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How to Entertain the Kids

FEATURE: LOND READ
WORDS BY EMILIE DOCK

Word’s parents dread: I’m bored. Words children dread: read a book. We fill their school holidays with trips abroad, playdates and picnics in the park, but somehow kids will run out of things to do – and moan about it. This is a fact of parenthood. Thankfully, there is no shortage of games and toys to keep those monsters busy all summer long – and to make it that much easier, we’ve rounded up our top picks, from the creative and educational to primed for outdoor fun. 

Best Beach Toys

Whether you’re jetting off to tropical climes or paying a visit to the British coast, make sure you pack these boredom-busters in your beach bag. 

Quut Beach Set

What’s a beach trip without sandcastles? Made from soft-touch, recycled plastic, this Belgian-designed kit comes with a cleverly designed spherical bucket that reduces spillages, even when lugged to shore by a toddler. Rinse and store in a handy netted back until the next seaside adventure.  

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Sunnylife Diving Set

Introduce them to life under the sea and increase their confidence in the water with Sunnylife’s retro-inspired diving set with goggles, snorkel and flippers. With adjustable straps, the flippers will grow as your children do.  

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Beach Toys

Best Garden Toys

Convincing kids to ditch their screens to go outside becomes easier with these interactive outdoor toys.  

The Den Kit Company The Cottage Garden Den Kit

Young explorers will revel in the challenge of setting up a fort in the garden. Pleasingly, there's no single-use plastic or batteries in this kit; only purple tarpaulin, decorative bunting, a kaleidoscope for magnifying treasures, pegs and real wooden tools.  

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Plum Surfside Sand Water Table

Bring the beach to your backyard with this multifunctional garden table. Made from FSC-certified sustainably sourced timber, the central panel can be taken off to provide a comfy, easy-to-supervise spot for young children to splash around and build sandcastles.  

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Plum Surfside Sand Water Table

Best Building Toys

Creativity, perseverance, focus – these are lessons LEGO has been teaching for 90 years. Promising hours of fun for the whole family, there’s a set to suit every age and obsession, from toddler-friendly DUPLO buckets to elaborate cityscapes. 

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Best Toys for Toddlers

Whether they need to burn off energy or sit still, these toys have you covered.  

Kidkii Foam Flower Ball Pit

Ball pits are brilliant for early learning: jumping in and out strengthens muscles, while throwing and catching balls supports fine motor development and hand-eye coordination. They’re also great for creative, open-ended play. What will the pit be today – an ocean full of treasures or a volcano ready to erupt?

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Kidkii Foam Flower Ball Pit

Tonies Toniebox Starter Set

This portable speaker with intuitive controls will regale children with a whole range of music and stories, from condensed Disney classics to The Gruffalo. All children need to do is pop the corresponding magnetised Tonie figurine on top. Family members can even record their own stories, and a headphone jack ensures it can entertain on the go. 

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Tonies Toniebox Starter Set

Best for Creative Play

Pretend play helps develop children’s social, emotional and cognitive skills – plus it’s incredibly cute to watch. Help kick-start those vivid imaginations with Le Toy Van’s beautiful selection of wooden role-play toys, from doll’s houses and puppet theatres to ice-cream stands.   

Best Educational Toys

All toys are educational, but these have been specifically designed to inspire learning through play. 

Osmo Coding Starter Kit for iPad

Looking to raise tomorrow’s tech genius? Suitable for ages 5–10, this iPad game invites kids to use physical blocks and coding commands to compose music, solve puzzles and send a character on an adventure, all the while learning key STEM skills like problem-solving and pattern recognition.  

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Osmo Coding Starter Kit for iPad

Janod Learn to Tell the Time Magneti’Book

What time do I have breakfast? When is bed time? With 75 magnets and 8 double-sided cards, kids will learn to associate times (digital and analogue) with particular moments in the day. What’s more, neatly stored in a book, it can easily be carried to keep young minds stimulated on the road.  

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Janod Learn to Tell the Time Magneti’Book

Best Arts & Craft Kits

Made from recycled cardboard and printed with vegetable inks, Studio Roof’s kits invite children and adults to create beautiful 3D wall wart and decorative objects together. Think birds, insects, sea creatures and more.  

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