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35 top toys for Christmas 2022: the most popular toys according to parents

Is that the sound of Santa’s ‘nice list’ being drawn up? If you’re already planning your festive wishlists, here are our predictions of this year's most popular Christmas toys for kids of all ages.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Dec 2, 2022

Child unwrapping a Christmas present

Trying to predict this year’s must-have toys for Christmas? If your child is yet to make their lists but you’re looking to start your Christmas shopping early - fear not. We’ve done the research by consulting real parents and looking at industry predictions to make our best guesses on the bestselling toys for Christmas 2022.

From dolls and cuddly toys to board games and LEGO sets, we’re sure you’ll find something for the kids in your life on our 2022 top Christmas toys list. So take a seat, get ready to make a list (no need to check it twice) and we’ll do the legwork for you.

The top toys for Christmas 2022

1. Best overall toy: Little Live Pets Mama Guinea Pig Surprise

Little Live Pets Mama Guinea Pig Surprise

Price £64.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I think the little live pet mama surprise guinea pig will be popular” - Predicted to be a hit by Mumsnet user 17caterpillars1mouse

“I really want the Guinea pig” recommended by Mumsnet user ChristmasCwtch 

Little Live Pets toys are interactive and loads of fun, with previous ranges such as the Little Live Pig and Little Live Chameleon proving incredibly popular in recent years.

This latest edition - a Toy of the year finalist, comes with over 20 sounds and reactions and responds to being patted, fed or brushed. 

When her heart lights up, she is ready to become a Mama! Pop her back in the hutch and just ten minutes later (lucky Mum) her first baby will arrive on the scene with her very own birth certificate and accessories. 

Overnight, a second baby guinea pig is revealed, followed by a third child on day three - each with their own cute and unique personality. 

Pros:

  • Fun, interactive experience 
  • Surprise babies 
  • Teaches patience and anticipation as children wait for the babies to arrive

Cons:

  • Costly
  • Batteries aren’t included

2. Best budget toy: Whoopie Cushion

Whoopie Cushion

Price: £1 | Buy now from Poundland

“The whoopie cushion, in particular, was a massive success.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Squashpocket)

“Whoopie cushions (appeal to the four-year-old’s sense of humour).”(Recommended by Mumsnet user CanofCant

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly present that comes with almost guaranteed laughter, you simply can’t beat a whoopie cushion. Not only can they take you right back to your own childhood, but prove that farts will always be fun no matter how old you may be.

This original style whoopie cushion doesn’t self-inflate, but as the Whoopie experts amongst us will know, they produce far more impressive fart noises as a result – great for sneaking onto Nanny's chair as the perfect prank before Christmas dinner

Pros

  • Bargain price tag
  • Nostalgic fun

Cons:

  • Younger children may need help blowing these up 

3. Best Peppa Pig toy: TOMY Toomies E73415 Peppa’s House Bath Playset

TOMY Toomies E73415 Peppa’s House Bath Playset

Price £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Children’s love for the adorable (yet somewhat bossy) Peppa Pig shows no sign of dwindling any time soon, so you can naturally expect to see Peppa toys appearing on kid’s Christmas wishlists in 2022.

Following the success of the Peppa Pig Wooden Toys range last year, 2022 sees a brand new range of Peppa Pig bath toys from the TOMY Toomies brand. 

The Peppa’s House Bath Playset is a cute and interactive bath toy that securely sticks to the side of the tub for fun and creative play. With two pull-out window pourers, a working shower and a washing machine, the days of boring bath times will be long behind you. With shape sorters on the back, children can quickly master their fine motor skills and spatial awareness as they slot them back into place. 

Children will love pouring water into the roof to kick start Peppa’s shower, or they can flick the switch and watch in awe as the water springs the washing machine spin into life.

Pros:

  • Friendly and familiar character for bath time
  • Multiple ways to play
  • Encourages confidence in the water 

Cons:

  • Only comes with one character (other Peppa bath toys sold separately) 

4. Best nostalgic toy: Lite Brite Classic Light Up Drawing Board

Lite Brite Classic, Light Up Drawing Board

Price £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Stranger Things has not only proven incredibly popular amongst older kids and teens but also reignited the love for Lite Brite, a retro toy many of us are old enough to remember from the first time around. 

Whilst we love the Stranger Things edition, you’ll pay a premium for the license. 

This classic light-up board set provides much more freedom for kids, allowing them to create fun and imaginative designs to display in their rooms when the lights go out. 

The set includes over 200 round pegs in white, yellow, blue, pink, orange and green and six templates to follow. When the design is finished, children can create one of four  different light shows; blinking, pulsing, steady or random.

The best part? You get to have a go too.

