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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