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

Hitman Absolution fails to target Black Ops 2 in games chart

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 still walking tall in all formats sales chart

Old favourites including Lego, Twister and the Cabbage Patch Kids are set for Christmas return

Old favourites Lego, Twister and the Cabbage Patch Kids are among the toys being tipped for the top this Christmas.

The 10 Best puzzles and games

Cool, fun, silly and educational – here’s our pick of the finest distractions for children. No screens required...

Felix Baumgartner leaves the capsule and begins his plunge to Earth

Felix Baumgartner's jump, in Lego!

The moment Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from his helium balloon, 24 miles from earth, has to be one of the most stomach-dropping sights in living memory - and it only gets better in Lego.

Minecraft, the biggest thing in gaming, will now come in books

Publishing: A very Minecraft-y book deal

After muscling out film and music to become Britain's most lucrative entertainment medium last year, the £2bn (in sales) computer-games industry is now colonising bookshelves, too.

FIFA 13 takes residency at the all formats games chart summit

EA's football franchise proves its all-conquering popularity once again.

Sleeping Dogs wakes up all formats games chart

It’s been a sleepy time for the UK’s all formats games chart with new releases few and far between and the usual suspects jostling for position in top 10 and top 40 alike. Thankfully the release of Square Enix’s Sleeping Dogs and Nintendo’s New Super Mario Bros. 2 has acted as an alarm call meaning we have brand new titles filling the chart’s top spots.

Olympic legacy proving good for Sega as London 2012 game tops all formats chart again

For a third week running London 2012: The Official Video Game tops the gaming all formats chart.

It’s gold for Sega as London 2012 game tops all formats chart again

Gold medals for Team GB fuel sales of London 2012 themed videogames.

Olympic fever takes hold of all formats games chart

It's gold for London 2012: The Official Video Game

Album: Micachu and the Shapes, Never (Accidental/Rough Trade)

These Guildhall-trained experimentalists' debut unravelled pop's inner workings.

‘The hero gaming deserves’ as Lego Batman 2 keeps all formats top spot

All formats games chart remains much unchanged with only Dead Island GOTY Edition making a splash.

Rolls-Royce wins £118m US Army deal

Rolls-Royce has announced a £118 million order from the US Army.

Lego's point-and-brick browser adventure

To mark its 50th birthday in Australia, Lego has teamed up with Google to turn the Chrome browser into one large, virtual brick set. The site, buildwithchrome.com, lets users pick a slice of Australia and then get going on a spot of Lego property development. Once you're done, you then "publish" your creation for all to see.

The Dark Knight rises as Lego Batman 2 tops the all formats games chart

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes swoops in to secure top spot.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao is yet to prove his fitness
footballAll the action from today's games
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas