Top Christmas toys 2018

Pens and pencils at the ready – it's Christmas list time. We've heard it from the chap at the North Pole that these will be the most coveted presents for kids this December – so get ordering, before they sell out (spoiler alert: Fingerlings are back with a vengeance)

Best stocking fillers

Elasti Plasti Clay and Dough, £12.99

Elasti Plasti Clay and Dough, £12.99

Elasti Plasti is, essentially, just goo. Non-sticky goo that expands, bubbles, and stretches according to your child's every whim. But goo nonetheless, meaning it should go down a treat with kids of all ages.

Buy now from Amazon

Sock Unicorn Craft Kit, £10

Sock Unicorn Craft Kit, £10

Arts and crafts are a brilliant way to secure a bit of peace and quiet over the festive period. The kit contains a pair of stripy socks, stuffing, needle and thread, and instruction on how to create your stuffed unicorn. Children under the age of 12 might need a little bit of help from an adult.

Buy now from Amazon

Hatchimals Colleggtibles Series 3, £9.97 for a pack of 4

Hatchimals Colleggtibles Series 3, £9.97 for a pack of 4

Hatchimals of all sizes were wildly popular last Christmas and the trend shows no signs of dying down. There are now over 100 different Hatchimal Colleggtibles to, er, collect. Simply hold the egg in your hands, rub the heart and, when it changes from purple to pink, your Hatchimal is ready to hatch. But, if you have a school-age child, chances are you already know that.

Buy now from Amazon

Fingerlings Untamed Raptor Dino, £14.99 (was £16.99)

Fingerlings Untamed Raptor Dino, £14.99 (was £16.99)

Another runaway hit from last year flashback to desperately bidding for Fingerlings on ebay, Fingerlings have been updated for Christmas 2018 with this baby dino version. They're designed to cling to your finger and roar, hiss and chomp their teeth in response to sound motion and touch – much like your children themselves.

Buy now from Argos

L.O.L. Surprise Under Wraps, £14.97

L.O.L. Surprise Under Wraps, £14.97

Each Surprise! pack contains a doll bundled up under a disguise and (as the name suggests) your child won't know who they've got until they fully unwrap them. However, the surprises don't end there: you can uncover secret messages hidden in the packaging using your spy glasses and submerge your doll in water to discover her secret abilities.

Buy now from Amazon

Best toys under £50

LEGO Classic Creative Bricks, £9.99 (was £12.99)

LEGO Classic Creative Bricks, £9.99 (was £12.99)

This 221-piece kit contains all those bits and bobs – like windows and wheel axles – that are essential to manifesting your kids' artistic visions in Lego. Trust us, soon you won't know how they ever managed without them. The open-ended creativity of this motley assortment of bricks is a nostalgic nod back to Lego's roots.

Buy now from Amazon

John Lewis & Partners Waitrose Supermarket, £49

John Lewis & Partners Waitrose Supermarket, £49

Stereotypically Mumsnet? Maybe. Extremely cute? Definitely. Your kids will get hours of fun out of this role play checkout, which comes with a built-in calculator, pretend credit card, Waitrose paper bags and a range of toy groceries (including croissants, obvs). Plus, extra groceries or a mini Waitrose shopping trolley are easy gift suggestions for any uninspired relatives.

Buy now from John Lewis

Monopoly: Cheater's Edition, £17.49 (RRP £23.99)

Monopoly: Cheater's Edition, £17.49 (RRP £23.99)

As if classic Monopoly didn't cause enough strife, this Christmas the cheater's edition will be wreaking havoc as players are actively encouraged to bend and break the rules (not that some people need much encouragement). The whole family will enjoy this twist on an old favourite – just don't get caught!

There's also a Fortnite edition for gamers (if you don't know what Fortnite is, count your blessings.)

Buy now from Amazon

Tiny Treasures Closed Eye Doll, £49.99

Tiny Treasures Closed Eye Doll, £49.99

The trend for incredibly lifelike dolls continues: this sleeping newborn doll has realistic eyelashes, is weighted to feel like a real baby and even has a heartbeat. She comes with a birth certificate and hospital wrist tag, as well as a miniature rabbit comforter and fleece blanket.

Buy now from Argos

Crate Creatures, £31.99

Crate Creatures, £31.99

Your kids can use the crowbar to release their creature from its crate and pull its tongue to see it glow and shake with rage, or feed it its favourite food to provoke growls of delight. Also, the monster will repeat anything you say to it in a “creature voice” – hours of entertainment, guaranteed. There are four creatures to choose from: Blizz, Pudge, Sizzle and Snort Hog.

Buy now from Amazon

Unicorn Ring Toss, £12.99

Unicorn Ring Toss, £12.99

Sometimes the simple things are the best. Two players don their unicorn horns and whoever catches the most hoops on their horn wins. Sure to be a winner on the big day and for the rest of the year too.

Buy now from Smyths

Boxer Interactive Robot Buddy, £46.99 (was £79.99)

Boxer Interactive Robot Buddy, £46.99 (was £79.99)

Perfect for kids (and big kids), this pint-sized robot packs a mighty AI punch: Boxer responds to your hand gestures and the 10 activity cards included in this set to do tricks, play games and let you know how he's feeling. You can also race him around using the remote control and unlock even more games by downloading the Boxer app to your phone.

Buy now from Amazon

Barbie Ultimate Kitchen Doll with Playdough, £36.99

Barbie Ultimate Kitchen Doll with Playdough, £36.99

Whatever your personal feeling about Barbie, this set was crowned the Dream Toys number one toy this Christmas and will undoubtedly be popular with any child going through a pink plastic crap phase. Admittedly, it does look pretty fun, kids can create food out of Playdough and cook it on the “working” stove and oven – you can always add a Ken doll to share the cooking 50:50.

Buy now from Amazon

Chow Crown Game, £21.50 (RRP £25.75)

Chow Crown Game, £21.50 (RRP £25.75)

No Christmas is complete without silly party games. Add Chow Crown to your collection this year for endless snack-based fun. Load up the forks with your treats of choice and once the music starts the crown will begin to spin – the aim of the game is to eat as much as possible (with no hands) before the music stops. This is very much the sort of game that the adults keep playing, even after the kids have gone to bed.

Buy now from Amazon

Hasbro Pie Cannon Game, £10 (RRP £26.99)

Hasbro Pie Cannon Game, £10 (RRP £26.99)

After the success of Pie Face last Christmas, Hasbro have upped the stakes and created the Pie Face Cannon. This hilarious game provides a bit of old-fashioned, messy fun amongst all the gadgets and gizmos kids get for Christmas. The object is simple: take aim and try to give your opponent a face-full of whipped cream while they try to block you. Boxing Day activity sorted.

Buy now from Amazon

Nerf AlphaPoint Laser Ops Pro Toy Blasters, £29.99 (RRP £44.99)

Nerf AlphaPoint Laser Ops Pro Toy Blasters, £29.99 (RRP £44.99)

Gone are the days of old-fashioned playground games – tag just got high tech. These laser NERF guns feature light and sound effects and can score a hit at up to 225 ft. This set also comes with arm bands that can accommodate a smartphone – download the app for real-time battle intel and power-ups.

Buy now from Amazon

John Lewis & Partners Mini Kitchen, £47.20

John Lewis & Partners Mini Kitchen, £47.20

This easy to assemble wooden kitchen is highly realistic and was created with great attention to detail – right down to the working oven dials and stainless steel sink. A great gift for any aspiring chefs or mini Great British Bake Off fans, why not add these wooden pots and pans too?

Buy now from John Lewis

Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise, £49.99

Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise, £49.99

Tipped to be one of the most popular toys for Christmas 2018, this unicorn poops out glittery slime. Kids can create 20 different slime combinations with the unicorn magic and sparkle packets, feed her, then sit her on the potty and wait for the magic to happen. Looking on the bright side, it might help with potty training…

Buy now from Argos

Harry Potter Wizard Training Wand, from £17.99

Harry Potter Wizard Training Wand, from £17.99

If your child is still waiting for the owl bearing their Hogwarts letter, this Harry Potter Traaining Wand is sureto go down well on Christmas morning. The wand provides feedback on kids' spell-casting and, with 11 different spells for kids to master and two modes of solo play, plus three modes for playing with friends, there's plenty to keep them occupied. There are three wands to collect: Harry's own wand, the Elder Wand, and Lord Voldemort's wand.

Buy now from Amazon

Best STEM toys

Cra-Z-Slime Super Slime Studio, £21.79

Cra-Z-Slime Super Slime Studio, £21.79

Perfect for budding chemists, this kit contains everything you need to create all sorts of slime – from an amazing rainbow variety to an oddly satisfying crunchy slime. Combining STEM skills with glitter (and a bit of good old-fashioned mess), this set makes a great gift for kids aged six and above.

Buy now from Amazon

KANO Computer Kit, £149.99

KANO Computer Kit, £149.99

This colourful kit will allow your kids to build their very own computer and learn how to code their own programmes. Unlike so many other toys, this definitely won't be played with a few times and set aside as, once they've learned the basics, there's no end to what they can do: code games, create musical masterpieces, and create interactive animations to name but a few. Suitable for children aged six and over.

