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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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
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on