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The Best Toys for 5-Year-Olds & Their Hungry Minds

There is so much to love about 5-year-olds. They’ve got those baby cheeks still, but also an alert, ready-to-learn gleam in their eyes. As cute as they are, they also present new challenges for parents in the gift department. Part of you wants to spoil them rotten, but your responsible side knows that you should probably research what the best toys for 5-year-olds’ development and education are before you load up that cart.

The first thing we like to think about when buying toys for kids is where they are developmentally. No 5-year-old child wants to play with something too “babyish,” and toys that are too advanced can result in tears. Plus, good luck ever getting them to take that toy or game back out of the closet again, even if they’re finally ready for it. So, we take a peek at the CDC’s list of milestones for 5-year-olds, along with other resources from medical experts, and see which toys might line up.

Here’s what the CDC has to say about most (but not all!) 5-year-olds: They want to be with their friends and to please them, and while they’re more likely to agree to follow the rules, they can be independent, cooperative, and also demanding. They like to sing and dance. They can tell stories clearly, in complete sentences. They can count past 10, draw six or more body parts, print some letters and numbers, copy geometric shapes, and understand concepts like money. They also have the ability to stand on one foot, hop, somersault and even skip.

As you can guess, all of that leaves the field wide open for a number of interesting toys. These kids are up for so much — though their tastes can be quite refined and their fandom specific. In fact, if your child is super into a TV show, movie, book, animal, or mythical creature, your gift choices might be set. We’ve strived to go beyond those mercurial tastes with this particular list of toys for 5-year-olds. Here, we’ve gathered fun physical toys, a strategic game, toys that unleash creativity and inspire imagination, toys that teach STEM skills on the sly, and toys that grownups might enjoy just as much as their children. That’s great news for anyone who hopes these last beyond their sixth birthday, too.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

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