Buy now from Amazon

Gravitrax Starter Set, £36.99

Gravitrax Starter Set, £36.99

This is a marble run – but not as you know it. The starter set comes with over 120 components and everything that kids need to start experimenting with gravity and problem-solving. Suitable for kids aged eight and over.

Buy now from Amazon

Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, £69.99

Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, £69.99

A great introduction to coding for younger children, Botley the coding robot can be programmed to perform a sequence of steps, including avoiding obstacles, moving objects, and following the route laid out for him. There are also a few hidden features for your kids to discover – like how to make Botley say “hi”.

Buy now from Amazon

Best toys under £100

Harry Potter LEGO Hogwarts Great Hall, £80.99

Harry Potter LEGO Hogwarts Great Hall, £80.99

Harry Potter + LEGO is always a winning combination and this Great Hall set is one of the most impressive we've ever seen. Yes, it's pricey, but you get a lot of bang for your buck: the four storey tower contains a potions room, treasure room with chest, a turret featuring the Mirror of Erised, and a movable Grand Staircase at its base. The set comes with 10 of your favourite characters, immortalised as minifigures, including Professor Quirrell with dual Lord Voldemort face, Nearly Headless Nick and Professor McGonagall. Plus, pieces to create the Basilisk and Fawkes the phoenix. We can't think of a better way to spend Boxing Day.

Buy now from John Lewis

Paw Patrol Rescue Ultimate Fire Truck Play Set, £54.99

Paw Patrol Rescue Ultimate Fire Truck Play Set, £54.99

Paw Patrol to the rescue! This rather enormous fire truck has a ladder that extends up to 2 ft and working water cannon launchers on the front and back of the vehicle. The set also comes with a Marshall figure (complete with fireman's hat), a claw arm for saving Chickaletta when she's stuck in a tree, and a mini fire cart for smaller missions.

Buy now from Amazon

LEGO Hogwarts Express, £73.99

LEGO Hogwarts Express, £73.99

Anything from the trolley? This LEGO Hogwarts Express is rich in detail – right down to the mini Scabbers figurine, issues of The Daily Prophet, and chocolate frogs on the laden snack trolley. The perfect gift for Harry Potter fans young and old, this should keep them occupied for a few hours.

Buy now from Amazon

Sylvanian Families Grand Department Store Set, £79.99 (was £119.99)

Sylvanian Families Grand Department Store Set, £79.99 (was £119.99)

If you're not keen on Barbies, Sylvanian Families are lovely alternative dolls. This luxurious department store set features shop floors filled with merchandise, a little rabbit shopper, and even has a revolving door and fully-operational lift. The perfect present for children who love imaginative role play.

Buy now from Amazon

LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train, £99.99

LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train, £99.99

This DUPLO set will help develop your little one's motor and construction skills, all while having loads of fun. With a harbour, boat, cafe, two cranes, and three DUPLO figures as well as the train, there's plenty to keep them occupied. The push and go train is an especially cool feature – kids can set their train in motion and then watch it chug around the track, hands-free.

Buy now from John Lewis

LEGO City Arctic Mobile Exploration Base, £63.74

LEGO City Arctic Mobile Exploration Base, £63.74

This LEGO set for builders aged seven and above contains 786 pieces for you to tread on and features a crane, mobile lab, snow bike, mobile saw vehicle, and a woolly mammoth encased in ice. Kids will have hours of fun using the saw to free the mammoth from the ice and lifting it to safety with the crane.

Buy now from Amazon

FurReal Ricky My Puppy, £99.99

FurReal Ricky My Puppy, £99.99

Ricky the Puppy (yes, that's his real name) is a playful pet who responds to his surroundings. He can learn loads of tricks and responds to your voice with over 100 sound and motion combinations. It will take even the cleverest kids a while to discover all the tricks and actions Ricky can do – giving you some respite if you're currently being pestered for a dog.

Buy now from John Lewis

Best toys under £200

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Chariot, £105.35 (RRP £109.99)

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Chariot, £105.35 (RRP £109.99)

If your child has asked for a pony for Christmas, this is probably the next best thing. Complete with reins and a horse-clopping sound, but with the added benefit of cup-holders, this chariot is sure to be a hit on Christmas morning.

Buy now from Amazon

My Lovely Unicorn Power Ride-On, £189.99 (RRP £199.99)

My Lovely Unicorn Power Ride-On, £189.99 (RRP £199.99)

The rocking horse of the future: this ride-on unicorn can move forwards, backwards and side to side and has a magical, musical horn. Kids will love brushing her mane and tail and forcing persuading you to pull them around on her back.

Buy now from Argos