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Best toys for 6-year-olds

Need help finding a toy for your six-year-old? We’ve compiled a list of the best tried-and-tested toys for this age group to cater for all budgets and interests.  

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated May 9, 2022

Dad and kids playing Jenga

If you have a six-year-old at home, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of changes both physically and mentally. Now more settled at school, they are learning so much and making even stronger bonds with their friends.

While your six-year-old may sometimes act older than they are, playing is still important as it helps them to learn new skills and develop the ones they’re now building at school. 

Six-year-olds care a lot about friendships and enjoy playing with their friends. This could be through board games or engaging in role play together, so dolls and play sets are still a really good choice. They have a longer attention span for completing puzzles and building complex construction sets, like LEGO, and following instructions to make their own slime or bath bombs. They also enjoy arts and crafts, such as drawing or making jewellery.

To help us select a variety of toys for six-year-olds, we scoured the Mumsnet forums for top tips from parents on the toys that are played with again and again. Armed with a long list of tried-and-tested toys, we cross-checked the products against other expert review sites and online retailers, such as Argos, Smyths, John Lewis and Amazon, making sure to include toys that cover a range of budgets. 

Here are the 15 best toys for six-year-olds.

1. Best overall toy for 6-year-olds: Clementoni Interactive Educational Talking Globe

Clementoni Talking Globe

Price: £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Children’s Atlas. Globe. I remember getting my first globe from my godmother at about six or seven. And I used to love ‘reading’ atlases!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user HunkyPunk)

Six is a wonderful age for children to learn more about the world and with the Clementoni Interactive Educational Talking Globe they can learn about different cities, countries, continents and lots more.

There are 13 game modes and more than 500 questions, which have been divided into three levels of difficulty so your child’s knowledge can grow over time. Using the optical reader pen, children can select what mode they want on the interactive panel and hover over a country to learn about surface areas, populations, currencies, languages, territories, mountains, time zones, national anthems and even more interesting facts. 

The globe lights up and there’s a free app which brings it to life, allowing children to see three-dimensional animals and monuments.

Lots of Mumsnet parents also recommended the Leapfrog Magic Adventures Globe, but availability often waivers. We think the Clementoni Interactive Educational Talking Globe has a lot of the same great features to encourage children to learn about the world in a fun way. 

Pros  

  • Fun, interactive globe
  • Encourages geography knowledge
  • Promotes logical and observational skills
  • Lights up
  • 500 questions with three levels of difficulty

Cons 

  • Some parents have said the pointer is unreliable and occasionally gives the wrong answer
  • Pricey

2. Best budget toy for 6-year-olds: Unofficial and Independent Guide to Minecraft Top Trumps

Minecraft Top Trumps

Price: £6.39 | Buy now from Amazon

“Top Trumps? My seven-year-old also loves LEGO, anything Imaginext/Marvel-related, colouring books, Kerplunk, etc.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user pastaparadise)

“My DS6 loves Minecraft so any Minecraft merch would go down well.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Invisimamma)

With the Unofficial and Independent Guide to Minecraft Top Trumps, fans can learn fun facts about the characters in their favourite game and put their opponents' knowledge to the test.  

Top Trumps has been around for years and is still a popular card game for children. Kids can learn about the different mobs (mobile entities for any non-Minecraft fans), from the Shulker and Creeper to the Killer Bunny. They can then challenge their friends to see which mob is the tallest, widest or the most likely to attack, while learning exciting facts about the game.

The pack of cards comes in a hard plastic case so it’s the ideal game for playing at home or on the go. If Minecraft isn’t their thing, there’s a huge range of differently themed cards, such as dinosaurs, Marvel and Harry Potter, for playing with family and friends.

Pros 

  • Good-value card game
  • Can be played at home or on the go
  • Minecraft fun facts 
  • Huge range of Top Trumps themes to choose from

Cons 

  • Only three categories on the cards
  • Not official Minecraft merchandise

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 3 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

3. Best wooden toy for 6-year-olds: Jenga

Jenga

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

“My nearly six-year-old is getting into family games now like Jenga and Guess Who.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Lemmings123)

A game that has been around since the 80s, Jenga is still a big hit with families. Simply stack the wooden blocks into a tower, take turns to slide them out one by one and see who will make the tower topple first.

Whenever you remove a brick, you place it on the top of the tower, making it even taller and more and more unsteady. What the game lacks in rules, it makes up for in excitement and laughter as you try to avoid bringing the tower tumbling down. 

