End the eternal quest for a gift that's durable, smart and more fun than the box it came in
Life through a little lens with Kidizoom
See life from a child's point of view with VTech's amazing Kidizoom Twist camera. It's amazing what young photographers choose to capture and how quickly even three year-olds can get to grips with it. This latest addition to the range comes with a rotating "self-portrait" lens, so photographers can put themselves in the frame. The robust two megapixel gadget also doubles as a video camera, so mini movie-makers can capture and edit their adventures on film. There's also voice recording function and five different games. Also available in blue.
How much: £49.99
Where from: www.vtechuk.com
An advent alternative from Lego
For Lego aficionados aged five to 12, there's no better way to get into the festive spirit than the Lego City Advent Calendar. The calendar features 24 different gifts, including six mini figures (there's even a Santa). Parents, bear in mind that Lego can become an expensive addiction with the much-coveted Deathstar (ages 14 up) costing a hefty £274.99.
How much: £17.99
Where from: www.lego.com
Luxury baby rug
Your baby can't talk, but if he could he'd ask Santa for a luxury sheepskin rug to snuggle on. According to the experts at Cornwall's family-run Wool Company, their luxury honey bear baby rug is the Rolls Royce of sheepskins. Babies love the feel of these soft silky rugs that (red-eyed new parents take note) are said to promote peaceful sleep. And importantly, the rugs, measuring 90 cm by 65 cm and made from the very best British sheepskins, are machine-washable on a wool wash.
How much: £69
Where from: www.thewoolcompany.co.uk
Clever cars drive Disney juggernaut
Disney Pixar's Cars continues its monster marketing drive with a new range of remote controlled cars from the popular film series as Francesco and Finn McMissile (pictured) join favourites Lightning McQueen and Mater. The handsets steer the cars left, right, back and forward. The also have lights and speak phrases from the film, with secret agent Finn McMissile also featuring pop-out wings and light-up guns. Batteries are included.
How much: £18.75
Where from: www.disneystore.co.uk
Micro scooting magic
Scooting has never been so much fun. As parents nationwide will testify, the Mini Micro is a toy that gets used again and again. Children from as young as two can quickly master the balance and co-ordination to enjoy their nippy three-wheelers, making the nursery run more fun for both parent and child. There's also a range of funky accessories, including helmets, lights and bells. And older children needn't give up their scooting habit: the Maxi Micro caters for ages six to 12.
How much: £49.95
Where from: www.micro-scooters.co.uk
Old fashioned fun on the past times railway
This charming figure of eight train set has a truly lovely retro feel. The cheerful locomotive, complete with a guard's van and carriages, climbs over the viaduct and then whizzes down the other side. Let young imaginations build their own little world, populated with wooden people, buildings, cars, trees and road signs. There are 40 pieces in all, enough to keep little minds busy while the grown-ups digest their Christmas lunch.
How much: £15
Where from: www.pasttimes.com
Leappad's terrific tiny tablet
Tablets aren't just for grown ups. The LeapPad Explorer is a personalised tablet for children four and over that uses the latest technology to make learning come to life, with more than 100 games, book apps and videos. Practice writing using the child-sized stylus, develop reading skills and foster creativity using the built-in camera, video recorder, mic and animation studio. It comes with a 5" brilliant colour touch screen. How much: £79.99
Where from: www.leapfrogstore.co.uk
Make a sock monkey!
What better way to spend a cold winter afternoon than making your own sock monkey? This kit comes with socks, stuffing, needle and thread, instructions, template, a birth certificate with a heart charm, decoration kit and some sweets to eat whilst making your special critter! Just add scissors – and perhaps a helpful adult. There are sock bunnies, owls, bears and frogs available.
How much: £10
Where from: www.notonthehighstreet.com