Nothing is more enjoyable for a parent than time spent with their children. They will make friends when they become older and start school, and they will need their toys the most. But what enjoyable toys are there for five-year-olds?
Building blocks, pretend play toys, and art equipment are all provided. All of these items foster flexible play and let kids use their imaginations. Kids can make anything they want out of building blocks because they are open-ended, thus they can use them to construct anything they want, such as a spaceship or a castle.
Simple toys are the finest for five-year-olds. Little hands may find it challenging to grasp and manage giant toys. Therefore they must be simple to operate. They must be sturdy because a five-year-old will likely be limited to playing with toys about the house, which exposes them to several dangers.
The complexity of the finest toys for five-year-olds should also be adequate for their age to prevent boredom after just one or two play sessions.
Dr. Rebecca Parlakian, Senior Director of Programs at Zero to Three: recommends toys that encourage open-ended play and allow children to use their imagination, such as building blocks, pretend play items, and art supplies. She also recommends toys that promote social-emotional development, such as games that involve turn-taking and cooperation.
The majority of pretend play goods don’t require much reading or following instructions, making them ideal for younger children who aren’t yet developmentally ready to read.
Art supplies are a fantastic option since they inspire youngsters’ imagination, experimentation, and self-expression.
Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Professor of Psychology at Temple University: recommends toys that promote hands-on learning and exploration, such as science kits, building sets, and puzzles. She also recommends toys that encourage imaginative play, such as dollhouses and play kitchens.
Many types of toys encourage growth in these ways—it depends on the niche you’re shopping for. For example, a science kit is excellent for promoting scientific thinking skills in young children. The kit should include a set of experiments to complete with step-by-step instructions alongside quality materials that won’t break down under strain or force.
According to the National Parenting Center, these types of toys promote the development of children’s problem-solving skills, critical thinking capacities, and language acquisition. Science kits, building sets, and puzzles are great tools to help your child learn these invaluable skills.
Another option is a building set with specialized pieces that allow children to build taller than they could. Building sets like this help develop critical thinking, coordination, and fine motor skills.
These kits can also inspire more imaginative play when children use their imaginations to create new buildings and towns using the blocks on their own after the set has been built once or twice through the provided instructions.
Dr. Sandra L. Calvert, Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University: recommends toys that promote creativity and problem-solving, such as building sets, puzzles, and art supplies. She also recommends toys that encourage physical activity and outdoor play, such as bikes, scooters, and sports equipment
The toys that promote imaginative play and storytelling are the greatest for five-year-olds. Toys like action figures, dress-up gear, and puppets are just a few types that allow kids to make up stories to tell their family, friends, or younger siblings.
Dr. David Elkind, Professor of Child Study at Tufts University: recommends toys that promote imaginative play and storytelling, such as puppets, dress-up clothes, and action figures. He also recommends toys that promote social interaction and cooperative play, such as board games and group activities.
Kids may construct intricate pretend homes for all their favorite dolls using doll houses and small reproductions of real furniture, then invite the rest of the family to join in the fun.
Dr. Heather Kirkorian, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recommends age-appropriate toys that support children’s learning and development. She emphasizes the importance of toys encouraging hands-on exploration and experimentation, such as building sets, science kits, and puzzles.
Do you want to buy nice toys for your baby as a gift but need to know how to choose the safest and most educational toys for your baby? What to choose from? We have already ranked the best toys for Six-year-olds, 2-year-olds, and 1-year-olds.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): offers guidelines for selecting safe and developmentally appropriate toys for children, and recommends toys that promote creativity, imagination, and physical activity.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): offers recommendations for selecting toys that support children’s learning and development, and emphasises the importance of open-ended toys that allow for imaginative play.
- The National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA): offers awards for the best toys, games, and other products for children, based on a panel of expert judges and testing by real families.
Below are The 15 best toys and gifts for 5-year-olds
|Toy/Gift||Price||Ages/Grades||Why We Recommend||Features||Pros||Cons||Experts/Recommendations|
|LEGO Classic||$30-$40||5-12||Encourages creativity and imagination||Multiple colors and shapes||Improves motor skills and problem-solving abilities||Pieces may be lost or swallowed||Dr. Amanda Gummer, founder of The Good Toy Guide; Dr. Richard Woolfson, child psychologist; The Toy Association|
|Play-Doh Kitchen Set||$20-$30||3-7||Develops fine motor skills and encourages imaginative play||Includes various kitchen tools and playdough in fun colors||Stimulates creativity and imagination||Playdough may dry out if not stored properly||Dr. Robert Myers, child psychologist; American Academy of Pediatrics|
|Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar||$40-$50||3-6||Teaches basic coding skills and problem-solving skills||Includes segments that can be rearranged to make different movements||Introduces coding concepts in a fun and interactive way||Requires batteries||Dr. Claire McCarthy, pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital; Parents Magazine|
|Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks||$20-$30||3-8||Enhances creativity and spatial awareness||Made from durable wood with various shapes and sizes||Promotes problem-solving and imaginative play||Blocks may be heavy and noisy||The Bump; Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach|
|Crayola Inspiration Art Case||$20-$30||4-10||Encourages artistic expression and creativity||Comes with 140 art supplies, including markers, crayons, and colored pencils||Provides a variety of art materials for creative exploration||May require adult supervision for younger children||The Toy Insider; Good Housekeeping; Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach|
|Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk||$30-$40||3-6||Inspires imaginative play and social development||Includes various Disney princess costumes and accessories||Encourages role-playing and creativity||Costumes may be flimsy and tear easily||The Toy Insider; The Bump|
|VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch||$40-$60||4-9||Teaches basic technology skills and encourages active play||Features a camera, video recorder, and various games||Improves hand-eye coordination and promotes physical activity||Requires regular charging||Parents Magazine; The Toy Insider|
|Razor A Kick Scooter||$30||5-10||Encourages outdoor physical activity and balance skills||Lightweight and foldable for easy storage and transportation||Promotes gross motor skills and balance||May require adult supervision for younger children||Parents Magazine; The Toy Insider|
|Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car||$20-$30||3-7||Improves fine motor skills and problem-solving skills||Includes a toy car that can be disassembled and reassembled||Introduces basic engineering concepts in a fun way||Small parts may be a choking hazard for young children||The Toy Insider; The Bump; Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach|
|Learning Resources Sum Swamp Game||$20-$30||5-8||Improves math|
|Toy/Gift||Price||Ages/Grades||Why We Recommend||Features||Pros||Cons||Experts/Recommendations|
|Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit||$80-$100||3-5||Encourages learning and creativity through interactive play||Includes games and learning activities for young children||Improves problem-solving and critical thinking skills||Requires an iPad or Fire tablet for use||Dr. Amanda Gummer, founder of The Good Toy Guide; Parents Magazine; TechCrunch|
|Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide-Out Xylophone||$25-$35||1-3||Develops hand-eye coordination and musical skills||Includes a xylophone and mallets for music-making||Encourages sensory exploration and imaginative play||Small parts may be a choking hazard for young children||The Toy Insider; The Bump|
|Magformers Basic Set||$40-$50||3-10||Enhances creativity and spatial awareness||Includes magnetic shapes that can be combined in various ways||Promotes problem-solving and imaginative play||Magnets may become loose or lost||Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach; The Toy Insider; The Bump; Parents Magazine|
|Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy||$15||2-6||Encourages imaginative play and environmental awareness||Made from recycled plastic with no harmful chemicals||Stimulates creativity and promotes eco-consciousness||May not be as durable as other toys made from non-recycled materials||Parents Magazine; The Bump; Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach|
|Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set||$35-$50||5-10||Promotes STEM learning and problem-solving skills||Includes various gears, connectors, and other building pieces||Encourages experimentation and imaginative play||Pieces may be lost or swallowed||The Toy Insider; Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach; The Bump; Parents Magazine; National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)|
Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach: recommends the Magformers Basic Set and the Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set for their ability to promote creativity and problem-solving.
1. LEGO Classic Creative Transparent Bricks
Playing with LEGO is a fantastic experience for kids. They can use their imagination to build anything, from a castle to a spaceship. But there’s a challenge in keeping them interested and involved in this classic toy—the creativity from building with LEGO can quickly be squashed by how it’s sold and packaged.
Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician and author: recommends toys that promote creativity and imaginative play, such as dress-up clothes, building blocks, and art supplies. She also recommends games that teach children problem-solving skills, such as puzzles and board games.
Many kids’ sets are geared toward pre-determined designs that tell you what to make without leaving much room for the child’s imagination.
But the LEGO Classic Creative Transparent Bricks set is different. The 500 pieces feature translucent bricks, eyes, and wheels, so kids can use whatever they have to create whatever they want. It even has instructions on how to make a pink bird or a fish in a coral setting—but it doesn’t tell you exactly how to do it, so kids have room to use their imaginations as well. It’s just as exciting as building with regular LEGO, but with more freedom to make the toy their own.
2. Play-Doh Kitchen Set
A basic set such as this contains all the tools a child needs to get started. The dough is so malleable that it can be squeezed through the extruder to make noodles or flattened with the rolling pin to make flat shapes like dinner plates or cups. The dough comes in a wide variety of colors and is easy to clean up after use, so it’s easy for kids to use this set on their own.
Play-Doh play lets kids take the lid off their imaginations and explore their creativity. They’re squishing and creating whatever comes to mind, learning about the properties of matter, the power of math (how many shapes can you make with ten pieces?), and honing gross motor skills and sensory development. They’re also enjoying pure imaginative bliss and learning to get along with others through cooperation.
Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann, pediatrician: recommends toys that encourage physical activity, such as bikes, balls, and jump ropes. She also recommends toys that promote imaginative play and social interaction, such as play kitchens, dollhouses, and tea sets.
Containers that hold classic Play-Doh colors like red, yellow, blue, and green are inexpensive, but kids can spend hours playing with a simple set of tools like a rolling pin (for making Play-Doh flatbread), cookie cutters (to shape Play-Doh cookies), or even tweezers for making Play-Doh hair!
Play-Doh playsets come in many different themes, from the classic “School” set to “Cars” to “Pizza Party.” You’ll find options for small, older, and adults who remember having fun with this classic toy as a kid! Most playsets come with at least one mold to help get kids started on their imaginative creations.
3. Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar
Coding is hot now, but what about the kids who don’t know it’s a thing? That’s where Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar comes in.
This toy takes an everyday childhood activity into the 21st century, and it does so with a fun and easy product while still working on essential skills like problem-solving, sequencing, cause and effect, and fine motor skills.
Dr. Jane Scott, pediatrician: recommends toys that promote hands-on learning and STEM education, such as science kits, building sets, and robotics toys. She also recommends toys that encourage physical activity, such as bikes, trampolines, and sports equipment.
Kids can either follow the included instructions and directions or dive right in (invent their commands!) to create their unique path for the little caterpillar to travel. The segments each have a dial on them so that kids can program precisely how they want their Code-a-pillar to move along its road. With 1,000+ combinations, this toy will keep kids entertained for hours of playtime fun!
4. Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks
Are you looking for gift ideas for your 5-year-old? The Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set is a classic toy that provides hours of hands-on, screen-free play and learning.
Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician: recommends toys that promote learning and development, such as building sets, puzzles, and books. She also recommends toys that encourage physical activity, such as bikes, scooters, and sports equipment.
The set includes 100 durable wooden blocks in 4 different colors and nine shapes; it’s a classic educational toy that provides hours of hands-on, screen-free play and learning. The set comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a handle.
5. Crayola Inspiration Art Case
The Crayola Inspiration Art Case is a perfect gift for 5-year-olds. It comes with an art case and 140 coloring supplies, including crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, and large pieces of paper stored in the art case. The case is also made of plastic, so it’s durable and can be quickly brought anywhere.
For kids who are just getting into coloring, crayons are a classic. With a wide variety of colors and themes, there’s something for everyone. For those ready to move on to pens and pencils, markers can make creating thick and thin lines easy with no frustrating breaks.
This 140-piece Crayola Inspiration Art Case has everything a budding artist would need to get started: 64 crayons in various shades, 20 short colored pencils, 40 washable markers in primary hues, and 15 large pieces of paper measuring 9 x 13.
6. Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk
A dress-up trunk is one of the most excellent toys for a five-year-old girl. There are various sorts, but this Disney Princess variation is our favorite.
It includes everything she needs to play for hours, including four outfits and three skirts with matching royal accessories, three headbands, three bracelets, three rings, one necklace, one sticker sheet, and one choker.
Dr. Harvey Karp, pediatrician and author: recommends toys that promote imaginative play and creativity, such as dress-up clothes, art supplies, and building sets. He also recommends toys that promote social interaction, such as board games and group activities.
The fact that these garments are 100% polyester with a Velcro closure (hand wash only) makes them the ideal gift for a 5-year-old girl, and our fantasies run riot as we imagine how much fun it will be for her to pretend to be her favorite princess character.
Dr. Claire McCarthy, pediatrician and author: recommends toys that promote imaginative play, such as dress-up clothes, dolls, and action figures. She also recommends toys that encourage creativity, such as art supplies and building sets.
Because she can open this every day of the year and have something fresh to play with, it makes a terrific birthday or Christmas gift. She will also be able to invite friends over so that everyone may dress as their preferred princesses.
7. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch
The Kidizoom Smartwatch is a perfect example of what VTech does best: providing entertaining, educational digital toys suitable for children.
VTech has been producing items for kids for years. This smartwatch is made with kid-friendly colors, and a band sized just right for their wrists because it is intended to appeal to them. Your youngster can wear it outside in summer and winter because it is splashproof.
With five built-in games, some of which employ augmented reality (AR) to make the experience more engaging, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is more than simply a watch.
8. Razor A Kick Scooter
You want to find a toy or gift that is thrilling and engaging for a 5-year-old while yet being age-appropriate. A Razor A Kick Scooter is an excellent pick. Its features make it simple to operate, and it comes in various colors.
People of all ages may utilize the Razor A Kick Scooter, one of its best features. More minor children can use it to exercise their developing bodies and prepare for when they are old enough to learn how to ride a bike. Older kids can enjoy utilizing it for recreation or transport in regions where biking isn’t an option, like on a beach or around your local park.
9. Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car
If you have a five-year-old boy, he’ll have a blast with this take-apart toy car. It comes with all the tools he’ll need to work on it, and it even has little storage compartments for keeping track of the pieces. It’s fun for kids to see if they can put it back together again once they’ve taken it apart.
The set includes 27 pieces perfect for little hands, including an engine, drill, and all the batteries required to make this an excellent no-hassle gift. It contains realistic engine sounds when the car is turned on, and the headlights come on for even more pretend-play fun.
Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author: recommends toys that promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills, such as puzzles, building sets, and board games. She also recommends toys that encourage physical activity, such as balls, jump ropes, and sports equipment.
The set has compartments that come in handy for storing the pieces when you’re not using them. The cardboard packaging doubles as a carrying case for easy storage and transportation. This is an excellent gift for kids who love cars, especially boys interested in construction toys like Legos and K’Nex.
10. Learning Resources Sum Swamp Game
The Learning Resources Sum Swamp Game is the best game to help your 5-year-old learn addition and subtraction. It’s easy to set up and play with and fun for the whole family.
Handling numbers is one of the first things kids do in kindergarten, and a great way to introduce it is through games. The Sum Swamp Game helps children practice adding and subtracting by moving their colorful wooden frogs around the board. When you roll the die, you move your frog that number of spaces. Each space on the board has a math problem represented by a card.
To solve it, you’ve got to add or subtract the two numbers on your dice that match the numbers on the card. For example, if you roll a “6” and an “8”, you must add those two numbers together, giving you 14. If you roll an “8” and a “1”, you must subtract eight from 1, leaving -7! That means if your frog lands on a space with seven on it, you get to move forward in the swamp—but if you land on 12, you have to go back three spaces!
11. Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit
Osmo is an innovative new toy that encourages your child to use his creativity, learn to solve problems and have fun. Several games are available in the Osmo system, each teaching different skills.
For example, in Tangram, your child can arrange over 100+ puzzle pieces to match shapes on-screen while solving creative physics puzzles by drawing lines or placing objects in front of the screen.
Dr. Amanda Gummer, founder of The Good Toy Guide: recommends the Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit for its interactive and educational features.
In Numbers, he can alter numbers on screen by adding, counting, subtracting, and multiplying tiles. They can also learn spelling and vocabulary with on-screen images and skill-level selection in Words.
12. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide-Out Xylophone
This toy is an excellent choice for the inquisitive, creative five-year-old. The Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide-Out Xylophone is a robust and durable wooden toy that can be played in various ways. It includes two wooden mallets and a xylophone with eight chunky wooden keys. The child can play by manipulating the mallets to pound away at the xylophone, or they can remove it from the stand and slide out the keyboard to play a solo.
Whatever way they choose to play, they will learn about cause and effect—the sound of each key produces a different note when struck, so they’ll have to experiment to determine which notes sound best together—and they’ll do so with the end goal of making music.
The Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide-Out Xylophone was designed for creative expression, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for sensory development. The pounding from playing the xylophone will help develop gross motor skills, while the feel of the mallets striking each key will stimulate tactile senses. This toy will surely keep your child—and you—happy for hours!
13. Magformers Basic Set
The Magformers Basic Set is the ideal present if you want to give your five-year-old something entertaining and informative. This kit has 36 components of the traditional magic ball that may be assembled in various ways, providing plenty of opportunities to exercise imagination and spatial reasoning.
Because it’s not always easy to construct shapes that are robust yet elegant, it also aids in the development of problem-solving abilities. Because they are built with solid magnets of the highest caliber, the parts are easy to stick together and won’t accidentally separate while being used.
The finest feature of this set is that it can be used with any other Magformers toys, making it an excellent addition to your child’s collection for either a special treat or as a smooth way to go from one toy to another. Because the pieces fit together so tightly, this set is also excellent for travel, unlike some toys where pieces might suddenly pop out at the wrong time.
14. Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy
Are you searching for the ideal present to give a 5-year-old boy or girl on their birthday, on holiday, or for any unique occasion? Like the Green Toys Ferry Boat with Small Car Bathtub Toy instance.
Because this toy is manufactured entirely of recycled plastic, you may give it to your child with confidence that it won’t contain any potentially dangerous coatings or chemicals.
There are three components in the Ferry Boat and 2 Little Vehicles sets. Two miniature automobiles that fit within the ferry boat are included, which are 8″ long by 5″ wide. This is a fantastic bath toy for pretend play!
15. Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! 100-Piece Deluxe Building Set
When your five-year-old is ready to build more independently, a 100-piece set of colorful gear may be just the ticket. This set will foster fine motor skills and allow kids to use their imaginations to create moving experiments.
The set includes 46 Colorful gears (blue, green, orange, red, purple), 26 square pillars, 21 six-way axles, six interlocking bases, one crank handle, and an activity guide. The pieces vary in size, so kids can quickly grab them—and they’ll have fun doing it because many of the pieces are brightly colored and well-shaped.
The activity guide shows multiple ways for kids to build and encourages them to experiment with the different combinations of parts to develop their creations. The set itself has a storage box that’s sturdy enough that it can be used as part of a project or taken apart for storage elsewhere.
It’s an excellent toy for encouraging creativity and sparking interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts.
Here are ten resources for research papers and institutions on why toys are beneficial for children:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics: The AAP provides recommendations for selecting toys that are appropriate for children’s age and developmental stage. They also emphasize the importance of play for children’s learning and development.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): NAEYC provides resources and guidance on using toys to support children’s learning and development. They emphasize the importance of selecting high-quality toys that encourage exploration, experimentation, and creativity.
- The LEGO Foundation: The LEGO Foundation supports research on the role of play and toys in children’s learning and development. Their research emphasizes the importance of play in developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
- The National Institute for Play: The National Institute for Play conducts research on the benefits of play for children’s learning and development. Their research shows that play promotes social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
- The American Psychological Association: The APA provides resources on the benefits of play and toys for children’s learning and development. Their research shows that play helps children develop social skills, emotional regulation, and problem-solving abilities. (https://www.apa.org/monitor/2018/02/play)
- The Center for Childhood Creativity: The Center for Childhood Creativity conducts research on the importance of play and toys in fostering creativity and innovation. Their research shows that play helps children develop critical thinking, curiosity, and imagination. (https://www.creativity.org/research)
- The National Science Foundation: The NSF provides funding for research on the role of play and toys in promoting STEM education. Their research shows that play and toys can help children develop foundational skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. (https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505054)
- The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media: The Fred Rogers Center conducts research on the use of media and technology in children’s play and learning. Their research emphasizes the importance of using age-appropriate and high-quality toys and media in children’s development. (https://www.fredrogerscenter.org/research/)
- The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC): The ALSC provides resources and guidance on selecting toys and books for children’s learning and development. Their research emphasizes the importance of providing children with diverse and culturally relevant toys and books. (http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/alsc-resources/selecting-toys)
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): The IMLS provides funding for research on the role of museums and libraries in promoting children’s learning and development through play. Their research shows that museums and libraries can provide valuable resources and experiences for children’s play and learning. (https://www.imls.gov/research-evaluation)
Parvinder Singh is a seasoned IT developer and network engineer with over 5 years of experience. He is also a skilled tech columnist, offering insights on the latest trends and developments in the tech industry.