Best Toys and Gifts for 5 Year Old Boys in 2018

As your son hits five years old, you’ll need to prepare him for several changes in his life. He’s in kindergarten, and big school is on the horizon, both of which change his set routines.

You’ll notice there are still elements of a toddler in your son, but he’s now more attentive. He may still throw temper tantrums and occasionally struggle with concepts like sharing. However, he’s edging closer to taking control of his emotions.

Physically, he can balance, run, and jump easily. He may also be able to ride a bike, and likely has familiarity with some sports thanks to his toys. He’ll also be able to draw basic shapes, and may even be capable of reciting the alphabet and counting to ten.

The toys your boy plays with should reinforce these skills in preparation for him starting school.

Choosing the Best Toys and Gifts

I think that a good mix of toys that challenge your son physically, mentally, and creatively should do the trick. It’s all about getting him engaged and allowing his imagination to take off from there. With the help of a few parents, I’ve developed a list of 20 great toys for five-year-old boys.

1. Crazy Forts

If you son has ever built a pillow fort, he’ll appreciate this toy. It introduces basic STEM learning, tasking your son to put pieces together to build his own fort.

The set comes with 69 pieces, which include 44 sticks and 25 balls. The balls have several holes into which the sticks fit, allowing your son to build all sorts of structures. It challenges his creativity, plus he needs dexterous hands to ensure the sticks slot into the ball holes correctly.

The pieces slot together well and are strong enough to carry the weight of a sheet, though a blanket may be a bit too heavy. Your son will also enjoy taking it apart and coming up with new ideas as much as he enjoys building the fort in the first place.

What’s Great About It - Crazy Forts is almost like a large puzzle, as it challenges your son’s creativity and STEM skills. You receive enough pieces to build a fort, plus you can buy more sets to create even bigger structures.

2. Marble Genius Marble Run

Another great toy for STEM learning, Marble Run comes with 85 pieces, which include eight base pieces to keep your son’s structures stable. The plastic pieces slot together well, so you don’t need to worry about his structures collapsing when in use. I particularly like how you can see through the plastic, so you can watch the marbles dropping.

The set comes with 15 glass marbles, though any standard sized marbles will work as well. As a result, your son may have more fun building a marble collection and letting them all run through the structures he creates.

My only bugbear is that it doesn’t come with instructions. While this means that your son can get creative, it would be nice for him to have a starting point for putting the pieces together.

What’s Great About It - The toy challenges your son’s basic STEM skills, and uses sturdy see-through plastic for its pieces. Your son can also add any standard sized marbles into the mix while playing.

3. Fat Brain Toys Animalogic

This puzzle game challenges your son to arrange 16 wooden animal pieces in the correct sequence so they can cross a bridge. It comes with 60 puzzles, which run the gamut across five difficulty levels, so your son won’t get bored after finishing it once.

The plastic board impressed me, as it’s strong enough to withstand 110 pounds before any signs of overstraining. The puzzle also teaches your son about color matching, recognizing objects, and how to use logic to solve problems.

Fat Brain uses eye-catching primary colors for the animals, and the suction cups that come with it keep the board stable during play. However, I would appreciate better instructions. The ones that come with the set don’t explain the game clearly enough.

What’s Great About It - The game gets your son thinking logically, and has enough puzzles to offer new challenges even after a few completions. The strong plastic board can withstand vigorous play and drops.

​4. Wham-O Hamper Hoops

If you’ve introduced your son to chores, he might’ve rebelled a little bit. This game makes collecting laundry fun.

It comes with a basketball hoop, which you can attach to a door, and a laundry hamper that attaches beneath the hoop. Your son scores whenever he successfully gets an item of clothing through the hoop and into the hamper. You can then use a zip at the bottom of the hamper to release the clothes into your basket.

I like the versatility of this toy, as your son can play with it after he’s collected his laundry. It’s also sturdy thanks to the plastic and stainless steel used in its construction. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend using real basketballs with the set, so stick to foam balls.

