Round-up graphic of best gifts for 5-year-olds.
Credit: Victorian Dollhouse: credited to ‘Crate & Kids’. Outfoxed: Courtesy of Gamewright Quadrilla: Courtesy of Hape
Gift Edit 2023

21 Fantastic Gifts for 5-Year-Olds, According to Parents Who Know

updated Nov 28, 2023
Cubby received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.

This feature is part of Cubby's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

Five years old is such a magical age. Kids are still young enough to be little, but they’re also quickly maturing and coming into themselves. Thankfully, they’re not too old to spend an afternoon playing dress-up or make-believe. In fact, they often need a nice long play break when they get home from a long day at school. 

Like our best toys lists for one-year-olds, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, and four-year-olds, this guide features favorite toy picks from editors, experts, and parents alike. Let’s get to it!

What to Look for in Toys for 5-Year-Olds

Five-year-olds create vast and complex play worlds, and as such, open-ended toys are usually right up their alley. Many five-year-olds are starting formal school for the first time, too. While educational toys are important, you may want to look for toys that really encourage fun and play. 

As five-year-olds are starting to solidify their interests, it’s increasingly important to keep the individual child in mind when selecting a toy. Think about the type of play they are most likely to engage in, and start your toy search there. 

Quick Overview

Our Top Pick

Our top pick, Crazy Forts, is $36. We love it because it challenges kids to make a play structure, and then it encourages them to use their imagination. It’s also easy to store, which is always a plus. 

Toys Under $20

1 / 6

Five-year-olds are developing stronger critical thinking and reasoning skills, making this an ideal age to get into board games. In this cooperative game, players are tasked with finding out who stole Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie. According to the manufacturer, the game reinforces cooperation, deductive reasoning, and visual discrimination.

2 / 6

These 11.5-inch fashion dolls have natural hair, giving children of color a doll that looks like them, perhaps for the first time in their lives. The empowering line of dolls is both fun and functional. Kids can move the doll’s arms and legs, and outfits among all dolls in the Naturalistas line are interchangeable.

3 / 6

A football is such a simple toy that nearly everyone loves. It’s a great way to encourage kids to be active and spend quality time with friends or family. Nerf balls are ideal for five-year-olds because they’re soft and easy to grip.

4 / 6
was $16.97

Lite Brite is a classic toy that never goes out of style. Use the small colored pegs to create pictures and scenes. This new and improved version is bigger and has more pegs than the one you probably remember from your childhood. The toy includes templates for kids to follow, or they can create their own designs.

5 / 6

There’s something so delightful about watching a kite fly. Because getting a kite up in the air can be difficult, your five-year-old will feel a sense of accomplishment once they get it flying. Take it to the beach, the park, or even fly it in the backyard.

6 / 6

Whether they’re just looking at their little brother across the room or bird watching on a camping trip, five-year-olds will enjoy these binoculars. They have a shockproof rubber coating, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking the first time they’re dropped, and they feature 8 x 21 magnification.

Toys $20 – $40

1 / 8
From our partner

Let your little one be the hero of the story with this fun personalized storybook from Wonderbly. In "Where Are You? Save the Multiverse," your kiddo is on a mission to stop the evil Dr. Fishfinger from destroying the multiverse! They'll get a kick out of seeing superhero characters with their names and features throughout the story and you'll love the look on their face as they fall in love with the magic of storytelling.

2 / 8

Many young kids enjoy making friendship bracelets, and this kit makes it easy to keep all the pieces contained. It includes a bracelet maker, 10 pattern templates, 146 meters of colored thread, 60 beads, 20 buttons, and 1 instruction sheet.

3 / 8

There’s so much to learn about space, and this book full of vivid images engages readers in the learning process. It’s fun for kids to explore because it includes flaps, pop-ups, pull tabs, and rotating wheels. If your five-year-old is interested in space, this book will certainly fuel their curiosity.

4 / 8

If your kids like Magna-Tiles, you and they will both appreciate this beautiful arctic animal set. In addition to regular tiles in new colors and patterns, it also includes five animals. Kids can create mountains, icy oceans, and more as they take their magnetic animals on adventurous sets they build.

5 / 8

Playing is just as much about learning as it is about having fun. KiwiCo takes this to heart and teaches kids about environmental science in this activity box. They’ll learn how environmental engineers and wildlife rescuers clean up oil spills by doing it themselves.

6 / 8
Fat Brain Toys

Boogie Board sketch pads provide a fun way for kids to create over and over again. They can write or draw with a stylus and then press a button to clear the pad. Kids who are learning to write tend to enjoy this because they can practice over and over again. It even comes with templates for drawing, games, and letter practice.

7 / 8

Let your five-year-old’s imagination run free with this open-ended craft supply library. With over 1,000 pieces, they’ll have plenty of supplies for all their crafting needs. Some of the supplies include pipe cleaners, pom pom balls, beads, felt pieces, googly eyes, and craft sticks. It also comes with an inspiration sheet if they get stuck on ideas.

8 / 8
Uncommon Goods

Bath bombs are fun, but bath bombs that erupt into a volcano are even more fun! When you put the puck-shaped bomb in the bottom of the volcano, it will fizz out the top like lava. The volcano itself even has a dinosaur hidden inside. If you don’t want the fun to end after one bath, make sure to get some fizzy refills, too.

Toys $40+

1 / 7

What five-year-old doesn’t love to build forts? Crazy Forts includes balls and sticks they can use to build a variety of different structures, including a puppet theater, a submarine, and a circus tent. You’ll just need to add sheets or blankets to complete the frots. The best news: the sticks and balls are easy to store when your kids are done building.

2 / 7

While pricey, this Victorian dollhouse won’t be an eyesore in your home, and it’s so well made that you’ll be able to pass it down generations. It has three floors, working windows and doors, and staircases inside. Note that you’ll have to buy your own dolls and accessories separately.

3 / 7
was $129.00

Marble runs are both fun to build and watch. This wooden one has over 100 pieces and plenty of marbles. As they build their run, kids will learn about construction and engineering, and watching the marbles when they’re done is such a fun reward for their hard work.

4 / 7

If you’re tired of handing over your phone for your five-year-old to take pictures, consider buying them a KidiZoom Print Cam. It has a built-in printer, so they can have their pictures in their hands instantly. In addition to shooting and taking regular pictures, they can use templates to create greeting cards, comic strips, play money, and more.

5 / 7

Make dress-up even more magical with this beautiful mermaid wrap dress. The tail is covered in iridescent sequins, and the elastic top has glitter details. Don’t forget an accessory bundle to really help them bring their imagination to life.

6 / 7

Mini golf, anyone? This wooden set turns your home or backyard into a mini golf course! It comes with three holes and flags, two wooden balls, a rainbow tunnel, a bead curtain obstacle, a spinner obstacle, a flat bridge, a wavy bridge, and two adjustable height wooden putters.

7 / 7

Little artists will spend hours coloring and playing in this cardboard playhouse. They can color both the inside and outside with their medium of choice, be it markers or paint. Large projects like this are great to have in your back pocket for rainy days.