What is your 5yr olds favourite toy?
June 16, 2008 7:56 AM   Subscribe

What toys does your 5yr old play with the most?

My boys birthday is coming up so looking for good toy suggestions. He likes cars, building blocks (zoomba/k'nex), robots, y'know the usual kid stuff. A lot of the other stuff just ends up gathering dust though, so wondering what your 5yr olds favorite toy is.
posted by zeoslap to Shopping (25 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
LEGOs and art supplies. That kid goes through more scotch tape...
posted by headspace at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2008

Mine (now 7) loved the Leapster when he was five. It was a great investment for us.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:18 AM on June 16, 2008

My friends with 5 year olds love Wedgits.

I love the Hearthsong catalog. Lots of neat stuff in there!
posted by Ostara at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2008

It's been a while since we've had a five year old in our family, but LEGO and Playmobil were the best toy investments we ever made, starting when our oldest child was three years old. Both our kids continued to play vigorously with them almost up until their teen years.

My kids are now 18 and 25, but if I ever have grandchildren, they'll hit the mother lode when they come here to visit, since we have several large bins full of this stuff in the garage.
posted by imjustsaying at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2008

When my son was 5 (he's 16 now) a friend gave him a pirate chest full of treasure for his birthday. She found the chest - a wooden, child sized version of a very pirate-y looking chest - at a thrift store and filled it with mardi gras beads, fake and foreign coins, all kinds of exotic looking "jewels," costume jewelry, polished rocks and so on. It was his absolute favorite thing for about four years. Into it went all his treasures (including, at one particularly magpie stage, half the contents of my jewelry box) from robins eggs to feathers to Simpsons pogs and he carried it from room to room like the worlds' smallest miser. He took it to kindergarten and first grade show and tell and all the other kids were insanely jealous.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:32 AM on June 16, 2008 [5 favorites]

I teach first grade and have worked in kindergarten classes and I've found that the art center isalways the most popular play station in the classroom. Washable markers, finger paints, ribbon, paper, crayons, glue sticks, foam shapes, Crayola clay, Play-Doh.
Art supplies have the added benefit of encouraging creativity and improving fine motor skills.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2008

Legos (or, if you prefer, Lego bricks)
Quadrilla (a really cool, high-quality, wooden marble run set)
Sky Roller Coaster set (another marble run thingy that teaches physics)

I forgot the exact name, but one of his favorite gifts for his fifth birthday was a circuit building kit. Each component (motors, LEDS, resistors, ICs) are on little plastic plates that snap together with wires. An included book gives directions for all manner of cool circuits. Check in the science section of any decent toy store.

My son also spends hours stacking paper cups, building card houses, and constructing Rube Goldberg machines from household items. We get inspiration from YouTube.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 AM on June 16, 2008

My five year old mostly plays with his Star Wars toys (action figures, ships, and lightsabers). He also plays with toys he has from the Imaginext line (pirate ship, castle).
posted by pardonyou? at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2008

The circuit building set mentioned by bondcliff is a Snap Circuit kit. They are indeed very cool, though my son didn't get into it until he was a little older.

Other favorites have been Lego, Playmobil (the Pirate chest that unfolds into a tropical island was a huge hit), and an electronic keyboard (a real one, not a kiddie one). And Transformers. Ye gods, the Transformers.
posted by jamaro at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2008

My son at 5 used large wooden blocks, like you'd find at a daycare, constantly for any and all play activities. He could build little forts for his guys, tons of ramps for his cars, airport runways, etc. He's 8 now, with a 2 year old brother, and they both still use the blocks for all these activities. I'd say get some of these blocks, a large container to keep them in (they do take up a lot of space), and some accessory toys to go along with it - cars, action figures, etc. Also, we let him draw on the blocks, add stickers, so he could make them into whatever he wanted. They don't stay looking pretty, but it helped him customize anything he was building.

On the LEGO front, I was really into them myself from age 4 on, but my older son didn't really get into them until he was about 7. At 5 he was too old for the LEGO Duplo blocks, but still a bit too young for the regular LEGO sets.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2008

Nthing Legos, Playmobil, and Star Wars toys. My son also loves dressing-up stuff -- capes, hats, that kind of thing. It's not so easy to find dress-up gear that's not all pretty pretty princesses, but it's out there.

Also, he loves playing with our D&D minis, but that is probably not so commonplace.
posted by Janta at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2008

Have a six-year-old boy.

nthing playmobile, legos and k'nex.

On the games front, Guess Who and Battleship are current faves. Card games are also popular (Uno, Uno Attack, Go Fish, and Rat-a-Tat-Cat (fun for the whole family!))

Because it has not been mentioned Hot Wheels! (go with the gravity-powered sets that we had as kids, the bettery-operated ones are space hogs, limiting in the creativity-sense, and (IMHO) really annoying.

On the I-am-a-bad-parent front, he would play lego star wars on the PS2 all day, everyday if we let him.

(sorry for lack of links, I'm on deadline)
posted by qldaddy at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2008

Melissa and Doug cardboard blocks. Endless building and dramatic play fun.
posted by firstdrop at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2008

Boy is almost 7 now but when he was five:

Lego. Well, actually Duplo. He especially liked the Castle Duplo and the Thomas the Tank Engine Duplo that a friend had. The small-sized lego are pretty hard for a 5 year old.

BRIO trains. Especially the Thomas The Tank Engine ones. Note that the little plastic-track kind they sell at target are cheaper but totally suck.

