10 of the best toys for 10 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 10, including electric scooters, stop-motion animation kits and a very cool robotic ball...

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best toys for 10 year olds

Not a ‘little kid’ any more but not yet a teen, being 10 is a time of transition. And that means toys need to work a bit harder to engage a 10-year-old’s attention.

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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, to stop-motion animation kits.

And of course anything electronic is pretty much bound to be a great hit..

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

Lego Movie 2 Movie Maker

1. LEGO Movie 2 70820 Movie Maker, £30

Age: 8+

What it is: A 25cm-wide movie stage with sliding, adjustable arms at the top to hold and animate your props, characters and accessories. Plus, a double-sided backdrop , a platform with built-in sliders for moving characters, and a smart phone stand. Comes with an Escape Buggy, Rex’s Explorer, a mini Systar Starship, a mini Explorer, an alien invader, weapons, 3 mini figures – and a free Movie Maker app.

Why we love it: It’s nicely done and fun to put together – although the camera stand could be a bit more robust. The stop-motion instructions are good, and we like how you can drag and drop the sound effects onto your recorded scene. 

Available from: Amazon and John Lewis

Kano Computer Kit Touch

2. Kano Computer Kit Touch, £279.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A snazzy orange kit from which you can build, and then code, your own touchscreen tablet, powered by Raspberry Pi. Comes with 10.1-inch HD screen, wireless keyboard, DIY speaker, 16GB SD card, case, stand and 3 USB ports. 

Why we love it: The instruction booklet is brilliant: engagingly designed and written, and clear enough for your child to follow independently. And the associated app lets you tackle 100 coding challenges, as well as music, animation and game options. Pricey but properly absorbing.

Available from: Kano and John Lewis

razor scooter

3. Razor Power Core E100 Electric Scooter, £209.99

Age: 8+

What it is: A 12kg 2-wheel electric scooter with anti-slip footplate, easy-grip handles, brake and twist-grip acceleration that can zoom along at up to 11mph. Can be ridden for 60 minutes without needing a charge. Comes in blue and purple. Some assembly required.

Why we love it: This is a nice, wide, sturdy electric scooter. We particularly like how long the battery lasts, and the spring-loaded kickstand stand you can use to keep it upright when you stop and get off.

Available at: Argos

Aquarellum Junior Dragons

4. Aquarellum Junior Dragons, £15.99

Age: 6+

What it is: 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. Comes with 4 ‘magic canvasses’, a wooden brush, a palette, 5 washable, non-toxic watercolours, a pipette and a booklet.

Why we love it: The brush and paint are great quality, and the technique produces the most amazingly beautiful paintings.

Available from: Amazon

Sphero Mini App Enabled Robot

5. Sphero Mini App Enabled Robot, £44.99

Age: 8+

What it is: A small (4cm) app-enabled robotic ball which you can ‘drive’, code, play games with, and even control with just your facial expressions. For the (interchangeable) outer shell, choose from white, pink, blue, green, orange and Soccer (football black-and white).

Why we love it: It’s fun and educational and there’s masses you can do with it. We particularly like the LED lights: they look amazing when your little ping-pong-shaped robot is whizzing around the place. The app is really well designed, too: simple and colourful, without being ‘babyish’.

Available from: Amazon

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus Ics-8 Blaster

6. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus Ics-8 Blaster, £12.99

Age: 8+

What it is: A pump-and-fire blaster with an 8 dart clip. Comes with 8 Nerf Elite darts.

Why we love it: Well, we don’t love it (cos we’re wusses) but gosh, our testers did! It’s a bit of a clunky beast but its magic is that the clip remains attached to the gun, making it very quick to reload and keep firing.

Available from: Amazon

science-lab

7. Science MAD Chemistry Lab, £37

Age: 10+

What it is: 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, googles and 19 chemicals (some of which need handling with care). Comes with a very thorough step-by-step instruction book.

Why we love it: The ambition of this kit blew us away and won it Gold in our 2018 Toy Awards: the experiments are many and varied – and so much 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 from: Amazon

best-robot-toys_211367

8. Meccano MAX Robot, £99.98

Age: 10+

What it is: A 332-piece construction kit that builds into a 38cm x 30cm x 10cm robot with a cheeky face and built-in obstacle-avoiding infra-red sensors. You can then control – and personalise – him with buttons on his MeccaBrain (oh yes) or with your phone/tablet using a (free) app (iPhone and Android compatible). Takes 1 to 3 hours to build. Comes with instructions, rechargeable battery and USB cable.

Why we love it: The build is challenging but the instructions are great. And, once you get M.A.X up and running, he’s the quirkiest little guy – he even tilts his head if he doesn’t understand you. His message-recording function was a particular hit with our testers in our 2017 Toy Awards year, earning him a joint Silver.

Available from: Amazon

detective dot megapack

9. Detective Dot Megapack, £18.99

Age: 7+

What it is: A personalised pack, containing a personalised CIA (Children’s Intelligence Service) letter, a Detective Dot book, a CIA membership card, a sticker sheet and 6 coding-based spy missions to fulfil.

Why we love it: It’s a lovely (and clever) combination of spy themes and coding skills – all done with a nice sense of humour.  We particularly the section on how to program a farting selfie stick! Can be played entirely offline, although there is a gadget card that unlocks a secret spy tool on a free CIA app.

Available from: Bright Little Labs

Animation Studio By Helen Piercy

10. Animation Studio, £12.99

Age: 7+

What it is: A mini (about A4-sized) stage-set box that includes a double sided set, press-out props, gadgets to make and a 32-page director’s handbook: essential kit to begin creating stop-motion animation.

Why we love it: This is beautifully designed and presented – and great value for money (although obviously, you’ll have to supply the characters in your animation yourself – with puppets or clay figures, for example). The instruction book is wonderful – put together by a UK-based animator, illustrator and lecturer – and full of little gems of animation wisdom and practical filming tips.

Available from: Amazon

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