The 11 best Gruffalo toys from one of our favourite children’s books to encourage creative play

Selection of Gruffalo toys

by Laura Healy |
Published on

Who doesn't love the Gruffalo? Since its publication in 1999, The Gruffalo has become a firm favourite with both kids and adults and makes a great bedtime story. As with all Julia Donaldson books, we love the sense of adventure, imagination, and the rhyming story which entertains even the littlest bookworm. With fun illustrations by Axel Scheffler, it's not surprising that so many Gruffalo toys are available to bring the story to life in your own home and help to develop imaginative play.

From soft plushies, puzzles, interactive games, and even a Tonie figure, Gruffalo toys are great for encouraging creative play and also independent play while your little ones take inspiration from the story. With toys from a familiar story, it's a great opportunity to develop role play using your child's favourite characters.

Whether they like the fox, the snake, or the owl, perhaps the Gruffalo himself, or even the little mouse, there's a toy to make every child happy. They make great gifts too, and both younger and older children will appreciate them, as well as us grown ups.

Best Gruffalo toys at a glance

Best Gruffalo jigsaw: Ravensburger The Gruffalo Jigsaw Puzzles - Buy now on Amazon
Best Gruffalo costume: Gruffalo Mouse Costume - Buynow on Smiffy's
Best Gruffalo card game: Gruffalo Top Trumps - Buy now on Amazon
Best Gruffalo Tonie: The Gruffalo Tonie - Buy now on Tonies
Best Gruffalo plushie: Gruffalo and Gruffalo Mouse twin pack - Buy now on Amazon

If you enjoy watching the TV adaptation or cuddling up to read the book to your little ones, get inspired and create your own Gruffalo story with these fun toys.

Best Gruffalo toys 2024

Best Gruffalo jigsaw puzzle

Gruffalo puzzleAmazon
Price: $14.69

These puzzles are perfect for little Gruffalo fans, and are suitable from four years plus. The box includes two 24-piece puzzles to keep little ones entertained and busy. One mum tester, Sophie, said: "We love jigsaws and The Gruffalo is a huge hit in our house, with my three-year-old daughter and my six-year-old son, too; they're a bit tricky for my youngest so we do them together, and then my oldest likes to do them by himself. We like to read the book first, then do the jigsaws for extra entertainment."

With the pieces made from thick, high-quality board, they're durable and can withstand little hands. Plus the puzzles are made with FSC-certified material to help support sustainability.

While these puzzles are fun, with 24 pieces, they may be a bit tricky for younger Gruffalo fans, so they aren't ideal for younger children. However, older children will enjoy recreating the scenes over and over again.

Pros

  • Made with sustainable cardboard
  • Two puzzles in the box

Cons

  • Not great for younger children because they could be tricky
Size: 26 x 18 x 0.1 cm
Number of pieces: 24 per puzzle
Material: Cardboard
Age suitability: 4+
  • Made with sustainable cardboard
  • Two puzzles
  • Suitable from 4+
  • Good quality material

Best costume from The Gruffalo

Gruffalo mouse costumeSmiffys

If your little one wants to recreate their favourite scenes from the book, then they will love dressing up as the mouse strolling through the woods (or your garden). This cute costume is an all-in-one with a hood and a sweet tail.

We really love the fun mouse head on the hood - it's much more practical than a mask, which could irritate children by covering their face. While we really love this costume, it is only available up until age nine, so might cause disappointment to any older Gruffalo fans.

Pros

  • Cute, practical hood
  • Perfect to recreate your favourite scenes from the book

Cons

  • Only available up to age 9
Age range: 3 - 9 years
Material: Not specified
  • All in one costume
  • Features mouse head hood and tail
  • Fun to recreate your favourite scene
  • Great for World Book Day

Best Gruffalo card game

A must for fans of The Gruffalo and Top Trumps. Suitable from four years of age, this fun game will encourage memory skills as well as observational skills, while being entertaining for all the family. One reviewer said it is great for younger children too, commenting: "my granddaughter loves the Gruffalo so it's a no-brainer. No need for reading skills as categories are colour coded."

We love that it includes more than one game, with Mini Top Trumps, Spot the Difference, Take 5, Pairs, and Observation Quiz all available to play in the pack; one customer said: "it has few additional games in the pack and 12 actual Top Trump cards, which I guess is a good idea since small children have a short attention span."

However, one reviewer noted that "half the cards are filled with other games, so there are not very many actual Top Trump cards. If you actually want to play Top Trumps with your child or with more than two players then it doesn't really work."

Pros

  • A choice of games to keep little ones entertained
  • Suitable from four years, the cards are colour coded to make it simpler

Cons

  • Only 12 Top Trumps cards so hard to play with more than two players
Dimensions: 9.5 x 2 x 14 cm
Number of players: 2
Age suitability: 4 years +
  • Additional games to play
  • Suitable from 4 years
  • Comes in a protective case to keep cards clean

Best Gruffalo Tonie

Gruffalo Tonie figureTonie
Price: £14.99

tonies.com

If your little one loves the story of the Gruffalo then they can listen to it any time with this handy Tonie figure which tells the complete story. Suitable from four years old, we love the detailed hand-painted figure too, a perfect addition to any Gruffalo fan's Tonie collection.

While we love being able to listen to The Gruffalo at any time, and screen-free too, it's good to note that the running time for this Tonie is only 17 minutes; it might be an ideal bedtime story, but it won't distract your little ones for much of a long car journey.

Pros

  • Hand-painted figure with lots of detail
  • A perfect bedtime story for fans of the Gruffalo

Cons

  • Running time is only 17 minutes so won't entertain for long
Material: Plastic
Running time: 17 minutes
Age suitability: 4 years +
  • Tells The Gruffalo story
  • Hand-painted figure
  • Great addition to any tonie collection
  • Screen free entertainment

Best Gruffalo wooden game

We love this classic wooden game which has ten pieces, all Gruffalo characters, which you have to carefully balance. It is fun for both children and adults and great for developing hand/eye coordination. It is the perfect game for independent play, or for team work, plus we also like that little ones can use the characters for role play games too.

One reviewer, Sean, said: "these are a great size for little hands, robust, and finished to a high quality. My little boy loved them." However do bear in mind that one customer commented: "some supervision maybe required as a few characters are small."

Pros

  • Classic game made with sturdy wooden characters
  • Can be used independently or as a team

Cons

  • Some pieces might be too small for younger children
  • Familiar characters
  • Helps to develop hand eye coordination
  • Made from wood
  • Great for independent play or team work
  • Ten pieces included

Best Gruffalo plushie set

We love that you get two plushies in this set, perfect for recreating scenes from The Gruffalo. Reviewers commented that they are good quality with one customer saying: "they are well made and actually look like Mouse and Gruffalo. Good value for price charged and well-loved already."

The manufacturer states that these toys are six inches tall, however, some reviewers thought they were a bit small, noting, "these are smaller than expected," while another reviewer said "they were a bit small." Other customers thought they were the perfect size for small hands and commented: "my grandson loved these, just the right size and soft and safe for him."

Overall, customers were pleased with these toys and loved the attention to detail; one reviewer said: "textures are soft and my nephew was fascinated with the purple prickles all down the Gruffalo's back."

Pros

  • Great attention to detail and quality
  • Ideal for role play with two characters in the set

Cons

  • Some reviewers thought they were smaller than expected
Size: 23 x 15.3 x 7.5 cm
Number per set: 2
  • Set of 2 plushies
  • Great attention to detail
  • Good size for little hands

Best Gruffalo travel toy

For screen-free entertainment, the Voxblock is perfect and this starter set is ideal for all little Gruffalo fans, or fans of Julia Donaldson's lyrical rhymes. Not only is it screen free, but we love that there is no requirement for WiFi or apps, so it can be used straight out of the box. Plus it also has a headphone jack so your little one can listen to their stories while on public transport, or without disturbing others.

We like that it has 14 hours of playtime, and a bedtime function which provides 20 minutes of calm before it turns off. Plus, when your little one changes between stories, reviewers noted that they like how: "the story goes back to the same place when you replace the story block." Another reviewer Anna was impressed, saying: "the little books are perfect for my daughter to use and she loves listening to her stories in the car." The manufacturer says that the Voxblock is suitable from the age of three, but it might be a little tricky for children aged three to operate independently. However, it is designed to be robust and withstand some knocks and bumps, which we love.

Pros

  • No need for WiFi or apps
  • Great for use on long journeys, or on public transport

Cons

  • Might be tricky for children aged three to use independently
Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 10 cm
Play back time: 14 hours
Standby time: 25 days
Age suitability: 3 - 12 years
  • Screen free entertainment
  • Great for travel
  • 14 hours of listening time
  • Bedtime switch off function

Best Gruffalo fox toy

Gruffalo Fox fancy pal toyAmazon
Price: $20.38

If the fox is your little one's favourite character then they will love this cute little plush fox in a bag. Suitable from birth, it is made with high-quality materials and is soft and cuddly. We like the decorative bag too which older children might love to carry around with them.

Although it is suitable from birth, the bag might not be ideal for young babies. It will make a great gift for all Gruffalo fans though and has great attention to detail.

Pros

  • Makes a great gift for Gruffalo fans
  • Includes a cuddly fox and illustrated bag

Cons

  • Although suitable from birth, the bag is better for older babies and toddlers
Size: 10 x 6 x 18 cm
Material: Polyester
Age suitability: 0 - 8 years
  • Cute design including toy and bag
  • Suitable from birth
  • Soft fabric

Best interactive Gruffalo toy

Gruffalo noisy book Amazon
Price: $21.96

To make your adventures through the deep dark wood really come to life, we love this noisy book. You can read the story with your little ones and they can press the buttons for sound effects. It's a great way to make reading really interactive. One reviewer, Gemma, said: "I have a Gruffalo-obsessed daughter and this went down a treat; great noises and illustrations and fun for them to join in and press the characters."