This game can be enjoyed with family and friends of all ages – and can be played alone too – so your child should get plenty of use out of it. There are similar versions on the market, but Jenga is the original wooden block stacking game that offers great value for money.

Pros 

  • Can be played with family and friends or alone
  • Simple to play
  • Good-value game
  • Improves hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking 

Cons 

  • Some reviewers say the box doesn’t store the pieces securely 
  • Users have found that some of the bricks aren’t the same shape

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

4. Best Pokémon toy for 6-year-olds: Pokémon Battle Academy

Pokemon Battle Academy

Price: £22 | Buy now from Argos

“If it's the game they're interested in, not just opening new packs and putting cards in folders and arranging them and swapping them with friends… Pokémon Battle Academy is a new board game which is quite cheap in some places at the moment and comes with enough cards for two players to have decks and learn to play the game - then they can choose what kind of cards and decks they want to build.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user BunnyBerries)

Pokémon is big business, with a TV show, video game, apps and a huge range of merchandise, including a trading card game. The aim of the card game is to collect cards to build a powerful deck of 60 that will help you win battles against other trainers.

The Pokémon Battle Academy is a board game based on this. It’s been designed for two players and comes with three decks of cards (180 in total) and guided instructions for the first game. Children can choose which Pokémon creature they want to lead the team into battle, including Pikachu, Charizard and Mewtwo. 

It's great for children who already enjoy the trading card game and those just starting out, and is great value for money - especially when you consider a pack of cards alone can cost around £5 each.  

Pros

  • Great for Pokémon fans
  • Comes with 180 cards
  • Easy-to-follow guided instructions
  • Promotes strategic thinking
  • Good value for money

Cons 

  • May be disappointing for children who are looking for specific cards
  • Only for two players 

Key specs 

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: N/A 

5. Best craft toy for 6-year-olds: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

Crayola Tracing Pad

Price: £11.54 | Buy now from Amazon

“Oh and some ideas from me: Leapfrog Magic Adventures Globe, Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad, bean bag.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Mrsfussypants1)

Whether your child is a budding artist or a scribbler, the Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad will help them improve their drawing skills. 

Children can choose one of the 10 fashion or horse-themed tracing sheets to draw. Clip the paper to the frame and the LED screen lights it up to help children learn how to draw clean lines, shapes and different creative scenes. 

The 35-piece set includes a graphite pencil and colour pencils so they can add their own detail and creativity to the drawings. There are other tracing boards available, but Crayola is a trusted brand that’s been inspiring budding artists for years - and we like that you can download hundreds of images on their website for children to trace.

Pros

  • Helps children learn how to draw 
  • Suitable for all abilities
  • Improves fine-motor skills
  • No adult supervision needed

Cons 

  • Some users have had issues with the light not being bright enough
  • Fashion/horse theme may not suit all children’s tastes

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 3 years+
  • Batteries: 3 x AA (not included)

6. Best transformer toy for 6-year-olds: Bakugan Starter Pack 3-Pack

Bakugan Starter Pack

Price: £23.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Bakugan little transformer ball things. But any transformer toy that is dinosaur/car/monster-related that makes aggressive fighty noises.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Dragontightrope)

“My son loves Bakugan (balls that turn into robot things), hama beads, loom bands, Phase 10, Dobble.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user LulusMiniEgg)

Another collectable toy, but this time with an exciting twist - what looks like a plastic ball turns into an exciting Bakugan character.

Similar to Pokémon, Bakugan is a game based on the TV series Bakugan Battle Brawlers. Children collect the cards and Bakugan characters capsules to play the game. They’ll love rolling their Bakugan characters and watching them transform. 

This starter pack is great for those just starting their Bakugan collection, but be warned: there are thought to be around 300 different characters and some parents have found they can break easily.

Pros 

  • Collectible card and character game
  • Toys transform when rolled
  • Lots of cards and characters to collect
  • Can help to improve social skills  
  • Encourages strategic thinking

Cons 

  • Pieces can break off easily according to reviewers
  • Collecting the characters could get expensive

Key specs 

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

7. Best building toy for 6-year-olds: Geomag Mechanics Building Set

Geomag Mechanics

Price: £20.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“Building things generally, so Geomags and Magna-Tiles” Tried and tested by Mumsnet user AlexanderArnold)

Using a combination of magnetic rods and non-magnetic balls, the Geomag Mechanics Building Set allows children to explore their creativity and make moving structures. This set would make a great starter set for children who are new to Geomag or as an add-on for others. 

Other magnetic toys like Magna-Tiles are also popular with children of this age, but the exciting thing about the Geomag Mechanics range is that parts of the structure can rotate once built, helping children to learn about magnetic attraction and repulsion. 

Geomag is STEM-approved and the set comes with 86 pieces for helping children explore science, engineering and magnetic construction.

Pros

  • 86 pieces for creating 3D shapes
  • STEM-approved toy
  • Parts of the structure can rotate
  • Inspires creativity

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the instructions aren’t clear
  • Non-magnetic balls won’t be safe around younger siblings

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 5 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

8. Best superhero toy for 6-year-olds: Imaginext Batman Gotham City Jail

Imaginext Batman Gotham City Jail

Price: £22.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Imaginext sets. He has a mix of superhero ones and bad guys as well as some Star Wars ones.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Rubytinsleslippers)

Superhero fans can channel their inner Batman and lock up the bad guys with this Imaginext DC Super Friends Gotham City Jail. 

The set includes two figures – Batman and villain Bane. Call for Batman on the moveable Bat-Signal and lock Bane away in one of the five cells. The set has some fun features for adding to the action, including turning disks that make Bane glow as he powers up and opens the cell doors so he can escape.

Imaginext toys are recommended by Mumsnetters for being sturdy and fun, and the brand sells a huge range of superhero toys for adding to the collection, vehicles and playsets, such as the Batcave, to bring Gotham City to your home.  

Pros

  • Sturdy, well-made toy
  • Encourages imaginative play
  • Moving parts to add to the fun
  • More figures, vehicles and sets to add to the collection 

Cons

  • You may need to buy more characters for the jail
  • Some users feel it could have more special features

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 3-8 years
  • Batteries: 3 x (LR44) button-cell batteries (included)

9. Best construction toy for 6-year-olds: LEGO Friends Andrea's Family House

LEGO Andrea's House

Price: £40.97 | Buy now from Amazon

“My DDs both really liked LEGO Friends about that age.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Stompythedinosaur)

At the age of six, you can’t really go wrong with LEGO and this set from the Friends range has lots of features to make construction play even more fun. 

The LEGO Friends Andrea’s Family House comes with five mini-figures: Andrea, her friend Stephanie, Mum and Dad, and sister Liz. The two-storey house has a removable top floor to make it easier to access the downstairs, and the garage door lifts up to reveal a studio where Andrea and her friends can put on a show. 

Other features include a kitchen with a swinging workbench, solar panels on the roof and a heart-shaped pool. There’s 802 pieces in the set so children can really put their construction skills to the test. 

A toy that provides lots of benefits for supporting a child’s development, such as aiding fine motor skills and encouraging creativity and problem-solving, LEGO is loved by both parents (apart from when it’s all over the floor!) and children alike. 

Pros

  • 802 pieces
  • Comes with five mini-figures
  • Fun features for inspiring imaginations
  • Aids fine motor skills 
  • Encourages creativity and problem-solving

Cons 

  • Pricey
  • Some children may need help with the build 

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

10. Best electronic toy for 6-year-olds: Instax Mini 9 Camera

Instax Mini 9

Price: £64.51 | Buy now from Amazon

“My DD6 has asked for the Instax camera and some Playmobil room sets for her Playmobil house.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Flambola)

With a host of fun colours to choose from and instant Polaroid-style photos, the Instax Mini 9 camera would make a wonderful present for budding photographers. 

This compact camera is the perfect size for smaller hands, but what makes it great for beginners and children is that it comes with features for helping you get the best photo possible. The built-in flash makes sure you get the right lighting and the automatic exposure control determines the optimum brightness for photos.

There’s also a selfie mirror next to the lens so children can make sure they get their framing right and a close-up lens attachment helps to bring subjects into focus. 

Similar to a polaroid camera, the Mini 9 prints credit-card sized photos so children can instantly see their work. Compared to children’s cameras like the popular VTech Kidizoom, it doesn’t have any extra features like games or fun filters, so the Mini 9 would be better suited for children who want to take their photography to the next level. 

Replacing the film can get quite expensive though, especially as there’s no screen for checking the photo before it prints.