What’s Great About It - The game combines chores with a fun physical activity, so your son will enjoy keeping his room tidy. When there’s no laundry to collect, you son can still shoot hoops. It also connects to most types of doors.

​5. Tegu Daredevil Magnetic Wooden Block Set

This set comes with 12 magnetic pieces, which your son can put together in whatever way he wants to build a toy car. As a result, it develops his STEM abilities, while giving him something to play with once he’s built the car.

Tegu uses natural materials for everything in this set. There’s no plastic or lead used in any of the pieces, plus they’ve used a water-based paint for the finishes. The lack of instructions is actually a plus point, as the game wants to challenge your son’s creative streak.

You can combine the set with other Tegu magnetic sets to create larger contraptions. Unfortunately, while the pieces are very strong, the magnets inside them aren’t. Your son’s structures may fall apart if they bump into anything.

What’s Great About It - This toy gets your son thinking, and challenges him to design his own little race cars. I like how you can combine the set with other Tegu toys, plus I appreciate the use of non-toxic materials.

​6. Backyard Safari Cargo Vest

A great outdoor toy, this cargo vest comes with a couple of pockets that have strong Velcro tabs. There’s also a see-through front pocket, and a mesh pocket that has its own zipper. It also has four strong D-rings, with two at the top and two at the bottom.

The poly-twill fabric ensures that the vest can withstand most outdoor adventures. I also like the little manual that comes with the vest, as it offers a few ideas for outdoor play. Your son can also carry plenty of little field-toys in the various pockets.

Unfortunately, you don’t get any other toys with the vest, so you’ll have to buy them separately. You also can’t choose a size, though it should be fine for most average-sized five-year-olds.

What’s Great About It - The sturdy material and strong pockets can withstand rigorous outdoor play. I also like the field manual, as this lends structure to your son’s playtime.

7. LEGO City Volcano Explorers

This LEGO set comes with 175 pieces, which your son can put together to build a truck and the surrounding scenery. There’s also a crane at the back of the truck, which your son can use to pick up the plastic “boulder” that comes with the set. Beyond that, the set includes two figurines, one of which has a little metal detector.

I like this toy because it challenges your son to build something before he can play with it. There’s a creative element, though you can only build the truck in one way. Your son can also add other LEGO figurines and structures to the set for more imaginative play.

I will say that this is a simple set. Your son may get bored of it after building it once, though you can mitigate this if you combine it with other LEGO sets.

What’s Great About It - LEGO sets challenge your son’s fine motor skills, essentially acting as puzzles for him to piece together. This set comes with two figurines, and your son can use the truck with other toy cars when he finishes building.

​8. Razor A Kick Scooter

Made using aircraft-grade aluminum, this kick scooter may be one of the sturdiest available. It’s a two-wheel scooter too, so it will challenge your son’s balancing abilities and help him develop his leg muscles.

The urethane wheels are suitable for most surfaces, though your son should avoid rocky areas, as these create tripping hazards. I also like the rear fender brake, as it adds an element of safety to the scooter. Your son can bring himself to a stop quickly when he pushes down on the brake.

The scooter folds in on itself, making it easy to transport and store. It’s also available in a choice of seven colors, and can hold a maximum weight of 110 pounds. This means that your son may be able to ride it for several years before he outgrows it.

What’s Great About It - The brake makes the scooter much safer, while the strong materials ensure it won’t collapse under your son’s weight. I also like how easy it is to fold up and put away when it’s not in use.

​9. Think Gizmos Remote Control Robot

This 15-inch tall robot can shoot missiles from his chest cannon, and has a “laser” gun attached to his right arm. It comes with a remote control, which your son can use to make it walk in any direction, as well as activating the various battle commands. All told, the remote has 10 functions, including a funny dance command.

It comes with nine plastic missiles, of which six fit into the chest cannon. I like that you receive some spares, as the missiles are fairly small and can get lost quite easily. The robot also talks, though you can’t control this using the remote.

It does need six AA batteries to work, and there aren’t any included in the package. Nevertheless, this may be a great introduction to remote control toys for your son.

What’s Great About It - This is a tall robot that can dance, walk, glide along the floor, and shoot missiles. The LED laser gun and shield add to the package, plus you get spare missiles in case your son loses any.

​10. Fisher-Price Super Sounds Soccer

While this may look like an average soccer net, it has several extra features. It plays sounds whenever your son scores a goal, plus it has a target for him to aim at. He can adjust this target to different heights to challenge his skills.

The set comes with two play levels, which again means that it gets more difficult as your son’s skills improve. It also encourages him to play soccer, which develops his coordination and strengthens his legs.

The goal itself is two feet wide and over three feet tall, so there’s plenty to aim at. It also comes with an inflatable ball. I wouldn’t use a heavier ball for play, as this may knock the net over, or break the target.

What’s Great About It - I like how the sounds encourage your son to keep playing whenever he hits the target. The adjustable target and two difficulty levels keep him playing after he’s mastered the basic skills. It also comes with an inflatable ball.

​11. Activ Life Frisbee Rings

You receive two rings with this pack, each of which weighs 33g. This is much lighter than standard Frisbees, likely due to the lack of plastic in the center. The ring construction also makes them easier to catch, as your son can wrap his hand around the ring’s edge.

I also like how the ring allows your son to catch it using his arm or foot, so it’s good for developing his coordination. They also get your son outside the house, and are great for social play.

​With that being said, the low weight does affect the ring’s flight. A gust of wind can knock it off track, which may frustrate your son. I recommend playing with it on clear and calm days, or else you may lose it.

What’s Great About It - The low weight means that there’s less chance of the ring causing injuries. I also like how the ring offers several ways to catch it, so your son won’t get frustrated if he can’t snatch the ring out of the air with his hand.

12. Gonge Riverstones

You receive six “stones” with this set, all of which have rubber rims to help your son maintain his balance as he walks across them. They split into two sets of three, with one set being larger than the other.

Despite the name, you should use these stones on a flat surface, ideally one that’s soft enough to cushion any falls. However, you can arrange them in any configuration you want, which means your son can always create new challenges for himself.

I like how easily the stones stack for storage, with the small stones fitting into the large. Your son will build confidence in his balance and coordination, plus jumping from stone to stone builds his core and leg muscles. The 110-pound weight limit also means they’ll last for several years.

What’s Great About It - These stones get your child active. They’re great for games like “The Floor is Lava”, which require a certain amount of imagination. They can carry a lot of weight, plus they have rubber grips.

​13. Fisher-Price Triple Hit Baseball

As your son’s coordination improves, he’ll need more of a challenge than T-Ball can offer. This set doubles as both a T-Ball set and a baseball launcher.

It comes with three balls and a bat, all of which have a satisfying amount of weight behind them. I also like the two launcher settings. One pops the ball up from the ground, whereas the other pitches the ball over a distance of 10 feet.

As a result, the game gets more difficult as your son’s abilities improve. It may be ideal for solo practice in preparation for Little League games. However, it does require four D batteries, which don’t come with the game.

What’s Great About It - You can change how the set works, so novices can practice with T-Ball, while advanced players can deal with pitches. The three balls mean you have spares if any get lost, and the bat has a good weight and strong grip.

​14. MasterPiece USA Map

A great toy for introducing your son to basic geography, this puzzle comes with 60 pieces. When put together, the puzzle names every state in the USA, and has little drawings to show what makes that state famous. For example, Indiana has a racecar, whereas Maine has a lobster.

The puzzle also comes with a fact sheet, which offers more trivia tidbits for the different states. When completed, it measures about 17 inches across and 12 inches long. The puzzle pieces are nice and thick too, so they slot together well and aren’t easily bent.