Pros

  • Fun toy to encourage creativity and imagination
  • Safe LED lights generate no heat and can create fun decor for your kid’s room

Cons 

  • Small parts (not suitable for children under 3 years) 
  • Set is much flimsier than the original (they don't make ‘em like they used to) 

5. Best educational toy: Gravitrax Starter Set - Marble Run

Gravitrax Starter Set - Marble Run

Price £36.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“It's a fab toy. My 7 yo DS has had it for two years and it's one of his most consistently played-with toys. All the extra bits you can buy are great too.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user CraigDavid)

“Gravitrax is fantastic. My 10-year-old loves it.” - (Rated by Mumsnet user stargirl1701)

Earning its place on our toy recommendations list for the second year running, Gravitrax is a fun STEM toy that can be brought out again and again for years to come.

This starter set is a great place to start, containing 122 pieces and nine ready-to-go track instructions that allow children to create their own exciting marble runs. 

As they build (and scream with excitement) they’ll be using gravity, magnetism, kinetic energy and engineering skills whilst improving their reasoning and spatial awareness too. 

You can buy lots of add-ons to expand this kit, so the fun need never stop! 

Pros 

  • Educational and fun
  • Encourages an interest in STEM
  • Plenty of add-ons available to prolong play (sold separately)

Cons

  • Your child may quickly want to add MORE to their collection!

6. Best wooden toy: Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Parlour

Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Parlour

Price £49.15 | Buy now from Amazon 

“The best Christmas present we got our 2-year-old last year was the Melissa and Doug ice cream parlour ( such a huge hit )! It says age 3+ but my youngest who is one also LOVES it!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user AllThatAndMore)

If you’re seeking a more eco-friendly and sustainable toy for your child this Christmas,  wooden toys are an excellent choice. We absolutely adore this Melissa & Doug Wooden Ice Cream set, which is not only great for role play and creativity but is made from high-quality wood that is sure to last the test of time. 

The Melissa & Doug Wooden Ice Cream Set is a fun ice cream stall with 28 pieces, including a wipe-down menu, ice cream scoop and play money. Children will love taking orders from friends and family, before using the scoop to add their chosen flavours and toppings. As your child gets older, it’s a great way to introduce some basic maths too, encouraging them to take payment and provide change just like a mini shopkeeper.

Pros:

  • High-quality wooden toy
  • Fun and imaginative role play
  • No batteries required 

Cons:

  • It’s not 100% wooden (the toppings are rubber and the front is perspex) but don’t let this put you off.

7. Best doll toy: Sky Dancers

Sky Dancers

Price £20.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I loved Sky Dancers. It was an impressive feat to make them fly and catch them upright in your hand whilst they were still twirling!” - (Loved by Mumsnet user FiveFarthings)

Another retro toy that has made a reappearance in 2022 is Sky Dancers, likely to be popular this Christmas purely because we parents love nothing more than reliving our youth.

The modern versions have six different colours to choose from, aptly named Miss Mint, Fuchsia Fantasy, Purple Licious, Sapphire Sparkle, Coral Cutie and Golden Glam and Silver Star. Whilst their names are different, the basic concept hasn’t changed since the 90s.

Children will be amazed to watch as their magical Sky Dancer dolls genuinely take flight! Simply pull the string and watch as they twirl, before lifting and spinning through the air! 

Pros

  • Just like the originals we know and love 
  • Six different colours to collect 

Cons 

  • With any flying toy, caution and parental supervision is needed! 

8. Best smart toy: Echo Dot Kids Owl

Echo Dot Kids Owl

Price £64.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

“We've got them for the kids and they absolutely love them. They use them mostly for Spotify, but they both have them connected to their lights (my daughter likes to play with coloured lights), and sometimes they use them for timers. My son has started setting a morning alarm (which he then sleeps through). My daughter and her friends also use it for games like musical statues and a daily kids' quiz.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Triffid1)

“My DDs have had them since they first came out. They listen to audiobooks, music, jokes, ask random questions. We also play the Harry Potter quiz each day.” (Tried and tested by Mumset user AliceMcK)

Ok, this is not technically a toy, but the latest design of the Amazon Kids Echo Dot is certainly likely to be a big hit amongst kids and tweens this Christmas.

With a choice of owl or dragon designs, the 5th Generation Echo Dot Kids is aimed at children aged 3-12 and comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids content. 

Whether they’re asking Alexa for a bedtime story or joke, help with their homework or simply dancing along to their favourite music, this interactive smart device makes a great addition to any kid's bedroom. 

Pros:

  • Super cute new designs
  • Better sound quality than their predecessor
  • Fun and educational 

Cons:

  • Amazon Kids is £3.99 per month after the complimentary trial 

9. Best building toy: Desire Deluxe Magnetic Building Blocks Tiles STEM Toy Set

Desire Deluxe Magnetic Building Blocks Tiles STEM Toy Set

Price £28.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

“My nearly 5-year-old got Magnatiles for Xmas last year they are still played with daily. We got the dupes from Amazon.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Kaffiene)

Whilst branded sets can be expensive, this Desire Deluxe Magnetic Building Set comes with a relatively affordable price tag and is sure to provide hours of fun and imaginative play.

