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Five-year-olds are becoming truly social and love group play and games.
Naturally, the best gifts for 5-year-olds include classic board games.
“They’re starting to grow out of their egocentrism, so they’re able to understand another’s perspective. They’re more understanding of taking turns and not winning all the time,” said Marie Conti, the head of the The Wetherill School in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and a board member of the American Montessori Society.
Once they've left age 4 and enter age 5, they start school with new challenges, but also more focus, which helps them conquer fine motor tasks and complicated physical activities.
“They are testing out skills that have gotten stronger as they grow,” said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.”
When we release our 2018 gift guides, we make sure all prices are current. But, prices change frequently (yay, deals!), so there’s a chance the prices are now different than they were the day of publication.
The best toys for 5-year-olds
- 1. Crayola Inspiration Art Case, $20 (originally $25), Amazon
Five-year-olds are ready for more advanced art projects (and scissors).
- 2. Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit, $18 (usually $22), Amazon
Art projects and craft kits promote fine motor skills and creativity.
- 3. Brackitz Pulley Set, $40 (usually $60), Amazon
Conti loves construction sets for 5-year-olds. This one from Brackitz allows children to create zip-lines, cranes or elevators.
- 4. Lego City People Pack, $32 (originally $40), Amazon
- 5. Playmobil Hidden Temple with T-Rex, $44 (usually $60), Amazon
Mini-figures and accessories encourage storytelling.
- 6. Janod Polka Dot Wood Guitar, $42, Amazon
“Around kindergarten age, if kids get interested in an instrument, it’s a nice time to try starting that,” Conti said.
- 7. Design Your Own Slime Kit, $20, Uncommon Goods
All the creativity and fun of slime, with less mess.
- 8. Magical Unicorn Cape, $30, Uncommon Goods
Who among us wouldn’t want to wear a magical unicorn cape?
- 9. Lego Classic Red Creativity Box Building Kit, $12, Walmart
These classic Legos make great stocking stuffers in red and green.
- 10. Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball Size 5, $7 (usually $30), Amazon
Klein and Conti both recommended sports equipment and other toys that promote physical activity, especially for boys, who Conti said “seem to have way more physical energy” at this stage.
- 11. Plus-Plus 600-Piece Set, $34, Amazon
For Lego lovers, this set takes building to a different dimension.
- 12. My Cinema Lightbox, $30, Amazon
Promote literacy with favorite quotes or phrases that kids can arrange themselves.
The best games for 5-year-olds
- 1. HABA Animal Upon Animal Stacking Game, $21 (usually $25), Amazon
More complicated puzzles and building with smaller toys are appealing now, Klein said.
- 2. Hasbro Connect 4 Game, $7 (originally $13), Amazon
This classic game requires a bit of strategizing.
- 3. Monopoly Junior Board Game, $15, Walmart
This Monopoly is downsized from the old-fashioned favorite.
The best books for 5-year-olds
- 1. "We Don't Eat Our Classmates" by Ryan T. Higgins, $16 (originally $18), Amazon
Your kindergartner's school jitters are nothing compared to Penelope's, a T. rex who can't stop nibbling classmates in the best-seller from Ryan T. Higgins, whose "Santa Bruce" is also out for the holidays.
- 2. "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales, $17 (originally $19), Amazon
“Continuing with storybooks is important, because enjoying the story is a really big part of learning to read,” said Nina Lindsay, president of the Association for Library Service to Children. This picture book by Yuyi Morales tells her story of immigration, and it's a love letter to libraries.
- 3. "Lucy Fell Down the Mountain" by Kevin Cornell, $13 (originally $18), Amazon
Kevin Cornell's story about a girl who falls and learns to roll with it will crack up 5-year-olds and their parents.
- 4. "Square" by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, $10 (originally $16), Amazon
Circle thinks Square is a genius, but can Square live up to expectations in this second book in the shape trilogy by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen?
- 5. "Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies" by Chistian Trimmer and Jessie Sima, $15 (originally $18), Amazon
Snow White gets a makeover — as a pony — in this hilarious picture book by Christian Trimmer and Jessie Sima.
- 6. “Runny Babbit Returns” by Shel Silverstein, $15 (usually $20), Amazon
This collection of poems by Shel Silverstein is fun to read aloud and grows with emerging readers.
- 7. "Her Right Foot" by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris, $14 (usually $20), Amazon
Five-year-olds should also read non-fiction, like this true story of the Statue of Liberty.
- 8. "Princesses Save the World" by Savannah G. and Allison O., $18, NBC Store
This adorable picture book is perfect for showing kids that women and girls are strong and powerful through these diverse female characters!
- Gifts for babies
- Gifts for 1-year-olds
- Gifts for 2-year-olds
- Gifts for 3-year-olds
- Gifts for 4-year-olds
- Gifts for 6-year-olds
- Gifts for 7-year-olds
- Gifts for 8-year-olds