Parenthood

We all know it's not the price of the item that captures a child's imagination. Nope, to delight a child, all you need to do is produce a toy, instrument, tool or thing that changes their immediate world.

For this reason, there are a number of fail-safes (beyond the empty cardboard box, by far the timeless favourite) that are bound to be a hit long after the batteries fall out of those 'cooler' toys.

Here are eight of the best. Just keep the box too...

1. Flashlight

To a small child, the power to turn on and off the light as they wish is mighty indeed. You can find one from about €4 in toy shops.

A vector illustration of little girl reading a book in the bedroom under a blanket using a flash light

2. Harmonica

Is it a gift you will wish you hadn't handed to them at 5.45am? Yes. Will they get a ton of pure joy from it? Definitely.

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3. Shopping trolley or baby buggy

Toddlers and wobblers love to pick stuff up, dump it in a trolley, push it around, then dump it out again. A shopping trolley and toy groceries or a baby stroller and dolly will make a HUGE mess and provide them with HOURS of fun, from just €13.99.

Two adorable brothers playing pretend with food toys

4. Temporary tattoos

Nobody knows exactly why, but children simply cannot resist a temporary tattoo. The more garish the better but if you'd like them to be cute, try Tattly. Age 4+ is a guide. (A dab of baby oil on a cotton pad removes them quickly).

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5. Chatter Telephone

Remember this guy? The classic roll-along pull toy with the oddly friendly face? The Fisher Price Chatter Telephone is an utter classic. If you can nab a vintage one all the better but the new one is just as cute as we remember. (Six months plus)

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6. Play kitchen

Start your little Nigellas and Gordons off nice and early. Only joking, they won't be playing at making stir-fry and blancmange as much as flinging dishes and banging cupboards, which they LOVE. IKEA's version is €69.

duktig-play-kitchen-birch-plywood%2fwhite__0086284_pe214924_s57. A ukulele

Perfect for small hands, the ukulele is so easy to play. Kids can strum along with their favourite songs AND (most importantly) organise impromptu concerts for your dinner guests. From just €17.99 here.

A young child playing a ukulele in the sunlight in a field

8. A disposable camera

In these days of Instagram and camera phones, most kids don't know the excitement of waiting for your prints to come back from the photo shop. Plus, only having 30 shots makes them consider each one so much more. From €10 here.
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9. A whoopiee cushion
Need we say more?
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What are the toys your children couldn't put down? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie. 

Read more about:

toys, Birthday parties, birthday party