17 of the best toys for 6 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 6 and over

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Best Toys For 6 Year Olds

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.

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And any toy that’s funny, daft or just plain silly is definitely a bonus!

A number of the toys we’ve included here say on the box that they’re suitable from ages younger than 6 but they’ve earnt a place on our 6-year-olds’ list because we reckon 6 is the age when your child will get the most out of them.

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

1. Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers, £35
 each

Age: 5+

What it is: A 25cm-tall pixie with spinning glittery wings that flies up in the air and can be guided with your hands. Choose from Krystalina Rose (pictured) or Violet Onyx. Comes with a crystal egg display case and base. USB cable included.

Why we love it: This latest outing from the bestselling Hatchimals range definitely has serious wow factor. “I love her – she’s magical!” says our child tester Lucie, who was amazed by how high her Pixie flew and how long she flew for. We like the auto-stop function that kicks in if you accidentally touch the spinning wings, and that it’s rechargeable (otherwise you’d be for ever changing batteries). We chose this for our Top 100 Xmas Toys list.

Available from: ArgosAmazon and Smyths Toys

2. Present Pets, £54.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 25cm-high furry, floppy-eared interactive puppy that unboxes itself. Pull the gift tag and the box shakes and you get to see which 1 of 2 pups breaks its way out. Has over 100 sounds and actions, including tail-wagging and giggling and barking. Choose from Kweenie/Princess (pictured) or Glitter Pups Coca/Casey. Comes with unboxing guide and instruction sheet. Requires 6 x AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: Oh my goodness, the excitement of watching the shaking box and waiting to see which pup emerges! Our child tester could barely contain himself! The pup itself is soft and cuddly and reacts very sweetly when you stroke its head or belly. We like how it waggles its paws and how it recognises your voice, although, if we’re being picky, its bark is maybe a little loud.

Available at: Argos, Smyths Toys and Amazon

3. Hexbug Nano Flash Nanoplex, £39.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A (roughly) 30cm x 30cm 40-piece playset that you build into a ‘playground’ for electronically scuttling ‘nano’ bugs. As well as track pieces, it includes jelly walls, ramps and merry-go-rounds. Comes with 3 nanos, 1 of which flashes. Requires 6 x LR44 batteries (included).

Why we love it: Watching the nanos race and scuttle around is great fun and the flashing nano is the business, according to our child tester Ted: “I like the way it flashes – exciting!” We like how freeform this playset is – there are loads of different ways to put the pieces together (although it has to be said that the instructions aren’t fantastically helpful). This easily made our Top 100 Xmas Toys list.

Available from: Hexbug , Smyths Toys, Amazon and John Lewis

4. Q-BA-Maze Big Box, £34.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A set of 72 colourful cubes that interlock to build a marble-run maze. Comes with 20 steel marbles and an instruction booklet.

Why we love it: 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 marble can often get sent a way you don’t expect! A good logical-thinking construction set. There are also instructions for building sculptures – we quite like the fish one, though it is a bit tricky.

Available from: Bright Minds and Amazon

5. Carddies, £8.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A set of 12 double-sided card characters to colour in and then fix in their little plastic stand. Colouring pencils included. Choose from 16 different sets on themes including sports, families, knights and fairies.

Why we love it: The hand-drawn illustrations are lovely and the card is nice and strong. We like that each figure has a front and a back to colour in. Our child tester Claudia spent ages colouring her Christmas-themed figures in all and then setting them all up – and moving them around – in various festive scenes.

 A really nice crafty gift with loads of scope for imaginative play. Easily made our Top 100 Xmas Toys list.

Available from: AmazonMama Brown & Co and Carddies

6. Pokemon Carry Case Play Set, £39.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A 28cm x 18cm hard-plastic backpack that opens up to reveal a little Pokemon playground, complete with boulder trap, battle arena, launchers, secret doors, treetop platform and spinning whirpool. Comes with 1 Pikachu figure (others sold separately).

Why we love it: We really like how it all folds away into its pack and our child tester was very taken by the idea of carrying it around on his back. The playset itself is quite a nice size and the play features are fun – we like the battle launchers best – but it’s a shame there’s only 1 play figure included. It’s pretty pricey– you’re paying a bit more for the Pokemon tie-in – and it is very plasticky but, if you’ve a little Pikachu fan in the house, it’ll keep ’em busy for a happily good while.

Available from: John Lewis, Smyths Toys and Amazon

7. Smashers Dino Ice Age Surprise Epic Egg, £24.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A large 28-cm egg, inside which lurk 25 Ice Age-themed surprises to find by smashing and unwrapping your way through the slimey layers. Pieces inside then build into a moving prehistoric animal – either a T-Rex, a pterodactyl or a woolly mammoth. Comes with an Arctic scratch map, a Dino bag and a digging tool.

Why we love it: This has a lot of play value for an unwrapping/surprise toy. Not only are there different types of slime (‘snowy’, ‘stretchy’, ‘icy’), there are little games to play, mini dinosaurs to collect and clues to figure out. And then, of course, there’s the big dino/mammoth to build at the end.  “It was so cool to open,” said our child tester Eoin, “and the slime is great!”  We picked this for our Top 100 Xmas Toys list.

Available from: ArgosAmazon and Smyths Toys

8. Barbie Fresh and Fun Food Truck, £49.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 46cm-long vehicle with Barbie (sticker) ‘paintwork’ that can open up a side hatch to become a food truck or open up completely to become a food-serving station. Comes with over 30 accessories, including pots and pans, serving trays, drinks, seating and food. Barbie doll not included.

