It seems like you blinked, and your baby has become a big kid! Five-year-olds are a force to reckon with. Your 5-year-old is becoming the best storyteller by adding creative twists and turns to their shorter narratives and learning how to be a problem solver. When thinking about gifts for 5-year-olds, it is important to identify all of these leaps in cognitive, linguistic, and motor development to ensure that they want to engage with toys for a more extended period of time. Because of all the social leaps, it is also important that activities have a social component to nourish communication and collaboration with peers.
Best Gifts for 5-Year-Olds
As someone who plays with toys for a living, I can say that these toys are sure to capture your child’s attention!
Your five-year-old is crafting their storytelling abilities by beginning to understand that stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Storytelling not only helps children to build their creativity, but this important pre-literacy skill allows children to improve their grammar and respond to simple questions, such as “where” and “when.” This unique gift allows children to choose a character, an object, and a location to build their own adventures. Children can then retell stories to their adults or can take turns playing with a peer.
Sophie’s Seashell Scramble is the older sister of the popular children’s game Sneaky Snacky Squirrel. Similar to the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, you use a pincer to pick up objects on the board, but rather than acorns, this time, you pick up seashells with different patterns. This is a great way to introduce turn-taking in a game format, as you can finish the game in around 15 minutes. Not only is this a great way to foster social communication and pattern matching, but it develops fine motor control by having your child use the same grasp required for holding a pencil to control the squirrel to grab the acorns. Plus, your child will have to show some emotional flexibility when they land on the tidal wave and lost all their shells.Buy Here
Pretend play is another great way for children to build their collaborative play, creativity, and communication skills. This set includes two animals, which is great for sharing with friends, and all the equipment a vet might need to care for a sick animal. Kids will have a blast coming up with new scenarios for how their pets wound up at the vet’s office and can use their imagination to develop a different treatment approach each time. A great gift for 5-year-olds!Buy Here
STEM has been a buzzword for the past few years—and there ain’t no shame in the game. This is a great toy for children to learn basic STEM skills by building ramps with different complexity levels. The kit comes complete with visual support that children can use to help them make their own track with ramps and pendulums or use their creativity to make their own.Buy Here
Here’s another amazing STEM toy that has endless possibilities. Kids combine switches and action tops to create new, exciting creations that really work. This is a great way for children to understand how things work and get them thinking about how to apply their skills to the real world.Buy Here
If your 5-year-old is a thrill-seeker, a jump rope is a great toy to improve balancing skills and hand-eye coordination (integral for reading development!). This rope is adjustable so it can grow with your child. As a bonus, your child can use the jump rope for group games, just like you did when you were a child.Buy Here
Your child’s ability to identify rhyming words is a huge indicator of their future ability to learn to read. Get your child ready to read in a stress-free way with this fun game that takes words and letters out of reading to focus only on picture matching. Once your child can match the words that sound the same, you can further develop phonemic awareness skills by breaking words apart into individual sounds.Buy Here
Stomp Rocket is a great game that keeps your active child engaged while also encouraging turn-taking with peers. Using one foot or two, your child simply jumps on the launch page to see who’s rocket can go higher. Although it is a simple contraption, it can lead to endless fun.Buy Here
Learning to use scissors is a significant milestone for your 5-year-old. You would be surprised how excited children are to learn this skill, and this activity pad provides simple crafts for your child to do using their newfound skill. If you are looking for some easy-to-use scissors to pair with this book, try the Fiskars Preschool Training Scissors or Fun and Function Easy Scissors (good for left-handed children).Buy Here
Chances are your 5-year-old child has access to a tablet of some kind. Compatible with iPads and Fire devices, the Osmo adds a hands-on component to traditional apps. The built-in sensor can see what your child has completed on their activity pad and can adjust accordingly to help your child develop fine motor skills, creativity, problem-solving, and socio-emotional development through a series of game-like activities, which are perfect for gifts for 5-year-olds. There are also add on packs for coding for children that show particular interest in STEM.Buy Here
The LCD tablet provides endless fun for children. Rather than practicing letters and numbers with a pencil and paper, use this cool LCD tablet that lights up and erases with the click of a button. To add a social aspect, try playing “mystery object,” where children take turns drawing a picture and having their friend guess what it is before giving the other child a turn.Buy Here
There is something about slime that kids cannot get enough of. This kit is fairly mess-less and provides different science experiments to perform with each type of slime. Your child can play with each type individually or compare different properties of two or more types. Because of the variety, this is also a great activity for playdates!Buy Here
Have you ever done Paint-by-sticker? This is one of my own personal favorite down-time activities. Similar to paint by number, you get a picture with numbers and a set of stickers that correspond to make a masterpiece. This is another great activity for building visual-motor skills and tracking skills, as your child searches for numbers on the picture and the corresponding sticker. Peeling and placing each sticker also helps to bolster fine motor development. Get one as a gift for your 5-year-old so that you can work through these together!Buy Here
I love I Spy books to help kids learn new vocabulary and turn the page into my own story. Help foster your child’s creativity and patience by having them search for items in a variety of I Spy books. You can tailor to the season or choose the one that is of the highest interest to your individual child.Buy Here
I saved the best for last. Rush Hour is one of my favorite games, and the Junior edition is just as fun. Using the deck of cards, with four levels of difficulty, you create a “traffic jam” and work to try to get the ice cream truck out. This game is great for independent play or collaborative activity with peers and adults to improve logical thinking skills and cognitive flexibility.Buy Here
This article contains affiliate links. These opinions are our own. However, if you buy something, we may earn a small commission, which helps us keep our content free to our readers. To see more of our recommended products, check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️