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41 gifts that every 6-year-old wants to unwrap this year

Make their day with these great presents!
Images of tow little girls with gifts and Father and daughter walking outside holding holiday gifts
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/ Source: TODAY

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Six-year-olds are a laugh a minute. As they move from kindergarten to first grade, the best toys for 6-year-olds capture their sense of humor and fair play and teach them the art of working together.

“Children at this age are typically very social and aware of rules and fairness. And they are curious about how things work,” said Marie Conti, head of The Wetherill School in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and a board member of the American Montessori Society.

They’re also beginning to unleash an exciting superpower: reading. Emerging readers will appreciate building their skills with a mix of picture books, funny graphic novels, easy readers and longer chapter books that parents can read at night.

“When they’re beginning to learn to read, we really want all reading to be affirming for them,” said Nina Lindsay, president of the Association for Library Service to Children. That means the best books for 6-year-olds let them follow their interests, whether they’re drawn to picture books or comics.

To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 41.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Bestselling gifts for 6-year-olds

Best toys, games and puzzles for 6-year-olds

MUKIM Rock and Roll It Piano

This colorful piano rolls up for easy storage and includes a play-by-color songbook for easy learning.

Fidget Pop Toys

These silicone popping toys are all the rage at schools — and the good news is, they're also a great stress reliever and especially helpful for a fidgety 6-year-old.

Squishmallows Bunnycorn

Squishmallows are all the rage among 6-year-olds and can provide comfort in uncertain times.

Magical Moving Unicorn Puzzle

This puzzle is also an optical illusion. Once you piece it together, view it from another angle to see the flapping wings.

Beat the Parents Game

This clever game has two sets of questions — one for kids and one for parents — with fun challenges mixed in. Teams set their own stakes, such as an extra dessert if the kids win or a completed chore if Mom and Dad take the prize.

Highlights Best Hidden Pictures Puzzles Ever

These classic seek-and-find puzzles have been a hit with grade-school children for generations.

Tree Topple! Ally Board Game

This clever game teaches financial literacy, with leaves as currency and the tree as home.

Storytime Chess

Learn to play chess with this set that weaves strategy with storytelling. Each chess piece has its own story to help teach the concepts of chess.

KiwiCo Yummy Crate

This new offering from the popular STEM subscription box company lets children explore science behind their favorite foods as they cook three recipes a month.

Grow 'n' Glow Terrarium

Science kits like this are a great option for 6-year-olds, said child development specialist Tovah Klein, the author of "How Toddlers Thrive."

Walkie-Talkies

These walkie-talkies are perfect for the social play that 6-year-olds crave.

Guess Who? Game

Conti suggested this classic board game for 6-year-olds, who now understand rules and enjoy competition.

Lego Creative Suitcase

Serious Lego fans may be eager to try a Minecraft kit, Star Wars collection, Harry Potter set or the Friendship Box. But Conti suggested leaving construction as open-ended as possible with a basic creative kit.

Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop

Sporting equipment is great for motor skills and a 6-year-old's love of competition.

Dynamo Dominoes

Classic dominoes let a child be the engineer for an epic chain reaction.

Playmobil Mars Rover

Action figures encourage pretend play and exploration.

Hasbro Sorry!

This is another classic board game 6-year-olds love, Conti said. And it's fun for the whole family.

Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

For the little musician, this wireless microphone syncs with whatever you're playing to let them sing along.

Best crafts and kits for 6-year-olds

Paper Airplane Kit

This fun kit teaches paper airplane folding with the colorful paper included, and you can use the instructions with your child's own designs.

Dan&Darci Marbling Paint Art Kit

This Amazon Choice and over 1,600 5-star reviewed air kit will keep the 6-year-old in your life mesmerized for hours. It comes with a design tray, five different paint colors, 10 art sheets and more.

Color-In Positivity Pajamas

Filled with rainbows and smiley faces, your child is going to love letting their creativity run wild while coloring in their very own pair of pajamas. Simply let them color away and then iron the pajamas to set the ink.

Dino Dig Hot Chocolate Mix

We're not saying you should always let your child play with their food, but this gift makes a great excuse for it. Kids will love digging for delicious white chocolate dinosaur bones and then enjoying a cup of cocoa after.

Kid Made Modern Jewelry Kit

Shrinky Dinks — but with a fashion twist. These little shrinking charms turn into shareable jewelry.

Ooly Yummy Yummy Scented Glitter Gel Pen

These glitter gel pens are fruit-scented for extra delicious drawings.

Groovy Glowing Candy Lab

Make your own gummy candies with this science experiment that turns into a yummy snack.

Kid Made Modern Over the Rainbow Kit

Arts and crafts are a perennial favorite, and this kit is full of possibilities.

Latchkits Craft Kit

Parents (or grandparents) may remember these classic mini hook-rug kits, now making a nostalgia-fueled comeback.

Elmer's Crunchy Slime Kit

Slime gets a satisfying texture update in this easy kit that combines chemistry and fine motor skills.

Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Big Box

This kit creates a marble run in countless configurations, building construction and STEM skills.

Fairy Kit

This guided kit with instructions for making a little fairy world is fun for mini crafters, too.

Best books for 6-year-olds

"Have You Seen Gordon?" by Adam Jay Epstein and Ruth Chan

This clever riff on a seek-and-find puzzle follows a character who doesn't want to hide anymore, and his unlucky replacement who would rather not be found.

"What If, Pig?" by Linzie Hunter

Pig is planning a party, but he's quite the worrier. What if it all goes terribly wrong? The gentle encouragement he gets from friends will make little readers feel better, too.

"The 1619 Project: Born on the Water," by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson and Nikkolas Smith

This stunning picture book begins with a school assignment to create a family history, but this is no immigration story. In this heartwarming tale, a family gathers to tell the story of a people born on the water, an unflinching and ultimately inspiring history.

"The Rock from the Sky," by Jon Klassen

From the creator of the "I Want My Hat Back" trilogy comes this existential meditation on space, time and alien invaders. It's the Waiting for Godot of picture books.

"Milo Imagines the World," by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

A boy creates stories about people around him on his way to visit his mother and thinks about the way he might imagine the world differently.

"Let Liberty Rise! How America's Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty" by Chana Stiefel and Chuck Groenik

When money was needed to create a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, schoolchildren helped come to the rescue. A sweet bit of history that might inspire future activists.

"Memory Jars," by Vera Brosgol

When Freda wants to hold on to fresh-picked blueberries forever, she discovers a solution that might help her hold on to everything precious in her life.

"Magic Tree House Graphic Novels" boxed set

The uber-popular chapter book series by Mary Pope Osborn is now in graphic novel form, perfect for helping emerging readers gain confidence.

"Dancing with Daddy," by Anitra Rowe Schulte and Ziyue Chen

Elsie can't wait for the father-daughter dance to swirl and sway in her wheelchair. This sweet story is a great addition to any diverse and inclusive library.

"A Friend for Dragon," by Dav Pilkey

Re-issued as part of Scholastic's Acorn line for emerging readers, this tale from "Captain Underpants" and "Dog Man" creator Dav Pilkey could ignite years of fandom. There are more dragon books in the series, and the whole Acorn line is worth discovering.

"Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family" by Annie Barrows

Annie Barrows returns to her bestselling series after a five-year break. The first 10 books are available in an Ivy + Bean boxed set.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

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This gift guide was originally published on Oct. 25, 2018 and has been updated with new products.