As we retreat into our homes for the foreseeable future, parents are bound to feel anxious about what the merry heck they are going to actually do to keep their children entertained.

Firstly, in these extraordinary times where everyone –parents and children alike – are anxious and unsure, the golden rule is to be safe. If that means maxing out on screen time or eating cereal at lunch time – so be it.

This is no time for self-judgement or attempts at being crowned parent of the year. Some days are going to be productive and inspiring and others are going to make you want to lock yourself in the bathroom with a bottle of gin.

Plenty of parents are concerned that their children will miss out on learning and question their ability to home school. But there is a wealth of toys which are both fun and educational, in so far as your children won’t even know they are learning.

For this round-up we chose toys best suited to children of pre-school to year six age all of which offer a clear, traditional educational theme from literature to geography to science.

The best educational toys are ones which absorb children for as long as possible – hours rather than minutes (these have the double benefit of giving parents the chance to work themselves). We also mainly steered clear of any single-use toys or things which could “run ou”.

Anything with an “addictive” element also got the thumbs up from us.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Educational toys

The Ravensburger globe puzzle for its ability to keep children absorbed, focused and goal-oriented. The finished product and its potential as a learning tool makes it doubly brilliant.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.