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Looking for a gift for a kindergartener? Five-year-olds start to become truly social at this age and love group play and games, so 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 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.”
To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 39.
- Bestselling gifts for 5-year-olds
- Best arts and crafts gifts for 5-year-olds
- Best games and toys for 5-year-olds
- Best books for 5-year-olds
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
Bestselling gifts from this article:
- Amazon Hasbro Connect 4 Game, $9.84
- Amazon Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit, $19.02
- Amazon "Unstoppable," by Adam Rex and Laura Park, $13.89
- Target Haba Animal Upon Animal Stacking Game, $24.99
- Walmart Crayola Inspiration Art Case, $19.97
Best arts and crafts and creative gifts for 5-year-olds
Bring some fun to bath time with these crayons. Your little one can draw pictures and practice their letters on the side of the bathtub, then you can easily wash them off when they're done.
This classic toy never goes out of style. They can create their own unique artwork or follow one of the fun designs.
Unlock your child's creativity with all the arts and crafts tools they could ever need!
Five-year-olds are ready for more advanced art projects (and scissors).
Promote literacy with favorite quotes or phrases that kids can arrange themselves.
Let creativity come in three dimensions with this beginner's 3D pen that does not get hot to the touch.
This subscription box for kids arrives with recipes and tools to help kids get active in the kitchen.
Art projects and craft kits promote fine motor skills and creativity.
Making slime with this simple kit from Elmer's is an easy rainy day activity for your little one.
Simply fill the pen with water and they can watch the colors come to life as they "paint" each picture.
Best games and toys for 5-year-olds
Five-year-olds love stuffed animals, and they'll have a blast unwrapping these soft plush toys to discover which one they got. Each animal comes wrapped in a pizza blanket and includes a collector card that will tell them all about their new best friend.
This unique night light will project the moon and stars on your little one's bedroom walls. You can set the timer so it will turn off by the time they fall asleep.
This balloon dog is interactive and voice-responsive to commands, like a well-trained dog without the mess.
For Lego lovers, this set takes building to a different dimension.
Your little builder can create elaborate marble runs with these pieces that combine in any direction they can imagine.
This classic game requires a bit of strategizing during playtime.
This Monopoly game is downsized from the old-fashioned favorite.
Put those Legos away stylishly with containers from Ikea that allow kids to build on top of the box, too.
Conti likes American Girl dolls for this age. These smaller versions are good for 5-year-olds.
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.
Mini-figures and accessories encourage storytelling during playtime.
Conti loved construction sets for 5-year-olds. This one from Brackitz allows children to create zip-lines, cranes or elevators.
Sure, you could make a fort with a blanket and chair. But this is next-level building that requires design thinking and problem-solving.
This 64-piece puzzle is just the right size for a 5-year-old, and lets little ones search for hidden objects once it's assembled.
While this isn't exactly a toy, it is a gift that'll make a normally mundane activity much more fun (and ultimately create healthier habits!). This animal-themed set includes a motorized toothbrush, a two minute sand timer, and a stand.
More complicated puzzles and building with smaller toys are appealing now, according to Klein.
Best books for 5-year-olds
What would happen if a crow that could fly got together with a crab that could pinch noses? Well, they'd be unstoppable. This hilarious take on teamwork will keep 5-year-olds and their parents giggling.
“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.
The couch potato loves his life of leisure, until he's forced outside. This funny follow-up to “The Bad Seed” and "The Good Egg" is a timely lesson in self-care.
Two little girls are new friends, and maybe best friends, in this lyrical celebration of a childlike discovery of the magic of friendship.
A red balloon comes to bear from the sky. When his claws get the better of it, he thinks he's a bad bear but takes comfort from the moon and his memories.
Emerging readers can celebrate 50 years of Frog and Toad with this commemorative edition of a classic.
This early reader uses a graphic novel format, which helps beginning readers follow along and stay engaged in the story.
Hippo just can't get Sharko's commands right in this book of silly wordplay.
A girl who draws not-quite-perfect circles makes them into a panda, and makes that panda her own in this celebration of the creative spirit.
This rhyming story of a scarecrow with an unexpected attachment to a baby crow will resonate with children and their parents.
Kids familiar with the hilarious "The Book With No Pictures" can create their own version.
Five-year-olds should also read non-fiction, like this fact-packed book about sharks, a follow-up to the best-seller "Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts."
Emerging readers can create their own stories with these ready-made building blocks.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- Learning doesn’t have to be a chore with these 19 fun tech gifts for kids
- 21 STEM toys to sharpen your child's critical thinking skills
- 22 Lego gifts that are perfect for the Brickmaster in your life
- 37 gifts for the 7-year-old who’s ready to take on the world
This gift guide was originally published on Nov. 22, 2017.