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.
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape