The 10 Best 5 Year Old Boy Gifts
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Buying a present for the 5-year-old boy in your life just got a whole lot easier, thanks to our varied selection of age-appropriate gifts. We've included educational options as well as those designed for pure fun, so you'll definitely be able to find something perfect among our choices. However, a few do have small pieces, so make sure to keep them away from any younger siblings. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 11, 2020:
By age 5, kids are going to school, exploring and questioning the world, and enjoying newfound independence. We searched for gifts that are not only suitable for five-year-old boys but also inspire imaginative play.
The Hasbro Pie Face Game is good for a couple of hours of fun but, it is not something a five-year-old wants to play with every day, so we excluded it from the list. Also, there are availability issues with the Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall and the manufacturer discontinued the Lego City Forest Tractor, so we excluded them as well.
We selected the Really Rad Mibro Gold Robot, the Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle, and the Fat Brain Squigz Starter Set to round out the list. The Really Rad Mibro Gold Robot has many features that kids find exciting, such as interactive sounds and phrases. It dances, plays games, and comes in handy when kids want to prank family and friends.
Boys get to express their creativity with the Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle. Since it only requires clean water, your little lad can create one masterpiece after another with no mess to clean up afterward.
The Fat Brain Squigz Starter Set comes with eight different shaped suction cups, varying in size and color. They are oddly satisfying to play with and can create dozens of objects without leaving residue behind.
Although these toys are designed for five-year-olds, keep in mind, a few of them include small parts. So they may not be suitable for children with siblings under the age of three years old.
If you're looking for gifts for 5-year-old girls, you'll find some awesome choices on this site.
March 28, 2019:
Removed the Micro Maxi Deluxe due to safety concerns, as scooters land thousands of kids in the hospital every year. It's still a well-made toy, but it's certainly not worth risking your child's health over. The Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer was removed due to similar (though less well-documented) concerns.
In their place we promoted Gears! Gears! Gears!, which stimulates young minds with little risk of causing harm (there are small pieces inside, though, so if your boy has younger siblings, keep a watchful eye out). The LEGO Forest Tractor made its debut, as 5-year-olds can put it together unassisted, thereby hopefully sparking a lifelong love affair with the classic building blocks.
We went back and forth on whether to include the Hasbro Pie Face Game. Ultimately, we decided that its value as a fun party game outweighed concerns over its messiness. While it may look dangerous — you're deliberately flinging things at your face, after all — the spring mechanism is soft enough that there's little risk of causing injury. The biggest danger likely involves food allergies, so make sure you use suitable ingredients for the "pie."
Lakeshore Learning Ultimate Fort Builder The Ultimate Fort Builder comes equipped with 44 sturdy poles and 24 connectors to construct a structure for kids to play under. The poles can be snapped together to form a castle, a igloo, rocket ship, and more. Once configured, kids can throw a sheet over it and let their imaginations run wild. lakeshorelearning.com
Aging Into Independence
For the first four years of my life, my toy collection was comprised almost entirely of stuffed animals and Ninja Turtles action figures.
If memory serves, five was the age at which I finally began to feel a significant independence from my parents. A lot of kids cry their first day of school, and when I first went to preschool at the age of four, I'm sure I shed my share of tears. But hey, I was only four. I remember looking with disdain at my fellow five-year-olds who entered my classroom on the first day of kindergarten in swollen masks of blubbery misery. I'd grown up; why couldn't they?
My experience with toys in those days echoed this newfound independence. For the first four years of my life, my toy collection was comprised almost entirely of stuffed animals and Ninja Turtles action figures. Anything else I owned was designed for the interaction of parent and child around the toy at hand. At five, however, my toys took on more of a personal flair, and I found myself playing with those toys alone or alongside friends in the absence of parental supervision.
The toys on our list for five-year-old boys include a little something for every personality type. The one constant from toy to toy, though, is a sense of responsibility, a sense that these toys are meant for your boy to use on his own or with friends, without a mommy or daddy there to help or to supervise.
Some of the toys bear designs that will help with your boy's continually developing motor skills, teaching him new ways to employ his spacial relations and his building prowess. Others are more electronic in nature, as your boy begins to grow into the technological wizard he will inevitably seem like with each passing year. His generation is going to have a deeper involvement with technology than any other before it, so it'd be wise to give him a head start.
The thing about being five, however, is that you're still a kid. You still have a zany sensibility about you that laughs heartily and shamelessly at slapstick violence, at fart jokes, etc., and there are one or two gifts on this list that are simply fun. They don't hold a pretense about education or development; they're just about having a good time, and preserving that sense of childish wonder as long as humanly possible.
Anxiety Of Influence
Without question, the biggest influences in my taste in toys as a young boy were the films I watched. The Ninja Turtles movies came out when I was extremely little, and they meant everything to me, as did Ghostbusters. That all changed when a certain legendary director decided to adapt a little novel about the recreation of an extinct species of giant, prehistoric lizards set on a remote Costa Rican island in the middle of a tropical storm.
It's a simple way to go about selecting a gift, especially if the kid in question already had a bent toward a certain kind of play.
I'm talking, of course, about Jurassic Park, a film whose impact on my generation could only be compared to the impact Star Wars had on the children of the 70s. From the day I first saw it (and I went back to see it again and again), my entire toy collection, my wardrobe, my sheets, my school notebooks–anything and everything they could possibly merchandise–was covered in dinosaurs.
A hit movie could come out a month before you read this in which a kid uses a walkie-talkie in two scenes. That's more than enough for you to know what kind of toy to get. Another Jurassic Park movie is right around the corner, and that'll take you toward dinosaurs.
If you keep your ear to the ground about what media your kids are being exposed to, you're liable to make a more informed decision about what toys might strike a chord in their attempts to live out moments from that media. It's a simple way to go about selecting a gift, especially if the kid in question already had a bent toward a certain kind of play.
We may rate the gifts on our list by a rubric that takes overall value, price-to-quality ratio, durability, replay value, and more into account, but none of our calculations can match the simple knowledge of a boy's likes and dislikes, of the popular things circulating at his school and on his playground. If you so much as catch a whiff of that intel, you're bound to find something on this list that'll be perfect.
Time To Milk The Cows
Most of us grow up in a time when childhood play is considered a human right. It's expected, practically mandated, that we have fun growing up, It's part of the American Dream to create a life for your children that's better (read more comfortable, less work-intensive) than the one we led.
After enough of them were injured, maimed, and killed, laws came along to prohibit the use of child labor.
Whether the continued progress of that dream is economically or mathematically feasible is not for this poor writer to say, but moving backward along the timeline we certainly find a long stretch of human life during which children either worked or they learned. There wasn't a lot of time for very much else.
The industrial revolution began a tide that would change all that. It didn't change much in and of itself, merely because it took the kids off of their farms and put them to work in factories, mines, and mills. After enough of them were injured, maimed, and killed, laws came along to prohibit the use of child labor.
At right around this time, the first generation or two of the industrialized workforce began to see the fruits of their work and of their savings, as the generations coming up behind them had just a little more leisure time and a bit more money to spend. From that moment in history, toys evolved from the occasional doll or football to the absolute sea of colorful plastic insanity that is the modern toy market.