Children will love creating their own 3D geometric designs and building big and bold structures using these non-toxic and durable magnetic play pieces. 

The set comes with a wide range of different shapes including rectangles, triangles and squares, along with a large base, windows and wheel base - perfect for creating houses, cars, castles and more. 

Pros:

  • Brightly coloured easy to hold pieces
  • Educational and fun
  • Ideal for imaginative and creative play.

Cons:

  • Children may want a bigger set when they grow in confidence 

10. Best active toy: VTech Action Cam HD Action Camera for Kids

VTech Action Cam HD Action Camera for Kids

£50.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Our 7-year-old loves his VTech Action camera” - (Rated by Mumsnet user Annoyed200722)

“I got the VTech camcorder for my son!” - (Recommended by Mumsnet user Mammyloveswine)

If your child never seems to stay still, they’re going to love collecting footage of all their adventures with this fun Action Cam from VTech

Capturing high-quality HD video footage, this nifty little camera can attach to a bike, scooter or even skateboard to capture all the action - it’s shockproof to withstand any knocks and can even be used underwater! 

To really take their videos to the next level, children can experiment with the wide lens, slow-mo footage, reverse movement and stop motion, ideal for capturing clips of their stunts and flips at the skatepark.

Pros:

  • Creative fun for active kids
  • Encourages children to get up and play outside 
  • Fun to share with friends 

Cons:

  • Internal storage is poor so you’ll need a separate memory card to avoid disappointment.

11. Best LEGO toy: LEGO Dots Message Board

LEGO Dots Message Board

Price £13.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“LEGO Dots - My 9-year-old loves them, she’s made a sign for her bedroom door” (Recommended by Mumsnet user MojoJojo71

LEGO toys always go down well at Christmas, but if you’re attempting to control the budget this year (aren’t we all) then LEGO Dots sets offer lots of fun with a more affordable price tag. 

This LEGO Dots Message Board is a fun craft kit including two 16 by 16cm plates, a frame and hanger, as well as over five hundred ‘dot’ LEGO pieces provided in a range of shapes and colours.

Letting their imaginations run wild, kids can create their very own personalised sign for their bedroom door or notice board for their desks. Change their mind a week later? Remove the dots and give it a refresh - the design opportunities are pretty endless!

Pros:

  • Affordable LEGO product
  • Versatile product that can create a wide range of final designs 

Cons:

  • Very small pieces so caution is needed if have younger siblings or pets

12. Best Harry Potter toy: LEGO Harry Potter Ministry of Magic Modular Set

LEGO Harry Potter Ministry of Magic Modular Set

Price £90 | Buy now from Argos

“LEGO has been worth every penny in our house. I have five kids, the eldest is 17 and still plays with it. We’ve accumulated an inordinate amount of the stuff. In this day and age, anything that doesn’t involve a screen should be encouraged as much as possible!” - (LEGO recommended by the aptly named AlwaysPottering

If your child is Harry Potter obsessed, the Harry Potter LEGO sets are not only great fun to build, but make a great decoration to display in your child’s room once complete.  

This latest edition to the Harry Potter LEGO range may come with a fairly eye-watering price, but is the first LEGO set to feature the Ministry of Magic, including the offices of Dolores Umbridge and Arthur Weasley as well as the Court Room and Hall of Prophecy.

With just under 1000 pieces, this set has impressive attention to detail and will certainly keep them busy whilst they bring the modular set to life. There are also a generous twelve mini figures included, three of which can be made to ‘transform’ after taking the Polyjuice potion. 

Pros

  • First LEGO set to include Ministry of Magic
  • Twelve mini-figures included
  • Large size set takes concentration and patience to build 

Cons

  • It’s hard not to gulp at the price 

13. Best interactive toy: RUKUSfx

Ruckus FX

Price £50 | Buy now from Smyths Toys

If your child loves creating fun music videos, edits, dance trends and more, they’ll absolutely love the RUKUSfx. This new-to-the-market toy has been praised by none-other than celebrity dance act Diversity and provides endless possibilities for creativity.

The handheld light-up RUKUSfx device allows you to mix music seamlessly with 4 simple movements! It comes pre-loaded with 120 tracks and 80 sound effects, helping create fun videos and tell stories through dance.

Pros:

  • Great for music-loving kids 
  • Can create fun music videos and edits 

Cons:

  • A new product so reviews are limited. 
  • This toy requires effort and is as creative as you make it 

14. Best car toy: Hot Wheels Action Spiral Speed Crash Track Set

Hot Wheels Action Spiral Speed Crash Track Set

Price £64.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

“My son is five and has some cars and the triple loop set and it's one of his favourite toys.” - (Recommended by Mumsnet user ElephantandGrasshopper

If your child is car obsessed and already has a selection of Hot Wheels cars, they’ll love to see this Action Spiral Speed Crash Track Set under the tree on Christmas morning.

