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A Fun Age: the Best Toys for 5 Year Olds

Your little person is no longer a clingy toddler but on the cusp of becoming a “big kid”! Five-year-olds are more coordinated, have longer attention spans, and are getting better at following instructions. That’s not to say they won’t still fling themselves on the floor or meltdown over seemingly minor things. It’s all part and parcel with learning to regulate their emotions, and work out what they can and can’t get away with.

Toys for 5 year olds should help your child to learn life skills and nurture their development. Whether supporting their budding social lives or boosting their cognitive development, seek out toys that encourage, engage, and challenge them.

Fun and popular toys for 5 year olds

At five years old, your child will be starting to form their own small circle of friends outside of the family bubble. They may start gravitating towards certain friends and forming tighter bonds with two or three other children.

Dramatic play ticks many boxes that are essential for five-year-olds. It’s fun and interactive while supporting social-emotional, language and cognitive development. Children can practice important skills with each other such as conflict resolution and considering alternative perspectives. Le Toy Van offers plenty of dramatic play accessories that add to the play and help children to build their vocabulary as they act out different scenarios and dialogue. Dressing up enhances the fun! Costumes from Melissa and Doug inspire children to put themselves in many different shoes from police officer to veterinarian.

Educational toys for 5 year olds

Five-year-olds are beginning to grasp the difference between right and wrong. They understand rules and tend to agree with and follow them. They enjoy pleasing grown ups and have picked up positional vocabulary such as “next to”, “below”, and “on top of”. Their cognitive abilities are developing fast and they should be able to clearly express their wants and needs to people outside of the family. They may articulate their feelings more clearly, telling you their likes and dislikes. Voicing emotions aloud is common, and they may announce “I’m happy!” or “I’m mad at you!”.

Minor squabbles may be solved between themselves without adult intervention, and they will naturally feel and exhibit empathy. Playing with dolls and figures gives children this age the chance to develop their empathy even further, encouraging them to see a situation from different perspectives.

Building blocks and LEGO sets continue to be powerful educational toys for 5 year olds. The open-ended nature of the building toys allows them to grow with a child, teaching them cause-and-effect, spatial awareness and fine motor skills, as well as preparing them to learn math.

Outdoor toys for 5 year olds

All this cognitive growth is accompanied by plenty of physical growth, too. Five-year-olds have started to shed the chubbiness of their toddler years and are beginning to gain muscle, putting on four to five pounds and growing a couple of inches. With all this newfound strength, as well as their improved vision and coordination, they’re becoming better at hopping, skipping, running, and jumping. Play at this age may expand to include a bicycle with or without training wheels and other outdoor toys like jump ropes and balls.

Developing dexterity

Your five-year-old is likely using a fork and spoon although may still struggle with cutting up their own food with a knife. You’ll see lots of improvements with their fine motor skills at this age, but remember to keep them challenged. Now they’re better at feeding themselves, you can start or continue to focus on other areas like table manners.

Becoming more dexterous means they are getting better at handling a pencil or crayon. Encourage your child’s artistic skills and make sure to have plenty of stationery such as coloring pencils and paper for drawing on.

Children at this age enjoy dressing themselves, and are getting better at doing it by themselves. Zippers and buttons have usually been mastered, and they may be learning to tie their own shoes. Dressing a doll, like these dolls by Miss Mini Me which come in a variety of skin and hair colors, can help to teach self-help skills like buttoning, snapping, and zipping. Both boys and girls should have access to dolls and figures in their play. Men should be active in nurturing, and playing with dolls is one way for little boys to practice these skills just as girls do.

Puzzles and games are also good for both fine motor skills and cognitive development. Games like 4-in-a-row and the mini mazes by Kid’s Concept are safe and strategic for this age group, keeping your little one’s mind sharp during playtime and boosting hand-eye coordination.

Keep in mind that these developmental milestones are only guidelines. If you have any concerns about how your child is developing, make sure to bring them up with your family doctor.


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