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

Lego sales buck recession to hit all-time high

The house-building market maybe moribund but fantasy building by children is at an all-time high, the toy manufacturer Lego revealed yesterday.

The six best UK theme parks

Our quick guide will help you to pick the right park for you and your family - and how to save money too

Games Review: Lego Battles

DS, Warner Bros Interactive, £29.99

The Complete Guide To: European theme parks

From Disney to Asterix, Lego bricks to water slides, these vast playgrounds are likely to be firm favourites with families – and a visit needn't break the bank

Build yourself a model landmark

You don't have to be a starchitect to get your hands on prime real estate. Lego's latest range gives everyone the chance to build the world's greatest urban landmarks. Michael Glover gets stuck in

Coffee tables: Making a statement

These tables aren't just a place for coffee, says Kate Watson-Smyth

Games Review: Lego Batman

DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360,Warner Bros Interactive, £19.99 - £39.99

Trail Of The Unexpected: Super shopper

Take a stroll in Minnesota's magnificent mall

Children's meals at theme parks 'shockingly' unhealthy

Children's meals at wildlife and theme parks, leisure centres and museums contain "shocking" levels of fat, salt and sugar, according to a report by the Local Government Association published today.

Are ads on children's social networking sites harmless child's play or virtual insanity?

Social networking websites for children are really taking off – and the advertisers are closing in. Meg Carter reports on developments raising concerns for parents and regulators

Fashion: How to win the primaries

Little black dress be gone: this spring is all about postbox-reds and canary-yellows as designers find inspiration in the unlikely form of the Rubik's Cube

You write the reviews: Hadouken!, Koko, London

James Smith, lead vocalist of Hadouken!, the British new rave grindie band, stalked confidently on to the brightly lit and smoke-shrouded stage of Koko in Camden Town. Beer can in hand and head held high, followed by his four loyal band members looking equally as confident, he was ready to take on the challenge of winning over what can only be described as a bunch ofhyperactive and eccentric fans, bedecked with neon glow sticks and luminous attire.

Education Diary: The precious reminiscences of octogenarians

How precious are the reminiscences of octogenarians. At a recent press lunch, ex-general secretary of the NUT, Fred Jarvis, 83, was remembering the good old days. Back in 1963, the union invited the Conservative PM Harold Macmillan to talk at an NUT conference (those were the days when secretaries of state, prime ministers even, addressed NUT gatherings). But it happened to be the day that the Profumo scandal broke. Jarvis was fretting all day about how to greet Super Mac. Should he say "how is your day going?" or "have you had a good day?" Jarvis eventually opted for the simple, "Hello Mr Macmillan. How are you?" To which the prime minister replied, "Get me a Scotch."

Amazing Lego inventions

YouTube is awash with lovingly crafted Lego stop-motion recreations of pop-cultural staples like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Thriller video. But some bright young things out there choose to spend their lego time on less derivative projects. The weird and wonderful gadgets below were all built from the iconic four-by-two bricks which debuted in 1950s Denmark, with the help of the Mindstorms robotic invention system originally released in 1990.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea