Across the country, children will be making their lists and probably checking them twice, in the hope that Santa brings them their hearts desire on Christmas Day.
However, for parents now is the time to think about toys or games for your family holidays – as even on the most fun-packed trip there’s always some travelling and downtime once the sun sets.
With just a few shopping days left until Christmas, we wanted to help you make those all important choices, so we decided to ask the expert! Who better to consult than the Managing Director of The Entertainer toy chain, Gary Grant, who has more than 30 years experience in the toy and game industry.
The good news for parents with a limited budget is that the oldies are still goldies; with traditional beach games still packing an entertainment punch.
Gary said: “Traditional toys are still really relevant, especially for the under sixes. A football, cricket set, bat and ball are still the best things for playing on the beach. It doesn’t come any more standard than a bucket and spade and has done for many years. What children generally remember about their holidays is playing on the beach with mum and dad, digging the biggest hole or building the best sandcastle, it’s that bonding family time that is really important to them.”
Another top tip for children’s holidays from Gary is not to buy these items in advance of the trip, but get them when you arrive at your holiday destination.
He added: “These are must-have items, but as they take up so much room, it’s generally cheaper to buy them when you are abroad. The toys and games you need to think about are those to keep children entertained on the journey and on a day when it might be wet outside.”
Gary’s top five Christmas toys to keep the kids entertained on holiday.
Etch a Sketch – £15
Perfect for travelling with the children; this old-fashioned favourite has undergone a modern revamp, which means you don’t need to worry about pens and paper and the mess that can ensue while getting your precious cargo to the holiday destination. Kids from 4 and up can doodle away to their hearts content with this fun drawing tool
Youngsters can easily find room for these adorable cuddly toys. Aimed at little ones aged between four and ten, despite the scary looks they laugh and giggle and talk Moshi, perfect travelling companions.
The VTech InnoTab 2 – £69.99
While old-fashioned games are still popular, children do live in a techy world and this is a great tablet, combining games and educational content. Perfect for the journey or for any quiet time on holiday; little ones can read books, edit their holiday snaps and draw pictures. For children aged four to nine- years-old.
The Pillow Pets Cow – £15
This toy is great fun for the plane or car as it is a soft toy which doubles up as a pillow. Take your pick of pets, ranging from a Panda to a Ladybird, and watch your child get some much needed sleep on the way. It can even be used to make seatbelts more comfortable.
The Furby – £59.99
The must-have toy for 2013 and suitable for children aged six and over, this is a toy that is making a comeback in a massive way. The good news is that the more your child interacts with it, the more it moves away from speaking Furbish to English – so should keep your child entertained at the airport.
However if room is not at a premium THE must-have toy for children of all ages is the scooter – which now come in every shape and size.
Gary said: “The big thing at the moment is the scooter. They are not just for two to three-year-olds, there are a range of scooters to suit all ages, including beefed up stunt scooters for teenagers.
“And also remember there is always the Trunki – the case on wheels has really made a huge difference, as children can pack their own toys into their own case rather than taking up room in yours.”
Let us know what your top children’s’ toys are for having fun on holiday.