Pros

  • Choose from five gorgeous colours
  • Instant credit card-sized photos
  • Selfie mirror to help with framing
  • Close-up lens attachment
  • Automatic exposure control adjusts the brightness

Cons

  • Some reviewers have had issues with photos coming out dark
  • Expensive – especially with the extra cost of the film
  • Can’t view pictures before printing them

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: 2 x AA

11. Best cute toy for 6-year-olds: Squishmallow Evie The Narwhal Plush Toy

Squishmallow Narwhale

Price: £44.90 | Buy now from Amazon

“Bluey toys, a Squishmallow and a Cry Baby.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Smeds

Meet Evie The Narwhal. Super soft, cute and cuddly, Squishmallows soft toys are becoming increasingly popular, with some fans building up a large collection. 

The toys can be bought in a range of sizes, with the largest measuring up to 60cm high, so if you’re buying one for the first time, you may want to start small so that they don’t completely take over your home. 

Each toy is unique, but they are all super squishy - just like a marshmallow - so they can be used as a pillow or for cuddling up to at bedtime. At 40cm high, Evie The Narwhal is quite big but that also makes her the perfect size for squishing.  

Pros 

  • Lovely colours 
  • Cute and squishy 
  • Huge range of cuddly toys to collect
  • Perfect size for cuddling

Cons

  • It’s quite big
  • Play could be quite limited 
  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Recommended age: All ages 
  • Batteries: N/A

12. Best Barbie toy for 6-year-olds: Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Magic Mermaid Doll

Barbie Dreamtopia Mermaid

Price: £21.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“DD will be six come Christmas and is probably getting (not purchased yet) and/or asked for: Barbie Dreamtopia colour change mermaid.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user EcoCustard)

Add some fun to bathtime with the Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Magic Mermaid Doll. Watch as the doll’s hair, bodice and tail change colour when dipped into warm water, revealing a rainbow of pastel colours.  

To reverse the transformation, submerge her in ice-cold water and watch her change again and again - although it’s worth noting some users found the colour-change stopped working after a while.

The doll would make a fun addition to any Barbie collection as children can play with her in and out of the water. With a tiara and rainbow hair, Barbie looks like a princess mermaid, inspiring stories and adventures to fuel your child’s imagination. 

If your child loves Barbie, there’s a wide range of sets, houses, and dolls available to create even more fun. We especially love the range of inclusive dolls, such as the Barbie Fashionista Doll and Wheelchair, and those with inspiring jobs.

Pros

  • Body and tail changes colour in water
  • Watch her transform again and again
  • Can be played with in the bath
  • Encourages imagination

Cons

  • Colour change may stop working after time 

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 3-9 years
  • Batteries: N/A

13. Best creative toy for 6-year-olds: SO DIY Bomb Aroma Factory

SO DIY Bomb Factory

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Children love bath bombs so why not let them make their own? The SO DIY Bomb Aroma Factory has everything children need to make their own creations.

At this age, children can concentrate for longer periods of time and enjoy structured activities. The kit comes with the tools, including a mixer and a mould, and enough ingredients and fragrances to make six bath bombs.  

All you need to do is add water, mix it together, put it in the mould, sprinkle in some decorations and it’s ready in less than an hour. The kit can only make one bath bomb at a time though, but that does mean the activity should last longer.

Pros

  • Makes six bath bombs
  • Pick from a choice of fragrances 
  • Helps children learn how to follow instructions 

Cons 

  • Some reviewers don’t like the smell of the bath bombs
  • You can only make one bath bomb at a time
  • Some users claim the bath bombs crumbled once made 

Key specs

  • Recommended age: 6 years+
  • Batteries: N/A

14. Best Playmobil toy for six-year-olds: PLAYMOBIL Space Station

Playmobil Space Station

Price: £44.20 | Buy now from Amazon

“Playmobil is perfect for a six-year-old. My DD still loved it at that age.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user CoffeeRunner)

Children can now go on their own space missions thanks to PLAYMOBIL’s Mars Space Station.

The set features a laboratory for researching life on Mars and realistic details, such as a command centre, detachable capsules, stairs that fold out, a functioning laser shooter and realistic sounds, for inspiring lots of exciting adventures in outer space.

Playing with PLAYMOBIL has a host of great benefits - not only does it help children engage in imaginative play, but it can help them learn about the world too.

The 187-piece set comes with two astronauts and a robot, with adjustable facial expressions. There are other sets in the range too, including a space rocket and vehicle for adding even more fun to your child’s playtime. Be aware that this set does take around 90 minutes to assemble and children may need help building it.

