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Five-year-olds have tons of energy and are on the cusp of some very exciting milestones, like going to kindergarten, learning to read and write and take more ownership over their daily routines. But they’re still incredibly young at heart and love toys and games, which makes shopping for this age group tons of fun.
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.
Here, the best gifts for 5-year-olds.
Disney Princess Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon Color Splash
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 played during bath and pool time, plus during regular playtime for hours of entertainment and imaginative play.
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.
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.
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.
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, including educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney.
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Food Truck
This 2-in-1 food truck, serving either hot dogs or ice creams, takes the cool trend of mobile restaurants and allows kids to make believe they have their very own trendy food truck. The ‘order up’ bell and cash register lend a feeling of authenticity plus 40 pieces of food and utensil accessories ensure they are ready for any customer request. At just 10 pounds, this multi-functional toy can be picked up and moved to different areas of the house with ease.
Crayola Silly Scents Marker Maker, Scented Markers
It’s no secret that kids love to draw and color, and this kit allows them to actually make their own markers in a unique customized way—and with a scratch and sniff feature they even smell great! Your 5-year-old can either follow the enclosed guide with the bottles of blue, red, and yellow fruit-scented ink, which tells them exactly how to make some of the most popular colors, or they can go off script and design their own mixes.
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam is like a kid-sized GoPro that can be attached to the child's helmet, bike or skateboard. It’s sturdy and can handle all the inevitable bumps and knocks your little adventurer can dole out as they cycle, skate or even swim. With the included waterproof case it can be taken down to a depth of 6 feet underwater.
Kiddey Princess Castle Play Tent
What kid doesn't want their own tent that they can escape and play pretend in? 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.
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 outside and active. 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.
This comes in six different colors and can hold up to 143 pounds so it will be around for the long haul.
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.
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 do you gift a 5-year-old boy?
Five-year-old boys are full of energy and eager to explore the world. They may already have clearly defined interests in science or star-gazing, animals or sports. There are endless gift possibilities for a 5-year-old boy, from games, puzzles, books, clothes, ride-on toys, building sets, modeling clay, or framed artwork, a colorful new set of sheets, or other decor and accessories for their rooms.
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.