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Best toys for 10-year-olds, as recommended by real parents

Whether it’s a fun board game the whole family can play together, a creative toy that allows them to express their personality or even an active toy that keeps up with their copious amounts of energy, we’ve researched the best toys for 10-year-olds, as recommended by Mumsnetters.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Dec 18, 2023

Best toys for 10 year olds

Choosing the best toys for 10-year-olds can be far more difficult than you may think. As they rapidly approach the teenage years, it can be hard to find toys and gifts that can fully entertain ten-year-olds without relying on excessive amounts of screen time.

The best toys for 10-year-olds are ones that can spark their imagination, creativity and enthusiasm, without being too ‘babyish’. Popular choices include games, puzzles and gadgets, as well as toys that allow them to bring out their individuality.

Whether it’s a fun board game the whole family can play together, a creative toy that allows them to express their personality or even an active toy that keeps up with their copious amounts of energy, we’ve researched the best toys for 10-year-olds, as recommended by real parents.

For more authentic recommendations for older children, check out our guides to the best board games and the best kids' tablets.

Here are the best toys for 10-year-olds you can buy in 2022.

Read next: Looking for a homework-friendly tablet for your kids this summer? Check out our review of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Kids Pro.

1. Best overall toy for 10-year-olds: LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig the Owl

LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig the Owl

RRP: £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Challenging build suitable for ages 10+

  • Impressive ‘flight’ movements from jointed wings

  • Looks great on display in bedrooms

Reasons to avoid:

  • Costly

  • Those who aren’t Harry Potter fans may prefer LEGO Technic, Creator or Star Wars ranges of similar difficulty.

What Mumsnet users say:

“The majority of 10 year olds will still enjoy LEGO. Harry Potter would probably be the biggest hit LEGO range wise. Or LEGO Technic, you need a few sets to build up a simple collection”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user BoopBooppp)

“My 10 year old likes LEGO Friends, LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Dots and odd sets in the other themes” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Aroundtheworldin80moves)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - A challenging build with articulated movements and a detachable mini set included.

The more detailed and challenging LEGO sets can make a great gift for ten-year-olds, with themes such as Harry Potter proving popular amongst Mumsnet users and their children.

More affordable than some of the larger Harry Potter LEGO sets, this Hedwig model has mechanical wings that represent real flight movements when the handle is turned. Measuring an impressive 20cm tall and with a giant wing span of 35cm, it includes a sturdy base for displaying in their bedroom with pride.

For more like this, head over to our guide to the best LEGO sets for kids.

2. Best budget toy for 10-year-olds: Fab Lab Tie Die Kit

Fab Lab Tie Die Kit

RRP: £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Creative fun

  • Simple to use

  • Affordable price tag

Reasons to avoid:

  • Contains dye which can stain, so will require adult supervision

  • The kit doesn’t include T-shirts or fabric, so you will need to source your own

What Mumsnet users say:

“A tie dye kit was also a big hit over lockdown.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user IvyRose77886)

“​​Another vote for Tie Dye Kit! My 7 year old daughter is obsessed, as is my 13-year-old niece!”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user PosyBoo)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Quick and easy to make unique designs that express their personality

Tie dye designs are particularly on trend at the moment, but rather than opting for an off-the-shelf option, why not allow your kids to make their own?

The Fab Lab Tie Dye Kit comes with four brightly coloured dyes in large applicator bottles and a selection of latex-free elastic bands. Simply choose the material of your choice - from T-shirts to hoodies or scarves;  before twisting, folding and scrunching to create unique and individual designs. Be warned, they’ll soon want to tie dye everything inside as it can be somewhat addictive!

Related: Discover our pick of the best online tutoring services to boost your child's learning.

3. Best outdoor toy for 10-year-olds: Fitbit Ace 3 Activity Tracker

Fitbit Ace 3 Activity Tracker

RRP: £49.99 | Buy now from John Lewis

Reasons to buy:

  • Designed specifically for children

  • Good battery life

  • Focus is less on steps and more on activity levels

Reasons to avoid:

  • Limited to a choice of two colours

  • Does have a compatible app, which parents may prefer to avoid

What Mumsnet users say:

“I bought my son the new Fitbit Ace and am so impressed with it, I feel inspired to get a Fitbit for myself!”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Tootired1)

“I got my 10 year old the Ace as ours seemed a bit more grown up in style. I went with Fitbit as I already use the app and I could just add the ace to the 'family' bit of the app.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user fruitpastille)

Our verdict

Our Favourite Features? - A child friendly activity tracker with an animated screen that can encourage an active lifestyle without focusing on calories or weight loss.

