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Your 5-year-old boy probably has a lot of interests, which can range from science to cooking, to music and beyond. Those ever-changing curiosities mean you can always find a gift that's right up his alley and one that will encourage him to learn and prepare for school.
Particularly good choices include toys that further develop coordination and motor skills—like scooters, bikes, and ride-on toys. Figurines, building blocks, LEGO sets, and other toys that encourage pretend play are also great, says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist in New York City, because they foster imagination and provide children with the tools they need to create their own worlds.
Here are the best toys for 5-year-old boys.
Click N' Play Remote Control Robot
Your 5-year-old will love controlling his own robot that can sing, dance, walk and shoots foam discs all at the control of a remote. When you turn him on he responds "Greetings Master I await your command!", which will give your little man a thrill. He can set up a little obstacle course and watch the robot maneuver around it as he shoots off the flying discs that will wow the whole family.
"Little ones will love to control this robot—making it dance, walk, talk and fire foam discs all at the control of a remote. Every time we turn the Click N’ Play Remote Control Robot, my son is thrilled to hear it say, “Greetings Master. I await your command!”"—Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, Product Tester
HEXBUG JUNKBOTS Dumpster Kit
This is a toy that truly lets kids use their imagination and building skills. Each Junkbots dumpster includes more than 50 pieces which kids can use to construct a robot or figure. There are enough pieces to make at least four bots, which can be animated using energy and motion modules, as well as a light up core.
PJ Masks Transforming 2-in-1 Mobile HQ
Fans of the PJ Masks superheroes will love the five levels of play this single toy has to offer. It stands three feet tall, can fit up to three cars (though only one is included in this set), and there's even a working elevator.
LEGO City Fire Station
This set comes together with more than 500 pieces, and it's perfect for 5-year-old boys who can't get enough of the blaze-battling heroes and Legos. Mini-figures include a fire chief, two firefighters, and a Dalmatian dog. One of the coolest features is the truck's special brick that flashes lights and plays siren sounds. The garage door opens and closes to allow the truck to come and go, and there's a separate water scooter (with its own dock) as well as a toy drone.
Gamewright Outfoxed! Game
This is the perfect collaborative board game for kids five and up. Two to four players have to work together to find Mrs. Plumpert's pot pie before they get outfoxed by the sly thief. The game includes an evidence scanner and dozens of clue cards. A single round lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
Osmo Pizza Co.
If you've been searching for an interactive game that connects to your tablet, here you go. The Osmo base (sold separately) attaches to a tablet and kids take pizza orders and give change to their virtual customers. The set includes a pizza board, more than 40 toppings, and money tiles. This is a great way to learn about adding, subtracting, and communication.
VTech KidiZoom Camera Pix
Instead of handing over your phone or an expensive DSLR to your child, this VTech camera is perfect for them. It's durable, so no need to worry about breaking the device after a few drops, and snaps 2MP digital photos. It has more than 30 photo effects, games, and even a video mode.
Educational Insights Design & Drill Space Circuits
Needless to say your 5-year-old won't be operating an actual drill, but this set from Educational Insights is the next best thing. It includes a kid-friendly drill that can be used to complete space-themed missions and repair circuits. Kids will love watching the bolts and connectors light up as they complete the 10 challenge cards.
Treasure X Sunken Gold Treasure Ship Playset
This ship playset has 25 levels of adventure for your little boy to discover. He can explode the hatch, rescue the captain, fire the cannon, and at the end, find the gold dipped treasure. Because of the small pieces, this is a toy suited for ages five and up.
Hasbro Connect 4 Game
The iconic game Connect 4, which you probably also played as a kid, teaches children about strategizing and predicting, as well as the importance of winning and losing gracefully. Parents will be glad to know that just like in the old days, you can still release the chips so they fall from the rack with a satisfying clatter.
LEGO Juniors Shark Attack 10739 Building Kit
If you haven't introduced him to the world of Legos, now is as good of a time as any. This set is for lovers of the movie Ninjango and lets tiny hands create a training area with weapon stand, breakable blocks, spinning training dummy, motorbike with detachable flame, and a shark car with movable fins and dual flick missiles.
Hot Wheels Track Builder Total Turbo Takeover Track Set
These tracks can be used with other Hot Wheels sets, and 5-year-olds can customize their own layout by setting up races and stunt challenges, such as a boulder avalanche and two loop-de-loops. It also comes with a pullback launcher and two-way booster that enables cars to move in both directions, as well as one die-cast Hot Wheels car.
Plus-Plus Construction Building Toy
Plus-Plus construction kits are made up of flat, jigsaw-type pieces that can be used to build both 2D and 3D creations. Just think of it as a Tetris game brought to life. This set comes with 240 brightly colored pieces as well as two baseplates. A clear carrying tube corrals the pieces when not in use.
Lakeshore Learning Materials Lakeshore Ultimate Fort Builder
If you are looking for a toy for a 5-year-old that will inspire creativity and help hone those STEM skills this fort builder is the ultimate buy. Like peanut butter and jelly, kids and forts just go together perfectly. Yes, they could build a structure using dining room chairs or a table, but this versatile kit makes it way more entertaining, with poles, connectors, and an illustrated guide with inspiring ideas like a castle or igloo.
Marky Sparky Blast Pad Rocket Launcher
There are only so many times you can play soccer or frisbee in the park. This stomp rocket provides an engaging alternative toy for kids five and up who will love leaping onto the launcher and seeing how high they can get the foam missiles to fly (in some cases, more than 200 feet).
CoolSand 3D Sandbox
Boys will enjoy this sandbox which has them searching for dinosaurs in moldable sand. He can dig, learn, and explore all while looking for the extinct creatures. But no need to worry about this being a messy toy. The sand sticks to itself, not hands or clothes.
Obuby Walkie Talkies for Kids 3 Pack
Whether the kids are in the backyard or playing around the house, this set of walkie talkies will get tons of play time. It's lightweight, buttons are designed for small hands, and it has a range of close to two miles. There's even a built-in flashlight.
What to Look For in Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys
Even though they may think they’re big kids, 5-year-old boys are still pretty young and might not be ready for certain toys. Games with mature themes and overly complex products aren’t a good idea for this age group. Make sure to glance at the age rating on the toy you’re considering to make sure it’s an appropriate fit, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.
As 5-year-old boys advance to kindergarten, they’ll be learning to read, write, tell time, and count. A toy that helps advance any of these skills in a fun, interactive way will definitely be appreciated not only by the young boy in your life, but by his parents, too.
It often seems as though 5-year-olds are balls of energy, so a toy that helps to get them up and moving is always a good thing. Consider products that will encourage young boys to play outside, run around, and otherwise expend energy as they explore and create. As a bonus, these toys help solidify gross motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination.