14 November 2021 by Calan
We asked 1,515 UK mums to tell us which toys their children play with most. For a little background on why and how we did this, review the introductory post as it’s part of a series of articles covering toys, gifts and activities for children based on real data.
We are keen to expand this research over time, giving us more detailed results, especially around the toys, games and activities that stimulate learning and development. If you’d like to take part in future and receive a copy of the results, please subscribe to our blog using the form on this page and we’ll include you in the next questionnaire.
While we did include the ages 0-6 months, we didn't feel the number of participants at this age group was large enough to provide valuable results, so we've omitted that age group from the results but will look to include it in future as we expand the data.
Download the full spreadsheet
While the results appear in this series of posts, what is really interesting is to see the lists for each age side by side, as it shows how the popularity of toys changes as children get older. To see the data this way you can download a copy of the full spreadsheet by subscribing to our blog using the form on this page. On subscription you'll receive a download link to the full spreadsheet.
Toys are more consistent than we expected
Probably most interesting of all is how similar the lists are regardless of age. Six of the toys that appear in the top 11 toys of 18 month old babies, also appear in the list of 10 year old children.
In children between 18 and 48 months old, cars, trains and dolls are the most popular toys, whereas Lego tops all lists in children from 4 to 10 years old.
Drawing and colouring-in starts at around 18 months old and then becomes consistently more popular as the child gets older. Similarly, tablet computers appear in the popularity list at age 5 and then rise in popularity across each subsequent age group.
Creativity and imagination reign supreme
Having two young daughters, I’ve read a fair amount over the last few years about how children benefit from simple toys, and how it requires them to use their own creativity and imagination to create games with them. This is thoroughly supported by our results in that very few noisy, electronic or flashy toys make it anywhere near the top, even if the varying types of those toys are combined into a single category.
Toys children play with most, by age
Within each heading I’ve indicated the number of mums that participated in the questionnaire for that age group, and within each list I’ve highlighted the total number of times the toy appears among the lists of top toys for that age group.
6-12 months (66 children)
12-18 months (84 children)
18-24 months (108 children)
24-30 months (135 children)
30-36 months (141 children)
3-4 years (234 children)
4-5 years (198 children)
5-6 years (135 children)
6-7 years (123 children)
7-8 years (90 children)
8-10 years (114 children)
10-13 years (87 children)
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