Extras
 

From Furbys to robotic puppies, there are lots of fun, innovative and educational toys in the shops this year. Kate Hilpern picks the ones the kids (and big kids) will love

Leading Article: Housing policy must link with the market

HOUSING POLICY has a tendency to swing from one extreme to another, leaving the poor in forgotten backwaters of deprivation, washed up by the policies of the government before last. News that the Housing Corporation is to use taxpayers' money to knock down every third house in no-hope terraces in Manchester and Newcastle and turn them into rows of semi-detached houses is bound, therefore, to be dogged by the suspicion that, in one form or another, we have been here before.

The 50 Best: HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHILD'S BRAINPOWER

Children are under more pressure than ever to perform academically. Yet it is vital that they actually enjoy the experience of finding out about the world around them. So Emma Haughton asked five experts to recommend the best toys, games, books and CD-Roms to help children of all ages learn - and still have a busload of fun

Northern Exposure: Much more than just snow and Lego

When the cold recedes, the far north of Sweden is a welcoming wilderness, the ideal place to get away from it all

Games: Lego Media

The yo-yo has recently made a comeback. Action Man and Barbie are still bestsellers. So fears that the market for computer games would cause the death of simple, non-electronic, pastimes have been somewhat exaggerated - just as claims that TV or video would remove the public desire to go to the cinema have been out of step. History suggests that new formats will be embraced without extinguishing other forms of entertainment.

Now it's the technically modified Teletubby

CHILDREN IN future will probably have a diet consisting of chips with everything - in their toys, that is. Playthings are undergoing a revolution. Tomorrow's adults are already getting used to an idea that their parents find strange - of inanimate objects which respond to them, based on the computer chips inside them.

The Sketch: Beware ageing Tory men baring their sexual prejudice

"YOU SIMPLY cannot have it both ways," said Gerald Howarth indignantly, intervening during the Home Secretary's speech on the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill.

Lego lays off 1,000 as toys go digital

Technology: Traditional children's favourite in trouble as computer mania hits everything from shares to toys

Fashion: Just the ticket

On the street; What do tiny tots wear to see the Barney the dinosaur show? Hannah Hunter heads to Wembley Arena to investigate

Tried & Tested: Just The Ticket

Trains really can run on time - in your living-room. We track down the most reliable sets for railway children

Advertisers help parents beat commercials

THE ADVERTISING industry issued practical advice yesterday to help parents to cope with the annual outbreak of "pester power" from their children in the run-up to Christmas.

Design: Flexible friends

The latest modular furniture systems can be stacked or linked to make unique combinations. Jessica Cargill Thompson played with some of them. Photographs by Oscar Paisley

Don't leave home without one

FOR FUN on the slopes it's important to have the right equipment, and that goes for your children, too. Here's a pick of some essentials, and gadgets, for younger skiers.

Playing with the big boys

At first the toy firms scoffed at K'nex, says Roger Trapp. Now they've changed their minds and Lego has a fight on its hands

People and Business: Toy story is just a fable

EVERY BUSINESS success begins with an apocryphal tale, and the story of the top-selling children's construction toy K'NEX, now rivalling Lego, is no exception.
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders