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14 best gifts for six-year-olds that they’ll actually use

14 best gifts for six-year-olds that they’ll actually use
Creative, fun and child approved, we’ve found the best gifts for six-year-olds from Lego, 阿尔戈斯, Kidly, 非常, 史密斯玩具, Tonies and more

Six can be a tricky age to buy for. 一方面, the average six-year-old wants whatever new gadget the older kids brought into school last week, so they can be part of whatever trend is currently sweeping the playground. On the other, they’re still learning how to play and they’re at a crucial stage developmentally, so choosing an age-appropriate present can be a bit of a minefield.

Psychologist and founder of The Good Toy Guide, Dr Amanda Gummer, recommends avoiding the kind of gifts that won’t last them past Boxing Day. “Peer-pressure means that there are definitely “cool” things they’ll want, but it’s difficult to know whether gifts will be a five-minute wonder” she explains.

“With their developing sense of identity, six-year-olds love making things for their friends and family to help express themselves and cement relationships, so creative activities are popular. They also still enjoy role play, and this will be becoming more planned – for example, discussing the roles and the plot before playing.”

Whatever gifts you settle on, Dr Gummer suggests keeping their options open with a variety of toys. “Children benefit from having a balanced play diet, so this Christmas, if you know they have lots of one type of toy, try getting something that helps them develop other skills and interests.”

我们如何测试

We used Dr Gummer’s advice to select a wide variety of gifts to test and enlisted the help of several six-year-olds – both boys and girls – to put them through their paces. We’ve rounded up our top picks here and included gifts for every budget. That means some will work best as stocking fillers, while others can take centre stage on Christmas morning.

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The best gifts for six-year-olds are:

  • 整体最佳 – Lego adventures with Luigi starter course: 49.99 英镑, Lego.com
  • Best for fidgety fingers – Tangle classic fidget toy: £2.99, Bmstores.co.uk
  • 最适合富有想象力的游戏 – Playmobil 9060 family fun aquarium set: £53.51, Onbuy.com
  • Best for outdoor adventures – Den Kit Co forest den kit: 65 英镑, Thedenkitco.com
  • Best for story lovers – Toniebox starter set: £69.95, Tonies.com
  • Best for L.O.L. doll obsessives – L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. 4-in-1 glamper with 55+ surprises: £99.9, Smythstoys.com
  • Best for encouraging independence – Moulin Rory small toolbox set: 30 英镑, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best for the latest craze – Orbeez colour meez activity kit: £9.99, Smythstoys.com
  • Best for the whole family – Exploding Kittens: 15 英镑, Explodingkittens.com
  • Best for unexpected fun – My Squishy Little Dumplings: 15 英镑, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for crafty kids – ToucanBox gift subscription: 33 英镑, Toucanbox.com
  • Best for multiple children – Where Are You? Save the Multiverse!: 24.99 英镑, Wonderbly.com
  • Best for nineties nostalgia – Tamagotchi: £15.99, Very.co.uk
  • Best for STEM fun – Clementoni x Science Museum junior mechanics moving dinosaurs: £15.99, Very.co.uk

Lego adventures with Luigi starter course

最好的: 全面的

评分: 10/10

Nothing says Christmas like completing a new Lego set while filling your face with chocolate. But while the initial build is brilliant fun, it can be difficult to know what to do with whatever they’ve made once it’s complete. Do you put it on a shelf to gather dust with all the other Lego sets, or let them break it up and watch those very expensive bricks disappear into a huge box of unidentified Lego bits?

With the new “adventures with Luigi” starter course, you don’t have to make that decision – because the fun starts once it’s built. These Super Mario-themed sets are fully interactive via Bluetooth, so Luigi has an LCD screen on his stomach, and interacts with the various characters and blocks he meets as you whiz him through a computer game brought to life. Our tester got hours and hours of fun out of this, and there are lots of expansion sets you can buy to extend the fun. They make handy gift ideas for the wider family to buy, too – we’d recommend the Boss Sumo Bro topple tower (24.99 英镑, Lego.com).

Tangle classic fidget toy

最好的: For fidgety fingers

评分: 9/10

If you’ve not come across fidgets or popits, you probably don’t have a six-year-old. These small sensory toys have become the latest playground craze, and their popularity shows no sign of waning in the run-up to Christmas. While there are lots of options to choose from, we particularly liked the Tangle toys we tested. Created by sculptor Richard X Zawitz, these are based on the idea of continuous motion – so you can fiddle with your Tangle, looping, tangling, and untangling it to your heart’s content. As well as the original version there are shiny metallic, textured crush, and cute pet versions with a little clip-on animal. Our testers couldn’t get enough of them.

For more fidget toys, 阅读我们的 round-up of the best

Playmobil 9060 family fun aquarium set

最好的: 发挥想象力

评分: 9/10

Playmobil is always a good bet for this age group, and we particularly liked the fact this set has a fillable water enclosure. We found it easy to fill up and clean, and the rotating platform gave it an extra element of interactivity. As Dr Gummer explains, “Props that support role play can be popular at this age and children may create elaborate make-believe worlds with small world figures, dolls, or teddies”. If the happy sounds coming from our six-year-old playing with this in the bathroom are anything to go by, your giftee will be playing with this well past Christmas.

Den Kit Co forest den kit

最好的: For outdoor adventures

评分: 9/10

The Den Kit Co stocks a range of brilliant DIY dens to encourage kids to get outdoors, but its forest den kit is our favourite. The most substantial in the range, it includes everything kids need to practice their bushcraft skills and pitch up an epic den – including a waterproof camouflage tarpaulin, groundsheets, camo netting, tent pegs and a wooden mallet, all packed up in a retro haversack. Extras like a cute enamel mug and khaki face paint make this a really nice gift that doesn’t need seven packs of AAA batteries or come wrapped in tonnes of single-use plastic. There are some nice mini-kits available too, which come in at less than a tenner and make great stocking fillers.

Toniebox starter set

最好的: For story lovers

评分: 8/10

For a gadget, the Toniebox is decidedly low-tech – and it’s all the better for it. This clever cube-shaped speaker plays children’s stories without any flashy lights or gimmicks, and it’s ideal if you’re always being asked for just one more story, or have a child who loves books but can’t quite read independently yet. Once you’ve set the Toniebox up on you wifi and registered an account, choose a Tonie character, pop it on the top and hey presto, it will play stories or music. The starter set comes with the Toniebox and a creative Tonie, which allows you to put your own content on – including recordings from grandparents and loved ones. You’ll then need to buy the Tonies separately at £14.99 each. Admittedly it isn’t cheap, but it’s built to last and our tester absolutely adored it.

We also featured the Toniebox in our round-up of the best kids audio players that help reduce screen time

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. 4-in-1 glamper with 55+ surprises

最好的: For L.O.L. doll obsessives

评分: 7/10

If you’ve ever bought the individual L.O.L. Surprise! dolls for a little one, you know they cost an arm and a leg for what seems like a very small gift. So we were pleased to find this glamper van, which – although expensive – does actually make a substantial gift, and doubles up as a handy place to store all the individual dolls in. There are lots of small accessories included, a fancy light-up pool, and bunk beds that fit both the small dolls and the larger L.O.L. Surprise! fashion dolls. Just bear in mind you’ll need to buy any dolls separately – a bit annoying considering the price – so we’d recommend this for any L.O.L. fan who’s already built a bit of a collection.

Moulin Rory small toolbox set

最好的: For encouraging independence

评分: 8/10

Kidly stocks a carefully curated edit of toys for younger children, with a focus on eco-conscious brands and design-led products. This portable wooden Moulin Rory toolbox includes a saw, a hammer, a flat head and a Philips screwdriver, a ruler and a pencil. They’re all real tools, not toys, made with wooden handles and just the right size for little hands to have a go at their very own woodworking projects. The presentation is second-to-none, and this is the kind of gift they can pass on to their own little people one day.

Orbeez colour meez activity kit

最好的: For the latest craze

评分: 7/10

There were some serious squeals of joy from our testers when the Orbeez came out. These squishy water beads – which are actually super-absorbent polymers originally created to add moisture to soil – are apparently A Thing on various social media channels, and another great option for sensory play. The kit includes 1,000 clear Orbeez and some food colouring, which you use to dye the beads in different shades. They’re non-toxic and biodegradable, but don’t flush them down the loo when your kids are done squishing – leave them out in the sun and they’ll shrink back to dry pellets.

Exploding Kittens

最好的: For the whole family

评分: 9/10

Although this game is recommended for ages seven and up, our own six-year-old absolutely loves it and has zero problems playing. Created by former Xbox game designer Elan Lee and The Oatmeal’s founder Matt Inman, it’s a brilliantly irreverent card game with lots of weird and wonderful characters, and the aim is basically not to explode. Up to five people can play and we like the fact this is just as popular with adults as it is children, so you’ll be genuinely happy to play with them. 加, there are some new launches to pick from this Christmas including Recipes For Disaster, which includes remixed versions of the original game.

My Squishy Little Dumplings

最好的: For unexpected fun

评分: 7/10

From the makers of Fingerlings, My Squishy Little Dumplings launched this summer and were an instant win with our testers. As the name suggests, these palm-sized, dumpling-shaped characters have a squishy head that – when squeezed – pops out a little body underneath. The different characters coo and gurgle as you play with them and chuck them around, although we were pleasantly surprised that the volume was fairly quiet. In all honesty, it’s hard to put our finger on why these were such a hit, but as any primary school parent knows – there’s no point arguing with a six-year-old.

ToucanBox gift subscription

最好的: For crafty kids

评分: 9/10

If you want to give a gift that’ll last, consider a ToucanBox subscription. Every month your recipient will get a craft kit delivered to their door, and you can choose from a three, six or 12 month sub. The crafts are really varied – we loved trying out the Halloween and Christmas-themed boxes and our tester only needed a little help here and there. The gift subscription is sent via an E-certificate that they’ll need to activate before the boxes start arriving, but there’s an option to add a gift pack for an extra £10 so they get a colour-in craft apron to open on the day itself.

Where Are You? Save the Multiverse!

最好的: For multiple children

评分: 8/10

If you want a gift for siblings, a personalised book from Wonderbly is a nice idea. Its latest book is a sort of Where’s Wally but with customised characters based on the kids you’re buying for. Our testers were amazed to see their names in a book and happily hunted for their faces in the pictures. We liked the fact there’s also a story woven in, so there’s some reading involved, 也. There are lots more books to choose from in Wonderbly’s catalogue including birthday and Christmas-themed stories, and you can add a personalised gift message to be printed on the front.

Bandai original Tamagotchi

最好的: For nineties nostalgia

评分: 9/10

Remember Tamagotchis? The tiny digital pets are back, with all the same features you remember from the Nineties. The re-released original version lets kids feed, bathe and nurture their little VR friend until it reaches adulthood and transforms into a surprise character. 加, Bandai has also released a new version – the Tamagotchi pix – with a bunch of extra features. That includes a camera to take selfies with your pet, and the ability to connect with other Tamagotchi pix. It’s four times the price of the original so a bit more of an investment, but both options went down a treat in testing.

Clementoni x Science Museum junior mechanics moving dinosaurs

最好的: For Stem fun

评分: 8/10

We found it quite tricky to find a mechanics kit suitable for six-year-olds, so we were pleased to find this one by Clementoni and the Science Museum. It includes all the bits you need to build one of five motorised dinosaur models, including rubber panels, pulleys, tacks and cubes. Once it’s built, the dinosaur actually walks – and our tester was pleased as punch to have made it all by herself. If you want something a bit more challenging, have a look at Clementoni’s mecha dragon – this one’s for eight years and up, but perfectly doable with a bit of parental help, and a fun way to introduce them to robotics.

判决: Gifts for six-year-olds

Every gift on this list was a winner with our testers, 但是 Lego Luigi starter course came out tops and is still being played with regularly several weeks later. For stocking fillers, we’d recommend the Tangles – they’re really very addictive. And for something the whole family can play over the Christmas break, it’s got to be Exploding Kittens.

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For more ideas on entertaining kids, 阅读我们的指南 best wooden toys that will inspire their imagination

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