Parents can find themselves spending nearly as long with their kids’ toys as their offspring do. And as anyone who’s heard a plastic car sing a high-pitched song three dozen times can attest, sometimes that can be taxing.
So keeping yourself in mind when purchasing gifts for your children is only sensible – whether it’s considering how much help little ones will need with the complicated bits, making sure your beloved aren’t going to try and eat any of the sharp components, or instantly disregarding anything with a siren.
Luckily there are plenty of toys out there that adults can also enjoy. The hard part might end up being actually letting the child you’ve bought them for have a go. After all, if you can’t enjoy half an hour playing with the toys when the kids are in bed, what’s the point?
Sustainable Power Trip
LEGO Vestas Wind Turbine, Lego, £159.99
Buy this for a child and you’re doing the future Earth a favour – the wee one will learn about renewable energy, and the trees that come with the kit are even biodegradable. Also, you get the satisfaction of building a metre-high LEGO structure and advertising how right-on you are to anyone who visits: “What, this old thing? Oh, it’s just a room-dominating tribute to sustainable power.”
John Lewis & Partners Waitrose Supermarket, John Lewis, £49
As a parent, your fantasies suddenly become a lot more mundane. Where once there might have been James Bond-style daydreams of adventure and derring-do, now the idea of a peaceful trip to a quality supermarket is incredibly exciting. Daddy can buy his Kronenbourg with no queuing at all. Plus, the pretend credit card doesn’t have a pretend limit on it!
Make A Splash
Playmobil Aquarium, Playmobil, £49.99
Do you ever wonder if you’re in the wrong profession, but feel like you can’t possibly start again due to the responsibilities in your life? The window to re-train as a marine biologist may have closed a few years ago but you can still engage with ocean life on a Playmobil scale, with this play-set that you put real water in. (We’re presuming it’s all entirely ethical and the seals jumping through hoops for their lunch are really happy.)
Ready, Set, Code
Botley Coding Robot, Learning Resources, £79
Everyone thinks they’re sitting on a few golden ideas that could change the world and net them billions – if only they knew how to make them a digital reality. That app where you point your phone at a hat and it tells you what type of hat it is, for instance. Or the idea for a website that keeps track of exactly how wrong your brother is about everything. This robot might be aimed at 5- to 6-year-olds, but it’s never too late to learn.
Nerf Laser Ops, John Lewis, £29.49
It doesn’t seem entirely out of the question that sometime in the next few years you might find yourself requiring the skillset to survive a post-apocalyptic scenario. Get a head start by becoming an expert laser sharpshooter in the privacy of your own home.
Crate Creatures Surprise Assortment, Hamleys, £40
“Look, it’s you!” you can say, pointing at this delightful monstrosity every time anyone pops round. Everyone likes your joke. You are saying they are a monster, but a nice monster, a monster you like. “Look, it’s you!” you say. It’s a faintly charming joke, the first few times. “Look, it’s you!” you say. It feels as though you don’t get as many visitors as you used to. “Look!” you say, “It’s me.”
Round The Bend
GraviTrax Starter Set, Smyths Toys, £39.99
Like a marble run sent back in time from a long distant future, the GraviTrax system can be extended indefinitely – this starter set is just the beginning. An add-on set purchased every so often, and before you know it you’re travelling to and from work on a giant marble-powered transit system of your own devising.
We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.