The 10 best eco toys

Whether it’s learning about nature by growing their own garden or having an out-of-this-world time in a recycled rocket, turn your kids green this summer...

The 10 best travel games

Even if your plane’s not delayed and the car doesn’t break down, we all need jolly distraction on summer holiday journeys. Try one of these portable playthings...

Tributes left after Braintree gun tragedy

Flowers and cuddly toys have been left as tributes outside the house where a woman and her toddler daughter were shot dead.

More small dogs dumped

An animal welfare group has reported a huge rise in the number of miniature dogs being abandoned at its centres.

Peppa Pig ups US assault with Fisher-Price deal

Peppa Pig, the cartoon that has taken Britain by storm, is hoping for a similar impact in the US after its owner, Entertainment One (E1), sealed a deal with Fisher-Price for a range of toys.

The 10 best learning toys

We all want to increase our little ones' development and brain power. With these ingenious and entertaining games they’ll hardly know it’s education.

Force on alert as officers stalk toy tiger

Police are trying to trace the owner of a life-sized toy tiger which sparked a major operation involving armed officers and a helicopter.

Fake white tiger sparks armed police response

Police are today trying to trace the owner of a toy life-size tiger which sparked a major operation involving armed officers and a force helicopter.

Screwtop Thompson, By Magnus Mills

A god of small things

The 10 best outdoor toys

Whether it’s a pretty playhouse or a sturdy swing, we’ve got the garden gear to keep your children safe, happy and out of your hair this summer.

Mattel surrenders Bratz dolls claim

After a seven-year legal battle, giant American toy manufacturer Mattel suffered a surprise defeat when a jury decided that the tiny Californian company MGA is the rightful owner of the once-billion dollar line of Bratz dolls.

Video: Brazil builds world's tallest lego tower

Brazil has broken the record for the world's tallest lego building.

Barbie caught in the battle of the dolls

With legs weirdly long and lips oddly bloated, the spindly figures at the heart of a legal row are in the dock tomorrow

Album: Toy Horses, Toy Horses (Albino Sparrow)

Toy Horses are the Welsh stepson/stepfather duo of Adam Franklin (21) and Tom Williams (40) whose music has, as they say, "gone viral" in the past year, with the result that they were invited to Nashville to record their debut album.

Lego profits soar thanks to 'the force' and some wizardry

The force is with Lego, the Danish toymaker which saw profits soar by a galactic 63 per cent last year thanks to a boost from Darth Vader and friends.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform