35 best gifts for 5-year-olds 2020

As they move to big-kid territory, the 5-year-olds you love will cherish these presents.
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/ Source: TODAY

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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.”

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Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Best-selling gifts for 5-year-olds

1. Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit

Art projects and craft kits promote fine motor skills and creativity.

2. Haba Animal Upon Animal Stacking Game

More complicated puzzles and building with smaller toys are appealing now, according to Klein.

3. "Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures," by Mike Lowery

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."

4. Magnetic Poetry Kids Story Maker

Emerging readers can create their own stories with these ready-made building blocks.

5. Elmer's Confetti Slime Kit

Making slime with this simple kit from Elmer's is an easy rainy day activity for your little one.

Best arts and crafts and creative gifts for 5-year-olds

1. Kid Made Modern Arts & Crafts Library Set

Unlock your child's creativity with all the arts and crafts tools they could ever need!

2. Crayola Inspiration Art Case

Five-year-olds are ready for more advanced art projects (and scissors).

3. Design Your Own Slime Kit

All the creativity and fun of slime, with less mess.

4. My Cinema Lightbox

Promote literacy with favorite quotes or phrases that kids can arrange themselves.

5. Mudpuppy Coloring Roll

These coloring rolls come complete with crayons and 10 feet of coloring to allow for hours of play.

6. 3Doodler 3D Build & Play

Let creativity come in three dimensions with this beginner's 3D pen that does not get hot to the touch.

7. Raddish Kids Cooking Club

This subscription box for kids arrives with recipes and tools to help kids get active in the kitchen.

Best games and toys for 5-year-olds

1. Plus Plus Construction Building Set

For Lego lovers, this set takes building to a different dimension.

2. Mindware Q-BA Maze Marble Run

Your little builder can create elaborate marble runs with these pieces that combine in any direction they can imagine.

3. Hasbro Connect 4 Game

This classic game requires a bit of strategizing during playtime.

4. Monopoly Junior Board Game

This Monopoly game is downsized from the old-fashioned favorite.

5. Lego City People Pack

Little builders may crave Lego kits with Batman, police helicopters or a treehouse. Conti said it's important that kids have Legos outside of kits, too, for open-ended play.

6. Ikea Bygglek Lego Collection

Put those Legos away stylishly with containers from Ikea that allow kids to build on top of the box, too.

7. American Girl Emerson Doll

Conti likes American Girl dolls for this age. These smaller versions are good for 5-year-olds.

8. Lottie Forest Friend Doll

Lottie dolls come with a variety of hobbies and interests. This tooth fairy doll is a nice choice for a child just entering the tooth-wiggling age.

9. Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball

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.

10. Disney Frozen Adventure Collection

Mini-figures and accessories encourage storytelling during playtime.

11. Schleich Riding Center with Accessories

These horses and figures foster creative play.

12. Brackitz Pulley Set

Conti loved construction sets for 5-year-olds. This one from Brackitz allows children to create zip-lines, cranes or elevators.

13. Ty Slush Huskie Flippable

Five-year-olds love a snuggly stuffed animal, and flip sequins give this an extra touch of interest.

Best books for 5-year-olds

1. "Unstoppable," by Adam Rex and Laura Park

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.

2. "My Best Friend," by Julie Fogliano and Jillian Tamaki

Two little girls are new friends, and maybe best friends, in this lyrical celebration of a childlike discovery of the magic of friendship.

3. "The Bear and the Moon," by Matthew Burgess and Catia Chien

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.

4. "Frog and Toad Are Friends," by Arnold Lobel

Emerging readers can celebrate 50 years of Frog and Toad with this commemorative edition of a classic.

5. "Fox & Rabbit Make Believe," by Beth Ferry and Gergely Dudas

This early reader uses a graphic novel format, which helps beginning readers follow along and stay engaged in the story.

6. "Sharko and Hippo," by Elliott Kalan and Andrea Tsurumi

Hippo just can't get Sharko's commands right in this book of silly wordplay.

7. "When I Draw a Panda," by Amy June Bates

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.

8. "The Scarecrow," by Beth Ferry and the Fan Brothers

This rhyming story of a scarecrow with an unexpected attachment to a baby crow will resonate with children and their parents.

9. "My Book with No Pictures," by B.J. Novak

Kids familiar with the hilarious "The Book With No Pictures" can create their own version.

10. “The Good Egg,” by Jory John and Pete Oswald

The good egg tries to keep everyone in line, until he starts to crack under the pressure. This funny follow-up to “The Bad Seed” is an early lesson in self-care.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

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This gift guide was originally published on Nov. 22, 2017.