The leaves are dropping, the pumpkin spice lattes have returned and the weather has turned cold and blustery. It can only mean one thing: we’re officially on the countdown to Christmas.
If you’re a parent wondering what on earth to get your children this year – or perhaps you’ve got a tiny niece, nephew or family friend you need to buy for – never fear.
Argos, the Sainsbury’s-owned retailer which sells a toy every two seconds(!!), has revealed its top toy predictions for Christmas 2023, and there’s a real mix of gift ideas, from science experiment toys to wooden role-play sets to kid-friendly gadgets.
The list serves as a perfect starting point for anyone who’s completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of toys and games on the market right now.
And in a happy turn of events, lots of the toys featured can be purchased for less than £30. Happy browsing.
Best toys to buy for Christmas
Let their inner barista shine.
This wooden café set is not only aesthetically pleasing with its neutral tones, but it's also great for kids' imagination. With plenty of detailed pieces, your child can imagine all kinds of scenarios, improving their role-playing and storytelling abilities, too.
Build Dobby in 3D and present him with a sock.
Fans of Harry Potter can get to work on building their very own Dobby (that's the house elf, FYI) this Christmas, with this £25 Lego set. The elf has a posable head, ears, arms and fingers so kids can change his look and he can hold the brick-built accessories, such as Aunt Petunia's 'floating' cake and a model of Tom Riddle's diary (with accompanying sock).
Build a shark beast in this fun experiment.
This intriguing Beast Lab set lets kids conduct an experiment to create one of two sharks – either the Havoc Hammerhead or Mayhem Megashark. The Beast Lab is equipped with more than 80 light and sound effects, bringing the experiment to life. The toy also made it onto Hamleys' top 10 Christmas toys list this year.
Budding foodies will love this stocking filler.
Each Miniverse Make It Mini Food package comes with surprise ingredients and kitchen accessories to make a mini food collectible. Kids will need to follow the recipe card on the back to make it. Once finished, they can set it to harden under any UV light.
Pawsome adventures await on board this cat-themed cruise ship.
Fans of Gabby's Dollhouse (and cats) will love this playset, which comes with a Gabby Girl doll and MerCat figure, along with tons of dollhouse accessories and furniture.
Move over Barbie, there's a new fashionista in town.
For little ones with an early penchant for fashion, Connie is quite possibly the best-dressed doll out there with her little leather jacket and matching headband. Her silky long hair is perfect for children to style, too.
Help them build their very own dog house – complete with a surprise inside.
They build a little house that, when complete, delivers the cutest surprise in the form of an adorable pet Dalmatian puppy. The toy comes as a flat pack with all the tools and parts a child needs to construct a cute little puppy home. So cute.
A finger-sized friend to delight them with.
Harmony is a diva baby monkey who loves to sing, and has 70+ sounds and reactions. Kids can feed her, kiss her, pet her and more... With sensors on her head, mouth and belly, she'll react to touch and respond, too.
This mint-green Squishmallow is perfect for snuggles.
The cuddliest little dragon in all the land. Squishmallows continue to delight kids across the UK – Drew is the perfect companion to snuggle with while relaxing at home, watching a movie, or taking a long car or plane ride.
Get them their very own pet – without the mess.
Yes, a digital pet kids can actually touch and feel. It responds to swipes, tilts, shakes and touch with sounds and reactions. What's more, each Bitzee starts as a baby pet. And like real pets, they need love and care to grow, so they'll help your child harness their nurturing side. N'aww.
Tiny dinosaur fans will love Trevor.
This interactive and talking Chad Valley Trevor T-Rex is an educational toy introducing younger kids (age 2+) to animal sounds. It has movable arms, light up eyes and a talk-back function to provide young kids with endless entertainment.
This wooden pizza set comes complete with velcro toppings.
Mini pizza fans will love being able to cook their own pizza before serving it to all their friends (or teddy bears). The wooden set comes with different pizza toppings, a pizza wedge and slicer.
Furby is back – and cuter than ever.
This toy is very interactive, with five voice activated modes and over 600 phrases, jokes and songs. Children can tell Furby what they want it do with five commands: Dance Party, Copy Cat, Tell My Fortune, Let's Chill, and Lightshow. It also responds to hugs, pats on the head, shaking and feeding it.
Let their imagination run wild with this Clone Trooper Lego battle pack.
For fans of Ahsoka, Lego has brought out a clone trooper battle pack. The set includes a Clone Infantry Support Speeder, featuring seats for 2 Lego Star Wars mini-figures, 2 stud shooters and a stud-shooting laser cannon.
TMNT fans will love this pizza-flinging truck.
As seen in the hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the Pizza Fire Delivery Van has room for all four Turtles and the fire power to take down Super Fly and his minions. You can fire up to eight pizza pies at enemies, so it's sure to go down a storm in any household.
Hey Barbie (house)!
This is definitely a big ticket item but one that even big kids (like us) would be delighted with. Hot off the success of the Barbie movie, this dolls house comes with three dolls, furniture and accessories including a pool with a slide. The house has two storeys connected by a slim white staircase, and its four rooms include a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.
Have a blast with this gift.
The Nerf Elite 2.0 Double Punch blaster features two barrels that rapidly move back and forth as you fire. Load both 10-dart clips onto the toy blaster and unleash 20 darts in indoor and outdoor games. It'll keep them entertained for ages – just make sure you stay out of sight if you don't want to get hit.