When your child reaches the age of 10, you might find it a bit more difficult to find the right toy for them.


As MFM's Helen Brown puts it, this age is a "time of transition". As they go from little kid to teenager, their engagement with toys will change, which means you'll need to consider products that "work a bit harder" to get their attention.

As a solution, Helen, head of content delivery and author of Parenting for Dummies, says: "Good choices include creative and construction toys that need patience and independent thinking, and anything with an extra level of extended play, from code games with passwords to 'proper' science experiments."

She also suggests: "Board games are always a good choice – look for ones that require speed of thinking or elements of strategy and planning – and electronic gadgets that work with apps to create special effects or trigger interactive play are pretty much certain to be a hit."

So to help you decide, we've compiled a list of the best toys for 10-year-olds. These toys have been carefully selected from our Made For Mums toy awards, both this year's and from previous years, which means they've all been tested by children and judged by a panel of experts. We've divided them up into different categories – STEM and coding, building, outdoor, educational and creative – and have included a range of budgets to choose from.

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Best toys for 10 year olds at a glance

Best STEM and coding toys for 10 year olds

  • Great for building and coding from scratch: KAI: The Artificial Intelligence Robot, £100
  • Great toy for STEM fun: Ultra Bionic Blaster, £35
  • Great toy for developing interests: Very Short Introductions for Curious Young Minds: Robots, Gadgets, and Artificial Intelligence, £7.99
  • Great toy for scientific investigations: Science MAD! Chemistry Lab, £32.99
  • Great toy for budding engineers: Machine Works Hybrid Engine, £59.99

Best building toys for 10 year olds

  • Great toy for longer builds: LEGO DREAMZzz Nightmare Shark Ship, £119.99
  • Great toy for sustainability: Build Your Own - Wallace & Gromit Rocket, £29.99
  • Great toy for a parent and child project: Build Your Own Pinball Machine, £19.99

Best outdoor toys for 10 year olds

  • Great toy for active target-shooting fun: NERF Elite 2.0 Motoblitz CS-10, £49.99

Best educational toys for 10 year olds

  • Great for amateur zoologists: Please Don't Bite Me: Insects that Buzz, Bite and Sting, £14.99
  • Great toy for logic and strategic thinking: Ticket to Ride: Europe, £24.99

Best creative toys for 10 year olds

  • Great toy for green-fingered creativity: Clementoni Harry Potter Wizarding World Hagrid's Hut Terrarium, £14.99
  • Great toy for quick thinking and family fun: 5 Second Rule, £24.99
  • Great toy for concentration and creativity: Sentosphère Aquarellum Junior Dragons, £17.99

How to choose toys safely

  • Look for the CE symbol as this is used by manufacturers to show the toy meets all the relevant regulatory requirements
  • Also keep an eye out for the British Toy and Hobby Association's (BTHA) 'Lion Mark' – although this is voluntary it means that the toy has to meet safety requirements to be a member 
  • Pay attention to the age suitability of the toy
  • Avoid toys with loose fabric, hair that sheds easily or small parts that detach easily as these can be a choking hazard
  • Check toys over time for sharp points or edges. If they have become dangerously worn considering getting rid of them or having them repaired if possible

Here's our pick of the the best toys for 10-year-olds…

Additional writing and product selection by Gill Crawshaw

Best STEM and coding toys for 10 year olds

1. KAI: The Artificial Intelligence Robot, £100

– Great for building and coding from scratch

Kai artificial robot

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: L25.4cm xW11.9cm xH27.9cm | Batteries: 4 x AAA (not included) | Awards: Gold – Best Science/STEM toy or kit, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Dive into a world of advanced computing and technology with KAI: The Artificial Intelligence Robot. KAI – short for Kosmos Artificial Intelligence – is a 6-legged, app-enabled robot that can react to the gestures and sounds that you make. When using the app, you can record physical gestures and sounds before assigning them to KAI’s 5 main functions: walk forward and backward, turn left and right, and stop. So if you want KAI to walk every time you clap your hands, or turn left every time you say "Left" he will.

Another key part of this toy is that you can build it from scratch. For our 11-year-old tester Haris (pictured above) this was a bit difficult because of all the "fiddly" parts, however, his mum Ayshea was on hand to help. She said, "It captures the attention of my son in so many ways. He did find some bits quite difficult and I had to help him but the instructions were extremely easy to read and the diagrams very clear."

She also added that the toy is worth the money because there are "so many different aspects to it. Hand-eye coordination, following instructions, solving the little problems that happen whilst making it. These help build so many aspects of character."

Available at: Amazon, Thames and Kosmos

2. Ultra Bionic Blaster, £35

– Great for STEM fun

Ultra Bionic Blaster with child tester Harrison

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: L25.4cm xW11.9cm x H27.9cm | Batteries: None

Billed as a STEM experiment kit, this previous MadeForMums Toy Awards winner is really 2 toys in 1, combining an engineering project with a physical play object, allowing you to construct an air-powered robotic glove that launches foam darts. Forget about this being another toy construction project that gathers dust in the corner of the room – this brilliant blaster, with barrels that raise, lower and rotate inwards and outwards, and are capable of firing 3 foam darts in quick succession – is a guaranteed hit. Along the way, you’ll learn about technologies that use pressurised air to perform work, as well as other mechanisms.

Inside the box is everything needed to build a 28cm-long blaster that can adjust to almost any hand size, including 139 pieces and a 20-page manual that guides you through the build, explains the fundamentals of pneumatics and details 6 experiments. Also included are 6 foam darts, however the blaster is compatible with many standard foam darts so it’s not game over if you lose a few.

“I absolutely love this, it’s so cool!” said our child tester Harrison, 10 (pictured above). “I like that I was able to build this myself and I like that I can fire it from my arm like a robot. I think I will play with this a lot.” His mum, Stephanie, was equally impressed. “This toy is brilliant. It is unique, great quality and exciting to play with. Harrison loved constructing the blaster and plays with it indoors and outside. It is perfect for his age because it is a ‘cool’ toy that really fits in with his interests. I think the blaster is great value for money because it is something my son will be able to play with for a long time and it will give him a lot of enjoyment.”

Available at: Amazon

3. Very Short Introductions for Curious Young Minds: Robots, Gadgets, and Artificial Intelligence, £7.99

– Great for developing interests

Robots, gadgets and AI book

Age suitability: 9+ | Best for age: 9-12 | Size: H17cm xW11cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Bronze Best non-fiction book, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Robots, Gadgets and Artificial Intelligence is a great mini-guide to an interesting and important subject: AI. Inside, you'll learn all about the evolution of robots, as well as how AI is made, the different types of AI, and how it can shape our future. There's a lot to enjoy and take away from this book as it has a good balance of illustrations and bitesize facts, and even the longer chunks of text are fun and engaging.

Our child tester George, 11, (pictured above) said he found the book really interesting. He said, "I love the pictures and facts and how I could read the book quickly without needing to keep going back to it." Our other child tester Bobby, 10, added, "I like that it's a kids book but it's not a baby book and it's got bigger words in than the ones from school."

Available at: Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith

4. Science MAD! Chemistry Lab, £32.99

– Great for scientific investigations

Science MAD Chemistry Lab

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

A kit that contains chemicals and equipment for 100 pretty hardcore science experiments including chromatography, growing crystals, investigating the actions of acids and alkalis – and way more. Equipment includes a spirit burner, test tubes with rack, flask, tubing, goggles and 19 chemicals (some of which need to be handled with care). It comes with a very thorough step-by-step instruction book.

The ambition of this kit blew us away with experiments that are many and varied – and more the stuff of real chemistry than any other experiment kit we’ve seen. As one of our testers said, "Wow, there are so many experiments to do. And the chemicals you use are proper SERIOUS and everything!"

Available at: Amazon

5. Machine Works Hybrid Engine, £59.99

– Great for budding engineers

Machine Works Haynes Hybrid Engine Kit with child tester Gabriel

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: L23cm xW17cm x H34cm | Batteries: 3 x AA (not included)

Pitched as an activity for adults and children to do together, this build-your-own engine kit contains more than 100 pieces and everything needed to make a simplified working model of a 4-cylinder internal combustion electric hybrid engine. The ability to switch between engine types (internal combustion, eco mode and electric only) is brilliant and the sound effects and lights really help to illustrate how everything works.

The step-by-step instructions could be a bit clearer and there are some fiddly little screws, but it looks amazing when it’s finished and the working engine is really detailed. Tools and extra screws have been thoughtfully included.

“This engine kit is really good, it's a bit of a challenge and you have to work hard to complete it. But it teaches you things about science, which is really cool. If I got this for Christmas or my birthday, I would love it,” said our child tester, Thomas, 12 (pictured above). His mum, Alicia, was impressed by how immersed her son became in the toy and how well he and his dad bonded over the model-making kit. “Thomas was really engaged in the play and build element and also the science behind the toy, which led to some YouTube videos about different types of engine. It was a great toy for him to play with dad – both were completely engaged, I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Available at: Amazon

Best building toys for 10 year olds

6. LEGO DREAMZzz Nightmare Shark Ship, £119.99

– Great for longer builds

LEGO Dreamzz shark

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10 | Size: L60cm x W25cm x H31cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Editor's Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Bring your dreams to life with the LEGO DREAMZzz Nightmare Shark Ship, a creative set that can be built in 2 distinct ways, offering multiple possibilities for play.

The eye-catching set is taken from the brand-new LEGO DREAMZzz TV series; however, Lego fans don’t need to be familiar with the show to start assembling. The set can be built in either ship mode or in tank mode. Ship mode has powerful engines and sails, while tank mode has cool accessories and flying eyeballs. Once constructed, there are several playable features including an opening jaw, a secret treasure chest, removable rear cabin, cage, trapdoor and swivelling turrets. The large set has 1349 pieces so promises a longer build time even for those who can construct quickly. Four mini figures are included, the Mateo, Izzie, Nova, and the Nightmare King characters from the show.

Lego fan and child tester Charlie, 10 (pictured above), who started building the set and didn’t stop for 6 hours, said, “It is good that you can build it 2 ways and I have made my own now using the wheels and the wings! I like how they have used handcuffs for the rails, and I love all the unique pieces used to build it.” His mum Zoe said, “This is a brilliant toy and I think they have got the age on it about right due to the time it takes to make. It is a large Lego set that you can adjust to make two ways. Lego does not seem to go out of fashion and is loved by both adults and children.”

Available at: JD Williams, Amazon, Very

7. Build Your Own - Wallace & Gromit Rocket, £29.99

– Great for sustainability

Wallace and gromit toy

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10 | Size: L29cm x W22cm x H40cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold – Best sustainable/ethical toy, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Join Wallace and Gromit on their cheese-seeking mission to the moon with Build Your Own’s new eco-friendly, STEM-inspired Wallace & Gromit Rocket kit.

Everything you need is provided in the kit, which makes the duo’s homemade rocket from their outer space adventures in A Grand Day Out. There are 135 pre-cut parts, made from 100% sustainable cardboard and paper.

Once the model is built, you can then display it or play with it. The rocket door opens to display the world of Wallace and Gromit in intricate detail inside, including Wallace and Gromit figures, the ‘cooker’ and internal furnishings. You can even see the rocket flames retract as the doors open.

There is a 3-hour build time, which should keep junior modellers busy for a while. And in more great news for parents, there is no glue or mess.

