Christmas toys for 11 year-olds and above

October 29, 2016 Published by


Preteens are likely to have found a hobby so try finding toys that fit this interest, like a magazine subscription, or materials for an artist. Retro toys can also be a hit, as they provide a 'cool' way for preteens to revisit the calmer, easier times of their younger years without looking childish.

 This Christmas, we want good quality toys children will enjoy again and again. So rather than spending a small fortune on a toy that  is destined to gather dust, why not get some inspiration from our Good Toy Guide experts? These little elves spend all year trying out tons of toys - with the help of children, parents, and child carers - to add some sparkle to your gift list this Christmas.


French Words: Magnetic Activities and Games by Fiesta Crafts

(RRP: £9.99)

  • A series of magnetic tiles with English words and pictures on one side and the equivalent French word on the other
  • Tactile way to learn with 11 word themes included such as animals, colours and body parts
  • Helps build knowledge and confidence in using a new language and developing reading and memory skills

Learning a foreign language is a valuable skill and this activity provides reinforcement for exposure to foreign words, which assists in learning. The cards stick on the dry-wipe board where the challenge is to write the correct translation next to it. Our testers found this an enjoyable and tactile way to learn, with the many different themes providing an opportunity for structured learning and progression.

Dobble Card Game by Asmodee

(RRP: £12.99)

  • A fun and addictive card game which encourages observational skills, friendly competition and turn taking
  • Provides children with the opportunity to develop their communication skills and confidence when playing as a group

Dobble is a fast paced, but simple card game, with the aim being to spot the matching symbol between your own card, and the card at the top of the deck in the middle. The game was very popular with all of our testers, and promoted social skills and encouraged them to pay attention and use a strategy to keep up with the game.

Sphero SPRK Edition by Sphero

(RRP: £99.95)

  • Engage children with robotics, coding and STEM principles, introducing the power of cause, effect, and conditions in programming
  • Develops skills such as decision making and logic and also boosts confidence
  • Versatile to different ages – younger children can enjoy the robot and older children can use the intelligently designed SPRK app alongside it to develop more complex coding skills

An excellent way of introducing and developing programming skills to children, the Sphero SPRK Edition Robot proved to be very enjoyable for our testers. Important skills such as decision making and logic are honed using the robot and it also provides the opportunity to progress skills with the SPRK app. The speed and time features allow children to learn through trial and error and develop skills at their own pace.

RealFX by Vivid Toys

(RRP: £99.99)

  • Can be used for individual play against a computer of social play against others
  • Great for social and competitive play
  • Different difficulty settings allow children to progress their skills

Setting up the RealFX track is easy and the 20 pieces can be combined into 40 different layouts. Our testers enjoyed timing each other to see who could go around the track the fastest. Players can compete against the AI virtual driver, or two drivers can race against each other with features such as virtual obstacles, hazards and pit stops which make play more challenging. Another great feature is that the race is monitored, with details of everything from lap times to engine malfunctions reported through the controller’s audio speaker.

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This post was written by Anna Taylor

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