Five-year-olds are on the cusp of some very exciting milestones, like going to kindergarten, learning to read and write, and taking more ownership over their daily routines.
We researched the best gift options for this age group, keeping in mind the recommended age, educational value, and longevity of each. Our list features themed toys from Disney, STEM kits from Fisher-Price, and interactive card games from Skillmatics.
Here, the best gifts for 5-year-olds.
Disney Princess Raya and The Last Dragon Water Toy
Raya and dragon Sisu are included in this set, and both change colors when immersed in water. Better yet, kids can watch Sisu's dragon tail swish and sway through water—just like in the movie.
The best part about this set is that both dolls can be used as a bath or pool toy, plus during regular playtime for hours of entertainment and imaginative play. Users note that Sisu is even bigger than pictured, and both figures appear to be high-quality and long-lasting. You can even request stress-free packaging from Amazon so that kids can start playing right out of the box.
Price at time of publish: $45
HOMER Explore Kits
For an interactive gift that combines hours of play with important lessons, look to HOMER's Explore Kits. HOMER offers engaging virtual learning personalized for your child's needs and age. These kits offer additional hands-on learning that goes beyond the screen to learn letters, numbers, and feelings designed for ages 3 to 6. Your 5-year-old will be having so much fun, they won't even realize they are learning.
Price at time of publish: $35
Razor A Kick Scooter
If your 5-year-old is eager to zip up and down the sidewalk, a razor scooter can be a fun way to let them explore. Not only will boys and girls love this toy, but parents will also enjoy that it gets their kids playing outside—providing another great spring break activity. With safety always the top priority, you might want to add a helmet and perhaps some knee pads with this gift to keep them safe while they're cruising along the neighborhood.
Price at time of publish: $45
Skillmatics Found It!
Similar to I-Spy, Found It! challenges players ages 4 and up to find something fitting the prompts within the pictures on each card. Whoever find a pattern, something green, or something that smells good first wins that round and the game continues. Your 5-year-old could also play solo, completing the tasks on each card, boosting their logical reasoning skills as they go. This is a great portable game for car ride or another perfect indoor rainy day or winter activity for the whole family.
Price at time of publish: $15
Kiddey Princess Castle Play Tent
Every child wants their own tent or kid's playhouse where they can escape to and create their own fantasy world. This fairy princess tent will let them play indoors and out with its easy set-up that makes a great gift for families that travel a lot. All you do is open the case and pop open the tent and it's ready to play in.
Price at time of publish: $21
Just Play Disney Doorables Multi Peek Series 7
Surprise toys are always an awesome gift because you never know what you're going to get and they often start impressive collections. With Just Play's Disney Doorables, your 5-year-old can collect five, six, or seven Disney figures from the house-shaped box. These tiny figures are great for imaginative play, collecting, or trading with friends. Some even change colors when dipped in water.
Price at time of publish: $10
LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box
This kit comes with a range of bricks in 35 different colors and includes window pieces, and 18 tires and wheel rims to create a range of vehicles. The storage bin has a retro vibe and helps to keep all the tiny pieces organized and easy to tote to Grandma's house or to a friend’s place for a playdate.
Price at time of publish: $35
Native Shoes Jefferson Child Lightweight Slip-On Sneaker
Spoil your 5-year-old with an adorable pair of shoes they can wear everyday. Native Shoes is dedicating to making eco-friendly lightweight shoes that prioritize comfort and breathability. The unisex Jefferson style is shock-absorbent, odor-resistant, hand-washable, and super cute. They come in kid and adult sizes and dozens of styles and colors so they whole family can match.
Price at time of publish: $40
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Tablets can be educational and can also be a lifesaver on long trips or when frazzled parents need to keep the little ones busy for a moment. Kids can be hard on tech though, which is why the worry-free, no questions asked, replacement policy on this Fire kids tablet is so hard to beat. If it’s broken for any reason they will replace it with a new one! With a 7" IPS display and 16GB of internal storage, you’ll have plenty of space for the included 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited which ensures you will have all the apps, games and videos to keep kids entertained and fully immersed, including educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney, whether they're riding in the backseat or quietly hidden away in a kids reading nook at home.
Price at time of publish: $110
Rollplay Mini Cooper S 6-Volt Battery Ride-On Vehicle
If you're looking for another fun ride-on toy for your little one, this adorable Mini Cooper from Rollplay with have them riding in style. Working LED headlights, button-activated horn and engine noises, plus tires with rubber traction strips, make for hours of fun outdoors. Kids can travel up to 2.5 miles per hours either forwards and backwards and the car accommodates kids ages 3 and up, weighing up to 77 pounds.
Price at time of publish: $303
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy
This caterpillar can be assembled in a range of different ways with each of its eight segments lighting up and being programmable to travel left, right or forward, creating countless variations. It aims to help develop planning and sequencing skills as kids plot out the code-a-pillar's movements and try to get it to reach prearranged targets.
Price at time of publish: $120
Last Stop on Market Street
Travel through a bustling city with CJ and his grandmother as they take the bus and sightsee different people, places, and scenes. As they travel, CJ speaks to his nana, sparking important conversations and learning important lessons along the way. Perfect for preschoolers to grade school children, Last Stop on Market Street is highly decorated for its stunning story and beautiful illustrations by Christian Robinson.