This high-energy, fast-paced racing track stands at an impressive 29 inches tall. It’s relatively easy to set up (phew) and includes multiple crash zones to provide action-packed entertainment. 

Children position their car against the booster and will watch with glee as it launches the car to the top, before adding more cars to watch them race and loop. The intensity grows before BANG there is an almighty crash as the cars collide in one of three different crash zones.

It’s worth noting, the set comes with just one die-cast Hot Wheels car included, so you may want to buy some spares if you don’t already have a stash at home.

Pros:

  • Impressive-sized track
  • High-energy crash zones 

 Cons: 

  • Costly 
  • Only one vehicle is included with the set

15. Best character toy: PAW Patrol Big Truck Pups HQ

PAW Patrol Big Truck Pups HQ

Price £99.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Pretty much every year since they first arrived on the scene, Paw Patrol have released some of the best-selling toys at Christmas. This year is no exception, with the PAW Patrol Big Truck Pups Headquarters sure to be a popular choice on wishlists this winter.

Based on the new PAW Patrol Big Truck episodes, this huge transforming toy measures almost a metre wide and comes with engaging lights and sounds. First load up the trucks (there’s space for all six pups and their Big Rig Trucks) before opening up to transform into ‘rescue mode’.

The set comes with Chase and his vehicle included, which can be popped into the launcher before pushing the button and blasting him into action. 

The downside? This one’s not friendly on the wallet. Only one vehicle is included and your child’s inevitably going to want to collect them all. 

Pros:

  • Fun playset to bring the series to life
  • A larger playset can that can be shared with friends and siblings

Cons:

  • Costly
  • Only comes with one Big Trucks vehicle

16. Best musical toy: VTech DJ Beat Boxer

VTech DJ Beat Boxer

Price £29.99 | Buy now from Argos 

A super fun music toy for younger children, this super cute Boxer pup has certainly got some moves.

An interactive music-mixing toy, children simply scratch the pup's head, bop his nose or press his light-up headphones to add sounds to music and create fun effects. He even allows kids to add their own voices using the recording touchpad on his ear.

Once your little ones have created their music track - the whole family can watch and laugh as he bops along and moves his jowls to the beat! 

Pros:

  • Interactive and playful toy
  • Cute engaging design

Cons: 

  • Potential for the novelty to wear off

17. Best cuddly toy: Squishmallows

Squishmallow

Price from £8.99 | Buy now at Claires

“My daughter has tons of them, the Squishmallow brand does the best ones. We have tiny ones right up to the giant ones. My daughter prefers medium-sized ones. I know lots of kids who use the huge ones as pillows” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Brendabigbaps)

“My daughters love them too. They like the 30cm or 40 cm they are massive but very comfy as pillows too.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Thereisnoname)

We know. On the surface, these look like just another soft toy, but trust us - you really have to squish a Squishmallow to appreciate them in all their glory. 

With a wide range of cute characters to choose from (some of which are limited edition) Squishmallows come in a range of different sizes and characters. They’re unbelievably soft and great to cuddle, whether that’s a cosy friend for your child at bedtime or a comfy cushion to snuggle up with whilst watching TV. 

In the brand's own words, Squishmallows are softer than squeezing a pillow and have gained fairly iconic status in recent months. If only one toy makes its way onto their wishlist, we wouldn't be surprised if it was this. 

Pros: 

  • Super soft and squishy
  • Variety of sizes and characters to collect
  • Great for travel

Cons:

  • Larger and limited edition designs are expensive
  • You may already be overrun with soft toys

18. Best audio toy: Yoto Mini player

Yoto Mini player

Price £59.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I bought the Yoto mini for my 5 year old. It’s very easy for him to use and control. We got his grandparents to record themselves reading stories and then loaded onto a card which has been lovely.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ByTheSeaCatsandAll)

“My six-year-old daughter loves hers. My 8-year-old is always borrowing it and now wants one for her 9th birthday! Yes, they could listen to music on apps etc but we don't want them having phones and tablets in their rooms all the time. The Yoto is a great way for them to access music and stories without being glued to a screen.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user RunAwayNow)

If you’re after a toy that enables some screen-free fun for Christmas and beyond, the Yoto Mini Player is a fun kids' audio player that can be used both inside and outside the home. 

Aimed at children aged 3-12 years, simply insert one of the ready-made cards (sold separately) kids can listen to audiobooks, music or even mindful meditation before bed. Alternatively, families can use the Make Your Own Card included in the set to record their own bedtime stories or messages.