Keen to get your child off the sofa and away from screens? Whilst not technically a toy, the Fitbit Ace 3 is a fitness tracker made specifically for kids. Unlike those aimed at adults, it’s focused on encouraging activity (not on calories burned). It’s also fairly slimline too, looking stylish and ‘grown up’ without being bulky on small wrists.

With the ability to earn badges and complete challenges amongst their friends, it’s intuitive, easy to use and incredibly motivating; particularly the animated screens that grow and develop the closer they get to their activity target.

Related: The best remote control cars for kids, tried and tested by Mumsnetters

4. Best STEM toy for 10-year-olds: Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set

Gravitrax Starter Set - Marble Run

RRP: £36.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Educational and fun

  • STEM-related toy

  • Wide range of Gravitrax toys sold separately to grow their collection

Reasons to avoid:

  • This smaller set is fairly limited, so they may quickly want to expand their collection

What Mumsnet users say:

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

"Awesome toy! I have found myself playing with it as much as they do." (Tried, tested (and played with) by Mumsnetter Halfarsedjingler)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Kids can learn about kinetic energy and engineering, all whilst having fun

A great kit to kick start your 10-year-old’s interest in STEM, this Gravitrax starter set contains 122 pieces that allow them to learn and discover the impact of gravity and magnetism, whilst creating some impressive marble runs in the process.

If Gravitrax proves to be a hit, you can easily pick up expansion packs to prolong the fun!

For more great toys like this, check out our guide to the best STEM toys that are guaranteed to make learning fun.

5. Best creative toy for 10-year-olds: LEGO Dots Message Board

LEGO Dots Message Board

RRP: £18 | Buy now from Argos

Reasons to buy:

  • Budget-friendly LEGO toy

  • Endless possibilities

  • Express their personality with unique designs

Reasons to avoid:

  • Lots of small pieces could be an issue if they have younger siblings

What Mumsnet users say:

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

Our verdict

Our favourite features - Affordable and creative, with endless designs options

LEGO toys always go down well but the larger kits an be a tad painful on the purse strings. The more budget friendly LEGO Dots Message Board is a great way for 10year-olds to create a personalised sign for their bedroom door.

Containing two 16 by 16cm plates, a frame and a hanger, they can bring their designs to life by arranging small LEGO dot pieces. With over five hundred in the set in a range of shapes and colours, they can change their sign as often as they change their mind.

For more like this, check out our guide to the best creative toys for kids.

6. Best board game for 10-year-olds: Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito

RRP: £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Fun game the whole family can enjoy together

  • Active fun

Reasons to avoid:

  • Requires significant space to play

What Mumsnet users say:

We had Throw Throw Burrito (my daughter loved it as the burritos are squishies!!)”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user snowmanshoes)

“Oh we got Throw Throw Burrito too as a family present - surprisingly everyone loves it!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user chillimice)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Kids will love the Burrito squishies which are also soft when thrown

If we told you this game was a combination of a card game and dodgeball, only throwing around and dodging a giant squishy Burrito, you’d probably think we’d had too much wine with our lunch. It’s the truth however and pretty much why this game has proven to be such a big hit with families.

The aim of the game? Collect matching sets of cards and avoid getting bopped on the bonce with a burrito. Simple.

7. Best football toy for 10-year-olds: Smart Ball Kick-Up Counting Power Ball

Smart Ball Kick-Up Counting Power Ball

RRP: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Active toy that encourages time outside

  • Counts the number of ‘keepy uppies’

  • Encourages healthy competition amongst family and friends

Reasons to avoid:

  • Pump needed to inflate before use

  • Paying a premium for the counting feature

What Mumsnet users say:

“My football-mad nephew got a Smart Ball that counts his keepy-ups for his birthday and was over the moon”  (Type of toy tried and tested by Mumsnet user NEE1302)

Trick footballs (or frankly any football) goes down a treat, apparently there’s no limit on the number of footballs you can enjoy” (Style of toy recommended by Mumsnet user JassyRadlett)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Lights, sounds and motivational milestone celebrations

Mumsnet users found that kids can never have too many footballs, but this one offers something a little more special than your average ball. With lights and sounds, this smart balls keeps track of your tricks, counting up every time it makes contact with your body.