With the familiar illustrations, and of course the story they love, kids will enjoy reading this together, or alone, and using the eight buttons to add sound effects. One reviewer did comment that the sound is "a bit weak" but we like that it has an on/off switch to preserve the battery.

Pros

  • Eight buttons to create sound effects for an interactive read
  • On/off switch to preserve the battery

Cons

  • Volume is not very loud and can't be adjusted
Number of pages: 32
Age suitability: 3-7 years
Dimensions: 31.1 x 1.8 x 24.7 cm
  • Eight sound effect buttons
  • Colourful illustrations
  • Encourages interactive reading
  • On off switch to preserve the battery

Best Gruffalo's Child toy

Gruffalo's Child finger puppetsLaura Healy

These cute finger puppets are great for both independent play and also for reading together and bringing the stories to life. With all the characters from The Gruffalo's Child book, your little one will love recreating the scenes as you read. One reviewer said: "my son actually took these into school as part of the talent show and used them to help tell the story of the Gruffalo."

Our Commercial Content Writer, Laura Healy, bought these for her daughter and said: "they are perfect for encouraging imaginative play. My little girl can easily wear them on her fingers and so can I, they are a perfect size. Plus, they are simple to pull on and off without much hassle and the fabric is soft and not scratchy." However, one reviewer did comment: "they are small and seem expensive compared to other finger puppets."

Laura also said: "the tree where they all live is brilliant storage. They fit neatly inside and it hangs on the door handle of my daughter's room so she can easily access it for bedtime stories. Sometimes she doesn't use them as finger puppets and enjoys just moving them around as characters to recreate her favourite scene. "

Pros

  • Great for encouraging imaginative play
  • Includes useful tree for storage

Cons

  • Quite expensive for the size of them
Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 20 cm
Number of pieces: 6
Material: ‎95% Polyester, 5% Plastic Pellets
Washing instructions: Surface washable
  • Great for imaginative play
  • Includes all the characters from The Gruffalo's Child
  • Include a tree for storage

Best personalised Gruffalo toy

Gruffalo book and toy setMy 1st years

For the perfect Gruffalo gift, we love this beautiful set which includes a paperback copy of The Gruffalo and a lovely soft Gruffalo toy, with can be personalised. Plus it is presented in a pastel gift box. One reviewer said: "it's a perfect toy for a perfect little person who loves The Gruffalo. Very well made and a lovely size for little hands. It was beautifully packaged. Being personalised added to this."

Reviewers felt that the toy was really well made and it's lovely to be able to read the book while cuddling the Gruffalo, even with his terrible teeth and green wart. While it is lovely to personalise this item, especially if it is a gift, do be aware that personalisation costs £5 extra and you can only add eight characters.

Pros

  • Lovely soft Gruffalo toy with book
  • Perfect gift for Gruffalo fans, presented in a gift box

Cons

  • Personalisation costs £5 extra is limited to eight characters
Age suitability: 36 months +
Height: 23cm
Material: Polyester
  • Includes book and toy
  • Can be personalised
  • Presented in gift box

What age is The Gruffalo for?

While it seems that adults and children of all ages enjoy The Gruffalo, it was originally aimed at children aged three to seven years, and it does make a great book for three year oldsand above. Written in rhyme, it follows the story of a little mouse wandering through the deep dark wood describing what he encounters along the way. It appeals to children's imaginations and sense of adventure.

Why do children love The Gruffalo?

The book is written in rhyme which means the rhythm naturally flows as you read, and it gives a song-like quality to the story which children enjoy. It also includes repetition of words which is enticing to children, who can join in on familiar lines. The illustrations are fun and colourful, as well as entertaining, and the characters themselves appeal to little ones, with well-known animals they can identify. The story of the little mouse's adventure, and the eventual discovery of The Gruffalo, really captures the imagination making it a very popular children's book.

What does The Gruffalo teach children?

The Gruffalo has a sweet message behind the fun story and that is to be brave. The little mouse continuously faces his enemies (or predators) and doesn't cower in fear; he overcomes his fears and carries on with his adventures. It also shows children that no matter how scary things might seem, such as a frightening fox or sinister snake, everyone has a weakness and that is OK. It encourages a sense of adventure too, maybe even inspiring children to go Gruffalo spotting.

Structurally, due to the repetitive nature of the story, it also helps children understand narrative and the sequence of story telling, as well as encouraging their imagination.

Laura Healy is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. She is a mum of two girls and loves writing about all things parenting, she is particularly interested in the toddler years and eco-friendly baby products, as well as children’s literature. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and has published short stories in the UK and Ireland, as well as previously writing freelance for her local paper.

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