Your 6-year-old has a longer attention span now, so they are able to play with an engaging toy for quite a while without getting bored or distracted. They also have better fine motor skills, so will be up for more activities that require dexterity and more careful handling. They have an ever-increasing interest in friendship and belonging and will enjoy playing with others: they're better at sharing and playing fair but maybe still not quite so good at accepting that they're not the winner.


Which type of toys are best for 6 year olds?

Children of this age tend to enjoy problem-solving toys, such as puzzles and construction sets. They still really like structured activities, so kits and builds where you produce something at the end are nearly always a good choice.

This is also an age where games and toys that require simple reading or counting can be a hit, as well as games that are themed around science and nature.

They still enjoy imaginative play (often for extended periods of time) and tend to love inventing all sorts of pretend scenarios based around themed playsets. But they may also be becoming more interested in doing 'real' things, such as taking real photographs with a (child-sized) camera instead of role-playing to take pictures with a pretend camera.

Toys that can involve friends, such as board games, are also a winner – although they may not always be able to handle losing with total grace.

Best toys for 6 year olds at a glance

  • Great for wow-factor action: Xootz Ride-On Bumper Car, £179.99
  • Great for horse-based role play: Schleich Horse Club Lakeside Riding Centre, £99.99
  • Great for hairdresser-based role play: Sylvanian Families Pony's Stylish Hair Salon, £69.99
  • Great for nurturing skills: DesignaFriend Kristin Stylist Doll, £50
  • Great for fine-finger skills: GigaBots Energy Core, £15
  • Great for collectible fun: Bubiloons Confetti Party, £10
  • Great for vehicle play: Hexbug Hexmods Pro Series Elite, £49.99
  • Great for dinosaur role play: Imaginext Jurassic World Mega Stomp & Rumble Giga Dino, £124.99
  • Great for video-making fun: Little Tikes Tobi 2 Director's Camera, £69.99
  • Great for numeracy skills: Orchard Toys First Times Tables Games, £9
  • Great for problem-solving skills: Geomag Supercolor 78 pcs, £36.99
  • Great for animal-based role play: Playmobil Family Fun Large Zoo, £49.99
  • Great for creative construction: Q-BA-Maze Big Box, £31.99
  • Great for craft-based fun: So Bomb DIY Bath Bomb Factory, £19.99
  • Great budget buy: Solar System Scratch Art, £7.95 for a 10-pack
  • Great for superhero role play: Imaginext DC Super Friends Gotham City Jail, £29.99
  • Great for nature exploration: GeoSafari Jr Kidnoculars Extreme, £26.50

Here's our pick of the best toys for 6 year olds, as tested by children and rated by their parents...

1. Xootz Ride-On Bumper Car, £179.99

– Great for wow-factor action

Xootz Bumper Car with child tester Fraiser

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: L66cm x W66cm x H38cm | Maximum user weight: 30kg| Batteries: 2 x 6V rechargeable (included) | Charging time: 5 hours (18 hours before first use) | Maximum speed: 12km/h (0.75mph)
Awards: Editor's Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

It’s a bumper car you don’t need a funfair for! Strap yourself in (seatbelt included) and you can zoom and 360° spin around your own house, with disco-style flashing lights and a child-friendly joystick control. It has a thick rubberished bumper to protect your furniture and skirtings, and there’s also a remote control (included) for parents to use if your child’s not keen (or too keen!) on the joystick.

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Our child tester, Fraiser, 6 (pictured above), was absolutely thrilled with his. "I really like playing with it," he said. "It looks cool, like it has fire coming out of the glowing lights, and I really like the sound it makes when it moves. I sometimes put toys in it with me so they can have a ride, too."

His mum, Lauren, was just as impressed. "This is an exciting toy that looks different and is so much fun to play with. Frasier loves being able to spin right round in it. We are going to have so much fun with this. Lots of our friends are already desperate to come round and have a turn!"

Almost no assembly required: just attach the bumper, click in the headrest and fit the battery. But you will need to charge it for 18 hours before it's ready to go.

Available at: Amazon and Bargain Max

2. Schleich Horse Club Lakeside Riding Centre, £99.99

– Great for horse-based role play

Schleich Horse Club Lakeside Riding Centre with child tester Owen

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L26cm x W68cm x H29cm | Batteries: None
Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

A new riff on Schleich's bestselling Horse Club range, this set includes 3 stables, a hayloft sleeping area with ladder, and fences to make paddocks with. You also get 3 horses, 2 riders and some really top-notch accessories including bridles, blankets, a saddle stand, a pitchfork, hay, straw and even a weeny cat and mouse. The attention to detail is incredible: the hayloft where the riders can sleep has little pillows and sleeping bags and mugs, the riders have hands that will hold mugs and harnesses, and the split stable doors have tiny bolts.

"Awesome!" was the verdict from our child tester, Owen, who's just turned 7 (pictured above). "I love the horses and riders most and being able to make them ride them was fun," he added. "I also like putting the horses to bed in their stable and then the riders can go to sleep in the roof, which is funny."

His mum, Ruth, was wowed by the modular aspect of the set. "You can move some sections around," she explained, "so you can change one stable to the other side or make the fences into one big training area, for example. It's a pricey set but it's large, excellent quality and offers lots of play value for any child that likes horses."

Available at: Schleich and Smyths Toys

3. Sylvanian Families Pony's Stylish Hair Salon, £69.99

– Great for hairdresser-based role play

Sylvanian Families Pony's Stylish Hair Salon with child tester Amelia

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: L18cm x W26cm x H35cm | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

This 2-storey pretend hairdresser’s shop has a reception (with magazines) and a washbasin with reclining chair downstairs and a spiral staircase leading to a styling room with a dressing table upstairs. There are lots of hairstyling accessories, including a hairdryer, curling tongs and shampoo, as well as two clip-in hair pieces and a selection of hair clips and bows. Unusually for Sylvanian Families playsets, there is also a figure included: Sally, the pony, who has lots of long hair/mane to brush and style.

Meghan, mum of our child tester Amelia, 5 (pictured above), was pleased to see how quickly the playset got Amelia immersed in pretend play. "It really does provide hours of entertainment," she said. "And it's a durable, quality toy – although 1 or 2 of the accessories are so small, it might be easy to lose them."

"I love my hair pony," said Amelia. "I like all the little things – there are so many! There's a unicorn horn and pretty pink hair – I love playing hairdresser and I am going to play with it every day."

Available at: Smyths Toys, John Lewis and Amazon

4. DesignaFriend Kristin Stylist Doll, £50

– Great for nurturing skills

designafriend kristin doll with child tester Kenzie

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: H46cm | Batteries: None
Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

It's Kristin's size, soft body and long, rose gold hair that make her stand out. She comes, wrapped in tissue, in a beautiful gift box, with her very own hairdresser's trolley containing a hairbrush, hairdryer and straighteners. She only has the 1 outfit but accessories include 4 hair crimping clips and a sweet little bracelet for her new owner to wear.

Sarah, mum of our child tester Annabelle, 6, was pleased to see a doll for school-age children that wasn't a baby doll, but wasn't too grown-up-looking, either. "It's great that she is a child doll rather than a baby doll, as this means my daughter can role play lots of games like going to school or having her hair styled."

Annabelle herself said,"I really like Kristin's long hair and pretty clothes. I like that I can brush her hair and pretend to style it with the hair dryer and straighteners. The crimper clips are fun but they do take a long time to work."

For our other child tester Kenzie, 6 (pictured above), Kristin was a huge hit: "Her clothes are so trendy, and her hair is really pretty. She’s definitely a 10/10!"

Available at: Argos

5. GigaBots Energy Core, £15

– Great for fine finger skills

Giga Bots Energy Core with child tester Rupert

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: Varies but between H25cm to 33cm (once built) | Batteries: None

Inside the grey plastic ball are 33 pieces to build into a brightly coloured, fully posable robot figure that can be played with or displayed. The pieces connect with a satisfying pop and there are clear picture instructions to follow – and, when you're done, you can disassemble the robot and store it back in the ball, ready to build another day.

"I like the robot's futuristic design and I like that I can twist and bend his body parts" said our child tester, Rupert, 6 (pictured above), who was amazed that something so large could be created from parts that packed into such a small ball. "We liked that the ball acts as a container for all of the pieces, so we didn’t lose them mid build," said his mum, Hannah.

Once built, the robot is nice and big, and fun to play with, but the construction is not bombproof – it certainly wouldn't survive rough play in one piece. The joy here is definitely in the build –and rebuild.

There are 6 GigaBot Energy Cores to collect: Gripbot, Scarpbot, Blaze, Hazbot, Hyrobot and Fragbot.

Available at: The Entertainer and Argos

6. Bubiloons Confetti Party, £10

– Great for collectible fun

Bubiloons Confetti Party with child tester Olivia Rose

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L12cm x W10cm x H13cm | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

Open up one of these little cupcakes and (if you've shaken it before), confetti will fly out to reveal your mystery 10cm-high Bubiloon figure, mini balloons and a bubble blower. Stick the bubble blower in the Bubiloon's mouth and squeeze its head and you can blow up the mini balloons, which you can then roll about in confetti, decorate with accessories and display on special sticks.

Isabel, mum of our child tester Olivia-Rose, 7 (pictured above), couldn't believe how much entertainment there was to be had with this toy. "Olivia-Rose absolutely loves playing with this," she said. "She has blown the balloons up, deflated them and repeated more times than I can count! Upon opening she was not expecting the confetti at all, so right from the start she was beaming with excitement. We played catch with the balloons, and she’s found more ways to play with this than I could've thought of. I love the fact that even the case is great quality and will click closed to keep all the bits together, until the next time she wants to play."

Olivia-Rose herself added: "I like that it has confetti and makes a big mess and splattered everywhere when I pulled it." Yep, better have the vacuum on standby with this one!

There are 13 different Bubiloons to collect.

Available at: Argos and Very

7. Hexbug Hexmods Pro Series Elite, £49.99

– Great for vehicle play

HEXBUG HEXMODS Pro Series Elite with child tester Alfie

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L17cm x W7cm x H4cm | Batteries: 2 x FeLi-ion (rechargeable and included) and 3 x AAA (for the remote control; not included)
Awards: Editor's Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

This slick, remote-control car runs at up to 13mph with a rather flashy LED underglow. But what makes it really special is that it's fully modifiable, meaning your child can switch up the look and performance by changing the spoilers, rims and hood, and upgrading the suspension, tyres (featuring varying grip levels) and gears.

It also comes with lots of stickers, something our child tester Alfie, 5 (pictured above), loved. "I really like the fact that I can stick the stickers on it," he said, "and I like putting the lights on and I like driving it with the remote."

"Absolutely ACE!" is the verdict of another of our child testers, Ezra, 6. "It's so fast and can do stunts – I'm like a real racing car driver." Ezra's mum, Gina, felt the car was good quality – "It's hit a few walls and flipped over and is still going strong!" – and believes its versatility makes it a fair price, especially in comparison with other remote-control cars.

"My son absolutely loves this," she added, "and has so much fun with it every day, creating ramps to drive up and performing stunts. He loves building it with his dad, choosing the lighting for underneath the car and the decals to decorate it."

The car is rechargeable but the remote control does need batteries which you’ll need to buy separately.

Available at: HEXBUG and The Entertainer

8. Imaginext Jurassic World Dominion Mega Stomp & Rumble Giga Dino, £125

– Great for dinosaur role play

Imaginext ® Jurassic World™ Mega Stomp and Rumble Giga Dino™ with child tester Quasim

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: L46cm x W41cm x H74cm | Batteries: 3 x CR14 (included)
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

This extra-large, child-controlled dinosaur bellows, stomps, chomps and thrashes just like she does in the Jurassic World film. And her eyes light up, too. It's very pricey – but there are lots of reduced-price offers around on this one.

She's durable, robust and easy to operate: pull the handle or squeeze her tail to unleash her loud roar, twist her tail for head-thrashing action, and push her along on her wheels to see her stomp forward with accompanying sound effects.

You can also attach the chain (included) across her or neck harness, then watch her break out by putting the tiny Owen figure (also included) in his seat under her tail and pushing him down to release the chain.

"I like the dinosaur because it has very loud, scary sound effects, looks so real and is very big," said our child tester, Qasim, 6 (pictured above). "I also like scaring everyone by showing them the dinosaur eating Owen, putting the toy in her mouth and hearing her ROAR!"

Qasim's mum, Anam, was pleasantly surprised at the toy’s unusual qualities. "My son has a few different dinosaur toys but this one stands out. I love the wheels that mean it can be moved around easily. In terms of quality, originality and overall play factor, I am very impressed."

Available at: Very, Argos and Amazon

9. Little Tikes Tobi 2 Director's Camera, £69.99

– Great for video-making fun

Little Tikes Tobi 2 Director's Camera with child tester Isabella

Age suitability: 6+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L10cm x W15cm x H27cm| Batteries: 1 LiPo rechargeable (included, with USB cable)

This kid-friendly high-definition camera is just the thing for taking selfies, playing games, shooting videos, editing footage and adding cool effects. It features a tripod/selfie stick, green screen with 40 animated backgrounds, flip-out lens and microSD slot for more storage space.

As soon as it was charged, our child testers were off playing with it and making little films and vlogs like the kids they watch on YouTube. "It’s a great toy and makes me feel like a big girl!" said our child tester Isabella, 6 (pictured above).

We – and our child testers' parents – were impressed by the range of features and the picture quality. "It's fun and easy to use," said Gemma, mum of Jordan, 6. "I definitely think it's worth the money as it encourages children to take a look at the world around them as well as have those silly selfie moments. Any child would love this."

Available at: Very and Amazon

10. Orchard Toys First Times Tables, £9

– Great for numeracy skills

Orchard Toys First Times Tables Games with child tester Matilda

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 6+ |Size: Various | Batteries: None

This teacher-tested educational board game with a pancake theme is designed to support your child with their 2, 5 and 10 times tables. You spin the spinner, solve the sum on the pancake before using the spatula to flip it over and find out the answer. .

It's a great-value, easy-to-grasp game and does a good job of making multiplication fun. Charlotte, mum of our child tester Matilda, 6 (pictured above), found it helped boost her daughter's confidence with her 2 and 5 times tables. "And she has learnt her 10 times tables while playing the game!" she said.

"She can’t wait to show her teacher and friends what she has learnt," added Charlotte. "Both my girls play this game nicely together and help each other and laugh."

Comes with 30 pancake cards, 4 place setting boards, 1 card spatula, a spinner and 3 number line boards. For 2 to 4 players.

Available at: Amazon and Orchard Toys

11. Geomag Supercolor 78 pcs, £36.99

– Great for problem-solving skills

Geomag Supercolor 78 pcs with child tester Brooke

Age suitability: 5+| Best for age: 6+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

This 78-piece set contains colourful magnetic rods, balls and shapes that 'stick' together and create different shapes, patterns and objects. The rods and shapes are made of recycled plastic, and the pack comes with an instruction booklet featuring 7 suggested designs.

The suggested designs are fun to build but we also like how this toy lends itself to open-ended construction. Our child tester Brooke, 7 (pictured above), said, "This is so cool! It was really fun building all the things. I want to play with it all the time!"

Her mum Sarah-Jane – and our other child testers' parents – was impressed by the clear, step-by-step instructions and by the little containers included in the box for storing the sticks and balls so they don't get lost.

"It is a little expensive," she said, "but it's very well made and you can instantly see the quality. It's a toy that would continue to appeal to your child when they're older, and you know it would last for years."

Available at: Amazon

12. Playmobil Family Fun Large Zoo, £49.99

– Great for animal-based role play

Playmobil Family Fun Large Zoo with child tester Samuel

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: L68cm x W30cm x H16cm | Batteries: None

This plastic zoo playset features a visitors’ observation platform and souvenir shop. It comes with 6 figures, 6 penguins, 2 giraffes, a pelican, a butterfly, a mole, a mouse, rocks for the penguins, a tree with giraffe feeder, and smaller accessories including a camera, doughnuts and zoo maps.

It's an easy-to-set-up zoo, packed with brilliant little details: there are balloons to buy at the souvenir shop, for example, and a slide for the penguins, along with a bucket of fish to feed them with.

