With Christmas shopping season in full swing, we asked the parents and grandparents of Leeds to recommend their favourite festive toys for children.
Anne Finan. Hatchimals has to be the biggest toy this year. They are interactive animals that kids have to hatch out of the egg. Then they get to raise the animal through the different stages of baby, toddler and child. It seems like everyone wants one as they are sold out everywhere. Luckily my daughter isn’t interested, but I’ve seen numerous Facebook posts on different groups from people trying to hunt them down. Ross Finlay. Last year’s Pie Face phase has been replaced with Speak Out, where you have to say different phrases while wearing a big mouthpiece that stops you closing your mouth. It looks like a great family game, I think the children will be in hysterics trying to speak. I can’t wait to try it out on Christmas Day night.
Mike Rymer. My little girl is obsessed with using my phone to take about a billion pictures, so we’ve gone for a VTech Kidizoom Duo. It is great because it designed to make it easy for little ones to hold, and it has different special effects, a voice recorder and some games. I know she is going to be over the moon with it.
Laura Duane. Anything Frozen is still a great hit with most children. I can’t believe it is still so popular. On our list to Santa is the Ice Sleeve, which allows the wearer to shoot foam or silly string like ice (I think the biggest appeal here will probably be the mess) and a sing-along Elsa - everyone knows the songs so this will be really popular in our house.
Aston Taylor. We’re trying to bring back yo-yos this year. Always a classic, and they had a 90s revival too. Good clean fun and cheap too!
Simon Mayes. Traditional toys really are the best. We want to get our son a rocking horse this year - and it looks like a nice piece of furniture, which is an added bonus.
Anna Ayyub. Anything sporty - ours are after a Swingball game for the garden. It’s probably a few months before it can be used, but they’ve played on friends’ for hours before.
Leigh Holden. I’ve tried classic toys with my daughters but they just prefer Frozen! I think it’s best to give them something familiar rather than an old-fashioned toy.
Sandra Keeling. My grandchildren are old enough for board games now, so I’m looking for 90s ones like Ker-Punk, Operation and Hungry Hippos.
James Richards. You can’t beat Lego and Duplo - they’re timeless and kids can start on Duplo really young. Lego have great themed ranges based on films and TV shows etc, so they stay current and relevant. I think children learn a lot from playing with construction toys without ever feeling like they are.
Edward Murray. VTech do great versions of adult tech, such as smartphones and laptops, for kids. I try to limit screen time but it’s better to get them used to tech in a safe and controlled way - they’re so curious they’ll only try to play with their parents’ phones otherwise.
Jeanette Tonge. I’m still trying to track down a Mog cuddly toy like the ones Sainsbury’s sold out of last Christmas!
Alan Marsden. Hatchimals - my kids go wild for them. They seem like harmless fun and at least they teach kids how to look after something and be responsible.
Dave Leader. An Etch-a-Sketch! Hours of fun, and teach creativity and fine motor skills.