"This rocket is amazing, it looks so cool and it's even better because I made it myself," was the verdict of our 11-year-old child tester (pictured above). His mum Stephanie added, “I think this toy is good value for money because it gives children hours of fun whilst building and can be played with or displayed for a long time after. It is a sustainable option and priced accurately. I would pay this amount to reduce plastic and be more eco-friendly.”

For Wallace and Gromit fans, other Build Your Own kits are available including the sidecar plane and the techno trousers kit.

Available at: Amazon

8. Build Your Own Pinball Machine, £19.99

– Great for a parent and child project

Build Your Own Pinball Machine with child tester Ruby

Age suitability: 8+ | Best for age: 9+ | Size: L25.5cm x W31cm x H16.5cm | Batteries: None

Build your own pinball machine with this unusual kit. We thought it was amazing once it was all finished – although it took quite a while as the instructions weren’t always that easy to understand. It takes about an hour to construct, with no need for glue or other accessories as the 61 cardboard press-outs slot into each other. The kit also includes 5 swirly glass marbles and 2 elastic bands so you can try to keep the marbles in play once you have finished making it, using the cardboard spring that fires it into play. The cardboard is sturdy and the construction is solid but it's prone to tearing if you get over-enthusiastic. We saw this as a great parent-child bonding build and play project.

Our child tester Ruby, 11, (pictured above) said it was “very fun” to build and loved playing with it, even if it didn’t perform quite how she expected it to. Our other child tester Isaac, 10, said, "It's so interesting to build. And it's fun testing out which scores I can get. I even got 1000, which was 750 more than my sister managed!"

Available at: Build Your Own Kits and Argos

Best outdoor toys for 10 year olds

9. NERF Elite 2.0 Motoblitz CS-10, £49.99

– Great for active target-shooting fun

NERF Elite 2.0 Motoblitz CS-10 with child tester Neve

Age suitability: 8+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: L63cm xW7.5cm x H28cm | Batteries: 4 x AA (not included)

This super-size NERF blaster comes with 22 darts and a clip, offering 2 ways to fire. Use the pump-action handle to release 6 darts at once (pretty impressive, if you ask us) or use the motorised option to fire out 10 darts in rapid succession – you simply fill up the 10-dart clip then slot into place before pulling the trigger. There’s a built-in scope to help with precision aiming and, with a NERF this powerful, we’d recommend some protective eyewear (not included), like our child tester, Neve, 10, pictured, is wearing.

“This is better than all of my other NERF guns,” said our other child tester, Isaac, 11. “I like being able to use the scope to pinpoint my targets and I got the bullseye so many times.” His mum Gabrielle also liked the sounds effects, which added to the role-play experience. She also praised how lightweight yet robust it is – “It managed to survive many trips to the park and a camping trip with 4 boys,” – but her favourite thing was how well it encouraged outdoor play. “When kids hit a certain age it’s easy for them to become lost on game systems in their bedrooms, but this NERF has helped to ensure Isaac got out of the house and was active.”

Available at: John Lewis

Best educational toys for 10 year olds

10. Please Don't Bite Me: Insects that Buzz, Bite and Sting, £14.99

– Great for amateur zoologists

Insects that buzz, sting and bite book

Age suitability: 7-11 | Best for age: 7-11 | Size: H29cm xW23cm | Batteries: None

This book is ideal for fact-curious children like our 9-year-old tester Charlie (pictured above). Inside, you'll find fascinating stories and bite-sized facts about some of the world's most irritating, buzzing and stinging insects. Each fact and insect is neatly set out in short paragraphs, making it very easy to dip in and out of, something that was a big positive for Charlie.

"It has a lot of information in it, in small sections which made it more appealing for my child to read. It was easy to pick a chapter on what bug he wanted to read about and then come back to others later," said his mum Zoe.

This book also comes with a range of bright colours and beautiful illustrations, although Charlie said, "I like the pictures, but reading about bed bugs made me feel a bit itchy!"

