Need some last-minute gift inspiration for kids? These fun and engaging Christmas gift ideas will keep a tech-obsessed child content this festive season – for longer than five minutes. They make the perfect gift to successfully steer kids away from the Amazon Kindle and iPad when they’ve exhausted ‘tablet time’.
As while gaming on the Xbox, PS4 or Nintendo Switch has its merits for all the family, if you want to limit screen time this season, you’ll need a few more tricks up your sleeve. In our roundup, we’ve included the latest toy ideas from the likes of Lego, Yoto, Leapfrog and more to suit younger kids to older teenagers alike.
Take a closer look at the latest suggestions below so you’re all set for Christmas. And once you’ve done all your gifting and the kids are happily playing, you can get down to the important job of relaxing with a mulled wine and mince pie in peace.
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The best toys for kids who love a challenge
For animal lovers
Enjoy three times the fun
When in doubt, get the Lego out. 3-in-1 Lego sets such as this Exotic Parrot are a great option for kids that like to follow instructions and have an end goal in sight. The beauty of these 3-in-1 kits is that once your child has built one design, there are two more to make, which triples the fun and time spent playing. This set includes 253 bricks to build a colorful parrot standing on its perch, but it can also be built into a fish and frog.
A Lego Large Creative Brick Box also makes for a great gift idea for kids who like to get creative building their own designs.
For young naturalists
Create something to display
For teenagers who love a project, Lego has just launched this very cool Natural History Museum set. It doesn’t come cheap, but it will provide hours of fun. While the set is aimed at 18+ and has 4,014 pieces inside, it makes for the perfect present for more confident Lego enthusiasts and is a project you can have fun with building together. The museum set looks stunning when complete as it includes dual skylights that allow the light to permeate the building, a brachiosaurus and seven figures with a dog.
Also check out Lego’s Modular Buildings collection that’s home to an array of structures including the Eiffel Tower, a Lion Knights’ Castle and Assembly Square.
For holiday-loving kids
Make festive decorations
For something seasonal and equally creative, Lego has a range of festive building kits. This Lego Christmas Wreath is aimed at kids age 9+ and has 510 pieces to get their heads around. The kit includes brick-built candles that are meant to represent the four weeks of advent and includes Lego berries and leaves to liven up the end result. There are two ways to use the finished results – either hung from a door or on the wall or used as a table decoration.
If kids are particularly inspired by this set, you can also look to buy similar seasonal Lego building kits such as the Lego Snowglobe ($89.95), which is rather special too.
The best interactive toys for kids
For chatty kids
Chats, sings and laughs
Got a child asking for a pet for Christmas? If you don’t fancy being the one left to clean out the rabbit hutch once the novelty has worn off, an interactive ‘pet’ gift is your go-to. This Furby Purple Interactive Toy moves, talks, sings, lights up and responds to speech is on Amazon’s top ten toys for 2023. It speaks both English and ‘Furbish’ and offers over 600 responses to your voice when you press the voice-activated Furby toy’s heart gem and say ‘Hey Furby’. The bundle of fluffy, purple cuteness also dances, changes color, blinks and lights up.
For Pokemon lovers
Gotta catch them all
This Pokemon Train and Play Deluxe Pikachu makes for an excellent distraction. Reasonably priced, the interactive Pikachu includes over 50 reactions to lights, sounds and movement. It comes with a Pecha Berry and Apple accessory that once you touch on the side of Pikachu’s mouth it will respond with sounds and actions in its arms, ears and tail. Just like a pocket monster, Pikachu’s cheeks light up as it prepares to ‘attack’, but it also responds to voice so you can tame and train it.
For robot-loving kids
A dog not just for Christmas
If the kids keep asking for a pet dog for Christmas, the Petoi Robot Dog Bittle is your new best friend. The palm-sized robot dog can be programmed to walk, do tricks and roll around. The app and voice-controlled dog is perfect for older kids interested in coding as you they can set it up with new tricks using C++, Python or block-based programming. And the best bit is that no one has to take it out for walkies at 6am.
The best toys for artistic kids
For young artists
Get 3D modelling
Looking to prize your child away from the Drawing Pad app on the iPad? For something a little out of the ordinary, kids age 5+ will love the MyFirst 3D Make Pen. The pen is wire-free and has multi-colored low heat filaments that are made from PCL materials that solidify rapidly and aren’t harmful to touch. Kids can go free-form or follow the design template that comes in the box to create objects such as sunglasses or model aeroplanes.
Amazon sells a wide range of impressive art box sets including pens, crayons, felt tips and paints that make for excellent stocking fillers.
