Keeping little ones entertained can be a time consuming and expensive occupation, because as any parent will testify, kids get bored of things incredibly quickly. Their favourite toy one day will be hurled aside the next, and there's really no predicting what will be a hit and what will be a miss. However, if you're trying to choose toys and games for kids, it's always best to remember the following...
Whether you like it or not, little boys like to get messy. Outdoor games and toys are therefore often a favourite. Encourage their creativity with their own gardening set, or get them hunting for bugs with insect kits. Boys are also usually keen sports fans and getting them to burn off excess energy is a great way of tiring them out. Footballs, tennis sets, beach games, skittles, kites, remote-controlled cars - you name it, if it involves being outdoors and active, most boys will love it.
It may be a cliche, but cliches often stem from the truth - and little girls often enjoy playing at being grown ups. Give them their own toy kitchen, baby and accessories, or dressing up clothes and they'll have hours of fun using their imagination to create different scenarios. Arty girls, meanwhile, will enjoy flexing their creative muscles with art supplies, jewellery making and clay.
As kids grow up, toys and games such as science kits and nature-related activities can be both fun and educational. The key to scoring a hit when it comes to finding the perfect game though, is always to remember who you're buying for and what their likes and dislikes are. Just because you love the look of something doesn't mean they will!