I like the use of soy-based inks and recycled paper, as this offers you the chance to teach your son about basic environmentalism. Unfortunately, the puzzle doesn’t have a backing, so you can’t move it when finished, as it will fall apart.

What’s Great About It - The puzzle teaches your son about all of the states in the USA, with interesting bits of trivia for each on the included sheet. It is complex enough to provide a challenge, without being too taxing for a five year old.

​15. FLOUREON Walkie-Talkie 4-Pack

These two-way walkie-talkies feature 22 channels, each of which has 121 privacy codes. This creates a total of 2,662 channel combinations, so your son and his friends won’t struggle to find a free channel.

The walkie-talkies have small LCD screens and several buttons, which he can use to control the volume and speak. Sound comes through clearly, with very little crackling. They have a maximum range of 3 km, but this extends further when playing in a wide open space.

This may be one of the best toys for social interaction, as your son can give the other three walkie-talkies to his friends. Alternatively, he can keep a couple as spares in case he loses one of them. They do need a trio of AAA batteries, which don’t come included, but these last for about 20 hours.

What’s Great About It - The set encourages your son to share his toys with others, plus it gets him outside and adventuring. They have a long range and battery life, plus there are over 2,000 channel combinations.

​16. VIAHART Brain Flakes 500-Piece Set

As the name says, this set comes with 500 discs of various colors. Each has eight slits around the sides and a hole in the middle, so your son has plenty of options with regard to how he puts them together. The sheer number of pieces means that he can create almost any object that his imagination comes up with.

The set comes with an instruction booklet that teaches your son how to build some basic structures. I also like that it meets ASTM and CPSIA regulations, plus there is no Bisphenol-A (BPA) in the discs.

The discs are about 3cm in diameter, and your son can afford to lose quite a few before it really affects his ability to build. I also like the storage jar, which has a pop-up handle.

What’s Great About It - This set gets your son’s creative juices flowing, but it also offers guidance for those just getting started. The discs meet most modern safety standards, and slot together well.

​17. Invincible Tornado Twister

The biggest problem with many radio controlled cars is that they break easily when smashed into walls. The Tornado Twister eliminates this issue with its huge wheels, which protect the car’s body from most crashes.

The wheels and car light up during play, and the front axles rotate through 360 degrees for stunt play. It also moves at a fair pace, and the 40-meter range means your son won’t have to chase after it too much as he plays. The car also plays music, though you can turn this feature off.

The in-built battery impressed me, as you can charge it with the included USB cable. The car runs for about 15 minutes after a full charge, with the charge itself taking about an hour and a half. However, you do need a couple of AA batteries for the remote, which aren’t included.​

What’s Great About It - I like how this toy offers a good range and has its own batteries. The big wheels protect it, plus your son can perform stunts with the car as his skills improve.

​18. TYZEST Air Power Hover Ball

An interesting twist on the traditional soccer ball, this disc-like ball hovers above the ground. Your son can kick the cushioned edge like a regular ball, and watch the disc fly across the floor. Better yet, the disc doesn’t fly up like a soccer ball might, so there’s less chance of losing it.

TYZEST uses non-toxic plastics for the upper surface, with foam lining for the disc so bare feet wouldn’t get hurt. It also has flashing LED lights, which activate whenever your son kicks the ball.

It works well on most flat surfaces, though it does struggle on thick carpets. You also can’t use it on grass, though flat concrete should be fine. It needs four AA batteries, and the ball unfortunately doesn’t come with any goal nets.

What’s Great About It - The hover ball combines soccer with air hockey to create a new game. It has a foam lining, so your son can kick it safely, plus the plastics don’t contain any toxins.

​19. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch

This kid’s smartwatch fits snugly on the wrist and comes in a range of colors, including green, blue and white. It is splash-resistant, though you shouldn’t submerge it in water, and it has a 0.3 megapixel camera that your son can use to take pictures and shoot short videos. There are even photo editing options for him to enjoy.

