Your 6-year-old has a longer attention span now, so can play with an engaging toy for quite a while without getting bored or distracted.
But they still tend to prefer structured activities to more open-ended play, so kits and builds where you produce something at the end are nearly always a good choice.
And any toy that’s funny, daft or just plain silly is always a bonus!
Here is our pick of some of the best toys to choose for your 6-year-old…
GOLD winner, Best Portable/Travel Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
Age: 3 to 9
What it is: This camera has a dual lens and large screen that takes high quality photos and videos. Features include 4X digital zoom, age-appropriate games, a voice recorder, a wacky photo shaker and photo editor. Comes in pink and blue. Stores up to 128MB.
Why we love it: Our child testers loved this camera, not only for the fact it takes great shots and video, but also because it has games on it – including a fish game which was really popular.
One child tester said she couldn’t wait to take it on holiday and get family selfies with it.
Take a look at all of our travel /portable toy award winners
Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys
What it is: a Harry-Potter style hat measuring 41cm in diameter. Wear the hat and get told which house you’ll be in. Needs 2 x AA batteries – which are included.
Why we love it: Well, if you’re a Harry Potter fan then this is pretty much the icing on the cake in terms of anything you can buy related to the popular boy wizard.
The hat looks amazing we have to say – really old and weathered, and the way it talks from the crease just like in the movies is pretty cool.
There’s also hours of fun to be had as you pass it round and laugh as people get sorted into Slytherin (NOT Slytherin!!). But don’t worry – you won’t always get the same answer…
Available from: Go Groopie and Smyths Toys
What it is: A range of 3 high-speed radio-controlled tilt-turn monster trucks (choose from Raptor, Viper and Rhino) that, thrillingly, you’re actually meant to crash into a wall – or another monster truck – at up to 15 kmph. The rechargeable battery offers up to 30 minutes run time, and the trucks come with stickers, cones and flags.
Why we love it: Active, high-octane and totally OK to smash (the drivers are ejected into the air mid-crash). The easy-to-reassemble building block bodies are a novel idea and make racing against friends extra entertaining. Works equally well over gravel and carpet, and the regulation vroom vroom noises are surprisingly bearable. Bonus!
It won the MadeForMums Best Toy Vehicle award in 2017 – with our child testers saying they loved how well and how fast they drove – as well as how ‘epicly’ they crashed.
Available from: Amazon
GOLD winner, Best Soft Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: An oversized (38cm) soft version of the original Fingerlings monkey we’ve come to know and love. It has long arms and velcro paws you can wrap around for super-soft hug times.
It also interacts: making fart noises (lovely) and snoring as well as yelping with glee, kissing and giggling.
Why we love it:
There are lots of reasons Fingerlings Hugs won our Gold award for Best Soft Toy. Our child testers loved the noises Fingerlings Hugs made, and others had a lot of fun with the recording option – which means you can get your monkey to make loads of funny noises and get him or her to giggle about it afterwards.
They also loved the big soft hug you get when you velcro those long arms together. All in all, cuddly and funny and a worthy winner.
Take a look at all of our soft toys award winners
Available from: Very and Smyths Toys
5. PLAYMOBIL Aquarium, £49.99
JOINT BRONZE winner, Best Playset, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: This aquarium features a pool, visitor terrace, deep sea caves, an adventure dome and panoramic windows. It measures 40cm x 43cm x 16cm and comes with 3 figures and a gazillion aquatic accessories including cute seals.
Why we love it: We love the detail and the size of this playset – and that you can actually fill it with water (all kids love water play, right?)
One of our child toy testers loved creating sea lion shows with it over and over again – and her brother joined in too. So it’s also definitely one we think boys and girls will have fun with.
Take a look at all of our playset winners
Available from: Playmobil and Argos
What it is: A super fun game where players have to move fast when their colours flash. You can play solo, one on one or as teams.
Why we love it: It will get the kids (and you!) running around and doing some exercise while having a laugh, plus – EVERYONE will love competing for the best times.
Available at: Argos
GOLD winner, Best Interactive Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: Myla is a velvet-coated unicorn that has a (pretend) make-up brush and palette so you can ‘paint’ her wings, eyes and horn with (they light up in different colours).
She is interactive, too – stroke her back and she’ll tell you your lucky colour for the day. In addition she moves her head, blinks and sings. Make sure you’ve got batteries by the way – she needs quite a few: 4 AAs and 2 AAAs.
Why we love it: The light-up makeup brush is really fun and NOT messy (hurrah!).
Our child testers particularly liked the ‘sing with me’ function, and one family even found she was great as a bedtime companion. Yes indeed – some of the songs are quite relaxing, so you too might actually find your child enjoys singing with her before going to sleep.
Take a look at all of our best interactive toys winners
Available from: Argos and Amazon
Watch our Playmobil City Action Space Shuttle video review here
Age: 6 years and up
What it is: A space shuttle construction toy, with light-up LED thrusters, opening cargo doors and, coolest of all, firing space cannons. Comes with 2 astronaut figures.
Why we love it: Like all the best construction kits (you’ll need a screwdriver), this space shuttle has brilliant post-build play value. We particularly like the firing cannons and the swivel arm that comes out of the cargo doors to let the astronauts do repairs on the outside. Our tester Dylan thinks it’s great, as you can see in his review video. His dad says, ‘It’s quite fiddly to put together – that took almost an hour (and definitely needs adult help). But the spaceship is great; I wasn’t expecting such a cool toy. Dylan loves taking it to friends’ houses.’
Available at: Amazon
What it is: A fun-looking bath-bomb-making kit that lets you make 6 bath bombs, with some little charms you can pop inside them as a ‘surprise’.
Why we like it: It actually makes super fizzing bombs! They really did implode incredibly well in the bath. But we’d advise leaving the bath bombs to set for longer than the 30 minutes it says on the box – as otherwise they can crumble quite easily.
Available at: Smyths Toys and Amazon
Age: 5 years +
What it is: The classic Monopoly game designed for young children, with an Equestrian twist, plus 4 My Little Pony board pieces.
Why we love it: Just missing the cut for our 10 of the best board games and best My Little Pony toys, because there were simply too many to choose from, we still love this take on an old fave. We imagine this will be ever popular as Christmas 2017 approaches – given how successful My Little Pony: The Movie was!
Available at: Bargain Max
What it is: An interactive dog with more than 100 sounds and motions – from balancing a biscuit on his nose to giving you a paw shake.
Why we love it: Ricky’s super soft and cuddly and will quickly become your child’s best friend: he really has a personality as he does so much (he even high fives you).
While there are lots of interactive pet toys out there, we’ve heard plenty that suggests Ricky ticks more boxes than most as a substitute for a real dog if you absolutely can’t get one or are still thinking it over.
So, he could just prove to be invaluable if you’re at the “Mummy, please can we get a puppy?” phase and you don’t have the heart to say no.
Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys
BRONZE winner, Best Board Game, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: A game for 2 to 4 players where the object is to work out which fox stole Mrs Plumpert’s pie.
Why we love it: The thing we really like about this game is that’s it’s a cooperative one: all players work together to try and discover which naughty fox is a stealer.
Some of our testers worried that the fact the rules are a little bit complicated might put their kids off – but it didn’t.
And everyone playing will enjoy discovering who the culprit is as they’ve all been part of a team to work it out.
Great if you’re not mad on competitive games or if they can cause a bit of a row in your house.
Available from: Amazon and The Learning Emporium
Watch the inflatable Minion video review on our YouTube channel
Age: 4 years and up
What it is: An inflatable remote-control Minion with a simple handset. It trundles and spins and makes funny Minion noises. 34cm tall.
Why we love it: Its inflatable shape means it bounces rather than bashes, into furniture (though it does comes with a puncture patch!), and it can be deflated for easy storage. And, of course, it’s a remote control toy that’s dead good fun to ‘drive’. Our tester Daniel, according to his dad, ‘hadn’t laughed so hard for a while!’ The noises Stuart makes as he trundles about are hilarious but mercifully there is a mute button…
Available at: Bladez Toyz
Age: 5 years and up.
What it is: A pack of pre-cut space shapes that comes with scratch tool which you use to scrape off the specially coated black surface to reveal lovely rainbow colours. Comes with hanging ribbons.
Why we love it: Scratch art is awesome and appeals to children of all art abilities.You can scratch off all the coating (always pretty) or scratch your own patterns to reveal a rainbow design of your own. The added bonus with this kit is that you can hang up the space shapes afterwards to make a mini space mobile. Oh, and at £2.99 for a pack, this is serious art-for-kids bargain.
Available at: Amazon
Age: 6 years and up
What it is: A 100-piece jigsaw that pieces together to make this beautiful scene from Moana.
Why we love it: You end up with a beautiful picture and if your child is a Moana fan we think they’ll love this.
It’s a fairly big puzzle too, so help might be needed which means there could be some nice bonding time while you put it together.
Ravensburger are puzzle experts, so their pieces are always nice and sturdy – and these are large, too, so are nice for smaller fingers to handle.
Available at: Amazon
What it is: A LEGO pet centre with 3 human figures and pet figures including Mimì the bird, Harry the hamster, Lady the poodle, Bubbles the turtle and Mini the bunny.
There are 474 pieces, and packaged it measures 28.2 x 48 x 6.1cm. There are also 18 stickers do adorn the pet parlour.
Why we love it: There’s some great attention to detail in this set – from the little grooming parlour, to the weighing scales and the perfume on the receptionist’s desk.
We reckon any child who loves animals might just love this particular LEGO set even if they’ve not been into LEGO before – so it might be a nice way to introduce it to some kids.
Also, some bits are little tricky and may require help from a grown-up which means some nice crafty together time.
Available from: Amazon
What it is: A bead kit which Includes more than 2,000 solid and jewel beads in 14 colours, a bead storage case, a layout tray, a sprayer, templates, 5 joint pieces (so you can move the unicorns’ wings and necks), and a play mat. There’s also a display stand to show off your creations.
Why we love it: This kit has a MASSIVE number of beads – and we like that your child can spray them with water to set them (it only takes 10 minutes), rather than giving them over to you to iron.
Our testers liked it in part because of how many beads you get as the quaintly means you can play with it A LOT before they all get used up.
Do note that though it says it’s for 4+ , some of our 5-year-old toy testers struggled a bit – so you might want to wait until your child’s a bit older (say, 6 or 7) before getting this set.
Available from: Amazon, Hobbycraft and Asda