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Credit: Victorian Dollhouse: Courtesy of Tattly. Lego Community: Courtesy of Amazon. Pocket Purses: Credited to ‘Ark Colour Design’. Purple Unicorn Costume Hat: Credited to ‘Band of the Wild’.
Gift Edit 2023

18 Great Gifts for 6-Year-Olds, According to Parents Who Know

updated Nov 2, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

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.

Most 6-year-olds have one foot in the land of make-believe and the comforts of home, and the other foot in first grade and the ‘real’ world beyond their playroom. School life, learning how to read, and socializing with their peers are now at the forefront. Kids this age love to feel like they can take care of business themselves, whether it be tying their own shoes, blowing a bubble with bubblegum, or learning how to ride a bike. They also love using their imagination and their problem-solving skills to explore life.

This expertly curated list of toys and gifts will appeal to 6 year-olds with a wide variety of interests while encouraging their development and ensuring they have a ton of fun along the way.  

Looking for great gifts for other ages? Check out our best toys lists for one-year-olds, two-year-oldsthree-year-oldsfour-year-olds, and five-year-olds!

What to Look For in Toys for 6-Year-Olds

The most important factor in choosing a great toy for any recipient is taking their likes and interests into account. Keep in mind that 6 year-olds are starting to enjoy more independence as they learn new skills and branch out into sports and extracurricular activities. They are also developing more social, emotional and cognitive skills. 

Look for gifts that will help them build confidence both intellectually and physically, like books and scooters. Choose toys that will enable them to pursue and learn more about their individual interests while encouraging them to believe in themselves. Most of all, find toys that will inspire them and appeal to their imagination, since 6 year-olds are still deeply rooted in play as a means to learn and socialize with others!

Quick Overview

Our Top Pick

Our top pick is the BlissLights Sky Light LED Star Projector. We love it because it never fails to inspire both calm and awe in kids of all ages, from six years old to sixteen! Apartment Therapy CEO Maxwell Ryan first gave this to his daughter when she was a little girl, and it was a huge hit then and continued to be for many years after. As he writes here, “It’s the ONLY thing that has appealed to her at all ages, and that I didn’t expect. Consider this the gift that keeps giving.”

Toys Under $20

1 / 6

Queens, kings, knights, dragons, sleeping potions, and magic wands! Beyond the fantastical fun of flipping through cards with enchanting graphics featuring the likes of the Pancake Queen and the Tie-Dye King, this card game also hones kids’ math skills and encourages problem-solving.

2 / 6
Kinoko Kids

These darling leather purses (made in Scotland!) are sized just right to house a gift card or chore money. They come in a variety of designs, from a blue puppy to a peach cat.

3 / 6

It’s not a “Mom” tattoo (yet) but kids can still wear their heart on their sleeve with these colorful and cheery vegetable-based ink temporary tattoos. The tin comes with 10 non-toxic tattoos that each last about two to four days.

4 / 6
Fat Brain Toys

Playing with clay can improve a child’s fine motor skills and foster better dexterity, which leads to better handwriting. But all kids need to know about this creative gift is that they can bring six vibrant animals to life with just a few rolls and pinches of the clay!

5 / 6

Every parent knows that kids have a penchant for playing with random items like cardboard boxes, Band-Aids, and tape. That's why this road PlayTape is sure to get their motors running! It’s deceptive in its brilliant simplicity: all you do is peel and stick the paper-based tape to a flat surface, and kids have an instant highway or race track upon which all their matchbox cars and toy trucks can vroom through the house. It peels up easily, leaving no residue, so it’s safe for floors, walls, and furniture.

6 / 6
was $12.99

Less is more for young kids learning to read, so they’re entertained by reading as opposed to left feeling frustrated. This graphic novel features two stories in one, and it’s just the ticket to combine learning with fun to foster a love of reading in beginning readers. Short sentences are paired with engaging graphics to tell a story in the style of a comic book. 6 year-olds who are starting to read independently will enthusiastically join lovable characters Stick and Stone as they embark on a scavenger hunt, seek ice cream, build a campfire, and visit the beach along the way. There are several other Stick and Stone books in this series kids can check out, too!

