21 of the best toys for 5 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 5 to 6, rated by child testers and recommended by their parents

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Best Toys for 5 year olds

Your 5-year-old is a creative and enthusiastic problem solver, and usually up for a toy that requires some focus or offers some building, thinking or sustained imaginative-play challenge.

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Your child can also use their fingers much more flexibly to control crafting tools and tackle more complicated construction or technology toys.

Of course, they’ll also be enjoying some imaginative play, as well as anything that’s fun, sometimes loud or messy, and that makes them giggle.

They might also enjoy some easy games, though won’t necessarily be a good loser at this age. But find one that’s simple enough and the whole family can have a good time playing together.

Here is our pick of the best toys for 5-year-olds, as tested and rated by kids…

1. Launch and Defend Batmobile, £39.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A 30cm-high remote-controlled Batmobile. Comes with a Batman figure (10cm), a remote control and a USB charging cable for the car. The remote control requires 2 AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: The remote control is very child-friendly and the car moves around nice and nippily. But the spring-loaded eject feature which sends Batman flying out of the car is obviously the star feature – and produced squeals of delight from our child testers. We were so impressed by their excitement, it’s one of our Top Xmas Toys 2020. Do remember that the car will need charging before giving it to your child.

Available at: Smyths ToysJohn Lewis and Amazon

2. Schleich Rider Cafe, £44.9

Age: 3+

What it is: A 11cm x 29cm x 23cm horsey cafe playset with a food counter and kitchen that comes with 2 figures, a stallion, and accessories, which include halter and saddle, horse trough, cafe tables and chairs, coffee machine, and loads of pies and cakes. Requires some assembly.

Why we love it: Wow, there’s so much attention to detail in this playset – from the opening oven and little cups (note that some of the pieces are very small), right down to the rose trellis growing up the side of the cafe. Our testers liked that the 2 figures have posable limbs (though oddly the girl’s legs don’t move, so she’s stuck in a seated position, while the man can stand and sit).

Available at: Schleich and Amazon

3. Learning Resources Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot Activity Set, £85

Learning Resources Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot Activity Set

Age: 5+

What it is: A colourful 13cm-high robot that your child can programme to perform a sequence of up to 150 steps in 6 directions. Comes with a remote programmer, 2 face plates, 40 coding cards, 6 double-sided boards, 27 obstacle building pieces and a starter guide. Requires 5 AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: Our child testers loved Botley’s friendly face and the fact that his eyes light up and you can change their colour. Much praise, too, for how you can set Botley challenges, like stacking bricks, make him do tricks and even get him to put on a little light show. To get the most of it, we recommend – and our tester parents agree – working out some of higher-level challenges on your own first, so, if need be, you can easily guide your child through.

Available at: Learning Resources, John Lewis and Amazon

4. Designafriend Sisi Doll, £35

Age: 3+

What it is: A 45cm-high doll with moveable limbs, soft body, long eyelashes and curly hair your child can style themselves. Comes with a silver charm bracelet, dance clothes, hair scrunchies, tutu rainbow dress, pink sparkly wings, a wand and 2 pairs of trainers.

Why we love it: Sisi, one of our Top Xmas Toys 2020, comes beautifully packaged in a gift box and she’s nice and big and soft to cuddle. Her clothing (she comes with 2 complete outfits) was a big hit with our child testers, with 5-year-old Roselyn saying, “She makes me feel so happy. The best thing is her sparkly shoes!” Roselyn also loves tying her hair up in her blue scrunchies.

Available at: Argos

5. Bee Smart Pizza Oven, £29.99

Bee Smart Pizza Oven

Age: 3+

What it is: A 30cm x 20cm wooden pretend pizza shop with over 30 accessories, including utensils, play money, a pizza wheel, a pizza peel (the shovel you use to push an uncooked pizza into the oven) and a little pizza oven. Some assembly required.

Why we love it: It’s lovely to look at and there’s loads to play with. The pizza box for ‘takeaway’pizzas is a cute touch – and was a massive hit with Heidi, our 4-year-old child tester. Heidi’s mum did mention that it’s a little flimsy, though – and also that because the pizza is ‘pre-sliced’ (so you can mix-and-match toppings) it can be hard for small hands to get it out of the oven without some bits of topping falling off. That said, Heidi, does add, “The best bit is making the pizza with lots of different toppings. I like to sing my pizza song whilst I’m making it. I play with it all the time!”

Available at: Bee Smart and Amazon

6. Tobi Robot Smartwatch, £49.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A smartwatch featuring an LED robot with friendly facial expressions and responsive sound effects. It can play games, take selfie, store videos and photos, and has a pedometer, timer, stopwatch and alarm. Requires 1 LiPo rechargeable battery (included). Available in blue or pink.

Why we love it: It’s absolutely stuffed with kid-friendly fun and the Tobi robot is an ace feature: our child testers’ mum Claire says her sons Elijah, 5, and Teddy 7, love how Tobi giggles or gets angry depending on how you treat him. She adds that the watch can seem a bit fiddly at first but the instructions are great and her sons soon more than got the hang of it. Teddy’s verdict? “It’s so cool!” We unanimously picked this toy for our Top Xmas Toys 2020.

Available at: AmazonLittle Tikes and The Toyshop

7. Bright Fairy Friends, £12.99 each

Age: 3+

What it is: A fairy doll which comes in a frosted glass jar that has motion-activated sparkly lights. If you press your fairy’s necklace, her wings will glow. Each fairy (there are 12 in the series) comes with 3 accessories, including hair clips. Batteries included.

Why we love it: As well as all the excitement of finding out which fairy you’ve got, there’s something really quite magical about the lights in fairy jar. In fact  our child tester Yaasmin, 6, now takes it to her bedroom every night and uses it as a night light. The fairy itself is good quality for the price and Yaasmin says she really enjoys playing with her hair and putting the hairclips in. Another toy to make our Top Xmas Toys 2020.

Available at: The EntertainerAmazon and Toymaster

8. HEXBUG Junkbots (4 Pack) Dumpster, £19.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A box that looks like a large skip that opens up to reveal over 50 pieces of ‘junk’ (some of which move or vibrate or light up) that can be snapped together to make 4 separate Junkbots characters (pictures included) or a mix-and-match creation of your own. Requires 3 x LR44 button cell batteries (included).

Why we love it: It’s such a brilliant concept: searching through the box of ‘junk’ to find things to build. It doesn’t come with detailed instructions, which puzzled our child testers at fist – but didn’t stop them getting stuck in. Our child tester Josh, 6, was blown away by his set: “I love being able to build different things and adding the different modules. I like the bits that move! It’s really cool and not like anything else I’ve played with!”

Available at: Amazon and Bargainmax

9. Barbie Dream Plane Playset, £74.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 58cm x 24cm x 27cm pink plane on (working) wheels, with reclining seats, opening overhead compartments and a steward’s snack trolley with removable trays. Comes with over 15 accessories, including a puppy, an eye mask, a suitcase, headphones and blankets (but you’d have to buy any dolls separately).

Why we love it: It’s big but light enough to carry (or wheel) about easily. And the accessories are fab! We particularly like the bone for the puppy, and the little suitcase that opens and closes. Our child testers played with this for ages – even the ones who didn’t have dolls to be pilots/cabin crew/passengers.

 Available from: Smyths ToysArgos, Amazon and The Entertainer

10. Geosmart Flip Bot, £39.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A 30-piece racing-vehicle magnetic construction set, including 2 snap-in motors, wheels, connectors and a remote control. Comes with instructions. Requires 3AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: Our child testers loved the brightly coloured pieces and the idea that they could quickly build vehicles they could remotely control. They became super-absorbed in constructing different designs – 1 tester was building for 45 minutes solid and nearly missed his tea!. Racing the finished vehicles is fun, too: they flip every time you shift from forwards to backwards.

Available from: Amazon and BrightMinds

11. Imaginext Jurassic World Thrashing Indominus Rex, £29.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A large 35cm dinosaur with moving arms and jaws, which thrashes around thrillingly when you move its tail. Comes with a little green raptor. No batteries required.

Why we love it: Pulling the big dino’s tail and watching it thrash about and throw the small raptor off its back was met with a gale of giggles from all our child testers and made it a shoo-in for one of our Top Xmas Toys 2020. It’s maybe a shame it doesn’t roar as well but, for child tester Jack, 6, it’s perfect as it is: “I actually don’t think there’s any bad bits about this toy,” he says. “It’s really good and very funny.”

Available at: ArgosVery and Smyths Toys

12. Playmobil 70286 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Machine Van, £49.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A 72-piece Scooby Doo-themed Playmobil set including a 28cm-high Mystery Machine vehicle, 3 figures (Daphne, Velma and Fred) and over 15 accessories, including snacks (obvs), a GPS device, ‘ghost cards’ and a map. Requires 1 x AAA battery (not included). Some assembly required.

Why we love it: We like the working wheels, the removable roof and windscreen and the sliding side doors and our child testers were very excited by the light-up ‘monster monitor’ inside, which lets you ‘see’ the 3 ghost cards that’ll idenfity the baddies. It’s a shame Scooby and Shaggy don’t come with the set (you can buy them separately) but it’s a great playset.

Available at: Amazon, Smyths Toys and Argos

13. Orangutwang, £15.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A suspense game where you take it in turns to hang fruit and jungle animals on the swinging orangutang before he gets overloaded and pings off the string, scattering everything everywhere. For 2 or more players.

Why we love it: It’s a lovely, exciting family game and our child testers were full of giggles as they waited for the orangutang to ‘twang’. Good for fine-finger control, too – we saw lots of tongues sticking out in concentration as our testers carefully placed the fruit on the wire.

Available from: John LewisSmyths ToysArgos and Amazon

14. Sylvanian Families Baby Castle Nursery, £30

Age: 3+

What it is: A pastel-coloured 25cm x 29cm x 18cm mini castle that comes with a piano, flags, a swing, a slide that can stand alone or be used from the 2nd floor, and a table that turns into a seesaw. No baby Sylvanian figures are included; you’ll have to buy those separately.

