Inflation, a potential recession, and in the blink of an eye, Christmas round the corner. As Santa’s letters make their way to the North Pole, Christmas family budgets for gifts tend to go off the roof as parents find it hard saying no.

This is why it is important to plan in advance, and chose only products that are useful, can be recycled and will be used by the children for years to come.

I test many toys on a monthly basis and have curated a few that are not only good value for money but that will not end up in a box somewhere waiting for a child to play with them once the excitement has wears off.

Geomag  E-Motion Panels 32 Pieces Magnetic Construction Set

£22.00

Age: 5 years +

This Swiss-built 32 piece panel set is an educational toy perfect for open-ended imaginative play. It is also STEM.org authenticated for school-aged kids.

The magnetic set encourages kids to explore concepts of magnetism, physics, and gravity–while engineering creative structures with colourful triangles, squares and pentagonal panels.

The E-Motion set is suitable for adults too and a good choice for families with a family member with dementia, it stimulates them by creating different shapes and gives them focus. I have first hand experience with this, unfortunately, and I have tested the Geomag set with a kid and an adult diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Huckleberry Binoculars

If your love exploring nature with your little one, a pair of binoculars are a great tool for birdwatching and to encourage them to connect with their natural surroundings. We took it to a beach to look at seagulls!

The Huckleberry binoculars are mechanically simple, sit well in the hand, and are easy to get on the bird.

The binoculars have a magnification of 8X, a field of view of 914,4 meters (1000yds/3000ft) and angular fields of view of 7 degrees.

 Huckleberry Make Your Own Motor Boat

You can build your own boat out of a small plank of wood or thick paper. I tested it first during a trip to the beach so used a plastic bottle. My little one attached the motor to her”bottle boat” and put it in the water, press the button on the top and watch it set sail! Fun, simple and easy to take everywhere as it is small.

Photo by Huckleberry

Dantoy’s Bio Collection

Age: 2+

Fully sustainable Danish brand Dantoy, has a wide range of products that are perfect for pretend play. We tried the adorable bioplastic gardening kit, which consists of a watering can, shovel, rake, 2 flower pots and 2 plant picks. This is a long lasting toy as it is made from eco-friendly material Bioplastic that comes from sugarcane. It contains no perfumes, BPA or other types of damaging substances. Sit and relax while the little one plays and develops a sense of imagination while playing either indoors or outdoors!

Photo by Dantoy

The best feature of all the toys recommended in this post is that they can be enjoyed in the outdoors and outdoor play is necessary for all children for motor development.