Ubooly is here to save lonesome children from inventing an imaginary friend. This cuddly gonk has room to accommodate an iPhone, iPad or Android device, which then becomes the face and mind of the fluffy critter. Via the free app it'll answer questions, read stories, chat to your child and suggest creative games to play. Of course Ubooly doesn't really know your little one, so you can customise the app to suit your child's interests and abilities.
LeapPad Ultra (£100)
Whether you want to keep your own tablet just for yourself or you're after something a bit safer and child-friendly, the LeapPad Ultra is a great tablet for kids. This tough 7in tablet has all the trappings of the real thing, with a camera, Wi-Fi, its own "walled garden" app store and a custom browser that only lets the good stuff through.
KidzPLAY Wireless Adventure Game Pad (£30)
Made especially for little hands and greasy fingers, the KidzPLAY range of wireless PS3 controllers has the strength to take the kind of punishment younger gamers dish out. The Game Pad has a full set of PS3 controls and a sleep mode to conserve battery power.
Bobski (from £49)
Depending on your latitude and altitude, buying a sledge before Christmas can be a gamble, but let's assume it's going to snow like it does in the movies. In which case, the Bobski will go down a storm. In fact it'll go down even the slightest of icy inclines at a fearsome rate – and that's pretty handy if you don't live on the side of a mountain.
Horrible Science Annual 2014 (£5)
Tapping into children's fascination with all things grubby and gruesome, the Horrible Science Annual teaches all manner of curious facts and theories about the way we are and the world around us. The mix of comic strips, games and experiments should keep budding scientists enthralled until we put the clocks on again.
Space Boy Wall Stickers (£115)
This set of intergalactic stickers allows you or your little one to create a personalised mural by arranging the vinyls as you like to build up the scene. The pack contains aliens, asteroids, stars, planets, a space station and more.
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Cubebot Wooden Puzzle (£20)
Depending on how much of a brainbox your recipient is, choose from the Guthrie or more perplexing Julien variants of this 3D puzzle. Both are rock hard actually. You might recall the Rubix Snake (or you might not), and this is along the same lines: a posable robot that starts as a cube and, fingers crossed, becomes a majestic android.
Klutz Gotcha Gadgets Book (£13)
This combo of an instruction book and a load of basic electronics components is more than just a "My First Gadget Kit" thanks to the creative and devilish uses suggested for the projects. With the emphasis on practical jokes, there's more than enough incentive for children to make like a mad scientist.
Light Up Shoelaces (£5)
These funky disco laces double up as road safety aids for the dark winter months, not that the kids need to know that. Choose your colour, thread them up and switch them to a fast or slow flash, or just a permanent Ready Brek glow.
X4 FPV Quadcopter (£180)
Have you ever wondered just what goes on over that fence? Around that corner? Behind those trees? Well, Mr Nosy, now you can find out with this quadcopter. The remote has an integrated display which shows live video footage beamed back from the skies, which can be recorded to SD card and copied to a PC. Due late November.
Nikon AW110 (£210)
You could spend around £50 on a kids' camera but it'll be rubbish. Instead, make an investment for the future with a rugged cam such as the AW110. It's virtually indestructible, easy to use, takes great pictures and looks cool too, so your children won't be embarassed to use it when they've grown up a bit.
Words by Tony Horgan.
Griffin Kazoo Headphones (£15)
We reckon a shared entertainment experience is always best, but for those times when it's not feasible, these volume-limted headphones are just the job. Designed for ages 3 and up, theyr'e available with either penguin- or frog-themed earcups.