Toys to treasure

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 12:00am

Top 10 gifts for Christmas

Toy kitchen

Toys that encourage experimentation and manipulation are best for two to five year olds, who like to mimic adults. They enjoy props that help them to master life skills. Social, cognitive and fine motor skills are developed through playing mother. Choose one with more cupboards as kids like to open and close things all the time. (Picture: Festival Kitchen, $920 from Toys Club)

Wooden train set

This 'open-ended' toy stimulates children's creativity through tracks that they can assemble any way they like. Unlike 'closed-ended' toys, there is no right or wrong way to play. The only limit is the number of play pieces and a child's imagination. A wooden train set helps develop a child's cognitive, fine motor and speech skills as they make up stories and talk through play. (Picture: Brio big set, $2,599 from Toys Club)

Rush Hour

A popular mind-challenging game that develops children's problem-solving skills. Suitable for children aged six up, the game allows them to experience the fun and challenge of steering through traffic in their ice cream truck. It comes with 40 challenge puzzles and a travel bag. (Picture: Rush Hour, $119 from Komodo)

Candle painting

Create six colourful painted candles with liquid brush-on and 3D wax paints. The set includes candles of different shapes and paint pots and brushes, and is suitable for children aged seven or older. (Picture: Candle Painting, $139 from Komodo)

Building set

Encourage creativity, motor skills, co-operation and mechanical reasoning with this 120-piece building set. It includes a hand-held motor, a carousel, a roller coaster and bumper cars and will thrill any child from age four and up. (Picture: Dizzy Fun Land, $299 from Komodo)

Mighty puzzle

Encourages and entices a child to build complex designs and puzzles without assistance. Builds confidence. Kids combine shapes and design blocks to create figures, animals, people, buildings and imaginative pictures. Colourful design shapes, sequential puzzle cards and a storage tray are included. Suitable for children aged three to eight. (Picture: Mighty Mind, $129 from Komodo)

Beauty products

Girls can get creative and decorate their dolls' hair with the colourful attachments and stickers. The set also comes with ribbons and beads with which girls can dress up their own hair. Suitable for children aged three up. (Picture: Make Up Doll Head Set, $129.9 from Toys 'R' Us)

One for the high-flyer

The Jet Helicopter has a unique 'Flag Wing' that allows players to control movement to the left and right along a stable flight path. Great for boys aged from 15. ($449.90 from Toys 'R' Us)


A bike is a good choice for a three year old who is getting to grips with reaching, grasping and balance. One with learner's wheels will start them off with confidence. Once they get the balance right, they will be ready to move on to numerous other balancing acts such as roller skates, in-line skates and skiing. Toys Club's advice: 'Pick a safe, good quality bicycle. Leg braking and learner's wheels are a must for a child's first bike'. (Picture: Thomas The Tank Engine First Bicycle, $920 from Toys Club)

Doll's house

Playing with dolls not only stimulates a child's social development (through playing with other children), but also contributes to fine motor skill development (through moving furniture and dolls around). Children may also develop spacial sense and problem-solving skills while putting furniture in the house. (Picture: Traditional Doll House, $1,150. Before Christmas, Toys Club is offering two sets of wooden furniture worth more than $300 with every doll's house bought. Prices from $890)