The watch has 50 time configurations, which run the range from digital to analog, making it a good teaching tool. I also like the four games that come pre-packed in the watch, each of which has a learning focus. You can also download more games from the VTech website.

​It comes with a Micro USB cable, which you can use to charge the watch and transfer your son’s photos and videos to a laptop or tablet computer. However, kids who know how to use tablets and smartphones may tire of it easily.

What’s Great About It - You can use the watch to teach your son about time, basic math, and spelling. Plus, there are more games available for download. It’s quite sturdy, and can resist splashes and rainfall.

​20. Diggin Active Dodge Tag

You receive a pair of vests and a set of six soft dodgeballs with this set. The twist here is that the vests have Velcro targets on them, so the balls stick to them whenever your son hits the mark.

This game encourages active play, and offers something for your son to share with his friends. It also develops his basic coordination, plus it introduces him to advanced timing skills due to the need to hit a moving target.

​You can adjust the vests to suit your son’s body type, and the use of mesh makes the vests breathable. However, the ball needs to connect well with the Velcro to stick. This may make your son think the game isn’t fair if he hits glancing shots that don’t stick.

What’s Great About It - This toy helps your son get his one hour of exercise per day, plus he can share it with his friends. I also like the twist that it puts on traditional dodgeball.

Things to Consider When Buying a Toy

Your son is now an independent person, with his own thoughts and interests, so any toys that you buy must gel with what he wants if you’re going to keep him engaged. I think the best toys stimulate his mind, and offer him something to share with his friends. Any toys that get him active also keep him healthy.

In coming up with my list, I tried to ensure that each toy I chose offered at least one of the following features.

Things to Consider When Buying a Toy

Your son is now an independent person, with his own thoughts and interests, so any toys that you buy must gel with what he wants if you’re going to keep him engaged. I think the best toys stimulate his mind, and offer him something to share with his friends. Any toys that get him active also keep him healthy.

In coming up with my list, I tried to ensure that each toy I chose offered at least one of the following features.

A Social Element

You son has most likely started kindergarten, and he’s spending more time around kids his own age than ever before. He also understands the concept of sharing and wants to enjoy his toys with his friends.

I recommend any toys that encourage group play, especially if they get your son active. Sports toys work well, as do any with an adventuring or exploring theme. Flashy toys also give your son something to impress his friends with, allowing him to build his social circle.

Creativity

Your five-year-old’s imagination is more active now than it’s ever been. You’ve likely noticed him coming up with stories and creating make-believe situations that involve his toys and his friends. Naturally, any toys that encourage creativity and stimulate the imagination serve a good purpose.

For example, a simple set of walkie-talkies may be all that your son needs to go off on a day-long adventure with his friends. Action figures also offer him the chance to create new scenarios, while building block-based toys allow him to create the things his imagination conjures up.​

An Educational Element

Your son’s time in kindergarten gets him thinking, and he’s not far away from starting elementary school. Toys that teach basic counting and the alphabet may not offer a big enough challenge for him now. Instead, you can use board games and other strategy-based toys to get him thinking while providing a greater challenge.

He should be more adept at playing with jigsaw puzzles and STEM-related toys. Furthermore, his motor skills and forethought have developed to the point where he can build models using instructions, and then use what he learned to create his own models. All of this prepares him for school.

Physical Development

Your son’s balance has improved to the point where he can stand on one foot, and he may engage in basic gymnastics. His leg and arm muscles are strong, so he’ll want to push beyond the basic physical activities he’s done in the past. He may also start showing a deeper interest in sports.

His toys should nurture and develop his physical attributes. They should also provide enough of a challenge to keep him coming back for more.

The Final Word

Social play is more important than ever before to your five-year old. However, you must still focus on developing his intelligence, creativity, and physical attributes. I believe that toys that combine the above features in some way do just that.

With my list, I’ve offered 20 toys that I think may be ideal for your five-year-old son. Use my list, and the other guidance I provide, to pick a toy that he will enjoy.