Now more than ever it's important to keep a child's brain busy, while also keeping them entertained. We've rounded up our favourite games that do just that
Tech Will Save Us
This British company makes super-cool and imaginative STEM toys for ages four and up. Use conductive dough to create fantastic light-up creatures, incorporating interactive circuits as a way of learning about conductivity and insulators. Ages eight and up can develop their musicianship with a plug ‘n’ play music kit, building their own cardboard guitar and amplifier, learning how to make it electric, adding effects and producing their own tracks – there are even modules for recording, remixing and using a synth sequencer. Each kit is designed to bring tech to life for kids, inspiring the next generation of inventors.
From £29.99; techwillsaveus.com
Coach House Woodworks
A family-run business that makes beautiful wooden learning materials for children in the early stages of education. Montessori-inspired, the collection includes alphabet, shape and number tracing boards, flashcards and tracing pencils to reinforce phonic learning and basic sums. The custom-made cursive name boards also make fantastic educational gifts.
Make and Wonder
Budding artists will enjoy Make and Wonder’s monthly creative boxes, which centre on a female artist’s style and include four art activities as well as the necessary supplies. Set up by a primary school teacher, the company puts a strong focus on child-led learning through self-directed, creative play, with activities designed to give children time and freedom for open-ended exploration. The supply boxes make great gifts but can also be used to hold an art party and lead a creative workshop.
From £12.50 a month; makeandwonder.com
Each Muro busy board is founded on a unique two-part plug-and-play system. A complete set comprises the base unit (either a board or a cube) with interchangeable modular toys which connect together effortlessly. The pieces are crafted from sustainable birch plywood and repurposed rubber wood, and the brand recently added five new add-on kits featuring slots, slats, thread, letters and numbers – so you can mix and match accessories to suit your child’s age and stage of development.
From £129; mymuro.com
The Colour Monster
Emotions are at the heart of this adorable game, based on the popular book of the same title by Anna Llenas. Players must collaborate to help the Monster understand his emotions. As the game progresses, they must collect ‘emotion’ tokens by identifying happiness, sadness, anger, fear or calm. In order to place their emotion token in a jar, players are encouraged to give personal scenarios or memories where they may have experienced the feeling shown on their token – so it’s not only fun but a useful tool to help children understand and express their feelings.