Toys for 5 year old boys

30 Best Toys and Gifts for 5-Year-Old Boys

Many of these picks have earned top marks at the Good Housekeeping Institute’s tests, and many are even past Good Housekeeping Toy Award winners. We’ve also added in a few editor’s picks and best-sellers to keep the list as up-to-date as possible for the lucky kindergarteners out there. Add them to your lists, and you’ll have some very happy 5-year-olds on your hands.

The 25 Best Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys That Are Sure To Thrill Them

There’s not one toy or even category of toys that’s best for 5-year-old boys given that each kid is unique. However, there are some trends that tend to pop up in this crowd. Selecting the best toys for 5-year-old boys means meeting that child at the individual stage they’re in now, which might be rockets and robots or modeling clay and play cooking. These kindergarten kids are generally bursting with new interests and energy, and toys help them explore newfound passions and dig deeper into hobbies.

The best toys for 5-year-old boys often encourage active and creative play.

Illustration: Forbes Vetted / Photos: Retailers

“Five-year-old boys are typically very active and curious about their environment,” says Rebecca Nymick, an advanced child life specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “It is important to consider selecting toys that foster a balance between guidance and scaffolding from adults, and allowing the child independence in using materials, so they are learning and growing in confidence.”

Nymick recommends looking for toys that can be used in imaginative ways to supportive creating thinking. She adds that kids in this age group are usually pretty hands-on and just like to move. Anything that fits that criteria is likely to be a winning toy with 5-year-olds.

With that in mind, these are the best toys for 5-year-old boys to suit a range of interests, so you can find that just-right gift. For even more toy inspiration, consider our lists of the best toys for 4-year-old boys, the best toys for 5-year-olds of all genders and the best subscription boxes for kids.

Best STEM Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys

A Telescope That Gives Fun Facts

Educational Insights Geosafari Jr. Talking Telescope

This interactive telescope shows kids built-in space images without needing to try to focus on far-away objects. It includes 240 fun facts and quiz questions to help kids get excited about space. The telescope is also low to the ground—a nice feature to prevent breaking at the hands of mini human bulldozers—and has a comfortable eyepiece for stargazing.

An Introduction To Coding—Without Screens

Learning Resources Coding Critters

Help your little one learn basic coding with this cool kit. The screen-free toy allows kids to play fetch, hide and seek and take care of interactive pets through coding challenges. The playset includes two dogs, a storybook and various toys for the critters to play on.

A DIY Fort-Building Kit

Hearthsong Cabin Style Fantasy Forts

Nothing beats a good fort-building session. This kit features 16 wood-like cardboard panels that are are linked together with sticky tabs. Kids can build forts in different configurations, then tear them down and make new creations. These ready-made pieces are sure to save your couch cushions and your kids from hours of building-induced frustration.

A Huge New Lego Stash

Lego Classic Large Creative Brick Box

Lego fans will flip for this box, which features a whopping 790 bricks to build with. The kit contains a rainbow of Lego colors and sizes for hours of play. A nice perk: The box doubles as a storage container. My now 10-year-old squealed when he opened this on his 5th birthday—and he’s still playing with the bricks.

A 3D Building Set With A Slew Of Possibilities

Magna-Tiles Classic 100-Piece Set

Magna-Tiles are wildly popular toys with a fanbase spanning a large age range. Kids can build and rebuild 3D objects, even making habitats and buildings for other toys or race car tracks. My kids have a Magna-Tiles collection they play with on a near-daily basis. The brand also makes smaller sets if you’re looking to spend less.

Make Art Without The Mess

Paint By Sticker Kids: Dinosaurs

Paint by Stickers lets kids “paint” in a unique way, making them a great option for parents who dislike cleaning up the constant messes that tend to come with arts and craft projects. The book features 10 dinosaur designs with corresponding stickers to help them come to life. It’s an ideal quiet time or travel activity, too.

Make A Turtle Lagoon That Glows In The Dark

Creativity For Kids Glow In The Dark Turtle Lagoon Activity Kit

Animal lovers will appreciate this cool art kit, which allows kids to craft a turtle lagoon from clay. They’ll get two turtles and a starfish to cover in clay designs of their making, and then place their creations in a habitat they design. Plus, it glows in the dark. It makes a great kids’ birthday party gift, too.

A Budget Option For The Superhero-Obsessed Kit

Creatology Hero Mask Foam Activity Kit

Superheroes are big with the 5-year-old age group, Nymick points out. This kit has everything they need to customize their own masks with foam features, which they can easily pop out. The cushioned foam material is also comfortable enough to wear for longer periods of time. My kids got this kit two years ago and still wear the masks during dress-up play.

A Robot They Can Control

Learning Resources Botley The Coding Robot

Botley is a fun way to introduce kids to coding. This toy robot can follow looping commands, work its way through obstacles courses and follows paths set before it. Botley also has hidden features kids can unlock over time. A nice perk: Botley is screen-free.

DIY Pasta For The Younger Crowd

KiwiCo Pasta Making and Shapes

Kids who love to cook will appreciate this hands-on kit that teaches them pasta-making techniques with play dough. The set features recipes, a toy pasta machine that works, three shape cutters with kid-friendly handles, play dough and a cutting wheel. Once they get the technique down, you can upgrade to real food.

Best Outdoor Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys

A Dueling Stomp Rocket Race

Stomp Rocket Original Dueling Rocket Launcher

Got a kid who always wants to turn it into a race? This dueling Stomp Rocket set lets them compete in the skies. Line up the rockets and each player jumps on their launcher, competing to see which one can blast their rocket the highest. The rockets shoot up to 200 feet and are tipped with foam, so you don’t have to stress about anyone getting injured when they return to Earth.

A Cool Way To Cruise The Streets

Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe Foldable LED Scooter

At $160, the Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe scooter is a pricier gift—but this scooter lasts. That’s why it’s the top pick on our list of the best scooters for kids. My sons each have one, and they’ve been in heavy rotation for years. The three-wheeled scooter has an easily adjustable handle to grow with your child, along with LED-lighted wheels for a fun effect at dusk.

Bubbles As Big As They Are

Wowmazing Giant Bubble Kit

Bubbles are a blast no matter how you look at them, but bubbles that are bigger than your body are next-level fun. Wowmazing’s giant bubble kit looks like a jump rope fastened between two poles. It creates huge bubbles that will blow kids away. Choose from a variety of themes, including space and unicorns.

A New Way To Burn Off Energy

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper

This new twist on the classic pogo stick is seriously cool. It features a bungee cord that kids can grip, along with a foam base that cushions their landing. A nice perk: The foam bottom won’t scratch your floors if they want to take the fun indoors. Choose from a huge range of colors and themes.

A Squishy Football That’s Easy To Grip

Nerf Weather Blitz Foam Football

Footballs can be tricky for smaller hands to get a grip on, but the Nerf Weather Blitz has special ridges to make it easy to hold and throw. It’s also water-resistant and designed for all weather conditions, so you can use it in the snow, at the beach and beyond.

Let Them Get Their Hands Dirty

TP Toys Kids Mud Kitchen

Most kids love playing with dirt and mud. Lean into it with this mud kitchen from TP Toys. It’s designed to hang outside, where kids can make “dishes” using dirt, sticks, rocks and whatever else they find outside. The set includes a water pan and play cooking utensils, too.

A Bounce House Everyone Can Use

JumpOrange Safari Commercial Grade Bounce House

While it’s admittedly not cheap, you can get some serious mileage out of this commercial-grade bounce house. It’s roomy enough to fit six jumpers at once and holds a maximum weight of 800 pounds, so older kids can get in on the action, too. You can also whip it out at birthday parties and other special occasions, along with everyday play. A built-in basketball hoop lets kids practice their dunks as they jump.

Best Interactive Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys

A Small Dinosaur Friend That Reacts To Noise

Wowwee Fingerlings Untamed Raptor

Give the next best thing to a real dinosaur. The Untamed Raptor moves in response to sound and motion, roars and even has gas—just what 5-year-olds are into. The dinosaur grips onto your finger and travels easily.

S’mores Without The Sugar Rush

Melissa and Doug Let’s Explore Campfire S’mores Play Set

Budding chefs will get a kick out of this play s’mores set. It features crackling “flames,” logs that can be stacked, a wooden saw, real-looking s’more ingredients and an activity booklet. There’s even a mesh storage bag to hold it all.

This Matching Game Grows With Them

Skillmatics Memory Match

Skillmatic’s Memory Match game offers two different tiers of play. Kids can simply pair animals together for a classic matching game, or they can use the included wooden die to try to link animals to an associated habitat. Included wooden boards makes it easy for 5-year-olds to stay organized as they play.

A Board That’s Perfect For Tricks

Spooner Boards Freestyle

The Spooner Board looks deceptively simple, but kids can use it to roll out an arsenal of tricks. Five-year-olds can rock, spin, slide and stand on the boards, learning skills that they can later translate to skateboarding or surfing. Choose from several bright colors.

A New Rescue Rex That Transforms

VTech Switch And Go 3-in-1 Rescue Rex

This new for the 2023 holiday shopping season Rescue Rex from VTech transforms into several vehicles that are all ready to serve: a helicopter, fire truck and a police car. Parents will want to pop in batteries in order to let kids enjoy the various sirens, action phrases and animations that await, including the roving dino eyes.

Updated Action Figures For TMNT Fans

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Battle Pack (Leo vs Superfly)

At this age, many kids still love playing with action figures, and these new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle packs are, well, superfly. They’re updated to match the new movie and come in a variety sets. Playmates Toys also released a new TMNT playhouse (coming soon), the pizza battle van and more, all in celebration of Mutant Mayhem.

Sketching Made Easy

Smart Sketcher 2.0

The Smart Sketcher offers a fun twist on drawing. Kids can snap a picture, upload it to the machine and have it projected onto paper so they can trace it. The Sketcher comes pre-loaded with 60 drawing activities to help kids get started. You can also purchase special cartridges to work on writing and spelling.

