The Best Gifts for 5-Year-Olds

From crafting to molding to STEM learning, these toys do it all.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 
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The best gifts and toys for 5-year-olds should acknowledge their developmental milestones. Many 5-year-olds can tell simple stories using full sentences, count to 10 or beyond, copy geometric shapes, and maybe even draw a person with accurate body parts. They probably have friends, and might like to sing and dance, skip, climb, and somersault. It’s bye-bye diapers (because your kid is using the potty), hello books, and, if you’re lucky, the start of table manners. It stands to reason that gifts should play to their strengths, and include toys that encourage them to explore the big, wide world around them.

The experts at the National Association for the Education of Young Children have a few guidelines for choosing the best gifts for 5-year-olds. Kids this age have longer attention spans than toddlers; they ask a lot of questions and like to experiment with toys. And they now get the hang of playing with friends, and maybe even know how to share. The gift you choose for the 5-year-olds in your life should reflect that. Some of the best kids books of all time are great, but when it comes to the holidays, toys are still king.

A Guide to Buying Gifts for 5-year-olds

  • Child-sized “real” toys like play food sets, and kitchens
  • Dress-up toys for pretend play
  • Blocks that snap together and building blocks
  • Construction and transportation toys
  • Ride-on toys and toys that promote physical activity
  • Creative toys, like paints and chalk, as well as modeling clay

From toy cars to interactive pets to STEM toys, there’s plenty on this list to excite any kindergartener.

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