Price at time of publish: $19
Madame Alexander 12" Peekaboos UniCat
Dolls, like the Madame Alexander Peekaboos Unicat, are a great way to promote creativity and encourage your little one to use her imagination. This one is offered in three different skin tones, has a soft vinyl head and fabric body, so young children can hold the doll and play with it comfortably. It features a pink unicorn onesie with a hood that lifts up and down, making it easy to play a few rounds of peek-a-boo as well.
Price at time of publish: $30
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 1080p
The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam is like a kid-sized GoPro that can be attached to the child's helmet, bike or even a skateboard. It’s sturdy and can handle all the inevitable bumps and knocks your little adventurer can dole out as they cycle, skateboard, or even swim. With the included waterproof case it can be taken down to a depth of 6 feet underwater.
Green Toys Doctor Kit
Gift inspiring medical professions their very own doctor kit, perfect for 5-year-olds. This kit from Green Toys includes everything they need for healing, including an ambulance with flip-up handle, stethoscope, reflex hammer, syringe, Tweezers, thermometer, ear scope, notepad, two sticker sheets. The best part is that everything is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. As they engage in imaginative play, 5-year-olds foster their social and fine motor skills.
Price at time of publish: $20
Insect Lore Butterfly Garden With Live Cup Of Caterpillars
In this engaging science kit, kids can watch their very own caterpillars blossom into beautiful butterflies. The kit includes five baby caterpillars and all the food they need to survive before metamorphosis. It also includes a pop-up habitat with a clear panel ideal for viewing. With the included butterfly observation article, 5-year-olds can document their findings as they learn more about biology and life cycles.
Price at time of publish: $37
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope
While your 5-year-old may not be ready to explore space, they can definitely learn more about the universe with their own starting telescope made for kids. Plus, stargazing is one of those great nighttime activities for kids to do outdoors. The talking telescope teaches kids about outer space with 24 beautiful images from NASA already built in. There are four different languages to choose from so kids can test out their language skills and more 5-year-olds can get in on the fun.
Price at time of publish: $35
KiwiCo Paper Dolls Kit
Inspire your 5-year-old's creativity with an age-appropriate craft kit like this one from KiwiCo. Kids can create six paper dolls then create a closet full of clothes with the included paper, scissors, and markers. Mix and match your doll's outfits then put on a show in front of seasonal scenes for hours of creative and imaginative play that conveniently wraps up in a travel case for bringing on-the-go.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dan&Darci Paint and Plant Flower Growing Kit
Foster your child's green thumb with this flower growing kit. This kit includes everything they need to build their own small garden indoors or outdoors, with a tin planter, plastic liner, soil, and three seed packets for Marigold, Cosmos, and Zinnia flowers. Before planting, decorate your planter and markers with the included paint and brushes. Then, get to work sowing your seeds with the shovel, watering can, and instructional booklet before watching your flowers bloom. Once they've gotten the hang of gardening, they can branch out with other fun container garden projects.
Price at time of publish: $25
Globe Electric Multicolor Silicone Night Light Lamp
Add a bit of prehistoric fun to your 5-year-old's bedroom with this dinosaur night light. Whether they are afraid of the dark or not, they will love having this adorable friend on their dresser or nightstand to hang out with through the night. Simply press the dino's head to switch between four colors and simply recharge with a USB when needed.
Price at time of publish: $14
What to Look For in Gifts For 5-Year-Olds
When shopping for a 5-year-old, be sure to glance at the toy’s age rating, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association. This marker is there to help guide you towards the right products—for both safety reasons and engagement.
Look for toys that help advance the skills your 5-year-old is honing in a fun and interactive way that feels more like play than overt learning. Even traditional toys—like a pretend cash register, for example—can teach real skills like counting, math, and even social interaction.
Though your choices are nearly endless, keep an eye out for toys that allow real-world play, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. These toys are crucial for social and emotional growth, plus they allow for hours of open-ended play. Look for things like building blocks, dolls and stuffed animals, pretend play sets, and arts and crafts, in particular, she explains.
Five-year-olds may begin to evolve both physically and emotionally, so look for toys that will grow with your child in both respects. Toys suited for open-ended play, like dolls, and toys with adjustable sizes, like scooters and bikes, are great.
How many Christmas gifts should you give a 5-year-old?
Set reasonable expectations for a 5-year-old by not overloading them with gifts. Teach your 5-year-old the value of quality over quantity and the planet-saving virtues of limiting consumption with one well-chosen gift, or up to three small gifts if you prefer. More than that and you risk overwhelming the child and making each gift less special and enjoyable.
What kinds of gifts are popular for 5-year-olds?
Five-year-olds are at a stage of development where they will benefit from gifts that are tailored to their budding interests, allow them to use their increasing motor skills, or to encourage them to socialize with others. Depending on the personality and preferences of the child, a popular gift might include a set of Legos, a kiddie microscope that allows them to examine every dead bug in the yard, a board game or sports equipment they can use to play with friends.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more.