Whether you’re doing kick ups, headers or bouncing the ball off your chest, who can be the first family member to reach 100?

Do you have a football-mad child? We've got you covered with our guide to the best football gifts.

8. Best science toy for 10-year-olds: National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit

National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit

RRP: £27.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Includes 15 genuine specimens

  • Fun craft activity as they dig to excavate their gems

  • Educational fun

Reasons to avoid:

  • Some of the gems can be small in size

  • Can be a little messy as the sand is chipped away

What Mumsnet users say:

We had the Gem Stone Excavation Set last year and my daughter enjoyed it and didn’t find it too quick and easy to do”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Notname)

“My daughters have received a few of the National Geographic Gemstone Dig Kits and really enjoyed 'excavating' for the gems for hours at the table.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user GallopingGreen)

Our verdict

Our favourite features - Captivating and calming as they sit and excavate real gems

With fifteen genuine gem stones included in the set, children will love using the chisel, brush and magnifying glass included to chip away and carefully reveal their rewards including pyrite, amethyst, tiger’s eye, fluorite and quartz.

Once revealed, they can learn more about their treasure including how its formed and mined, in the full colour guide.

9. Best soft toy for 10-year-olds: Squishmallow Plush Toys

RRP: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Super soft toys

  • Cute companion for gaming, reading or bed

  • Variety of characters to collect including some limited edition

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cheaper alternatives are available

What Mumsnet users say:

“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 40cm they are massive but very comfy as pillows too.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Thereisnoname)

Our verdict

Whilst you’d be forgiven for thinking your ten-year-old is too old for soft toys, trust us when we say that Squishmallows have taken on a somewhat iconic status in recent years.

These adorable characters come in small, medium and large sizes and are made from super soft and squishy material that is like sinking into a pillow when cuddled. Whether you opt for a cookie, a panda, a cat or a smore design, they make a great addition to your child’s bedroom and a comfortable friend to chill with after school.

10. Best tech toy for 10-year-olds: Echo Dot Kids

Echo Dot Kids Owl

RRP: £64.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Reasons to buy:

  • Age-appropriate smart device

  • Includes 12 months free trial to Amazon Kids

Reasons to avoid:

  • May find they spend more time away in their bedroom as a result

  • Costly when not on offer

What Mumsnet users say:

“My son has an Alexa in his room which he loves for playing music and asking the poor machine endless questions.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user BangingOn)

Our verdict

Our favourite features - Cute new designs and age appropriate content

With two new designs available - a dinosaur and an owl, the new 5th edition Amazon Kids Echo Dot is likely to be well received by any ten-year-old who loves listening to music or podcasts.

With a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids included, the intereactive Echo Dot can offer everything from jokes and homework assistance to a pre bedtime disco in a small but perfectly formed smart device.

What kind of toys do 10-year-olds like?

Ten is a difficult age to buy for, with many ten-year-olds starting to outgrow the more traditional toys and switching towards technology, games and accessories. If you don’t want to encourage more screen time, or are keen to avoid makeup and clothes; toys that offer creativity, learning, fun and activities are a great place to start.

How much should you spend on a toy for a 10-year-old?

You don’t need to spend a fortune to buy a toy that your ten-year-old will love. From more budget friendly craft kits such as the Tie Die Set to creative options such as LEGO Dots, you can easily pick up some age appropriate toys that won’t break the bank.

That said, higher price tag items like LEGO and tech toys such as the Fitbit Ace 3 and Echo Dot also make a great option for those looking for a main present to gift for birthdays or christmas.

What’s age-appropriate for a 10-year-old?

In the tween years, children generally won’t want anything that’s too babyish or that they’re younger siblings would play with too. From hobbies to music, art and crafts toys as well as active or sport toys that get them up and burning off energy, we recommend looking for toys that offer fun and entertainment, without relying solely on a screen or tech device.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on the difficult tween years, and the toys that have previously been well received by their ten-year-olds.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, quickly ignored or overpriced.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best toys for ten years olds, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Claires, Smyths Toys and Argos to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.