Thanks to its small size, long battery life and the ability to use with wired headphones, it’s also a handy friend for long Christmas car journeys too. 

Pros:

  • Screen-free fun
  • Great way to help calm children before bed 
  • Portable for travel 

Cons: 

  • Yoto cards are each sold separately and you may want a few to kick start your child’s collection

19. Best role play toy: Leapfrog Count Along Basket and Scanner

Leapfrog Count Along Basket and Scanner

Price £27.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Is there anything more adorable than watching your children act out little role play scenes? Copying observed behaviour is what preschoolers do best and this Leapfrog Count Along Basket and Scanner encourages them to do just that.

This cute basket and shopping trolley allows children to be just like their parents, scanning a wide range of food items before adding them to their cart. 

Aimed at children aged 2-5 years, it’s also a fun and educational way to teach colours and counting, whilst increasing their familiarity with a variety of common foods.

Pros:

  • Various educational benefits
  • Encourages creative role play
  • Fun sounds

Cons:

  • The sounds are somewhat less appealing to grown-ups

20. Best robot toy: VTech JotBot Drawing & Coding Robot

VTech JotBot Drawing & Coding Robot

Price £49.99 | Buy now from Amazon

A robot and drawing toy combined, JotBot is a cute and friendly interactive toy with an extensive library of over 280 images.

Simply place the pen into JotBot’s hands, insert the relevant chip and watch him dart around your paper as he brings your chosen design to life.

Kids will love the variety of play modes including Draw Together, Draw-a-Story, Connect the Dots and Maze Mode, the latter where JotBot has to find the way out of his very own maze. 

Pros

  • Cute robot toy
  • Ideal for creative types 
  • Screen-free fun 

Cons

  • Costly for a toy of this nature 

21. Best play house toy: Gabby's Purrfect Dollhouse

Gabby's Purrfect Dollhouse

Price £79.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We'd already decided Gabby's Dollhouse was our big present for both girls to share. Had been keeping it in the basket for price alerts but I think I will just order it. It’s out of stock in some places. I didn't actually realise it was so popular. Ours have been watching it about a year or so but toys are new out.” - Recommended by Mumsnet user LikeAnOldFriend 

“Another vote for Gabby. I’ve already bought ours as I was scared it would sell out.” - Picked up by Mumsnet user Plaidparty)

Gabby’s Dollhouse is a fun children’s TV series featuring Gabby and her cute pet cat Pandy Paws, who both shrink in size and go on fun and crazy adventures inside her doll's house. 

Whilst the TV series has been around for a while, 2022 has seen the release of some fun Gabby-themed toys. Featuring familiar characters and locations from the show, they’re expected to fly off the shelves this winter. 

Whilst definitely falling into the ‘big present’ category due to its significant price tag, this cute cat-shaped doll’s house stands at over 61cm in height, opening up to reveal seven rooms across four floors with a Cat-a-Vator running straight from top to bottom. 

With 15 play pieces included, from Gabby and Pandy Paws to a wide range of furniture and accessories, children will love acting out their favourite storylines using music and sounds from the show. 

Pros:

  • Just like the dolls house on the show 
  • Plenty of space for creative play
  • Multiple play pieces included 

Cons:

  • Costly - some parents felt it is overpriced

22. Best for preschoolers: Play-doh Ultimate Ice Cream Truck Playset

Play-doh Ultimate Ice Cream Truck Playset

Price £80 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love it! My 4 year old has a few of the Play-doh creations cooking sets and will play with it unsupervised for like an hour.” - Product type recommended by Mumsnet user LakeShoreD)

Whilst the thought of watching your child mix Play-doh colours is enough to make many of us break out in a cold sweat, you simply can’t deny that it’s a fun and practical play toy for young children, who simply cannot get enough of the stuff.

This play-kitchen style Play-doh Ice Cream Truck is great fun for creative kids and predicted to be a keen favourite this Christmas. Kids will love scooping out their ice cream treats, before decorating with the sprinkle maker, tools and moulds. There are twelve colours included, along with cones, dishes, stamps and modelling tools. 

With realistic sounds and a toy register, it’s great for role play and parents need not panic. With doors for storage and a locking bin, there’s even a cleaning brush to help collect smaller pieces.  

Pros:

  • Great for imaginative role play 
  • Larger sized toy 
  • Wide range of tools and tubs included

Cons:

  • Despite the helpful tidy-up tools - there may inevitably be some mess.
  • We hope you like chocolate ice cream, as brown is likely to be the only colour left in a few month's time! 

23. Best dinosaur toy: Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue

Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue

Price £99.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Official Jurassic World toys and merchandise are inevitably going to be a huge hit this Christmas and whilst it certainly doesn't come cheap, this one from RealFX is a unique and impressive toy that we feel is worth the investment. 

