As the Easter weekend dawns, parents across the land are probably scrabbling for chocolate eggs in the supermarkets, or buying box after box of cornflakes to make those chocolate nest things (never liked them - who wants to eat a bird's bed?). Before you guiltily drop a few new toothbrushes into your basket, how about getting the kids something they can't eat this Easter? We have a few enamel-friendly ideas...
The only egg-based gift to feature in this list, the Playmobil Eggs are actually inedible but contain a micro playset on several different themes. Break open the plastic egg and inside you'll find a Playmobil character along with a tonne of accessories for them. Included in the range is a princess and dressing table, a boy on a tractor, a family having fun on the beach, and (our favourite) a pirate and his rowboat.
Setting mum and dad back no more than about £6, these are tremendously good value, and will be played with well beyond Easter Sunday.
LEGO Juniors Supermarket Suitcase
The LEGO Juniors range is designed for the wee hands of four to seven year olds, combining (relatively) easy to build sets with a couple of minifigures. This set, representing a little grocery shop, complete with till, ice cream stand, and shop front, features 134 pieces (one of which is a dog - score!) and a handy carry case to keep them all in.
Although catering for those transitioning between Duplo (see below) and LEGO itself, we still found this a pretty tricky build. Sure, it's got nothing on the complicated sweat-inducing Technic sets, but our four year old reviewer still had a pretty tough time and needed lots of help. Once built however, this is a winner of a playset, with the moped and ice cream stall going down particularly well. Being able to partially dismantle it and keep it safe in the carry case also made our young tester feel like it was "her LEGO."
LEGO Duplo Mom & Baby
For even littler chocolate-free fingers, this small Duplo set is ideal. Containing just 13 parts (two of which are figures) these micro sets are designed to get toddlers using their hands and having fun while doing it. The set comprises a Mum (sorry...'Mom') figure, a baby, a ridiculously huge bottle, and a few standard bocks that make a bench, a tree, and some flowers.
Passing this onto our (soon to be) two years old reviewer produced much joy in the young chap, has he had previously played with a Duplo train. Getting any amount to Duplo in is always a good idea, as the more blocks you have, regardless of what shapes they are, the better. We're just a little concerned that this set in is LEGO's 'Pink Building Fun' range which seems to be aimed at girls. Sure, because a mother is all you'll ever be, girls. Anyway, don't get us started on gender stereotypes in toys...
Wubble Bubble Ball
If you'd like to make sure the kids are as active as possible over the Easter weekend, get them this. The Wubble Bubble Ball looks like a bubble but plays like a ball, thanks to its super stretchy construction. It can inflate to up three feet in diameter in just a couple of minutes, and you won't even have to waste your breath as it comes with an included battery-powered pump.
Once inflated this thing is crazy. Seriously, you can kick it, punch it, sit on it, and it just won't burst... not yet anyway. We've only had the chance to play with it inside but once the weather improves we're sure the kids will go nuts with this thing in the garden. Let's just hope that row of prickly roses isn't the Wubble Bubble Ball's undoing.