Christmas gifts for children that don’t need screens or take batteries

Don't just pick up the latest plastic toys with lights and noises – take a look at these gifts which kids will love just as much as you do.


Rawk R1 retro drop through complete longboard

Okay, so skating nonchalantly through a park in Guildford isn’t quite going to match riding one of these along Venice Beach. But still — very cool.

£79.99, Skatehut —

Animambo piano

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I think we all know that dad/mum/uncle/aunt/grandma etc will be just as excited to have a go on this as little Jemima. But who knows what you might start by planting this musical seed at an early age?

£69.98, Djeco —

Personalised Baghera silver ride-on aeroplane

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that nothing is as fun as a ride-on, particularly when motored up and down granny’s hallway by a toddler fuelled by over-tiredness and chocolate decorations snuck from the tree.

£150, My 1st Years —

NASA lava lamp

NASA’s recent Artemis launch means space hasn’t been more fascinating for decades.

£34.99, Thumbsup —

Hedgehog book cart

Kids really do love this sort of thing. Just don’t expect it to be used for books: presents, pets and even baby siblings are bound to end up in this thing.

£48, Great Little Trading Co —

Red wooden cash register

Let’s be clear: in our near-cashless society, and in an era of barcodes which means that cashiers probably key in numbers less than twice a month, your little ones will still get a kick out of playing with this.

£24.95, Le Toy Van —

Lion basket

This probably our favourite thing on the entire list.

£49.99, Bellybambino at Scandi Born —

Spaceman musical box

The happiest astronaut in the galaxy, and he plays on demand!

£21.99, Djeco

Childhood Classics read by Alan Bennett


The Wind in the Willows; Alice in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass; Winnie-the-Pooh; and The House at Pooh Corner, all read by the great Alan Bennett. Perfect for long car journeys to see relatives over the holidays – available as a CD or download.

Childhood Classics read by Alan Bennett, £23.95 – click here to buy.

Dinosaur monopoly



Yes, it’s the same old board game. Yes, umpteen million different versions are already available. But for dino-mad kids, this set (made with the Natural History Museum) is fabulous – they also have dinosaur Guess Who and Operation.

Dinosaur monopoly, £35 – click here to buy.

The Beatrix Potter collection



This beautiful gift box contains all 23 original Peter Rabbit books by Beatrix Potter. Each tale is presented in its iconic white jacket and features a publisher’s note describing how the story came to be.

The Beatrix Potter collection, £33.99 – click here to buy.

Jungle Friends wallpaper mural


We’re not sure if this is for the kids or the parents… but if you’re planning redecorating a nursery, it’s irresistible.

Jungle Friends wallpaper mural, £39 per sq m – click here to buy.

The Snowman



Made by the iconic Steiff company – made from white cuddly soft plush and is fully jointed and has a big long black mouth and is designed with black shiny eyes and matching three buttons on his tummy.

The Snowman, £59.99 – click here to buy.

Handmade wooden Noah’s Ark set

This lovely Noah’s Ark has the usual pairs of animals including giraffes, zebras… but they’ve thrown a curve ball by — curiously — including dolphins, who we didn’t really think would have been too badly affected by The Flood. There’s even a little dove to go and find an olive branch.

Handmade wooden Noah’s Ark set, £90 – click here to buy.

Oak and Rope Company garden swing

Other names are available.

Oak and Rope Company garden swing, from £245 – click here to buy.