Toys $20 – $40

1 / 5
was $21.98

What kid wouldn’t want the gift of being able to flutter through playtime like a butterfly? Kids can easily slip into these gorgeous wings via the shoulder straps and finger loops to boast a wingspan of 50 inches. They’re a great addition to a child’s year-round dress-up collection, and they’ll also make any Halloween costume a soaring success. Wing colors include orange, purple, pink, and teal.

2 / 5

Young dinosaur enthusiasts will roar over this paleontologist starter kit. First they use the included tools to excavate dinosaur bones and make fossil impressions, then they get to piece the bones together into a proper dinosaur skeleton. All the while they’ll learn how fossils are formed and what exactly paleontologists do in their career to figure out these giant prehistoric creatures. This is a great gift for that kid in your life who knows their ankylosaurus from their spinosaurus and is ready to take dino exploration to the next level.

3 / 5

You’re sure to garner a scream for ice cream with this ‘cool’ science kit that teaches kids the chemistry and chemical reactions behind the making of ice cream and sorbet. They’ll also explore ice crystal formation and learn more about stabilizers. The kit doesn’t come with any food ingredients, so pair this gift with the food elements (including rock salt) that are necessary for little chefs to dive right into the ice cream business.

4 / 5
Uncommon Goods

Getting your first real watch is a big deal, and this is one is tailormade for 1st graders. It teaches the essentials of counting and fractions and uses blocks of color to help little kids understand what hour it is. Available in butterflies, sharks, or dinosaur designs!

5 / 5
Urban Outfitters

While not technically a toy and also technically marketed to teenagers, the Caboodle is a brilliant gift for 6-year-olds precisely because it's so versatile. It's a practically indestrucible carrying container for all the little collections, souvenirs, and special things kids hold dear. It also makes a fantastic outdoor fun kit.

Toys $40+

1 / 7
was $49.00

Many 6 year-olds will leap at any chance to transform into a glorious unicorn! The hat is made of soft cotton and fastens with magnetic straps. Kids may decide to never take this off and to live life exclusively as a unicorn once this gift enters their realm.

2 / 7
was $59.98

Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines would surely approve of this fantasy fort kit featuring a shiplap wood design on 16 cardboard panels with 16 building clips and a roll of hook and loop tape. Kids love forts, and this gift is multifaceted because it gives them a space to call their own, while teaching them building and planning skills, and enabling endless creative play.

3 / 7
was $89.99

An easel makes a fun and functional gift that's perfect for a 6 year-old. This solid wood easel includes a whiteboard, a chalkboard, a refillable paper roll holder.

4 / 7
Uncommon Goods

This squishy alarm clock doubles as a color-changing LED nightlight, but that's not all: the display features emoticon-style faces that give off funny sounds! The sunrise-style alarm will wake your kid with soft music and 30 minutes of gradually increasing light - a gentle, sweet way to ease into those newer, longer school days.

5 / 7
was $59.99

Apartment Therapy founder (and dad) Maxwell Ryan calls this star projector his favorite gift to give kids of any age. "When [my daughter] was seven she loved it as a nightlight, but now that she’s about to turn 16 she STILL LOVES IT because it’s now a cool teenage ambient light show. It’s the ONLY thing that has appealed to her at all ages, and that I didn’t expect. Consider this the gift that keeps giving."

6 / 7

Magna-Tiles are a surefire hit among kids, and Magna-Qubix takes building to new heights, literally. Magna-Qubix squares measure about one inch by one inch, making them considerably smaller than Magna-Tiles, and offering young builders different dimensions to create new magnetic compositions. This set of 85 building shapes will delight budding engineers. They can fashion everything from a bird, to a crab or dragon, along with anything they can dream up. Magna-Qubix are also compatible with Magna-Tiles.

7 / 7
Fat Brain Toys

It’s a surfboard! It’s a swing! No, it’s the Swurfer! If you know a little mover and shaker, this interactive toy brings the action home. Hang the Swurfer board from a tall tree branch and riders can either use it as a swing for a peaceful sway or stand up on it and test their balance surfing the air. Made of 100% hard-rock maple, the board accommodates riders up to 200 pounds. Whether kids want to relax and unwind or get wild with extreme tricks, the Swurfer is on standby, ready for their next adventure.