Parenting site MadeForMums has unveiled the winners of its toy awards for 2023, revealing what it thinks will be the hottest items this Christmas. 

Its panel of expert judges and families took in product ranging from newborns to teens, testing hundreds across numerous categories. 

The site looked for both value for money and keenly priced items, while also searching for those that simultaneously gave a wow factor and plenty of excitement. 

The judges were joined by almost 500 children aged from 8 weeks old to 14 years and their parents and carers who tested the toys and, MadeForMums said, “gave their honest verdicts”. 

Christy McGhee, Head of Consumer Content for MadeForMums, says: “The MadeForMums Toy Awards continue to honour excellence in the toy industry and this year’s entries have showcased an impressive range, with a notable emphasis on toys built to endure, which are better for family budgets and the environment. Cherished, nostalgic characters have also captured the hearts of our testers. This year, we’re thrilled to introduce book categories, encouraging a love of reading that embraces both learning and playtime.” 

The winners are listed below, along with comment from the Immediate Media website’s testers…

The MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023 Editor’s Choice: Barbie Dreamhouse Playset. MadeForMums parent tester: ‘I’ve never seen my daughter so excited for a new toy and it really is a Dream House. She has been playing with it every day since it arrived. It offers endless opportunities and hours of imaginative play so overall I personally think it is an amazing playset.’ 

My 1st Years Peter Rabbit Sorter House

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My son had a smile on his face when we started playing with the shape sorter and he interacted well with all of the different shapes and characters.’ 

The Mood Bears

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My daughter has played with Hope Bear every day since she got him. She has also used him when sad or worried and used the colours on the bear to help tell us when she is feeling a certain way. She loved how bright and fun he looked. She cuddles him a lot, he is really soft and just the right size for her to carry around.’ 

Sylvanian Families Baby Mermaid Castle

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘It has a lot of different and exciting aspects to it. The more my daughter played with it the more little details we found, it’s a great toy for imagination and role play. Each time my daughter has played with it she has been creating a new ‘story’ with its extensive range of features.’ 

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Busy Chef’s Restaurant Playset

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My daughter was able to be really creative, making up a whole plate of food, experimenting with different parts of the kitchen and really getting engrossed in her play.’ 

LEGO DREAMZzz Nightmare Shark Ship

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘This is a brilliant toy, my son loved the fact that you can make it two ways. He also loves that the ship is interactive with several moving parts which make it more fun to play with!’ 

Transformers RC Converting Optimus Prime

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My son loved it and was so excited to play with it, he was squealing with delight when he saw it. My son and his brother have been playing on and off for hours with it. They’ve been laughing and having fun transforming it backwards and forwards and copying the voice.’ 


MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My daughter has literally not stopped playing with this since she received it! Such a quirky, cute, ball of furbulous fun. She has absolutely loved every minute with her new ‘friend.’ So much laughter, so many features and I love that the Furby learns and grows the more your child plays with it.’ 

Gabby’s Dollhouse Cat Friend Ship

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My daughter was so excited to open and play with this and wasn’t disappointed. She especially loved the colour changing pool and the portholes which can be turned to show different times of day so she could put the characters to bed.’ 

Learning Resources® PYXEL™ A Coder’s Best Friend

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘I was surprised how much there is to do on it and my son spent ages with it today getting the robot to do all sorts of funny things and different combinations. It’s very good quality and I love how much my son is learning from it.’ 

Clementoni The History Of Life on Earth

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My son really enjoyed the different challenges within each item and it offers great educational value in a range of ways/activities. It felt like he learned a huge amount through playing, interacting and viewing the virtual reality.’ 

SmartGames Cats & Boxes

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘The game is really well made. It is one of those toys that you can play for hours on end and re-use over and over. My daughter really, really enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic twist on a moving pieces puzzle game and the quality is fantastic. It’s a really well thought out game.’ 

Scrunchems Squishy Neon Scented Bears

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘The squishy texture is great. It’s great as a fidget toy and calming like a stress ball as it can be pulled and squeezed comfortably and squished in hands. My daughter liked pulling and stretching the toy and making the bears talk to each other.’ 

Smart Ball Soccer Bot from Golden Bear

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘This is a truly awesome toy! It’s really so much fun, and great exercise because you have to move really quickly to beat the robot! We are big fans of this toy that is for sure!’ 

Connetix 120 Piece Pastel Creative Pack

MadeForMums parent tester: ‘My son has spent hours playing with this, building different things on his own and with adults, working out new things, incorporating them into his games and play with other toys. It’s a toy I think he will continue to enjoy for many more years.’ 

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