PEOPLE in Kendal have begun the process of finding Christmas gifts for their young ones.

Toys are a must-have at Christmas, and this year the favourite picks are heavily influenced by what is trending on the internet.

Megan Burton, manager of Toyland, says that currently toy purchasing is determined by branding strategies: "It is all dependent on what has been shown that month on YouTube or TikTok, so we have to keep up with the phases," she said.

"Whatever is big at the moment will be gone by next month, so it is hard for families to keep up."

The manager mentioned that online trends such as Squishmallows and Kinetic Sand are children's favourites at the moment.

However, the classics, such as board games, Barbie dolls, Legos and fictional character toys are always a wise choice and have been selling pretty well this year.

Due to the cost of living, Megan Burton says they are trying to maintain the prices and bet on sales and discounts.

After Black Friday, some of their products will still be on sale to give a chance to those with a tight budget this year: "This is to support families who are struggling this Christmas and to make things more affordable for everyone."

She added: "Since the first of this month we have got people buying in advance. It is easier with paychecks to spread it out.

"It is starting sooner rather than later because of cost of living."

At the Armstrong Ward shop, the owner Jacqueline Ward said that this year their Christmas toys sale has also started at the beginning of the month.

She said: "One of our best sellers are pocket money toys such as the sticky slugs, which are quite disgusting, but really popular.

"Outdoorsy things, so for example Den Building Kits make fabulous toys encouraging spending time away from screen time, adventure play and social interaction between children."

After the pandemic, in the last couple of years, the owner said that there has been an increase in jigsaws and board games to play together as a family.

The Westmorland Gazette: Armstrong Ward's owner holding Poo Bingo, one of their best-selling items.Armstrong Ward's owner holding Poo Bingo, one of their best-selling items. (Image: Newsquest)

The owner has mentioned that she has seen an increase in prices: "We have decided that even though our suppliers have increased the price, we have held the price to what they were because we notice it is really important for people to find good value items, particularly on pocket money toys."