Pros

  • Realistic details 
  • Fun lights and sounds
  • Encourages imaginative and educational play
  • Helps children learn about space 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lots of small parts
  • Takes around 90 minutes to put together – with parental help

 Key specs

  • Recommended age: 6-12 years
  • Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)

15. Best imagination toy for 6-year-olds: Schleich Horse Stable

Schleich Horse Stables

Price: £67.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Schleich stables and a couple of horses to add to the collection.” (Rated by Mumsnet user midnightstar66)

With cute animal figures, farmers and realistic tools, Schleich’s Horse Stable will provide endless fun for animal lovers.

Children can transport bales of hay using the moving rollers and wheelbarrow or send them flying down the slide. They can even use the seesaw for throwing the hay back up to the loft. 

The adjustable feed indicator lets children know when the horses need feeding and there’s a pull-out pulley for easily transporting the food. Other accessories include a mouse, kitten and ducks. 

Schleich figures are known for being high quality and authentic (although some users say this set is a bit flimsy) and there’s a huge range of farm and horse sets for adding to the collection.

Pros

  • Realistic features
  • Comes with two horse figures 
  • Encourages children to learn about life on a farm
  • Promotes imaginative play

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Reviewers say the set can fall apart easily

Key specs 

  • Recommended age: 3-8 years
  • Batteries: N/A

What are good activities for 6-year-olds? 

At an age where children are now more physically confident, learning to jump rope, riding their bike or scooter, climbing at the park and kicking a ball around with their friends are all great ways of keeping a six-year-old entertained. 

As they learn more at school, they will enjoy putting their fine motor skills to good practice too, drawing, writing their own stories or letters, cutting, plaiting their doll’s hair and even learning to sew. Reading books and following structured activities, such as science experiments, are also great things to do at this age. 

How do I choose the best toy for a 6-year-old?

Milestones

One of the big things you may notice about your six-year-old is their language development. They can now clearly articulate their thoughts when they recount a story. 

Physically, they are very active and confident with their body, running around with their friends, climbing and exploring new skills. Their fine motor skills, such as writing and drawing, are developing even further too. 

Emotionally, they may still be adjusting to school life and can suffer from some separation anxiety, but they also form deeper friendships. These milestones are all important to think about when buying a toy for your six-year-old. 

Look for a toy that they can share with their friends, such as a board game or a playset. Also consider if it will help them develop the skills they are learning at school, such as reading, writing and maths.

Safety 

While your child may well be past the stage of putting small parts in their mouth, it’s still worth checking that the toy is age-appropriate and looks solid and sturdy so that it doesn’t break easily. 

If the toy has the CE symbol this means that it meets all the relevant regulatory requirements. Some toys also have the British Toy and Hobby Association’s (BTHA) Lion Mark which shows that it has met all the safety requirements to be a member.

Interests 

When choosing a toy, thinking about what your child is interested in is one of the most important factors. Do they like superheroes? Are they Barbie mad? While it’s good to buy a toy that may help broaden their skills and encourage new interests, you still need to be sure that they’ll want to play with it.

What is the best toy for 6-year-olds?

We think the Clementoni Interactive Educational Talking Globe is the best toy for six-year-olds, as recommended by both parents and reviewers. With 13 game modes and more than 500 questions, children can learn about countries, capital cities, continents and lots more. A free app brings the globe to life too, allowing children to see three-dimensional animals and monuments while learning lots of interesting facts about the world.

How we chose our recommendations 

When compiling our list of recommendations, our trusted and experienced parenting journalists spend hours researching each product category, using a variety of sources to evaluate which products are the best. Many of the recommendations for toys for six-year-olds came from Mumsnet parents themselves whose children have spent hours of their time putting the products through their paces in everyday situations. 

We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which toys Mumsnetters really rated and then consulted expert review sites and retailers, such as Argos, Amazon and Smyths, to help us whittle down our list of tried-and-tested products. During our research, we vetted each toy, considering the quality, safety, value for money, extra features and material to ensure each one performed well across the board. 

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

About Gemma Wilcock

Freelance writer Gemma has worked for national magazines and online publications for more than 15 years. As a busy mum of two young children, aged seven and five, she draws on her own experiences when writing about toys, parenting, health, money, lifestyle, specialising in product reviews for Mumsnet. She has also written for Prima Baby, Woman’s Own and Bella.