Sarah, mum to our child tester Samuel, 6 (pictured above) said, "It's great! You can buy tickets and get a map at the entrance, feed the giraffe and penguins, and look through the telescope. There’s even a pile of giraffe poo to clean up, which Samuel found very funny!"

Available at: Amazon and Smyths Toys

13. Q-BA-Maze Big Box, £31.99

– Great for creative construction

Q-BA-Maze Big Box

Age suitability: 6+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

Create your own marble-run maze using this set of 72 interlocking colourful cubes. The pack also comes with 20 steel marbles and an instruction booklet.

Our child testers were mesmerised by this. Not only can you build your own marble-run but the cubes have different 'exit' channels in them, so the marbles can often get sent a way you don't expect! It really is a great, logical-thinking construction set.

There are also instructions for building sculptures – we quite like the fish one, though a couple of our testers found it a bit tricky.

Available at: Amazon

14. So Bomb DIY Bath Bomb Factory, £19.99

– Great for craft-based fun

So Bomb DIY Bath Bomb Factory

Age suitability: 6+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L34cm x W8cm x H31cm | Batteries: None

This is a kit that lets you make 6 bath bombs, including little charms you can pop inside as a 'surprise'. It comes with 3 storage tubes, a moulding shape, pipette and measuring spoon, 12 bags of brightly coloured powder, 2 bags of decorations, and 4 surprise figurines.

It actually makes super fizzing bombs! Our child testers were delighted are how incredibly well they implode in the bath – and how nice they smell.

We'd advise squishing the powder before putting it in the mixer (to remove any lumps) and leaving the bombs to set for longer than the 30 minutes it says on the box – as otherwise they can crumble quite easily.

Available at: Amazon, Smyths Toys and Argos

15. Solar System Scratch Art, £7.95 for a 10-pack

– Great budget buy

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

This great-value pack includes 10 pre-cut space shapes and a scratch tool which you use to scrape off the specially coated black surface to reveal lovely rainbow colours. It also comes with hanging ribbons so that you can display your creations after you've scratched in all your patterns.

Our child testers (some of them quite arty; some of them not so much) all enjoyed getting creative with these scratch-art shapes. Some of them just scratched off all the coating, others left a few bits black or even scratched their own patterns into the coating to reveal a rainbow design of their own.

We like that this kit comes with ribbons for hanging up your space artwork afterwards.

Available at: Baker Ross and Amazon

16. Imaginext DC Super Friends Gotham City Jail, £29.99

– Great for superhero role play

Imaginext DC Super Friends Gotham City Jail

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L30cm W13cm x H26cm | Batteries: 3 x LR44 (included)

The superhero-themed jail set has 5 cells, a Batman figure and a Bane figure. Turn a disc to make Bane 'power up' and break out of jail, and then rotate the Bat signal to call Batman for help.

It’s not huge (good news for those struggling with storage space!) and it doesn't 'do' masses but what it does, it does well. Our child tester Finley, 6, really loved how Bane glows when he powers up and how Batman, of course, controls all the cell doors.

We wish it came with more baddies (there are 3 other cells to fill!) but it’s a nice little toy to spark off lots of hero/villain imaginative play.

Available at: Amazon

17. GeoSafari Jr Kidnoculars Extreme, £26.50

– Great for nature exploration

GeoSafari Jr Kidnoculars Extreme

Age suitability 5+ | Best for age: 6+ | Size: L19cm x W18cm x H9cm | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)

These child-friendly binoculars have 3 x no-focus magnification, a built-in audio amplifier and a safety strap. They're lightweight, durable and have a touch of scuba-mask cool about them.

Our child tester Jamir thought they were "super fun" and his mum Lauren was very impressed by their quality and by the sound enhancement feature.

"I thought this toy was amazing," she said. "Jamir loved the fact that it had headphones connected to it. It kept him occupied for a good long time, and he's been bringing them with him on the way to school to see what he can see!"

Available at: Amazon and Learning Resources

Images: Product websites and MadeForMums child testers


About the author Helen Brown

Helen is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies (Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she's also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.

We've got more top tested and rated toys here...


Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies. Before joining MadeForMums over 7 years ago, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.