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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 senses of humor and fair play, and help them work together.
“Children this age are typically very social and aware of rules and fairness. And they are curious about how things work,” said Marie Conti, the 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 Sports Illustrated.
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- Bestselling gifts and toys for 6-year-olds
- Best toys for 6-year-olds
- Best craft and kit gifts for 6-year-olds
- Best book gifts for 6-year-olds
When we release our 2020 gift guides, we make sure all prices are current. But prices change frequently, so there’s a chance the prices are now different than they were the day of publication.
Bestselling gifts and toys for 6-year-olds
Science kits like this are a great option for 6-year-olds, said child development specialist Tovah Klein, the author of "How Toddlers Thrive."
These walkie talkies are perfect for the social play 6-year-olds crave.
Conti suggested this classic board game for 6-year-olds, who understand rules and enjoy competition.
Sorry is another classic board game 6-year-olds love, Conti said.
For the little musician, this wireless microphone syncs with whatever you're playing to let them sing along.
Best toys for 6-year-olds 2019
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.
Sporting equipment is great for motor skills and a 6-year-old's love of competition. There's a similar version at Urban Outfitters for $35.
Conti recommended American Girls dolls. These smaller, more affordable versions are good for 6-year-olds.
Age 6 is a great time to learn to ride a bike. Top of the line bikes can be expensive, but this Kent model is well-reviewed and at a lower price.
5. Kapla Blocks
Conti is a special fan of Kapla blocks for construction that is open-ended.
Action figures encourage pretend play and exploration.
Know a 6-year-old with tons of energy? This great gift helps kids learn a new, active skill.
Best crafts and kit gifts for 6-year-olds
Slime gets a satisfying texture update in this easy kit that combines chemistry and fine motor skills.
Arts and crafts are a perennial favorite, and this kit is full of possibilities.
This construction toy is another kid favorite.
This basic robot begins teaching 6-year-olds how to code, using commands through apps on a mobile device. Accessories help it transform into a lava lamp and more.
This kit creates a marble run in countless configurations, building construction and STEM skills.
6. Fairy Kit
This guided kit with instructions for making a little fairy world is fun for mini crafters, too.
Kids can make their own stop-motion videos with this simple green screen and poseable figures.
Best book gifts for 6-year-olds
A naked mole rat with a love of interpretive dance comes to terms with being different in this touching and funny story about staying true to yourself.
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.
In this picture book, two strangers get new bikes that lead them down a path toward a surprising tandem ride.
Annie Barrows returns to her bestselling series after a five-year break. The first 10 books are available in an Ivy + Bean boxed set.
A girl and an odd, furry creature hide where no one can find them in this tribute to the imagination with a twist ending.
Pluto’s feeling like a pretty cool planet until he gets a call from Earth. You can guess where that leads. In this humorous, fact-packed book, Pluto wanders around the solar system looking for answers and getting a little reassurance.
Finding the perfect present can be a challenge, but Shop TODAY's up to the task. Try our interactive gift finder to sort gifts by price, person and interest. And no matter who you're looking for, we've got gift guides for everyone on your list, including:
- 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 5-year-olds
- Gifts for 7-year-olds
- Gifts for 8-year-olds
This gift guide was originally published on Oct. 25, 2018.