The Best Developmental Toys for 5-Year-Olds

Looking for the perfect gift for a 5-year-old?

June 01, 2020
By: Amanda Mushro

Photo By: Flashpop

Photo By: zlikovec

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Photo By: Kerem Çakmak / EyeEm

Photo By: Inti St. Clair

Photo By: Flashpop

Presents That Will Help Them Learn

5-year-olds are a ball of fun. They’ve graduated out of the toddler stage and are well on their way to joining the ranks of being a “big kid.” At age 5, kids are working on writing their own names, using a pair of scissors and are better at managing their emotions—goodbye toddler tantrums. They are also perfecting new physical skills and starting to look less like a preschooler and more like a kindergartner. So, if you’ve been searching for the perfect toy, here are a few of our picks based on growth and development.

Gross Motor Skills

At this age, your 5-year-old’s ability to hop, skip, run and jump are really taking off. You’ll notice better coordination and balance as they play, so find toys that will develop these skills and help them burn off some energy.


The PlasmaCar is a fan favorite of parents and kids alike. It doesn’t require batteries or pedals, and kids love how it helps them move and groove. The PlasmaCar can help your child develop coordination, balance and gross motor skills while giving your kiddo plenty of exercise. The car works indoors and outdoors for year-round playtime.

BUY IT: Amazon, $70

Chalk and Chuckles Active Movement Math Game

Not only are stepping stones a fun math game but they’re also great for developing your 5-year-old’s gross motors skills. From coordination to visual spatial skills like jumping, leaping, balancing and judging distance, this game will have your child practicing math skills and burning energy.

BUY IT: Amazon, $20

Fine Motor Skills

You’ll notice 5-year-olds working hard to develop smaller muscles that allow them to tie their shoes, dress themselves and write letters and numbers. Toys that encourage these skills will help your big kid with learning at home and school.

LEGO Friends Dolphin Rescue Mission

Building sets like Legos are great for tapping into your 5-year-old’s fine motor skills, as well as their creativity, problem solving and spatial recognition. Your child may be ready for smaller bricks but will still need some help with the step-by-step directions.

BUY IT: Target, $40

Aqua Magic Doodle Mat

This is the type of painting that you will happily say “yes” to time and time again. The Aqua Doodle uses water to “paint” on a color changing mat. When the water dries, so does the color, so it’s mess-free. Your child can create pictures, letters, numbers and doodles over again and again. Plus, as they grip the brushes, they are developing the fine motor skills needed for gripping a pencil.

BUY IT: Amazon, $23

Crayola Craft Model

Let kids get crafty while strengthening those fine motor skills with this modeling clay craft set. Building with modeling clay is a great tactile activity that will help them hone those hand and finger muscles.

BUY IT: Target, $10

Critical Thinking Skills

As your 5-year-old sharpens their counting and letter skills, tap into their critical thinking skills with STEM inspired toys.

Coding Critters Ranger and Zip

Coding Critters helps to introduce your child to the world of coding. As they enter codes, your kids can play fetch, hide and seek and more with Ranger and Zip. Kids learn to design their own endless coding challenges so they can feed, pet and take care of their interactive pets.

BUY IT: Target, $25

Developing Imagination

Does your 5-year-old love to play pretend and imagine they are living in a fairytale? That’s because their imagination is growing by leaps and bounds at this age. So, find toys that spark creative and imaginative play.

Superhero Cape Set and Slap Bracelets

If you have a superhero fan in your house, then they will love this dress up set. It comes with five capes, masks, slap bracelets and a bag to keep them all organized. You can choose from a number of superheroes for both boys and girls.

BUY IT: Amazon, $26

Hoppin’ Topper Dinosaur

If your 5-year-old is a fan of plush toys, step up their creative play with a FurReal animal. From cats and dogs to monkeys and even dinosaurs, these cuddly toys will keep your child engaged as they teach their pets to sit and wave. Kids can also feed their pets treats and interact with over 35 sound-and-motion combinations.

BUY IT: Target, $39

Collaborative Play

Since your 5-year-old will be spending more time with friends during school, giving them games that teach turn taking, cooperative play and winning and losing could be essential.

Monopoly Junior Board Game

While Monopoly is family favorite game for older kids and adults, Monopoly Junior is a great board game for younger children. With kid-friendly locations, faster play and simple instructions, kids use math skills and enjoy a new family game night.

BUY IT: Amazon, $15

Traffic Jam Logic Game

This younger version of the popular board game is geared toward 5-year-olds and may become your kid’s new favorite game. Rush Hour Junior is built to develop critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. Kids can play through the forty challenges that help improve logical reasoning, spatial reasoning and planning skills.

BUY IT: Amazon, $20

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