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22 of the best toys for 5 year olds

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

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, loud or messy, and that makes them giggle.

They might also enjoy some easy board games, though they 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.

We've also got best toy lists for all ages, such as best toys for 2 year olds.

To save money on toys check out our best toy deals page to keep updated on the best toy sales.

How to choose toys safely

  • Look for the CE symbol as this is used by manufacturers to show the toy meets all the relevant regulatory requirements
  • Also keep an eye out for the British Toy and Hobby Association's (BTHA) 'Lion Mark' – although this is voluntary it means that the toy has to meet safety requirements to be a member 
  • Pay attention to the age suitability of the toy
  • Avoid toys with loose fabric, hair that sheds easily or small parts that detach easily as these can be a choking hazard
  • Check toys over time for sharp points or edges. If they have become dangerously worn considering getting rid of them or having them repaired if possible

Best toys for 5 year olds at a glance

  • Great toy for extended imaginative play: Playmobil City Action Fire Ladder Unit, £62.99
  • Great toy for suspense and social skills: Orchard Toys Dino-Snore-Us, £10.75
  • Great toy for creative fun: Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory, £14.95
  • Great toy for starter pedalling: Beehive Toys Blue 16" Vintage Bicycle, £149.99
  • Great toy for charm-laden discoveries: Funlockets Secret Fair Musical Jewellery Box, £27
  • Great toy for collectible fun: My Squishy Little Dumplings, £14.99 each
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Schleich Wild Life Ranger Adventure Station, £49.99
  • Great toy for prehistoric thrills and learning: AugmentifyIt Dinosaurs Augmented Reality Quiz Game, £12.99
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Sylvanian Families Baby Amusement Park, £49.99
  • Great toy for fun: Launch and Defend Batmobile, £39.99
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Schleich Rider Cafe, £38
  • Great toy for pretend play: Bee Smart Pizza Oven, £34.99
  • Great toy for fun: Tobi Robot Smartwatch, £49.99
  • Great toy for dexterity and creativity: HEXBUG Junkbots (4 Pack) Dumpster, £19.99
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Barbie Dream Plane Playset, £86.99
  • Great toy for lots of laughs: Imaginext Jurassic World Thrashing Indominus Rex, £29.99
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Playmobil 70286 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Machine Van, £49.99
  • Great toy for numeracy skills: Orchard Toys Pop To The Shops, £10.75
  • Great toy for imaginative play: KidKraft Everyday Heroes Wooden Play Set, £153
  • Great toy for interactive fun and nurturing skills: Little Live Pets My Pig Piggly, £24.99
  • Great toy for imaginative play: Playmobil City Life Tiny Paws Pet Hotel, £59.99
  • Great toy for fine-finger skills: Hama Beads Space Set, £14.03

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

1. Playmobil City Action Fire Ladder Unit, £62.99

– Great for extended imaginative play

Playmobil City Action Fire Ladder Unit

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A 17cm x 39cm fire engine with an extendable, rotating ladder and flashing lights and siren sounds. It has a removeable roof on the driver's cab and slide-down stabilising legs. Comes with 3 firefighters, and accessories including fire helmets with visors, a power generator, fire extinguisher and firefighters' axes. Can be combined with a remote control unit (sold separately).

Why we love it: Its blue flashing lights and 'nee-naw' siren are great but it's the extendable, rotating ladder that give this fire engine the wow factor. We really like the diverse set of firefighters and the great clutch of accessories, too: lots there to spark off some excellent firefighting scenarios. "The attention to detail is fabulous," said Carolyn, mum of our child tester twins Arabella and Joseph, 4. 'They completely lose themselves in imaginative play. The engine feels robust, too – it will stand the test of time." Arabella added, "I love the lights and the fire engine noise, and how the ladder goes up and down! Can I keep it for ever?"

Available at: Amazon

2. Orchard Toys Dino-Snore-Us, £10.75

– Great for suspense and social skills

Orchard Toys Dino Snore-Us

Age suitability: 4 to 7 | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A dinosaur-themed board game where the objective is to collect as many eggs as you can without waking the sleeping T-Rex. Includes a spinner, jigsaw game board, 4 dinosaur playing pieces, a T-Rex character, 24 eggs and 4 nests. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: It's a great-value, colourful, simple board game with a real element of fun. Who's going to wake the T-Rex next? We also really like the little twist at the end, when it's time to count up your eggs: you have to turn them over to see how many cracked ones you have and you can’t count those in your total. Players try to collect uncracked eggs but if they land on a footprint, the sleeping T-Rex will wake up and send them right back to the start. This was the part that really got our child tester Avana, 5, giggling in anticipation. "I also really liked counting out the spaces after I threw my dice," she said. "I was excited and nervous for waking the dinosaur up."

Available from: Amazon and Orchard Toys

3. Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory, £14.95

– Great for creative fun

Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A kit containing nearly 1kg of red, blue, yellow and black squishy, mouldable sand that can be mixed to make new colours. Comes with instructions and over 10 different tools for sand-slicing, marking, scooping and shaping, including 2 moulds for making 'cakes' of black sand with rainbow colours inside.

Why we love it: We really like the black sand, the vast array of tools and the little cardboard mat for making your creations on. The instructions are a little hard to understand in places but there are lots of YouTube videos to watch for sand-creation inspiration. "This set is fun and creative and comes with much more other kinetic sand kits," said Jamie, mum of our child tester Oliver, 5. "There are so many tools we've never used before. The cube mould is Oliver's favourite – he loved slicing it open to reveal the surprise coloured stripes. I especially like the scoop tool: it makes it so much easier to make ball shapes, which Oliver's always struggled with before."

Available at: Very and The Entertainer

4. Beehive Toys Blue 16" Vintage Bicycle, £149.99

– Great for starter pedalling

beehive toys vintage bike with logo

Age suitability: 4 to 7 | Best for age: 5 | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A retro-look 9kg aluminium bike with stabilisers, air-filled rubber wheels and height-adjustable padded seat (52cm to 60cm) and handlebars (65cm to 73cm). Features gears, a twist-operated bell and a fully covered chainguard. Comes with tools for fitting the stabilisers and a tyre pump.

Why we love it: This is a great first bike, with chic vintage styling and a study, ultra-practical design. Katherine, mum to our child tester Ted, 7, said, "We are delighted with this. It's considerably cheaper than some better-known bike brands but good quality and likely to last a long time. It has lower gears than many children's bikes, so it’s much easier to make those initial pedal strokes and build up momentum: Ted rode away confidently as soon as it was built and did 4 laps of the road! There’s also a comfortable saddle, nicely positioned handlebars, and easy-to-reach brake levers."

Available at: Amazon and Beehive

5. Funlockets Secret Fairy Musical Jewellery Box, £27

– Great for charm-laden discoveries

Funlockets Secret Fairy Musical Jewellery Box

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)
Awards: Editor's Choice, MadeforMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A 24cm-high music box with 3 tunes and a removable turning fairy that’s also an unboxing toy – with charms, gems and stickers inside doors and treasure drawers that can be unlocked by hidden keys. Includes more than 20 accessories.

Why we love it: It's a toy full of charm and surprise and, unlike many unboxing toys, there's plenty to play with when the unboxing's done. The music-box element is sweet and we really like how you can make a bracelet from the charms you’ve found. Our child tester Amberlily, 5, was a huge fan, saying: "I love the dancing fairy, the music and all the surprises. It's so much fun!"

Available from: Argos, Amazon and Very

6. My Squishy Little Dumplings, £14.99 each

– Great for collectible fun

My Squishy Little Dumplings

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 2 x button cell (included)
Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A palm-sized (9cm-high) tactile, interactive collectible friend, with over 50 reactions. Squeeze its cheeks once to make its body pop out; squeeze them twice to hear it sing. It will also giggle, chatter in special language, light up and change hair colour. Comes with 2 accessories (like the glasses, pictured above). There are 4 different dumplings to collect.

Why we love it: We really like the sensory feel of the dumpling heads, how cutely their little cheeks light up, and the way the box they come in opens up, like flower petals to reveal what's inside. Laura, mum of our child tester Sophia, 5, said, "Sophia loves the accessories that come with each dumpling and changing them around from one dumpling to another. She also loves the way they speak, and their different personalities, and how they can be squished up and rolled around, and thrown in the air and caught." Sophia's own verdict? "They're brilliant!"

Available at: Amazon, The Entertainer and Smyths Toys

7. Schleich Wild Life Ranger Adventure Station, £49.99

– Great for imaginative play

Schleich Wild Life Ranger Adventure Station

Age suitability: 3 to 8 | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A 50cm x 30cm x 35cm playset that can be built in different ways and features a tree with a slide, a wobbly suspension bridge, a ranger station with a rope ladder, swivelling crane and flip-up floor panel and an earth mound with burrow to hide in. Comes with a black panther, a crocodile, 2 baby tortoises, a baby gorilla, a Ranger Steve figure and accessories including a satellite telephone, a torch, binoculars. leaves and a transport box.

Why we love it: The 'rotten' breakable plank on the suspension bridge is great fun, as is the tree slide (perfect for baby gorilla playtime) and we like how well articulated the ranger figure is – his arms and legs move and he can hold various accessories his hands. "Mya loves this playset!" said Emma, mum of our child tester Mya, 5. "I have never seen her so focused on a toy for such a long time. It's also made her ask lots of questions about the different animals and the job of a zoologist. It's such fantastic quality and offers so much play potential."

Available at: Smyths Toys and Schleich

8. AugmentifyIt Dinosaurs Augmented Reality Quiz Game, £12.99

– Great for prehistoric thrills and learning

augmentifyit dinosaurs

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What is it: A deck of 24 flashcards that feature pictures and facts about prehistory and include 18 dinosaur cards which, with the help of the free-to-download app, can be brought to life via augmented reality (AR). The AR animations also give you access to 300 quiz questions.

Why we love it: The cards are brilliantly fact-filled but it's the AR animation that supplies the real thrills: we love how monstrously the T Rex rears out of the card, and we also like that some of the animations are skeletons, so you can see inside and outside the Stegasaurus, for example. The quiz questions are well selected but we'd have liked there to be a little more interaction when you answer them. "It's amazing to see the dinosaurs come to life," said Elisa, mum of our child tester, Logan, 5. "Logan spread the cards on the floor and created his own little Jurassic world. There were a few prehistoric water creatures he didn't know – we had fun trying to pronounce their names! There are some fossil cards, too, which is interesting, and Logan did like having a closer look at the bones."

Available at: Amazon

9. Sylvanian Families Baby Amusement Park, £49.99

– Great for imaginative play

Sylvanian Families Baby Amusement Park

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Bronze, best playset under £50, Made For Mums Toy Awards 2021

What is it: A 31cm x 10cm x 26cm funfair-themed castle playset featuring a rotating Ferris wheel, swinging Viking ship, a rocket, 2 go-karts, and a display board at the back of the castle where you can line up your Sylvanian baby figures. Comes with 3 baby figures.

Why we love it: It's very cute and sweetly detailed and the battery-free funfair features are easy for little hands to operate. Extra points from us for the inclusion of 3 baby figures (you often have to buy these separately with Sylvanian Families playlets). Our child tester Hettie, 4, said, "The rocket is my favourite because it can fly up and get the shooting star. I like little animals because they are so furry." Her mum Becki added, "Hettie has played with this every day since she got it." This playset can be combined with other funfair SF sets, such as the Spooky Surprise House and the Baby Star Carousel – if your child is a big SF fan and looking to extend their collection over multiple birthdays/Christmases.

Available at: Very, John Lewis and Argos

10. Launch and Defend Batmobile, £39.99

– Great for fun

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 2 x AAA for remote control (not included)

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.

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. Do remember that the car will need charging before giving it to your child.

Available at: Amazon

11. Schleich Rider Cafe, £38

– Great for imaginative play

schleich cafe

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

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; it may be marked at a toy for 3 years plus but this is definitely a playset for an older child), right down to the rose trellis growing up the side of the cafe and key in the door. 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: Amazon

12. Bee Smart Pizza Oven, £34.99

– Great for pretend play

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: None

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, 5, our child tester – although Heidi's mum did mention that it's a little on the flimsy side. Heidi said, "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: Amazon and Bee Smart

13. Tobi Robot Smartwatch, £49.99

– Great for fun

tobi smartwatch

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 1 LiPo rechargeable battery (included)

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. 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!"

Available at: Amazon, Argos and The Entertainer

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

– Great for dexterity and creativity

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 2x LR44 (included)
Awards: Bronze, MadeforMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A 13cm x 6cm plastic dumpster full of 24 pieces (some hidden in mini rubbish bags) that can be put together to create 4 Junkbot robots that light up and move. There are a total of 36 Junkbots to collect (if you buy other dumpster sets).

Why we love it: Yes, it’s a bit of plastic overkill but it’s great fun digging through the dumpster and opening the rubbish sacks to find the pieces – and the little robots are rewarding to make. We also like that you can freestyle and fit the pieces together in other ways – especially if you collect other dumpsters – to make your own robot. Zephy, 6, one of our child testers, said: "There is nothing I don't like about them. I made a robot that lights up on my own!"

Available at: Amazon and The Entertainer

15. Barbie Dream Plane Playset, £86.99

– Great for imaginative play

barbie travel dream plane

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

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 at: Amazon, Argos and The Entertainer

16. Imaginext Jurassic World Thrashing Indominus Rex, £29.99

– Great for lots of laughs

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: None

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.

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. It's maybe a shame it doesn't roar as well but, for child tester Jack, 5, it's perfect as it is: "I actually don't think there's any bad bits about this toy," he said. "It's really good and very funny."

Available at: Amazon

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

– Great for imaginative play

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: 1 x AAA (not included)

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. 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 identify the baddies. It's a shame Scooby and Shaggy aren't included, too, (you can buy them separately) but it's a great playset.

Available at: Amazon and Smyths Toys

18. Orchard Toys Pop To the Shops, £10.75

– Great for numeracy skills

orchard toys pop to the shops

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 5 + | Batteries: None

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 the fast-dying art of 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

19. KidKraft Everyday Heroes Wooden Play Set, £153

– Great for imaginative play

kidkraft everyday heroes wooden play set

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

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 at: Amazon

20. Little Live Pets My Pig Piggly, £24.99

– Great for interactive fun and nurturing skills

Little Live Pets My Pig Piggly

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries required: 3 x AA (included)

What it is: A little (14cm x 15cm) interactive pig with a snuffly snout that you can feed with a bottle, watch dancing or take for a walk on her lead. She has over 25 sounds and reactions, including oinks, giggle, burps, sneezes and the odd fart. Comes with an instruction booklet.

Why we love it: She’s surprisingly soft to touch with lovely flappy ears and we really like how noisily she eats when you offer her her bottle. Our child testers were absolutely enchanted, especially with the idea that they could take their pig for a walk on a lead. (She does trot along very sweetly.) They also really enjoyed how she snores when she falls asleep.

Available at: Amazon and Argos

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

– Great for imaginative play

Age suitability: 4+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

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 at: Amazon

22. Hama Beads Space Set, £14.03

– Great for fine-finger skills

hama beads space set

Age: 5+ | Batteries: None

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 dexterity and creativity – and properly rewarding at the end.

Available at: Amazon and Fun Learning

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About the author Helen Brown

Helen is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies (Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she's also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.

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