For young photographers
Print photos to their heart’s content
For children who love photography and taking selfies, the Photo Creator Instant Camera, comes with built in thermal black and white paper to print up to 70 photos. Kids can snap away, print and them customise their instant prints with the colored markers and stickers that come in the box.
For crafty kids
Creative projects for older kids
For older teenagers and young adults alike, the Cricut Joy is a coveted piece of kit and will provide hours of creative fun. It can be used to design labels, art for t-shirts, bags and other accessories. You do need to access the app to pick a project to follow and the Cricut Joy will then cut it out for you onto iron-on htv, card, vinyl, paper or a piece of ‘smart material’.
The best audio gifts for kids
For screen-addicted kids
Listening to an audiobook can be a great way to calm over-excited kids and unwind after a busy day. If you aren’t keen on allowing them access to a screen or online voice assistant in their bedroom, the Yoto Player makes for a great option. Using Yoto Cards that you insert in the top, the screen-free audio player gives kids access to a library of stories, factual content and music – with no direct access to the internet, a camera or microphone or any adverts. Yoto also airs a daily podcast hosted by Jake, who entertains kids with games, draw-alongs and other activities.
For kids who love stories
Stories to inspire younger kids
Like Yoto Player, the Tonie Box is also screen free and gives kids access to a host of stories using Toni Characters that can insert into the top of the speaker. While the Yoto Player provides content we think works well for age 3 up to 12, we think the Tonie Characters are more suited to a younger audience. Latest stories include Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, which is perfect for any Wonka fans, and The Elf on the Shelf, which plays stories, songs, games and jokes.
For young music lovers
Educational and entertaining
A wearable that kids can pack away in their bag and take on their travels, the StoryPhones makes for a great gift idea. It’s perfect for younger kids age 3+ and up as they can simply pop the headphones on and choose between audio stories, music and podcasts. All they need to do to switch between the two is pop on the story ‘Shields’, which includes content from the likes of Disney Junior audiobooks such as Mickey Mouse, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and more.
The best toys for active kids
For energetic kids
Fun for inside and out
When it all gets a bit too much indoors and the kids are desperate to run around and play outside, let them loose with the Gel Blaster Surge. Suitable for age 14+, the blasters come with safety glasses and 10,000 non-toxic gellets. The gellets dissolve after impact so if it’s raining outside, Gel Blaster Surge guns can even be used indoors and around your furniture - if you’re feeling brave enough that is.
For sporty-loving kids
A football that lights up
For kids who love the beautiful game, the Tangle Nightball makes for a unique gift idea. A football like no other, it includes motion-activated LED lights that illuminate when the ball is set in motion. This makes it particularly effective when the kids are playing football on shorter winter days when dusk falls.
For budding astronomers
For something a little less active, but still wonderfully interactive, the Leapfrog Magic Adventures Telescope opens up a child to a world of exploration looking up at the night sky from the comfort of their bedroom. It comes with a 2.4” video screen for easy viewing and has up to 110x zoom magnification so kids can capture what they see. And if they look closely, they may just see Santa flying past.
More Holiday sales
- Amazon: 70% off Kindle, TVs, tablets & clothing
- Apple: AirPods, Apple Watch & iPads from $79
- Adidas: 40% off running shoes & clothing
- Beauty: 51% off makeup, skincare & hair tools
- Best Buy: $800 off TVs, laptops & headphones
- Cheap TVs: big-screen 4K TVs from $269.99
- Christmas: 40% off decor, pajamas & trees
- Dell: Inspiron and XPS laptops from $260
- DreamCloud: 40% off all mattresses
- Family pajamas: Christmas PJs from $12.99
- Gaming: console bundles from $289.99
- Lenovo: 76% off laptops, desktops & printers
- Lowe's: up to $800 off major appliances
- Nectar: mattress deals starting at $359
- Nordstrom: 40% off Nike, Levi's & UGGs
- Patagonia: pullovers starting at $64.99
- Samsung: $2,000 of TVs, phones and appliances
- Shopbop: 25% off sitewide with code Holiday
- Target: 40% off Christmas decor, TVs & toys
- Toys: Disney, Barbie & Lego from $14.99
- Walmart: cheap TVs, air fryers, PS5 & toys
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Emily is a lifestyle journalist who writes for a range of publications including TechRadar, Livingetc, Wired, Ideal Home and GQ. She writes about interior design and smart home, gardens, wellbeing, food and fitness and has tested everything from food processors to paddleboards, and bee hives to the best beds. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she can be found tending to her Dorset-garden, trying the latest water sport at the beach or acting as chauffeur to her two young kids.