, they both had things to do and therefore there was no arguing. Which is amazing!”

Ages 3-7, RRP £40, Read Sonia’s full review on Mummy Constant!

 

8) Mathlink® Cubes Activity Set

Get creative with our Mathlink Cubes Activity Set. This set includes everything you need to support early maths skills development and give the gift of:

  • Patterning and sequencing
  • Sorting and grouping
  • Early arithmetic: addition, subtraction and multiplication
  • Size recognition
  • Ordering
  • Measuring

Jenny from Monkey and Mouse tested our Mathlink Cubes and found them educational and fun! She shows eight awesome activities to try out:

“Mathlink Cubes from Learning Resources are great for helping children learn about different maths concepts.  They very usefully come with handy activity cards, with great ideas of what to do.   It’s a good idea to go through the cards within the kit first and then add on to these with further ideas that interest the children. We’ve had great fun using Mathlink Cubes for learning different ideas and even just for play as cakes and sprinkles!  They are definitely a great buy for any child who enjoys maths or just needs a fun way to practice.”

 

Ages 4 – 8, RRP £16.50, Read Jenny’s full review on Monkey and Mouse!

 

9) Playfoam® Pals™

Squish, squash and sculpt learning fun with Playfoam®, the child safe, mess-free solution to creative play! Watch the anticipation build as your little ones uncover their very own Playfoam Pal this Christmas! Perfect for:

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Creativity
  • Sensory exploration

Nicola from The World is Their Classroom tested out Playfoam Pals with two of her children and loved that it provided hours of creative play, she said:

“On opening Playfoam Pals, the pods were surprisingly bigger than we anticipated. The kiddies frantically opened their pods whilst taking guesses as to which pal they were going to find hidden inside. DS6 found ‘Lucky’ the Panda and DD3 got the one she was hoping for, ‘Kittie’. I wasn’t sure how messy it would be, but when they say ‘mess-free’ they really mean it! The foam has a slightly sticky feeling but doesn’t leave any residue on your hands or surfaces. I actually loved having a go myself! Playfoam has provided DD3 with hours of creative play which has kept her busy whilst her older siblings have been busy studying.”

Ages 5-10, RRP £6.00, Read Nicola’s full review on The World is Their Classroom!

10) GeoSafari® Jr. My First Microscope

Discover a magnified hidden world with this fully-functional, child-friendly microscope! A fun introduction to:

  • Using scientific equipment
  • Descriptive language
  • Scientific exploration

Gillian from My Three Little Strawberries explored sunflowers with her daughter Isabella using the GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope, she said:

“Isabella started to show an interest in the world around her and by finding bugs, stones and flowers in the garden so when we were asked to review Geo Safari Jr – My First Microscope, it was just perfect. The microscope is a working microscope that can magnify any small object – flat or dimensional by 8x its size. Helping young children view small details and get up close with nature. It has two extra large easy focus eye pieces, a hand grip and a soft, rubberised casing, making it the perfect first microscope. Isabella really enjoyed learning to turn the focusing knob up and down to adjust the focus and picked it up really quickly.”

Ages 3 – 7, RRP £20, Read Gillian’s full review on My Three Little Strawberries!

Thank you to the family bloggers and their little learners for all of their feedback and imagery! #LoveLearning

 

Take a look at our Christmas Shop for more inspiration and gift ideas!