Long day at the office? Desk toys are a great way to inject some fun into your working day as well as help pass the time and relieve stress. These usually come in the form of novelty and compact items that are perfect for adults and office workers' desks. Although Newton's Cradle was the original desktop toy, puzzles and arcade games have also risen in popularity in recent years.
With a wide range of educational, fun, and challenging toys to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. This buying guide will go through everything you need to know to help you decide. We've also included a list of the ten best desk toys available from Amazon UK, including ball games, kinetic toys, magnetic toys, and one's that showcase the laws of physics and science.
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Occupying our hands by playing games, building something, or creating art, can engage our brains and diminish feelings of anxiety. Therefore, having a desk toy is excellent for sparking creativity and uplifting your mood. Think about why you want one, and pick a toy that fits your need. Below, we'll detail the 6 main categories to choose from.
Although desk toys help you destress and relax, some are designed to be challenging while stimulating certain parts of the brain. If you want a desk toy that will challenge you, opt for a traditional puzzle. Puzzles develop your problem-solving and memory skills, thus benefiting your intellectual skills. Though, it should be noted that solving complicated puzzles can be rather time-consuming.
Stress-relieving and art toys don't require much thinking and are less challenging than puzzles. They can be played mindlessly and even while you are working, meaning they're great for those who don't have much time to play a proper game. Stress-relieving toys also help you focus, boost productivity and increase sensory awareness.
For those times you are on the go or off on holiday, why not also get a travel game!
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.
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Classics Pac-Man Color LCD Retro Mini Arcade Game
Miniature Version of a Cult-Classic Arcade Game With Colour LCD Display and Original Graphics
Ease Your Mind and Transform Your Thoughts Into Art With a Fading Canvas
A Classic Desk Toy Which Showcases the Laws of Physics and Improves Concentration
The World Famous 3D Puzzle With Multiple Combinations but Only One Solution
Desktop Mini Bowling Game
High-Quality, Wooden Miniature Bowling Game for Relieving Stress
Wooden Sudoku Board Game
Test Your Problem Solving Skills With This Wooden Sudoku Board That Comes With 100 Puzzles
An Anti-Stress Toy to Distract Your Mind by Making Various Shapes and Combinations
3D Wooden Puzzles
Challenge Your Intellect With These 3D Wooden Puzzles That Test Your Logical Thinking
Mini Desktop Golf
A Novelty Miniature Golf Set-Come-Stationary-Set, Perfect for the Office
Build Sculptures With These Magnetic Shapes to Display Your Creativity at Work
Pac-Man is one of pop culture's biggest icons, having been loved by many since it was created in the 1980s. Although you would usually need to go to a games arcade to play, with this miniature version, you can play wherever and whenever you'd like—the perfect desk toy for fans and collectors.
The game still has its retro feel and uses the original 80s graphics and sounds, however, the colour LCD screen has been enhanced for better gameplay. Having this one perched atop your desk will almost certainly provide you with a sense of nostalgia!
Buddha boards are a type of canvas which can be used to draw paintings that bring a bit of zen to your space. They work by dipping the included bamboo brush into water to create soft-edged paintings, making them perfect for reducing anxiety in the workplace and promoting mindfulness.
The way the board works also has a deeper meaning - your drawing will slowly fade over time, symbolising a 'fresh slate' and a new start. This drawing board will certainly bring a sense of calm and balance and is recommended for those whose workdays are always hectic.
Newton's Cradle is the original and classic desk toy. Being popular with executives and office workers since the 60s, this swinging desk toy demonstrates the laws of momentum and energy. Figuring out the physics behind the cradle is what makes it so entertaining to watch.
Notably, this desk toy is also great for relieving stress as its clinking sound creates a relaxing atmosphere that can help improve your concentration. While it's certainly mesmerising, this desk toy provides more fun than maybe initially presumed.
Another classic puzzle game, the Rubik's Cube, is solved once every side is of the same colour. According to the Guinness World Records, the fastest time it has been solved is in just 4.22 seconds! Though, for most people, it can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 3 hours to solve, so you know you will be occupied for a while.
With 43 quintillion combinations, this cube will test your maths skills, concentration, and reflexes. Once your break time is over, you can easily chuck this into one of your office drawers. Will you be able to master the Rubik's cube?
Bring the fun of bowling right to your desk with this miniature bowling alley. It really is like a real-life replica, with lane markings, side gutters, and a launcher which all make it easier to score a strike.
The toy is made from high-quality wood and stainless steel, which not only makes it durable but also makes it a lovely decoration for your desk. It's perfect for those moments when you need some stress relief and want to have some mindless fun. Why not ask some colleagues to join in and play against each other!
Sudoku is well-known for improving your quick-thinking skills. With this wooden Sudoku board, you can easily play without the need to erase your mistakes like you would with the paper version. The inclusion of a drawer also means that you can simply store away the different parts and carry it around.
This is a versatile game that you can play by yourself or with your colleagues and given there are 100 puzzles to choose from, you can find one that best suits your abilities and schedule. However, it is worth noting that this board does take up a bit of room on your desk, so it may not be practical for those who don't have much space.
Initially created as an anti-stress toy, the infinity cube opens up and can be put together in multiple ways. It is known for helping to improve your focus and to aid in avoiding bad habits such as biting your nails, as you can fidget with one hand whilst working with the other.
Made from metal, this particular infinity cube is both durable and compact. Unfortunately, though, some have noted how the noise the cube makes can get quite annoying. Despite this, both adults and children can have endless hours of fun, creating endless combinations. How many will you end up making?
Based on the ancient Chinese game Kong Ming Lock, the aim of this puzzle is to put the wooden pieces together to make a diamond shape. Despite it being easy to take apart, it's an entirely different story trying to reassemble it. This game will not only test your logical thinking but creativity as well.
Made from premium organic wood, these puzzles are high quality and worthy of displaying. With nine puzzles to choose from this game is guaranteed to keep you busy during your breaks. Yet, it is worth noting that these can take a long time to solve, so they do require some patience.
This mini desktop golf set serves as a fun game, and an office essential as the set includes two golf balls and three golf clubs, which are also pens! This is a great choice if you're after a quick and easy game to play in those spare moments between meetings.
Since this golf set is relatively small, there is a chance that you could lose one of the golf balls somewhere. That said, this game can be easily stored away as it comes packed in a foldable box—the perfect novelty desk toy that will make an excellent gift for any golfer.
Defy physics and make your own sculptures. Each shape is made by stacking the included metal shapes on a powerful magnet, meaning that they easily stick together and can be used to make a variety of formations. After creating your sculpture, you can simply display it on your desk until creativity strikes again!
This would be a great toy for someone who doesn't have a lot of space on their office desk or not much time to immerse themselves in a game that requires more concentration. The downside, however, is that you can't choose which magnetic shapes you get, so you may end up with ones you don't like.
Written and researched by Jane Pipkin
No. 1: Basic Fun｜Classics Pac-Man Color LCD Retro Mini Arcade Game
No. 2: Buddha Board｜Buddha Board
No. 3: RED5｜Newton's Cradle
No. 4: Ideal ｜Rubik's Cube
No. 5: Welltop ｜Desktop Mini Bowling Game
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