Christmas 2014: 13 best gifts for kids

Keep them entertained (and out of the kitchen) on the big day with the best in kid's toys this Christmas

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The Independent Online

The range of children's toys on offer come Christmas can be overwhelming, but, luckily, we're here to help. From Nintendo games to personalised dolls, we've put our mini-testers to work to find 13 gifts sure to prove a hit.

1. Giant Battle Dragon with LED Fire: £29.99, playmobil.co.uk

 

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One fearsome creature with fiery breath (batteries included).

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2. Batman Bike Bell: £4.79, halfords.com

 

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Warn away super-villains with your bell.

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3. Lightning Strike Scooter: £19.99, halfords.com

 

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Easy to fold and lock, and with flashing lights on the footplates.

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4. Animal Ark: £59.99, playmobil.co.uk

 

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Complete with paired animals, loading ramp – and even trees.

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5. Hawkin's Bazaar Kitten: £12, amazon.co.uk

 

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It walks, it meows, it curls its tail. And it’s fluffy – the perfect virtual pet.

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6. Thomas and Friends TrackMaster Gordon: £17.99, amazon.co.uk

 

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This motorised engine is so strong, Gordon can even climb hills.

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7. Djeco Leon Dragon Giant Floor Puzzle: £18, habitat.co.uk

 

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 A 1.4m long, 58 piece floor puzzle in the shape of a dragon.

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8. Panda Sweatshirt: from £30, tootsamacginty.com

 

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Its muzzle unzips to reveal an impressive set of teeth.

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9. Minecraft Steve: £22.95, amazon.co.uk

 

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Collectable for the Minecraft-obsessed.

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10. Fridgeezoo Fridge Pet: £14.99, firebox.com

 

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These little carton-shaped animals shouts when you leave the door open – in Japanese.

Buy now

 

 

 

 

11. Pinta Pets Kit: £15, habitat.co.uk

 

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Make-your-own daddy, mummy and baby felt penguins.

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12. Stunt Pegs: £8.99, halfords.com

 

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Perform BMX tricks with these sturdy steel pegs.

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13. Slackajack Monkey Jellycat Toy: £13.95, thehandpickedcollection.com

 

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Our super-soft favourite for little monkeys.

Buy

 

 

 

 

14. MiP Robot: £99.99, wowwee.com

 

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Diminutive droid that responds to your motions and gestures.

Buy now

 

 

 

 

15. Super Run Boys' Trainers: £20, clarks.co.uk

 

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Put a spring in his step with these punchy-coloured trainers.

Buy now

 

 

 

More for kids: 10 best educational toys
11 best electronic toys
14 best creative toys
12 best action figures

16. Scented Belgian Waffle Coin Purse: £8.99, firebox.com

 

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Stash your cash in this zip-up purse that whiffs of your favourite waffle.

Buy now

 

 

17. Pucket: £40, etgames.co.uk

 

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Catapult the family into a screen-free Christmas with Pucket, a high-speed wooden board game that brings out the competitive streak in all-comers. Be warned: it gets raucous…

Buy now

 

18. OMY Design & Play Giant Colouring Poster: £9.90, stonemarketing.com

 

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Take advantage of the quiet time afforded by this giant colouring poster – or get down with the kids and the felt tip pens. Available in a number of designs.

Buy now

 

19. Pokemon Nintendo: Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, £39.99 each, and Nintendo 2DS, £89.99, nintendo.co.uk

 

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Gotta catch ‘em all? Then they’ve gotta get the hotly anticipated Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Nintendo games. And what better to try them out on than the cool new 2DS transparent red and blue consoles?

Buy now

 

20. Sorgenfresser Worry Eater: £19.99, firebox.com

 

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These quirky monsters help children with anxieties and fears: encourage your little one to write down or draw what’s bothering them, open the zip mouth and down the hatch it goes.

Buy now

 

21. Vex Robotics by Hexbug Strandbeast: £69.99, johnlewis.com

 

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Set their cogs whirring as they assemble 400 snap-together pieces and then customise the programming to produce their very own giant, eight-legged robotic creature.

Buy now

 

22. Sylvanian Families Country Tree School: £34.99, toysrus.co.uk

 

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The Country Tree School is the latest addition to the ever-cute Sylvanian miniature world.

Buy now

 

23. The Makies Gift Box: £70, mymakie.com

 

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Create a one-of-a-kind 10-inch doll online, which is then brought to life with 3D printing technology and delivered to your door. Or choose one that’s ready-made.

Buy now

 

24. Anki Drive Starter Kit: £149.99, selfridges.com

 

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Like Scalextric, only better. No slots, no glitchy wires – just fast and furious racing and nifty artificial intelligence to keep your robot car on the track and in the battle.

Buy now

 

25. Personalised Children’s Swing: from £149, makemesomethingspecial.co.uk

 

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Higher, higher… get the festivities off to a flying start with a hand-crafted oak swing personalised with an engraved message or name.

Buy now

 

26. Play-Doh Play ‘n’ Store Creativity Kit: £14.99, argos.co.uk

 

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A Play-Doh kit that comes with pots of dough, stamps, cutters and a play mat that – wait for it – folds back into a carry case. Simples.

Buy now

 

27. Addict-A-Ball: £7.95, prezzybox.com

 

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Twist, turn and tilt a silver ball through a seemingly endless maze. Or at least try to. Infuriating and (clue’s in the name) unputdownable. Comes in two sizes.

Buy now

 

28. Everywhere Tales Dress: £49.99, everywheretales.com

 

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Denim kit is not only hardy but handy, too, when the dresses and dungarees come with ‘play panels’ (storyboards with felt characters) in their pockets.

Buy now

 

29. Lost My Name: £18.99, lostmy.name

 

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These magical personalised tales use an algorithm to scatter the letters of your child’s name throughout, taking them on an adventure to track each one down.

Buy now

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