Available at: Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith

11. Ticket To Ride: Europe, £24.99

– Great for logic and strategic thinking

Ticket to Ride Europe game

Age suitability: 8+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

There’s a lot of fun to be had with this strategy board game where you draw 'tickets' to European cities and race to build a train route connecting those cities before your rivals can build theirs – or block your path and send you round the long way. It comes with ticket cards, train pieces and a rulebook, and is for 2 to 5 players.

The game itself takes a while to play and requires a little getting used to (the rules aren't complicated but there are quite a few to grasp). But once you get the hang of it, it's enjoyably challenging – especially if you employ a little cunning and block other players' routes. "This game was really hard when you start but when we got a little into it, it started getting really fun," said our child tester Emily, 9. "I really enjoyed it a lot."

Available at: Kids Buzz

Best creative toys for 10 year olds

12. Clementoni Harry Potter Wizarding World Hagrid's Hut Terrarium, £14.99

– Great for green-fingered creativity

Clementoni Harry Potter Wizarding World Hagrid's Hut Terrarium with child tester Jessica

Age suitability: 7+ | Best for age: 7+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None
Awards: Editor's Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

Create Hagrid’s Hut out of plaster of Paris using the moulds and paints and then plant the clover and pine seeds to create a garden. The kit contains peat, soil, sand and stones – all you need to grow a natural landscape filled with plants around the Hogwarts hut. We thought the plaster bits could be a bit bigger and more dramatic, but the finished item is lovely and it doesn’t just teach kids craft and art skills, but also about growing seeds and keeping house plants. Professor Sprout would be proud! It’s a very simple kit but at a decent price. A great gift for the Harry Potter fan who already has the more obvious stuff.

Our child tester George, 10, said, “I’d like to do something like this again in the future. I really liked painting Hagrid’s Hut.” His mum Kayleigh said, “This is well and truly worth the money and I would have expected to pay more, especially for a Harry Potter-branded product, which never really goes out of season. George cannot wait to see the ‘trees’ grow around Hagrid’s hut and will be eagerly checking for signs of growth every day.”

Another of our child testers, Jessica, 9, (pictured above) said, “I hadn't heard of the seed types before and I liked how I have learnt a couple of new plants while making this. Double, double ‘yes!’ to making it again if I was able to. I am going to look after it and plant it again if I have enough seeds.”

Available at: Smyths Toys and Amazon

13. 5 Second Rule, £22

– Great for quick thinking and family fun

5 Second Rule with child tester Arthur

Age suitability: 10+ | Best for age: 10+ | Size: L27cm x W27cm x H7cm | Batteries: 2 x AA (not included)

A fast-paced game where you race to name 3 things associated with a seemingly easy topic, such as 'things that go with chips'. Do it before the timer runs out, and you can give the buzzer a satisfying smash. Have a mind-blank and the alarm will go off. It comes with 326 question cards, electronic timer, 6 playing pawns, 6 pass on cards, 6 switch cards and instructions. For 3 players or more.

This is a fun game for friends or family and there are so many question cards included that you'll never play the same game twice. Our child tester Arthur, 10, said, "I loved it – it's so much fun! I found it exciting and challenging and smashing the buzzer was great. It's a game that I would want to play every day." His mum Eve was impressed too. "This game has everything that we look for as a family," she said. "It's easy to follow, simple to set up, has clear instructions and can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike. A game that you can get straight into playing over and over."

Available at: Amazon and Argos

14. Sentosphère Aquarellum Junior Dragons, £17.99

– Great for concentration and creativity

Aquarellum Junior Dragons

Age suitability: 6+ | Best for age: 9+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

An art kit based on using a masking technique on vellum paper to allowing the paint only to 'stick' on selected areas – gradually building up an intricate design. It comes with 4 'magic canvasses', a wooden brush, a palette, 5 washable, non-toxic watercolours, a pipette and a booklet. The brush and paint are great quality, and the technique produces the most amazing and beautiful paintings. Our child testers were delighted.

Available at: Amazon, WH Smith