A Red Race Car That Can Drive Straight Up The Wall

Air Hogs Zero Gravity Sprint Wall Climber

Every kid deserves the fun of driving their own car—safely in miniature size only, please. This Air Hogs red speedster is highly rated with a 4.1 out of 5 and more than 4,200 reviews on Amazon. That’s not an easy rating to get with kiddie remote control cars. Kids will thrill to drive this one straight up the wall or even onto the ceiling, while parents appreciate the price and the USB charger to avoid the battery merry-go-round.

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How We Chose The Best Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys

I’m a mom of four kids, ranging in age from 1 to 10 years. My older kids are boys, and I have plenty of experience shopping for the 5-year-old crowd. To choose the best toys for 5-year-old boys, I considered products that have been a hit with my children, as well as those other families loved. My editor, who has a 5-year-old now, and whose son is now 8, also weighed in on suggestions.

I also looked at the most popular products on the market and narrowed the field to focus on items that promote engaged play. Reviews from real parents were factored in as well to make sure we had the best take on how well these toys were received and held up for a range of kids.

I interviewed two pediatric health experts, including a pediatrician, to understand appropriate play and toy recommendations for this age group.

This story is frequently reviewed and updated for accuracy. It was most recently updated in September 2023.

What Are The Best Toys For 5-Year-Old Boys?

Of course, all children are unique individuals, no matter their gender. Some prefer physical toys, but others are more into art, pretend play or STEM projects—and many like all of the above.

There are some themes that tend to emerge over and over with these kiddos, though. “Five-year-old boys love toys that model their favorite cartoons as well as cars, trucks and popular common superheroes,” Nymick says. “Five-year-old boys are also typically very hands-on and interactive, and enjoy science activities like volcano eruption and slime making with guidance from an adult.” She also suggests considering “any activity that will allow a 5-year-old boy to move around and be active, like throwing a ball.”

What’s The Best Gift To Give A 5-Year-Old Boy?

It’s important to remember the boy’s interests and not to focus too much on traditional gender roles, says Robert Keder, a pediatrician who specializes in developmental behavior at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “The issue of gendered toys is about the color and being pink or blue,” he says. Keder recommends considering options that include STEM toys as well as those that promote role-playing and taking other perspectives. “We need all of these things for our kids to be well-rounded, holistic and reach the best of their potential,” he says.

What Do 5-Year-Olds Enjoy?

It depends. If you’re shopping for someone else’s child, you can ask the parents for their input on what the 5-year-old is currently into, Keder says. If it’s your child, you can simply ask them what they’re especially into at the moment. “When shopping for 5-year-old boys, it is important to think of the child as an individual, with individual learning needs and experiences,” Nymick says. “In that regard, it is okay to think outside of the box with respect to traditional gender guidelines. For example, if a 5-year-old boy regularly watches his grandparents cooking, pretend play, kitchen materials can be beneficial in encouraging his ability to learn and model play. Some 5-year-old boys may prefer and enjoy playing with pretend hammers and tools.”

30 Best Toys and Gifts for 5-Year-Old Boys

Check out these unusual, educational and top-tested ideas that are fun and inexpensive.

lego sets and stomp rockets are great toys for 5 year old boys

As the preschool years become the elementary-school years, 5-year-olds are sharpening a whole range of skills, from getting better at all things physical to understanding more about the world around them. Practice makes perfect when it comes to honing these new traits, and there’s no better practice than play.

“At this age, they should be able to maintain a longer play sequence with multiple steps and multiple partners,” says Gayle Kligman, M.Ed, the executive chairman of Family of Kidz. “They can negotiate among themselves who will have specific roles. They are more verbal with each other and are able to do more symbolic play.”

The best toys and gifts for kids in this age group will stimulate movement in space, challenge their cognition, help develop balance and coordination, encourage pretend play and help them practice those early reading skills, says Magdalena Oledzka, a pediatric physical therapist. It’s why they’ll enjoy toys like sports equipment and outdoor toys, building blocks, activity books, art supplies, role-play items that encourage imaginative games and beginner board games.

It sounds like anything goes, but some items are definitely more worthwhile than others. The Good Housekeeping Institute follows new toys all year long, from getting previews of new releases and keeping track of trends to testing the toys as they hit the market. Once the best of the best are evaluated for safety and durability, the Good Housekeeping Institute sends them off to actual 5-year-olds to assess the fun factor.

When it was all finished, these emerged as the best toys and gifts for 5-year-old boys in 2023:

  • I Want to Be Spaghetti Picture Book, $19 at
  • Jakks Pacific Bowser Action Figure with Fire-Breathing Effects, $24 at
  • Air Hogs Super Soft Stunt Shot, $36 at
  • Spooner Boards Freestyle, $44 on
  • GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope, $65 on

Many of these picks have earned top marks at the Good Housekeeping Institute’s tests, and many are even past Good Housekeeping Toy Award winners. We’ve also added in a few editor’s picks and best-sellers to keep the list as up-to-date as possible for the lucky kindergarteners out there. Add them to your lists, and you’ll have some very happy 5-year-olds on your hands.

Looking for more great gifts? Check out these Good Housekeeping guides: