With school holidays looming, parents will be agonising over how to entertain the kids and ward off the cries of `I'm bored.' Thankfully, toy manufacturers are on hand to help out

A simple toy - it's basically a ball with a ribbon - that is loads of fun. There are lots of different ways to catch it and throw it (spin the ribbon before letting go, for example), and it's small enough to be taken anywhere. pounds 4.50. By mail order on 0161 881 3906.


The classic beach or park catch-and throw-game returns for the summer. Over 100 million Frisbees have been soldto date. pounds 4. For stockist information call 0161 633 9808.

Little Leap

The talking frog that teaches the alphabet, colours, numbers and shapes the fun way. Squeeze the frog's hand and press the letters on its T-shirt to activate a variety of games. Ages three plus. pounds 25. For stockist information call the Early Learning Centre on 0990 352352.

Walkie Talkie

Fun walkie-talkies that will add a new dimension to games of hide and seek. They don't cover a huge range but are sufficient enough for the average-sized garden. pounds 20. For stockist information call the Early Learning Centre as before.

Metal Detector

Easy to operate metal detector that should keep children busy searching for hidden treasure - or help out when it comes to locating lost car keys. Ages five plus. pounds 18. For stockist information call the Early Learning Centre, as before.

Super Soaker CPS3000

Whopping great water blaster that holds over two gallons of water in its own backpack that is connected to the blaster via a piece of hose. It lets loose a powerful stream, so it's best for children who can be trusted not to shoot at anyone's face. For ages eight plus. pounds 50. For stockists and information call 0161 633 9808.

Tonka Workshop CD Rom Playset

This fits on to a computer keyboard and operates six plastic tools that interact with the action on screen, allowing children to complete repair jobs around Tonka town. Ages three plus. pounds 40 (available from August). For stockist information call 0181-744 6461.

CD Player

Chunky and durable battery-operated CD player that is easy to use, portable enough to take with on holiday, and most importantly, it keeps the kids' hands off of your hi-fi system. Ages five plus. pounds 80. For stockist information call the Early Learning Centre, as before.