A super realistic dinosaur that kids aged seven and above can independently hold and control, Baby Blue can produce real-life movement and sounds, with over 40 original movie sounds and effects. Simply pop on the Rangers glove, activate the internal pistol grip and use the finger controller to bring her to life. 

Real FX Baby Blue is the closest you’ll get to having a genuine Velociraptor in your living room, with her realistic-sounding roars, snarls and purrs as she lunges, pouches and scans the room for movement. 

Pros

  • Ultra realistic
  • Lifelike sounds and effects
  • Easy animatronic operations 

Cons

  • Costly 
  • Can be a bit scary for younger children (and pets!) 

24. Best creative toy: Avastars Fashion Dolls

Avastars Fashion Dolls

Price £22 | Buy now from Argos 

If your children will happily spend hours designing their own virtual avatars, these new Avastars Dolls are sure to be a big hit. 

Aimed at children aged six and above, these dolls are fully customizable with mix-and-match hair, clothing and accessories and come with over 100 reusable stickers to create unique facial expressions and reactions, allowing them to bring their virtual avatars to life. 

When finished, they can play with characters online in the My Avastars Fashion World game, unlocking additional accessoires and extras with their unique code. 

Pros:

  • Toy of the Year Finalist
  • Combines virtual and physical play 
  • Choice of three characters to collect 

Cons:

  • They still encourage some screen use 

25. Best moving toy: Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin Beats Musical Toy

Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin Beats Musical Toy

Price £33.49 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking to help your baby or toddler get moving, this interactive musical toy from Fisher-Price could be a perfect choice and is sure to create some giggles this Christmas. 

With a spring bottom and motorised bouncing action, this brightly coloured character produces over 75 songs, sounds and phrases, with multi-coloured lights and bouncing actions that encourage babies and toddlers to move and dance. 

Growing with your child from 9-36 months, the DJ Bouncin Beats Musical Toy includes three Smart Stages, providing educational benefits such as teaching the alphabet, colours and counting from 1-10. 

Pros 

  • So cute watching babies copy and bounce with their friend
  • Educational and fun

Cons

  • It’s a noisy toy (although there is an off button!)

26. Best battle toy: Nerf Elite 2.0 Ranger PD-5 Blaster

Nerf Elite 2.0 Ranger PD-5 Blaster

Price £14.40 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have heaps of them, my husband and son have huge day long nerf battles, they have so much fun... the only rule is no aiming at me and any that hit me get taken never to be returned... it's a fun way for them to hang out and let loose a bit of energy and the giggles and yells are worth picking up nerf bullets from all over the house” - Recommended by Mumsnet user TheSerenDipitY 

“I’d go for one with a barrel - sorry I don’t know the technical term! Lots of darts can be loaded at once so don’t need to re-load so quickly.” - (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Frasa

Nerf battles are a great way for kids to burn off some steam and excess energy before bed, and fun for the whole family to enjoy together - as long as you have the space. 

The new Nerf Elite 2.0 Ranger PD-5 Blaster makes epic battles easy and fun, with five front-loading barrels that allow you to launch five soft darts in a row without stopping the action to pause or reload. 

With an easy-to-use pump action and 10 Nerf Elite foam darts included, you can get started right away - although we recommend you get two so siblings and friends can reap the benefits. 

Pros

  • Great for the whole family to play Nerf battles together 
  • Includes barrel for quick reloading

Cons:

  • May need to introduce some ‘play rules’ to ensure safe play

27. Best collectible toy: WOW Pods Avengers

WOW Pods Avengers

Price £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

The WOW Pod figures are a great gift for Marvel fans of all ages. With six different characters to choose from, including Ironman, Spiderman and Groot, they’re great fun to collect and display.

The ‘swipe to light’ pods are motion activated - simply move your hand in front of the POD and the mystery light reveal shows hidden features. Using the included scan card, kids can then bring characters to life using a compatible phone or tablet. 

Each set slots into the top or bottom of another to create fun hexagonal designs and make a unique decoration for your child’s bedroom. With an affordable price tag and other ranges available, they could very quickly amass quite the collection. 

Pros

  • Great for kids' bedrooms
  • Other ranges available including DC Comics, Disney Princess and Harry Potter 
  • Affordable price tag 

Cons

  • Lights only stay on for 30 seconds 

28. Best toddler toy: Bluey S7 Adventure School Playset

Bluey S7 Adventure School Playset

Price £75 | Buy now from Argos 

“I have 2 Bluey mad children here! We've got our nearly 3-year-old the house, car and a set that's got a slide and swing with it. Also, he's got the big pack of people so he's got all the family plus friends. There will be doubles but my nearly two-year-old will swipe those 😂. They look really good in fairness and sturdy” - Bluey toys recommended by Mumsnet user mumto4boys16)

Thanks to the popular Disney Jr TV series, Bluey, the loveable Australian pup is a regular guest in many parents' homes. A huge hit with toddlers and preschoolers, you can expect to see lots of requests for Bluey toys this Christmas. 