Why we love it: It’s big and bright and Barbie-tastic. We really like the stove and grill – there’s a little knob on the rotating grill to turn the food round. And the accessories are great, too – our child tester loved the smoothie blender best. If you have a Barbie doll, you’ll find some of the accessories will clip on to her hands, so she can carry the food, and so on. Do be warned that, although the truck comes assembled, you do need to place (quite a few) stickers on it before it’s ready to play with.

Available at: Amazon Argos and Smyths Toys

9. John Lewis Codebreaker Game, £8

Age: 6+

What it is: A problem-solving game, where 1 person creates a ‘code’ with a line of coloured pegs, and the other has 10 goes at cracking the code (with clues along the way). For 2 players, with 2 levels of difficulty.

Why we love it: For grown-ups old enough to remember the bestselling Mastermind game, this one will look familiar (though there are 8 colours in play in this version, rather than 6). And it’s still a winner with children, judging by our very enthusiastic child testers. A simple, low-fi game that’s great for logical thinking.

Available from: John Lewis

10. Vtech Myla the Magical Make-Up Unicorn, £45

Age: 5+

What it is: A 40cm-high interactive velvet-coated unicorn that has a (pretend) make-up brush and palette so you can ‘paint’ her wings, eyes and horn. She moves her head, blinks and sings and, if you stroke her back and she’ll tell you your lucky colour for the day. Comes with 5 accessories. Requires 4 AA batteries (included).

Why we love it: The makeup brush is really fun – where you paint with the brush, it lights up in that colour – and our child testers particularly liked the ‘sing with me’ function. One tester even took Myla to bed with her but we think she’s maybe not quite soft enough to be a full-time bedtime companion. 

Pricey but sturdy, absorbing and (hurray!) make-up play without mess.

Available from: Argos ,Amazon and Smyths Toys

11. Melissa & Doug Get Well Doctor Activity Centre, £199.99

Age: 3+

What is it: A 90cm x 94cm x 53cm wooden doctor’s surgery/waiting room. On 1 side is the examination couch with blood pressure monitor, phone and X-ray viewer; on the other is a seat, a clock and interchangeable health posters, And at the end is a sink and a credit-card machine (this is healthcare, US-style!). Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: “I like it because it has a pretend sink and soap and a clock to play with,” says Claudia, our child tester. “I love it! It makes me want to be a doctor.” It is very pricey – and it doesn’t come with any doctor’s-tools accessories (as you might think, looking at some of the pictures) – but it’s incredibly sturdy and well made. And it’s more than big enough for 2 or 3 children to play with it at the same time.

Available from: Amazon,Argos and John Lewis

12. So Bomb DIY Bath Bomb Factory, £19.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A kit that lets you make 6 bath bombs, with some little charms you can pop inside them 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.

Why we like it: 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 from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

13. Solar System Scratch Art, £3.95 for a 10-pack

Age: 5+

What it is: A pack of 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. Comes with hanging ribbons.

Why we love it: 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 from: Baker Ross and Amazon

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

Age: 3+

What is it:  A 26cm-high jail set with 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. Requires 3 x LR44 batteries (included).

Why we love it: It’s not huge and it doesn’t ‘do’ masses but what it does, it does well. Our child tester Finley 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 from: Smyths ToysThe Entertainer and Amazon

15. Aquabeads Beginners Studio, £15

Age: 4+

What it is: A craft kit containing 840 beads in 16 colours, a table tray, a palette, a bead peeler, 2 double-sided template sheets, a bead pen and sprayer.

Why we love it: This kit’s has been a deserved bestseller for a while now, with our child testers rating it for the cute little animals you can make and how they can set the beads themselves with water spray, rather than giving them to an adult set with a hot iron, like you have to for some other bead kits. We particularly like the design of the tray, with its inset ‘work area’, and the way the different storage areas can keep different coloured beads separate.

Available from: Amazon and Hobbycraft

16. Nadiya Bake Me a Story Deluxe Baking Set, 24.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A 22-piece child-sized baking set with a whisk, rolling pin, spatula, sieve, mixing bowl, 12 reusable cupcake cases, measuring spoons, 3 cookie cutters, apron and 6 cards of Nadiya’s favourite bakes for kids. Dishwasher-safe.

Why we love it: We really like how colourful the set is and how well proportioned it is for smaller hands and fingers. Our child tester was really pleased to have “all my own baking things!” The recipes are easy to read and follow (our child tester hardly needed any help). We particularly rate the Very-Berry Breakfast Muffins and the Star Anise Gingerbread Men.

Available from: Smyths Toys, Amazon and Gosh

17. GeoSafari Jr Kidnoculars Extreme, £19.99

Age: 5+

What is it: A pair of child-friendly binoculars with 3x no-focus magnification and a built-in audio amplifier. Comes with a safety strap. Requires 2 x AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: 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 says. “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 from: Amazon and Bright Minds

18. Blume Dolls, £9.99 each

blume doll

Age: 3+

What it is: A flowerpot that comes with a little watering can – and when you water your pot, a big-haired 13cm doll will ‘grow’. Each doll comes with 10 surprise mix-and-match accessories and stickers. There are 22 dolls to collect.

Why we love it: It’s all about the surprise – both of seeing your doll grow out of the flowerpot and of discovering which doll you’ve grown. Saying that, the dolls themselves, with their colourful, squishy hair and cute little changeable outfits are pretty cool – and, as 1 of our child testers pointed out, the empty flowerpots make great little ‘homes’ for the dolls and their accessories.

Available from: Amazon and The Entertainer

Images: Product websites

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