Are you looking to get the perfect toy or gift for a 5 year old boy that’s both fun and good for their development? With so many toys out there, it can be tough to know what’s best. Luckily we’ve done the research and pulled together a list of the 10 best toys for 5 year old boys that will help them reach critical developmental milestones all while having a blast. And don’t worry, these toys won’t break the bank.
If you’re in a hurry, skip to the top toys list below. Otherwise, read on to learn about 5 year old developmental milestones to set context for the list.
5 Year Old Developmental Milestones
5 year olds have a big year ahead of learning. They enter kindergarten and become more social and communicative. Physically, 5 year olds are increasingly active and can run, hop, skip, and jump without tripping over their own feet. Most 5 year olds learn to jump rope, catch a small ball, and move in coordinated ways like swimming, dancing, or dribbling a ball. All of this activity will cause them to develop “hand dominance” – they’ll start to prefer one hand over the other.
5 year olds’ fine motor skills will be improving a lot. 5 year olds will learn to hold a pencil correctly, cut basic shapes, use a fork, spoon and knife easily, and be able to wipe and wash after using the bathroom.
Cognitively, 5 year olds will learn to recognize colors and basic shapes, know the letters and sounds of the alphabet, recite their name, count up to 10 objects and recite numbers to 20.
Most 5 year olds will have the language development needed to tell stories about the past and the future, and express their feelings. They can use plurals, pronouns, and tenses correctly, and start to reason and argue with people. By the end of kindergarten, most children can begin reading three-letter sight-words like “cat”.
Emotionally, 5 year olds become more social and start to understand the difference between right and wrong in more situations. Most prefer playing with their own gender. 5 year olds are usually honest and stick to the rules. They enjoy being the center of attention and will sing, and dance to get it. They expect to be listened to and may throw a tantrum if they don’t get their way. Toys that help them share and collaborate are important.
10 Best Toys for 5 Year Old Boys Reviewed
This educational card set for kindergarteners has a wonderful lighthearted tone that gets kids excited to learn. Each card has illustrated activities that promote mastery of kindergarten curriculum. Activities include math challenges, tongue-twisters, picture puzzles, vocabulary builders, mazes, and more.
There are 120 cards in all. You can read them to your child and learn together – a wonderful bonding opportunity.
Every 5 year old deserves a great set of magnetic building blocks or tiles. Magnetic building tiles offer hours of open ended play while inspiring creativity, design thinking, fine motor control, problem solving and social skills.
There are a number of magnetic block companies on the market. Some are very highly rated, but come at a steep price like the Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set, coming in at over $100.
We recommend this great alternative from PicassoTiles. It’s priced under $50 with nearly indistinguishable parts. It’s highly rated, and BPA free and safe for children.
Stimulate your 5 year old’s mind with this 7 piece brain teaser toy set. Each toy challenges your child’s problem solving abilities, creativity, fine motor control and reasoning capacity. These toys are great for children from 5 to 8 years old. If your 5 year old finds them too difficult, just put them away for a little bit until the child is ready.
By the end of kindergarten, children are expected to spell around 20 different 3 and 4 letter “sight-words”. Help them reach this milestone with the Star Right 26 word spelling jigsaw puzzle game. The self-correcting puzzle pieces only fit into one other piece, so children can play with or without an adult to familiarize themselves with simple words and their spelling.
Children as young as 4 can play with this puzzle set, because the animal illustrations can help them solve the puzzles, even if they don’t fully know the spelling.
5 year olds are curious. Help them understand their place on this grand planet with an interactive globe toy by Oregon Scientific.
This globe comes with a touch pen and 25 different games to teach children facts about the world. This globe will be great resource in your playroom for years to come.
- Have fun learning about the planet
- A useful tool through age 8.
- Stylus sometimes doesn’t detect touch
- The hinge is rather weak. Children have to be careful not to break this toy.
It’s important for 5 year olds to cultivate not just fine motor control, but also gross motor control. Give your 5 year old a two wheeled scooter for just that purpose.
Built for ages 5 and up, this fun, durable, and inexpensive scooter will not only give your 5 year old boy an adrenaline rush, this toy will also improve their dexterity, balance, and strength. Boys will get hours of joy cruising around and pushing their limits. We recommend that your 5 year old ride with a helmet and knee and shoulder pads.
The more science technology education & math (STEM) toys you give a 5 year old, the better. A great STEM toy that appeals to both boys and girls is this VIAHART plastic disc set. It comes with 500 pieces that interlock at 45 degree angles, giving kids unlimited creative potential. They will have a blast improving their fine motor control, engineering, and problem solving. This set is tested safe for kids, and comes very highly rated. Be careful, you may be playing with these longer than your kids.
5 year olds are just at the age where they have the fine motor control and attention spans needed to play with an American classic – Legos. Give your child this starter box of 484 LEGO bricks that come in 35 colors. Boys with analytical minds will be lost building fantastic contraptions for hours.
We have fond childhood memories building LEGOs on a city play mat just like this, and think that every 5 year old boy deserves the same.
This city and road play mat can take your child’s imagination to the next level. Children can learn about city and community life, colors, numbers and more. Plus, this padded rug makes play more comfortable. What a simple and wonderful gift for any 5 year old boy’s bedroom.
Help your child improve their dexterity and strength with this 5 ball pitching machine. It pops up balls at 10 second intervals for your child to hit. This practice is great for early development, hand-eye coordination, and attention. Give your child the joy of this classic American pastime right in their backyard.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- Best toys for 2 year old boys
- Best toys for 3 year old boys
- Best toys for 4 year old boys
- Best toys for 6 year old boys
- Best toys for 7 year old boys
- Best toys for 8 year old boys
- Best toys for 9 year old boys
- Best toys for 10 year old boys
- Best toys for 11 year old boys
- Best toys for 12 year old boys
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. While we don’t suggest that these are the only toys your child will ever need, we do think this list of top 10 developmental toys is a great start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us.
Criteria for Placement
While listing the best educational resources is never an exact science, we’ve done our best find products that rank highly on the following criteria:
- Developmental impact: Many toys out there like plush dolls are somewhat limited in their developmental impact. We’ve critically evaluated the toys on this list for their impact on physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Safety: All toys on this list are safe to use, free of toxic compounds like lead and BPA
- Durability: Children love to throw, jump on, and touch everything in sight. The toys on this list are fit to withstand the bumps and hard landings.
- Price: Parenting doesn’t need to be outrageously expensive. We looked for the cheapest products that still meet our developmental and quality requirements.
- Developmental milestones for typical kindergarteners – understood.org