Why we love it: It’s ever so cute and dinky – and impressively versatile: lots of the accessories can be used in 2 different ways (like the table that’s also a seesaw) and you can turn the castle around to create a larger floorspace. As our child testers’ parents reported, there’s plenty of scope for imaginative play with this little playset.

Available from: ArgosAmazon and Smyths Toys

15. KidKraft Everyday Heroes Wooden Play Set, £148

Age: 3+

What it is: A huge (97cm x 27cm x 20cm) fold-up wooden playset with 3 levels and 12 themed rooms, a helipad and a roof-to-floor fire pole. Comes with a police motorcycle, helicopter, fire truck, 2 bendable firefighters, 2 dogs and lots of other accessories. including furniture. Self-assembly required.

Why we love it: It’s very pricey but very big and sturdy and you do get amazing furniture and figures and vehicles (which often aren’t included in other playsets). Assembling it out of the box is quite a job, say our child testers’ parents – so definitely do it before you give the plasyet to your child! KidKraft do provide some excellent downloadable instructions.

Available from: Amazon and Kidkraft

16. SmartGames Little Red Riding Hood, £19.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A brain-teasing 24cm x 29cm x 6cm puzzle based around the story of Little Red Riding Hood. As well as the board, it comes with 5 road puzzle pieces, 3 trees, a little Red Riding Hood, a wolf, Granny’s house, a booklet of 48 challenges and a little picture book of the Red Riding Hood tale.

Why we love it: Our child testers had proper fun working out how to get Little Red Riding Hood safely to Granny’s House. Great for helping children develop logical thinking and spatial awareness – and we like how the challenges get more difficult as you work though the booklet.

Available at: SmartToys and Amazon

17. Orchard Toys Pop To the Shops, £10.50

Age: 5+

What it is: A (bestselling) board game, where you have a set of items to buy, and you throw the dice to move from shop to shop, using your plastic money to buy your shopping before someone else fills their basket first. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: It’s a great way to do lots of counting, and learn about giving money and getting change – although it’s worth knowing that the only coins included are 50p, 20p and 10p pieces. The board and pieces (made from recycled card) are sturdy and durable. It’s well-thought out, easy to understand and doesn’t take forever to play: our child testers found it a lot of fun.

Available at: Amazon and Orchard Toys

18. Little Live Pets Flutter Wings Butterflies, £12.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A large (22cm x 18cm x 5cm) interactive butterfly that flaps in the palms of your hands. Comes with a flower charging base, a suction cup and an instruction manual. Choose from 6 different designs, including Love Art (pictured). Requires 2 AA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: These butterfly pets have been around for a few years now but show no sign of losing popularity – and deservedly so. They’re pretty sturdy – and their wing action is impressively realistic: they don’t just flap but vibrate and flutter, too (although they don’t actually fly, to one of our child testers’ disappointment!)

Available at: Argos and Smyths Toys

19. Playmobil City Life Tiny Paws Pet Hotel, £59.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A 76cm x 24cm x19cm 154-piece pet-hotel playset with a kitchen and an animal flap leading into the garden – which has a see saw, kennels and outdoor lights. Comes with 3 figures, 8 dogs, 2 parrots, bananas, carrots, dog food, chew toys and all sorts of other little accessories.

Why we love it: It’s a well-made and well-thought-through playset that won us – and our child testers – over with its plentiful, wonderful, detailed accessories: our child testers particularly liked the dog leads and the pet see saw and we’re very taken by the string of sausages.

Available from: PlaymobilUber Kids and Smyths Toys

20. Hama Beads Space Set, £10.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A space-themed Hama-beads set that’s also a kit for making a mobile. Comes with 2,500 5mm-diameter midi beads of various colours, 1 square pegboard, 1 round pegboard, 1 mobile display ring, ironing paper, thread, instructions and a pattern guide.

Why we love it: It’s a really good little project for a 5-year-old: our testers spent ages concentrating on making up the various designs, spurred on by the thought of stringing them all together to make a mobile. Great for fine-finger-control skills and properly rewarding at the end.

Available at: Fun Learning and Amazon

21. Scruff a Luvs Real Rescue, 39.99

What it is: An interactive rescue pet that arrives as a trembly ball of fluff. Gradually, as you wash, dry and cuddle it, it calms and transforms into either a dog, cat or bunny (you don’t know which until then). Has over 35 sounds (including hiccups and a heartbeat) and interactions. Comes with a feeding bottle, collar and name tag, and adoption certificate. Requires 2 AA batteries (included).

Why we love it: We have to say this toy melted our grown-up hearts for the lovely way it responds to being washed, groomed and cuddled. Our child testers liked hearing their pet sigh with relief in its warm-water bath. but, most of all, adored the suspense and surprise of finding out what kind of pet they’d rescued.

Available fromSmyths Toys and Amazon

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