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The Best 5 Year-Old-Boys’ Gifts - 2021

Last updated on December 4, 2020
Best 5 Year Old Boy's Gift

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Our Picks For The Top 5 Year-Old-Boys' Gifts

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best for Budding Travelers

Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Interactive Globe

Shifu

Orboot Augmented Reality Interactive Globe

Overall Take

Hours of ExplorationThe intuitive app combines with this globe to create interactive fun for a wide age range.

  Our Top Pick

ESSENSON Outdoor Explorer & Bug Catcher Kit

ESSENSON

Outdoor Explorer & Bug Catcher Kit

Overall Take

Packed With GearThis bug lover's outdoor set has plenty of equipment for the price.

  Outdoor Pick

SainSmart Jr. Basic Archery Kids Bow & Arrow Set

SainSmart Jr.

Basic Archery Kids Bow & Arrow Set

Overall Take

Non-Toxic ArrowsThis light-up bow and arrow set is a great way to get kids outdoors.

  Best for Dino Lovers

EagleStone Dinosaur Shooting Toys

EagleStone

Dinosaur Shooting Toys

Overall Take

Safe and FunFire away without worry thanks to the foam "ammo" in this shooting game.

Avatar
Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on December 4, 2020

Is there any living being more fickle than a 5-year-old boy? If you’re the parent of one, you already know the answer. Sure, those toddler years were a whirlwind, but that fifth birthday brings with it a lot of changes. New words and new concepts get learned seemingly every day. One week they’re obsessed with dinosaurs; the next it’s superheroes. And of course, that first year of school means you can count on plenty of new friends and influences.

Factor all that into picking out a gift, and you begin to realize that it’s more art than science. There’s no perfect toy that will please every kid, but knowing just a little bit about your little guy will give you all the clues you need.

The one common experience you can usually count on is kindergarten. This is the year that most boys strap on that backpack for the first time and prepare to lay the foundations for a life of education. Their young minds need all the help they can get, so lean into the excitement and get them toys that spark their imagination and enthusiasm. Those weeks leading up to the first day of school are a good time to give snazzy backpacks or pencil cases with their favorite cartoon characters on them. If you pick right, they’ll have gear they can’t wait to get into the classroom and show off, and that will ease the transition into a potentially nerve-wracking new normal.

This is the year that STEM toys will start to pay off huge dividends in learning. That stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and this broad category of toys covers everything from building blocks to complex DIY robot kits. The trick is to find something at or just above your child’s current learning level. You want to get him interested and challenged by the kit, but not discouraged by it. Any kid would be fascinated at the prospect of having their own flying drone, but if it’s too hard to build, you’ve just ended up paying more for an unassembled toy.

The great thing about STEM is that it offers many opportunities to hook a boy in with interests they already have. Does the child love dinosaurs? Give them a junior archaeologist set where he can dig out his own dino bones. Does he love to build pillow forts? There are construction toys they can use to learn about architecture in a hands-on way.

Of course, you don’t want to neglect the child’s physical development. The age of 5 is when many boys learn to ride a bike, so that’s always a good time to introduce them to their first “big boy” two-wheeler. Some other kids might be more into scooters or skateboards, and that’s OK too. The idea is to get them up and moving. It can be tough to counter the sedentary influence of video games, but it can be done — especially if the parents or relatives are willing to get outdoors with them.

Speaking of video games, your boy will start begging for them if he hasn’t already. Don’t panic, and don’t fully give in either. Video games can actually hone your boy’s brain plasticity, short-term attention span and hand-eye coordination, but as with anything you’ll want to moderate their use. Go for games that have a learning component to them, and limit their usage if you’re a parent. Focus on any entertainment outlet can be damaging if a child does it for hours on end.

Finally, you should know that a boy’s enjoyment of any toy will be enhanced if he has a playmate. Dive in and be prepared to take that test drive with him once he opens the present. You might just rediscover your own inner 5-year old.

The Best 5 Year-Old-Boys' Gifts

1
  Best for Budding Travelers

Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Interactive Globe

Young learners can collect stamps on their junior passport as they explore this interactive globe. With the companion app, you can bring native animals from different continents to life on your phone or tablet, and play tons of games. The app is compatible with iOS or Android devices.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Shifu
Model
2
  Our Top Pick

ESSENSON Outdoor Explorer & Bug Catcher Kit

Little explorers will find everything they need for an outdoor adventure in this kit. That includes bug catching tools, mini-habitats and even a working compass. The binoculars have 5x magnification power and are great for fostering curiosity about the insect world.

Features


Specifications

Brand
ESSENSON
Model
3
  Outdoor Pick

SainSmart Jr. Basic Archery Kids Bow & Arrow Set

Develop hand-eye coordination the active way with this durable archery set. The arrows have an effective suction cup tip, and are non-toxic. Light-up effects on the bow are a bonus for outdoor play at night.

Features


Specifications

Brand
SainSmart Jr.
Model
4
  Best for Dino Lovers

EagleStone Dinosaur Shooting Toys

Kids can perfect their aim the safe way with this high-tech target game. Each hit on the dino's mouth is scored by a digital counter. The toy rifle is a blast to operate and the foam balls it shoots are harmless.

Features


Specifications

Brand
EagleStone
Model

Our 5 Year-Old-Boys' Gift Buying Guide

Is there any living being more fickle than a 5-year-old boy? If you’re the parent of one, you already know the answer. Sure, those toddler years were a whirlwind, but that fifth birthday brings with it a lot of changes. New words and new concepts get learned seemingly every day. One week they’re obsessed with dinosaurs; the next it’s superheroes. And of course, that first year of school means you can count on plenty of new friends and influences.

Factor all that into picking out a gift, and you begin to realize that it’s more art than science. There’s no perfect toy that will please every kid, but knowing just a little bit about your little guy will give you all the clues you need.

The one common experience you can usually count on is kindergarten. This is the year that most boys strap on that backpack for the first time and prepare to lay the foundations for a life of education. Their young minds need all the help they can get, so lean into the excitement and get them toys that spark their imagination and enthusiasm. Those weeks leading up to the first day of school are a good time to give snazzy backpacks or pencil cases with their favorite cartoon characters on them. If you pick right, they’ll have gear they can’t wait to get into the classroom and show off, and that will ease the transition into a potentially nerve-wracking new normal.

This is the year that STEM toys will start to pay off huge dividends in learning. That stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and this broad category of toys covers everything from building blocks to complex DIY robot kits. The trick is to find something at or just above your child’s current learning level. You want to get him interested and challenged by the kit, but not discouraged by it. Any kid would be fascinated at the prospect of having their own flying drone, but if it’s too hard to build, you’ve just ended up paying more for an unassembled toy.

The great thing about STEM is that it offers many opportunities to hook a boy in with interests they already have. Does the child love dinosaurs? Give them a junior archaeologist set where he can dig out his own dino bones. Does he love to build pillow forts? There are construction toys they can use to learn about architecture in a hands-on way.

Of course, you don’t want to neglect the child’s physical development. The age of 5 is when many boys learn to ride a bike, so that’s always a good time to introduce them to their first “big boy” two-wheeler. Some other kids might be more into scooters or skateboards, and that’s OK too. The idea is to get them up and moving. It can be tough to counter the sedentary influence of video games, but it can be done — especially if the parents or relatives are willing to get outdoors with them.

Speaking of video games, your boy will start begging for them if he hasn’t already. Don’t panic, and don’t fully give in either. Video games can actually hone your boy’s brain plasticity, short-term attention span and hand-eye coordination, but as with anything you’ll want to moderate their use. Go for games that have a learning component to them, and limit their usage if you’re a parent. Focus on any entertainment outlet can be damaging if a child does it for hours on end.

Finally, you should know that a boy’s enjoyment of any toy will be enhanced if he has a playmate. Dive in and be prepared to take that test drive with him once he opens the present. You might just rediscover your own inner 5-year old.

DWYM Fun Fact

If you’ve got a boy, chances are you’ve got to constantly be on the lookout for action figures underfoot. This has been a constant struggle for parents since Hasbro introduced G.I. Joe to the world in 1964. Hasbro actually coined the term “action figure” to market their plastic soldiers to American lads, and it paid off. Their only real competition in the mid-’60s was a toy named Johnny Hero, which was marketed as a “boy’s doll.” You don’t have to imagine which toy spawned its own cartoon and movie franchise, and which one was consigned to the bargain bin of toy history.

The 5 Year-Old-Boys' Gift Tips and Advice

  • Every year, kids get that one noisy toy that they absolutely love — and their parents love to hate. Don’t be that relative. Unless a boy’s parents specifically tell you about their son’s desire to be a drummer, don’t get them a drum set. or for that matter, any toy that’s liable to wake up the neighbors.
  • Durability is less of an issue as kids get older, but it’s still a concern for 5-year-olds. Trucks and other mobile toys should be able to stand up to some stunt mishaps. If you’re buying anything that could possibly be construed as a weapon, rest assured your 5-year-old will use it as one. That goes for Nerf guns as well as that expensive light-up sword they’ve been begging for.