10 of the best family-friendly Christmas crackers

Bring the festive feeling to the dinner table with these brilliant crackers for kids

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The food always takes centre stage on Christmas Day, but no festive table is complete without a few crackers dotted around. Bright, brash and lots of fun, crackers are a fantastic way to get the whole family together and you can find a whole range of different types guaranteed to bring jokes and laughter to the setting.

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Gone are the days where you would find a simple plastic throwaway toy and a not-so-funny joke inside – now you’ll find options with racing games, pretty hair slides, xylophones and build-your-own toys. And with unusual shapes and designs galore, your table is sure to look the part.

Here’s our pick of the best Christmas crackers for 2019…

1. Racing Festive Friends Christmas Crackers, £19.99 for 6 – best for competitive families

Need a family-friendly activity to fill the gap between your roast dinner and Christmas pud? With a set of six different wind-up characters (including Santa, Rudolph, a penguin and a snowman) and a racing track, these fun crackers are sure to deliver.

Plus, there’s even a sheet of stickers included, so you can personalise your racing character with a pair of specs or a crown.

Available from: Lakeland

2. John Lewis ABC Xylophone Christmas Crackers, £25 for 8 – best for music lovers

Each cracker in this set contains a numbered xylophone bar and mallet, with the idea being that the ‘conductor’ in the family uses the included baton and music sheet to direct the group to create tunes by playing their bars in turn. It’s sure to end in giggles as someone gets it wrong!

They’re not the cheapest crackers in this list, but you can trust the quality of John Lewis’ products and it’s a fun game for everyone to get involved with.

Available from: John Lewis

3. Sainsbury’s Home Family Crackers, £4 for 12 – best for a budget buy

At only £4, and with 12 in a pack, these traditional Christmas crackers are brilliant for families small and large. As expected, each cracker contains a hat and a joke, and there are also a selection of toys to be found inside, including crayons, stickers, a snap card game, cookie cutter, notepad and more.

The traditional green and red designs also feature fun festive characters and will look great on your table.

Available from: Sainsbury’s

4. Unicorn Glitter Small Crackers, £23 for 6 – best for unicorn-crazy kids

Meri Meri produces some great stand-out crackers and, although they do come at a cost, your little ones are sure to love them. These sparkling unicorn crackers are sweet and stylish and will add a pop of glitter to your festive table and, with their yarn manes and tails, they really look the part, too.

The cute enamel hair clip gifts featuring unicorns, stars, hearts and rainbows are good-quality and make a great keepsake post Christmas. 

Available from: Meri MeriAmazon and Ocado

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5. Marks and Spencer’s Make Your Own Christmas Crackers, £6 for 8 – best for crafty kids

If your kids like a craft project, putting together Christmas crackers is a great way to keep them entertained in the run-up to the big day. These crackers from M&S include 8 cracker cases, along with snaps, hats, jokes, ribbons and name tags, and they’re simple to construct. The cute red designs are fun and festive, and at £6, they’re really reasonably priced.

Available from: Marks and Spencer

6. Kuckoo Build & Play Animal Building Block Crackers, £14.95 for 6 – best for construction fans

For kids that love making things with toys like Lego, these crackers will be a hit. Each one contains the building blocks and instructions to make a different animal such as a giraffe or lion, as well as a party hat and joke.

It’s also worth knowing that Kuckoo has a whole range of fantastic crackers, including ones with balloon-modelling kits, sing-a-long games and acrobatic spinning bugs.

Available from: Amazon and Etsy

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7. Gingerbread Christmas Crackers, £15 for 6 – best for keen bakers

If you and your family are Bake Off fans, these cute gingerbread crackers are a must-buy. We really love the look of these, and the gifts inside are perfect for little chefs, with cookie cutters, a whisk and a wooden spoon included. The items may not provide immediate fun (unlike many of the others on this list, such as the racing games and balloon-modelling kit), but they will be sure to find a place in your kitchen drawer after Christmas!

Available from: Ocado and Selfridges

8. Tesco Santa’s Race Game Family Crackers, £6 for 6 – best for younger kids

These joyful crackers and their racing game promise to be great fun for all the family. Each cracker contains a Santa sleigh race car in a different colour and start and finish lines are included, too.

We love them because the pull-back mechanism on the sleighs are easy to operate for little ones, especially compared to the wind-up mechanism on the Lakeland crackers, and they’re also really reasonably priced.

Available from: Tesco

9. Ridley’s Balloon Modelling Party Crackers Kit, £19.99 for 6 – best for older kids

Fancy learning a new skill after your roast dinner? These cool crackers each contain a hat, joke and 6 modelling balloons (meaning you get 36 in total!), and there’s a pump, instructions and stickers, too.

There are 14 different designs to try and they’ll keep you amused long after the Christmas pud has been eaten. They may be a bit fiddly for younger kids, but older children will have a blast.

Don’t miss Ridley’s other great cracker options, too – we love the idea of Spec-U-Late (a game of ‘Who am I?’ complete with cardboard glasses).

Available from: Amazon and The Present Finder

10. Bespoke & Oak Co Personalised Handwritten Christmas Crackers, £30 for 6 – best for a special touch

These personalised crackers will look stunning on your table, and kids will love the chocolate goodies inside. You can customise your crackers to suit your needs – there’s the option of chocolate coins, notes or Brussels sprouts as gifts and loads of different colour combinations.

And if you fancy a pre-Christmas crafting session, you can even buy them as a make-your-own kit instead of a ready-made set.

Available from: Not On The High Street and Bespoke & Oak Co

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