Several PS2 / Gamecube games. Lego Star wars the fav by far but also Wallace And Grommit ( PS2 ), Mario Cart (GC), Super Smash Bros (GC), Burnout (PS2).

Also there are a ton of games he likes in the Gametap service. Stuff like the Scoobie Doo adventure games and he really likes the "edutainment" stuff like Reader Rabbit.
posted by Riemann at 10:00 AM on June 16, 2008

Oooh, almost forgot: Marble slides. Those plastic tracks you put together and roll marbles down.
posted by Riemann at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Another addendum: Among his Kindergarten class (both boys and girls) Lego Star Wars / Lego Indiana Jones video games are the most popular topic of conversation from what I am told.
posted by Riemann at 10:02 AM on June 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions guys (keep em coming) he does love Lego, but his two year old sister isn't quite past the 'that looks tasty' stage so I'm always a little nervous when those small pieces are lying around.
posted by zeoslap at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2008

When I was 5, I couldn't get enough of the art supplies. Tape, glue sticks, watercolor paints, lots of crayons, stencils, colored drawing paper, and boxes (shoeboxes, cereal boxes...). pipe cleaners, paper plates, other odds-n-ends... Plenty of room for variety and rotation of the supplies, to keep him from getting bored.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:25 AM on June 16, 2008

Lincoln Logs for sure. Similar to legos but not as many small pieces.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:38 AM on June 16, 2008

I have a four year old who'll be turning 5 in Sept. We bought about 40 lbs of bulk lego via ebay for about $50 including shipping. The room has a Wii in it, and unless his older brothers are there he's 90% likely to play with the lego instead of the Wii. When he's not in the play room he likes to play a lot with his Nintendo DS.

However, I don't think a DS is appropriate for a 4-5 year old myself (his foster parents gave one to all the boys). It's been dropped so many times in it's one year life that it currently has been freezing/powering off/not reading inserted games quite frequently. But hey, if you've got lots of money and don't mind buying a new DS each year, I'll bet he'd really like it. I'm already dreading the crying and freak out when his DS fully dies, as we don't have the money to discard in that fashion.

Other than the lego, he'll really like X toy that he buys with his allowance for a few days, and then it is only a prop to be used with the lego.

I liked mygothlaundry's idea of the pirate chest. A real wooden chest that's all his (I.E. you won't get mad when he writes on it), would have been really fricken cool when I was that age. I'll have to consider it for Sept...

Note, if buying lego via ebay, if you don't pay the premium for a smoke-free item, soaking the lego in a bathtub with water and lots of Dr. Bronner's soap got the smell out for us. Rinsing was a PITA.
posted by nobeagle at 11:27 AM on June 16, 2008

How's his math? I got sleeping queens for my brother when he was about that age, and he's still playing it two years later. You have to be able to say "two and three are five" to lay down cards. There are some variations in the rules for younger players, but it really motivated him to learn arithmetic when the flashcards hadn't. What's really impressed me is that even though the playing cards are frayed and worn, he hasn't lost a single one.
posted by arabelladragon at 11:37 AM on June 16, 2008

those big cardboard building bricks always got our kids creating and playing from age 3 to, well our oldest is turning 9 and he still digs them. kind of a bear for space in our tiny house though...
posted by Redhush at 12:14 PM on June 16, 2008

Besides lego, wooden train tracks have kept my three boys busy for weeks on end. They make the most awesome tracks.
posted by carmelita at 10:37 PM on June 16, 2008

My bigger boy is turning 5 this weekend. He is getting some frigits because they look so cool, and he likes the marble run at pre-school.
He loves lego, model trains (both wooden Thomas, and the "grown-up" train set he and I are building that I wanted so bad when *I* was a boy) and matchbox/hot wheels cars. The loop the loop track for hot wheels is pretty good.
Despite what you would think if you saw the toy cupboard, I'm not big on buying toys, I rather the imagination stuff. To that end, these are the top items:
- sand pit, made of four railway sleepers nailed together, four pieces of pine decking nailed on top to give a dressed edge, some weed matting in the middle and a ton of sand. Very popular with our 2yro too.
- cubby house, made mainly of treated pine decking. If I was doing it again I would replace the wooden roof with shade cloth on a simple frame. It has a flagpole with a jolly roger. Also very popular with our 7yro.
- dress up box, an old hard sided suitcase filled with various clothes and accessories. Top items in ours are the bob the builder and fireman helmets, superman cape, stethoscope, feather boa, fairy wings and pirate outfit. This is a great, great toy for siblings playing together or when friends come round and is popular with the 2yro and 7yro too.
posted by bystander at 5:22 AM on June 17, 2008

nobeagle: However, I don't think a DS is appropriate for a 4-5 year old myself (his foster parents gave one to all the boys). It's been dropped so many times in it's one year life that it currently has been freezing/powering off/not reading inserted games quite frequently.

My 5 year old and I got a DS to "share" and I put a Nerf Armor on it. It was well worth every flippin' penny.

We play video games more in the winter though. Right now it's primo outdoor playing weather, and my daughter uses her bike and scooter the most out of anything we have. She has a little scooter that kind of looks like a Razor, but is also sized down for ages 4-6ish. So far she hasn't busted her face off yet. Roller skates are also great!

Indoor favorites are (for the 900th time) currently Lego and Playmobil.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 5:58 PM on June 17, 2008

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