A newer edition to the Bluey Toys range, this Adventure School Playset includes a transforming School Playset and the Brisbane Adventure Bus as well as six articulated figures including friends Bluey, Bingo, Chloe, Snickers and Coco, along with their teacher Calypso.

Opening out to reveal the classroom, Cozy Cove and Pillow Fort, there is plenty of space for kids to bring Bluey’s adventures to life. 

Pros

  • Combination of school and bus set
  • Plenty of characters and accessories included 

Cons 

  • Costly 
  • Plastic toy may not appeal to all 

29. Best toy for 5 year olds: Magic Mixies Magical Misting Crystal Ball

Magic Mixies Magical Misting Crystal Ball

Price £75 | Buy now from Amazon 

“I’ve just bought the Magic Mixie for my children, it looked good and the reviews were good but definitely pricey.” (Purchased by Mumsnet user ChicagoBears)

Following on from the success of the Magic Mixies Cauldron last year, 2022 sees a second product in the Magic Mixies range - the Crystal Ball

Toy of the Year Award Winner for 2022, these fun fortune-telling pets are revealed from inside their very own magical crystal ball. To reveal Mixie, kids must perform Creation Spells using their interactive light-up wand. Done correctly, the mist will start to appear inside the ball, before revealing your Mixie nestled inside! 

With over 80 lights, sounds and reactions, playtime doesn’t end after the first reveal - with the option to reuse the crystal ball time and time again. You can even use it as a nightlight to make bedtime extra special! 

Pros

  • Fun and interactive reveal experience
  • Can be reused 
  • An engaging character with over 80 sounds and reactions 

Cons 

  • Costly

30. Best TV character toy: CoComelon Deluxe JJ Interactive Doll

CoComelon Deluxe JJ Interactive Doll

Price £37.99 | Buy now from Amazon

We can’t even say the name CoComelon without hearing the theme tune dancing around in our heads and love him or loathe him, he's proven to be a huge hit with little ones! 

A fun friend for your preschooler, this interactive doll comes with three fun songs to sing along to as well as familiar sounds and phrases, activated by pressing his tummy.

Children will love dressing and styling CoComelon as well as feeding him peas from the bowl. With peas that retract on the spoon when popped into his mouth, it’s like he’s really eating! 

Pros:

  • Familiar friendly character
  • Teaches caring and nurturing behaviours 

Cons:

  • The songs will be stuck in your head for days 

31. Best sensory toy: Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory

Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory Set

Price £17.25 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love Kinetic Sand it's fantastic to play with doesn't dry out like Play-doh and it's way less messy than Play-doh!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Rambleonplease)

“Another vote for kinetic sand” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user BreadmanAndCake)

Kinetic sand is great for sensory play and if you’ve never had it before; you’ll be amazed at just how soft it feels against your fingertips.

The Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory set is suitable for ages 3 and above. This tactile, slow-moving, non-sticky sand makes a great alternative to Play-doh for those who are worried about creating a mess.

Including 2lbs of soft and squeezable kinetic sand, children will love using the included tools, moulds and scoops to create fun multicoloured designs. Trust us when we say - you may find yourself joining in too. 

Pros

  • Large kit with a wide selection of sand and accessories
  • Tactile and calming sensory play

Cons 

  • Not 100% mess free 
  • Colours will inevitably mix 

32. Best trading card toy: Pokemon TCG Tin

Pokemon TCG Tin

Price £19 | Buy now from Argos 

“My daughter and my husband are Pokemon mad! They have a joint collection. You use the cards to play battle games. Kinda like a cross between Top Trumps and Uno” - Recommended by Mumsnet user Bibbitybobbityboo86)

The love for Pokemon Card battles shows no sign of slowing and from a child’s perspective, the more cards you have in your collection, the better chance you have of winning Pokemon battles. They simply can't get enough! 

These trading card tins are a great way to not only store your kids collection, but include  one special card, four Pokemon trading card game booster packs and a Pokemon online code card, creating the opportunity for hours of entertainment. 

Pros

  • Fun playground toy
  • Great to play with friends
  • Toy becomes a safe place to store their collection 

Cons 

  • Feels expensive for a trading card pack

33. Best funny toy: Jiggly Pets Giraffe

Jiggly Pets Giraffe

Price £27.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a toy that is guaranteed to make your kids laugh this Christmas, meet Gigi, the Jiggly Pets Giraffe.

This 12 inch tall electronic giraffe has full body movement, dancing and shaking her booty to music. With stretchy tactile hair, she’s also a fun sensory toy for young children. 

With three in-built tunes that encourage kids to join in and dance along with her, children won’t be able to stop laughing as her bottom wiggles to the beat! 

Pros

  • Bottom wiggling never fails to be funny
  • Fun music and sounds 

Cons 

  • Novelty may wear off after a while 

34. Best STEM toy - LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

Price: £149.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“What about the LEGO Boost? It’s a basic coding robot that can be built in a number of ways and controlled from a tablet. It’s quite a task to build and does some really cool things”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Equimum)

“My son got a LEGO Boost as a present a few years ago and loved it.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user trumpisaflump

If your children love building with LEGO but are ready to take their builds to the next level, check out the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox, a set which allows them to quite literally bring their builds to life.

Using basic coding skills, children can not only create one of five different models, but then control them, creating movement, responses and even sounds! 

They will need a compatible smart device or tablet, but via the easy-to-use LEGO Boost App, they’ll soon be mastering their programming skills in the process.

Pros

  • Combination of building, coding and robotics
  • Includes five different designs to create 

Cons

  • Costly
  • Needs an iPad or other compatible device

35. Best board game toy - Throw Throw Avocado

Throw Throw Avocado

Price £21.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Throw throw burrito [the previous game by the same brand] mixes fast pace card game with an element of dodge ball so fun and active.” - (Recommended by Mumsnet user Annoyedtoomuch)

“Throw Throw Buritto was great for my 10 and 12 year olds!! Also for DH and I when we were drunk” - Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Autumn101 

Fancy getting your kids up off the sofa this Christmas? This high-energy board game not includes two super cute squishy avocados that kids will love, but also combines a traditional card game with the active game dodgeball. A sequel to last year's top seller Throw Throw Buritto, we expect to see this being a popular choice in 2022.

Players pass cards around to collect a set of three, but if they match a battle card, it’s time get up and quite literally throw those Avocados around! You’ll need a bit of space to play, but the laughter and reactions are so worth it. 

Pros

  • Fun game for the whole family to play together
  • More active than most

Cons

  • Needs a fair bit of space to play

What are the must-have toys for Christmas 2022?

There are loads of toys to choose from on our round-up, but these are the ones we expect to be the must-have toys for Christmas 2022. Don’t hang around - they’re likely to sell out fast. 

When should you begin shopping for Christmas 2022?

For one of the most popular toys, you may want to consider buying sooner rather than later. Whilst prices can fluctuate on the run-up to Christmas, it's unlikely you’ll see any huge discounts on toys that are selling fast. You can sign up for price alerts and notifications across stores such as Amazon and Argos, however, there is a genuine risk that the most in-demand items will sell out long before December. If the toy is at the top of your child’s Santa wishlist, you may not want to take that risk. 

With a number of Royal Mail strikes expected to affect deliveries in the coming weeks and months, starting early may be sensible to ensure everything arrives on time. 

Should I order Christmas toys online? 

Ordering online can certainly take the pressure out of Christmas shopping and allows you to pick up your toys discreetly and without having the kids in tow. Many brands offer free postage with a minimum spend, so when you factor in the cost of parking at your local shopping centre, it’s often the cheaper option too. 

A word of warning, however - be careful if you have an Alexa at home. Whilst notifications are hidden when ordering close to Christmas, this isn't done as standard in earlier months. Be careful surprises aren't ruined by curious kids!

How can I save money on Christmas toys?

Shop around. Toys can vary in price between retailers so it's worth checking a few sites before committing to your choice, factoring in any additional postage charges and delivery time frames before you checkout.

This Christmas, you may want to set a budget and stick to it. Remember that for many young children, too many toys can be overwhelming. You can most likely cut back without reducing their level of enjoyment. 

Many families are also making kids aware of the cost of living crisis, explaining that even Father Christmas’s budgets may be a little tighter this year. 

Where can I donate toys this Christmas? 

There’s no doubt that this Christmas is going to be tough for many families. If you’d like to help others have a magical Christmas, you can donate toys to others using the following schemes:

What’s the best Christmas toy this year? 

For its cuteness, interactivity and element of surprise, the Little Live Pets Mama Guinea Pig Surprise gets our pick of the best Christmas toy for 2022.

How we chose our recommendations

We worked with a mix of industry predictions and recommendations from Mumsnetters on the Mumsnet Talk boards. We looked for parents discussing both toys that their children already owned and had brought lots of pleasure as well as the things that were featured on Christmas lists for this year. We put together a list of the items that appeared most regularly across the board as well as some insider industry knowledge to come up with this list of the best Christmas toys for 2022. 

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet’s Talk boards have been the place for parents to come to discuss their Christmas List Plan of Attack for more than two decades. Our members are excellent at coming up with ideas and coming up with the goods in terms of hints and tips on where and when to find the best deals.

Here at Mumsnet HQ we have excellent links with all the biggest shops and manufacturers too, so always have our eye on what’s new and which products are going to be the biggest toys in Christmas list terms. 

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