Cinderella, Mickey and the heroes of your childhood might still have a place in your baby's imagination – but get acquainted with today's tot favourites and you'll be able to join in all their character games…
Pe-ppa Pig (snort). Yes, TV show aside, Peppa, her little brother George and friends are omnipresent in toddler world, from books to birthday cakes to swimming kit. There’s even a theme park dedicated to her. And thanks to spot on characterisation and knowing in-jokes, mummies and daddies love it too.
Tree Fu Tom
There's more to Tree Fu Tom than a modern-day TV Peter Pan. He gets toddlers MOVING, people. And that magic sapstone belt is so summer 2014.
At first glance he might look like a scary bearded old man, but he's got one major thing going for him. PRESENTS. (Ho ho ho)
Let it go, let it go… Frozen’s heroine Elsa may come complete with sparkly princess dress, tiara, and ear worm theme tune, but it heralds Disney's proper girl power ending (beware of the smooth–talking and the chiselled of jaw, sisters, and nurture your girlfriends) plus there is not a hint of pink in the whole film. And with no small helping of humour, it's one for girls AND boys.
Dora The Explorer
Sadly, she comes complete with yet another endemic theme tune. Happily, she does directions. And she speaks Spanish. Ergo, so will your little one. *proud face* Image: Corbis
Friendly, funny and oh-so democratic – think pantomime dame meets Andy Peters – is it any wonder Mr Tumble aka Justin Fletcher is an enduring hit with children? Image: Rex
Thomas The Tank Engine
There’s a face. On a train. A FACE ON A TRAIN! OK, most parents don’t fully get the Thomas appeal, but there’s something about him, Percy et al that toddlers really love – and that Cbeebies pretenders Chuggington have failed to unseat.
Awww – yep, that naughty bunny and fellow Beatrix Potter creations are still firm favourites. Which you may not be quite so happy when your little one demands a third read at bedtime (as story books go they're, erm, really loooong). Image: Rex
You had Art Attack with Neil Buchanan. Toddlers have Mister Maker. The ultimate pre-school arts and crafts guru (and secret mum crush. Or is that just us?).
She's a fairy! She's cheeky! She's a tomboy! And now she's computer animated with her own voice! (Definitely show your toddler the original, though. In the lip-synching stakes if nothing else, there’s nothing quite like it.)
Every toddler loves a pirate. And Captain Hook's got a ship, skull and crossbones, moustache – oh, and a crocodile. But it's all about the hook… Image: Rex
They’re just so sweet. And where they live looks so pretty. *dreamy sigh* We now wonder whether this is more of a grown-up thing… Anyway, it’s adorable and nostalgic (plus, there’s totally a Moomins shop in London – there’s our tip). Image: Corbis
Whether you're at home reading, hunting him in the woods or cooking Gruffalo crumble, The Gruffalo is an all-round toddler hit. It celebrates its 15th birthday this year. Who knew? Image: Corbis
When your toddler refuses any of his gorgeous Gap, Petit Bateau or Next outfit, in favour of their Spiderman suit… every day. Yep. That.
Barney The Dinosaur
Raaaaar! Anything with dinosaurs is a winner. And Barney’s the friendliest one your toddler will ever meet. Image: Corbis
A proper toddler hero. An episode of this is like Casualty for little people. Just be thankful you don't live in Pontypandy (home insurance = sky high). Image: Alamy
The Hungry Caterpillar
This Eric Carle book was first published in 1969 and has been loved by families ever since. (Don't read before dinner). Image: Corbis
Good luck at the hairdresser’s after watching this. Also, expect questions about mean mummies *weeps*.
Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?