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Choosing birthday presents for 5-year-old children is sort of like trying to pick something to watch on Netflix.
There's so much on offer that it's difficult to know where to start. Should it be a toy or a game?
You might also wonder which are the best brands? What are 5-year-olds most interested in? Luckily, we've done the work for you so that you can be sure to choose something your child will really love.
When researching the best toys for 5-year-olds we prioritised games, toys, playsets and crafts that were original, well-made and had real entertainment value. The sort of things your child would be desperate to start using as soon as they ripped off the wrapping paper. We've gathered together a range of gifts and toys to suit all tastes and budgets. Some are real showstoppers, some are sustainably made, others have real educational merit, so whatever your priorities, you're sure to find something here.
Take a look at our selection of innovative, well-made and educational toys for 5-year-olds and pick your favourite. For more ideas, take a look at our guides to the best Toy Story toys and the best toy playsets for toddlers and kids.
Our Top Choice
Great Little Trading Co. Pat-A-Cake Play Kitchen
This Great Little Trading Co. play kitchen is really special, the kind of gift that's sure to elicit shrieks of delight on the day it is opened and one that will be treasured for years afterwards. Constructed from fine, painted wood that's built to last, the unit features a little pretend oven with opening door, a hob with clicking dials, two food storage shelves and a removable sink with hot and cold taps that really turn. We love the thoughtful details, from the wooden salt and pepper shakers to the pretty painted tiles to the chalkboard on the side, which can be used to write up imaginary recipes or shopping lists. It comes with three utensils so your little one can get playing right away, and there are toy vegetable cutting sets, pots and pans, wooden fruit boxes, dinner sets, tea sets, and all sorts of other beautifully-crafted wooden accessories that you can buy separately to add to the collection - Christmas and birthday ideas for years to come. Pop it in the kitchen so your child can cook alongside you or in their bedroom to provide hours of absorbing imaginative play. A magnificent birthday gift for 5-year-olds.
- Price: £80.75
- Age: 3+
Best Gadget Gifts
VTech Kidizoom Duo 5 0 MP Camera
This Vtech Kidizoom camera makes such a great gift for 5-year olds. Though it may look like a toy, it's actually a fully-functional dual-lens camera, capable of taking both photos and videos, all for a kid-friendly price. Children will get so much out of taking pictures of their friends, family and pets, and even more out of adding the many frames, stickers and special effects that can be applied to each picture. The large colour LCD screen is the perfect size for kids to edit from and the voice recorder makes for a fun extra feature which is capable of transforming each recording with a number of wacky effects. It's got a decent amount of memory for a toy cam (able to hold up to 150 photos), and as cameras go, it's pretty-kid-proof, certainly able to withstand a fair amount of rough handling. It also comes with a useful time limit feature, so parents can monitor their child's usage.
- Price: £42
- Age: 3+
Best Gifts For Imaginative Play
Hape All Season Furnished Wooden Dolls' House
Dolls' houses make beautiful presents for 5-year-old boys or girls, and we love the innovative open design of this Hape house; the open walls and back and gender-neutral design make it great for collaborative play with friends or siblings. With six little rooms, two movable staircases and a reversible roof that's green and solar panel-adorned in summer and snow-covered in winter, there's tons of attention to detail here, and it extends throughout the design. Though it doesn't come with dolls, it has enough furniture to fill four rooms (a living room, kitchen, master bedroom and family bathroom), a real bonus when compared with other dolls' houses on the market, which often come unfurnished and for a higher price. The little wooden pieces are charmingly-designed and pleasingly life-like, the perfect props to supplement all sorts of imagined storylines and scenarios. Plus, the natural wood construction makes it a really sustainable buy. A wonderful gift.
- Price: £109.95
- Age: 3+
Best Gifts For Animal-Lovers
Melissa & Doug Examine N Treat Pet Vet Playset
This sweet playset from children's toy specialists Melissa & Doug is perfect for little animal lovers, who can nurse the dog and cat included back to health with all number of plastic veterinary instruments. The 24-piece set includes a stethoscope, ear scope, thermometer, syringe and various other implements, as well as assorted medicines, ointments and creams. A treatment card and vets' bag complete the set, which makes a lovely gift to encourage role-play. The little animals are so soft and cute (particularly when wearing their recovery cone!) and the set can easily be used on a whole collection of soft toys. A winning gift for animal-loving 5-year-olds.
- Price: £23
- Age: 3+
Best Gifts For Pretend Play
Great Little Trading Co. Wooden Till, Red
There are so many lovely toys for 5-year-old boys and girls on offer at the Great Little Trading Co., all of which are inventive, beautifully-designed, truly good quality and able to stimulate really immersive pretend play. This little wooden shop till is no exception; the nostalgic design is so charming and the solid wood construction is sturdy and durable. Complete with soft touch buttons, spinning sign and a working cash draw it's the perfect accessory for playing shop. There are also plenty of wooden coins and notes to fill it, so your little 5-year-old can get playing right away. Wooden food and goods can be bought separately, though we think there's more fun in setting up a miniature bakery or sweet shop with real treats!
- Price: £21.60
- Age: 3+
Best Gifts For Techy Kids
Botley® 2.0 Activity Set
If you're looking for a great educational toy for techy kids, look no further than Botley The Coding Robot, which teaches kids as young as five the basics of coding and logical thinking. This little robot can be programmed to follow a series of up to 150 steps, move in six directions, light up, change colour and even dance! The set comes with a mini wheeled robot, remote programmer, a series of obstacles for Botley to manoeuvre, a pair of attachable arms to help him move objects and a pack of coding cards that will help children to understand how programming a robot works. An absorbing toy that will have 5-year-olds developing their STEM skills without even realising it - so much opportunity for both fun and learning.
- Price: £85
- Age: 5+
Best Gifts For Outdoorsy Kids
GTPHOM Outdoor Explorer Kit
If your 5-year-old loves nothing more than getting their hands dirty and exploring the outdoors, then this little explorer kit would make their perfect gift. The 20-piece set includes everything any little adventurer could ever want: a pair of binoculars, a compass, a little torch, whistle, trowel, butterfly net and bug collector amongst other things, as well as 6 toy insects to inspect. The bright string backpack makes it easy to transport (perfect for taking on the next family walk or camping trip) and the whole set comes in at less than £20 - a great value gift. Not only does the set encourage imaginative outdoor play, it has real educational value, too, helping kids to engage with nature, develop STEM skills and learn about the world around them. Plus, the promise of hunting down critters and creepy crawlies is sure to tear kids away from their screens and get them outdoors having fun in the fresh air. You can't lose!
- Price: £17.95
- Age: 3+
Best Gifts For Building
BRIO Builder Motor Set
Construction toys are hugely developmentally beneficial, allowing kids to engage their critical thinking skills and get to grips with the way different shapes and structures fit together. This BRIO Motor Set is even more engaging than most, with 120 play components and a battery-powered motor designed to form all sorts of moving creations. There's an 'inspiration manual' included, but the beauty of build-it-yourself sets like this is that they provide real opportunity for open-ended play and creativity; with the easy-to-use construction tools provided, kids can create a bike, crane, helicopter or anything they care to dream up. There's great satisfaction to be had when children see a mini project through to completion, and in doing so they get the opportunity to work with their hands, exercise patience and focus and improve their problem-solving abilities. Plus, as with all BRIO sets, the quality is excellent. A really educational toy set that will engage kids in STEM learning and keep 5-year-olds amused for hours.
- Price: £43.95
- Age: 3+
Best Craft Gifts
Fuzzikins Animals And Street Assortment
These Fuzzikins kits make such great gifts for any 5-year-old that loves to craft. Each set comes with an array of cute little animal figurines that can be coloured in with the washable pens provided. When your child gets bored of the design they've inked, simply wash them under the tap and the colour will come right off, leaving a blank canvas ripe for new artistry! We particularly like the penguin ice cream seller, who comes with a blank, white ice cream parlour just waiting to be coloured in. What sets this craft set apart is its capacity to provide infinite play opportunities; not only can the craft element be repeated again and again, but the finished artefacts can be used as play figures in whatever imaginative storyline your child chooses to dream up. Endless fun for your little 5-year-old artist!
- Price: £10
- Age: 4+
Best Board Game Gifts
Orchard Toys Shopping List Game
Board games make a lovely, if somewhat old-fashioned, gift, but that's part of the beauty of them. The best ones can provide hours of entertainment, getting kids away from screens, playing collaboratively and hopefully learning as they go. The Shopping List game is an award-winning bestseller that's perfect for a 5-year-old. Kids can exercise their memory muscles as they race to collect everything on their cardboard list - one of which had been updated rather aptly for the 21st century by being displayed on an iPad. Great for promoting observation, memory and matching skills, it's a good educational tool for younger kids, too, as it encourages them to practise naming the different foods. At just £7.99, this is a great budget gift that will keep 5-year-olds coming back to play again and again.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you found your favourite birthday present for 5 year olds on our list, why not check out our pick of the best remote control cars that kids will love? Or take a look at our favourite robot toys!
- Price: £7.99
- Age: 3+
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.