The number of educational toys out there for five-year-olds is staggering, and it’s really hard to know what to choose. Even so, we’ve gone ahead and picked the CozyBomB Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game as our best overall for most people. If you’re wondering why, it’s simply because this toy is a colorful magnetic fishing game that encourages fine motor skill development, color recognition, counting, and letter recognition.
Our second-best is LiKee Wooden Pattern Blocks. This one’s a great budget option because, with 60 pattern cards and 38 shape pieces, it’s a versatile educational toy supporting shape recognition, pattern development, learning colors, and creating fun shapes.
We’ve also found some great picks for our favorite tech-enabled toy, best toy for reading and spelling, best math toy, and the best building toy. Here, you’ll find a great range of excellent learning toys for five-year-olds, sure to meet your child’s interests and your learning objectives.
- Our Top Picks for Best Educational Toys for 5-Year-Olds
- Best Overall – CozyBomB Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game
- Best Tech-Enabled Toy – Shifu Orboot Globe and App
- Best Budget Option – LiKee Wooden Pattern Puzzle
- Best for Reading – Melissa & Doug See & Spell
- Best for Math – Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes
- Best for Building – ETI Toys Construction Engineering Set
- What to Consider When Buying an Educational Toy for Preschoolers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Related Post: Best STEM Toys for 5-Year-Olds
Our Top Picks for Best Educational Toys for 5-Year-Olds
The CozyBomB Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game Toy for Toddlers is a colorful, fun, and versatile toy that fosters group play and learning while developing dexterity, reading skills, math skills such as categorizing and counting, and color recognition. With two different options for fishing play – in the “ocean” off a flat board, and ice fishing through a hole on the reverse side – the game will remain engaging and fun for hours.
We also love that this game is good for both interactive group play and a child playing solo. With so many clear learning options, different brightly colored cute fish, and it’s relatively compact size, we highly recommend picking this one up for your child!
This globe combines the use of a physical globe with tech-enabled content to support traditional globe learning enhanced by an interactive experience teaching basic geography, history, environmental science, and more.
The Shifu Orboot: Augmented Reality Interactive Globe is a fun, interactive toy that has a lot of features and room to grow. The globe itself shows the continents without borders or names but includes relevant geographical illustrations of major geological features (mountains or deserts), animals native to each region, and examples of building styles.
The globe also uses a companion app that creates an exciting and expansive interactive learning experience. It is described as an ‘augmented reality-based journey around the world.’ With the information in a wide range of educational facts, plus physical stamps, passport, and country flag stickers, this is a high-quality learning toy that will provide long-lasting exploration and excite your child’s curiosity about the world.
The LiKee Wooden Pattern Blocks Jigsaw Puzzle is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget. The simple, colorful design is engaging and fun. The pieces come in a high-quality iron storage box, and the 60 pattern cards give your child a nice collection of shapes to make with their puzzle pieces.
This versatile and budget-friendly learning toy helps kids learn their colors and shapes while working on pattern recognition, matching, and fine motor skills. Since the pieces are generic shapes like rectangles, triangles, half-circles, and crescents, kids can have a lot of creative freedom to make their own shapes and scenes.
The Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy is our pick for the best reading and spelling toy. It features 16 simple words on wooden blocks, with colorful pictures and cut-outs for letters, and a set of 50 letters that fit into cut-outs on the spelling boards. Kids can work on their letters and colors and matching shapes, while also learning to read and spell.
The see and spell learning toy is colorful and engaging, and the letters can be used outside of the word boards. As kids grow, the letters can be used to make longer words, or for other learning activities like sorting (by color, letter), or creating simple sentences. The pieces are large enough for small hands, but the puzzle feature ensures that kids also work on fine motor skills while having fun with letters.
The package of 100 cubes comes with 10 different colors and geometric cut-out shapes, all of which support math and building development skills.
The Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes is an educational counting toy that we picked as our best math learning toy. The cubes snap together so kids can create complex patterns and shapes, developing dexterity and hand-eye coordination, while also learning to count, identify colors, and recognize simple geometric shapes.
The cubes are small enough to be challenging for kids developing fine motor skills, but large enough to grip, and for kids to easily see the colors, shapes, and snaps. We love that the blocks leave a ton of room for creative play by building simple and complex shapes, categorizing blocks by shape or color, and counting. With ten blocks of ten colors, it’s a great introduction to counting and multiplication.
The ETI Toys Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks is designed to encourage engineering, math, and science learning. It’s a great option for the budding engineer in your life. The set comes with 101 pieces, and 12 included toy designs to get your child started on their building journey. The pieces are large, so the toys they’ll build would have a nice size – perfect for young ones developing hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
We also like that the pieces have fun colors, moving wheels, and are put together with screws and bolts. Using the wrench included in the package, your child can learn not only how to design and build fun toys, but also how to connect pieces using common hardware types. The blocks come with their own storage/carrying case to keep everything organized and are sure to encourage many hours of learning and fun for kids.
What to Consider When Buying an Educational Toy for Preschoolers
Factor 1: Versatility
One valuable consideration when choosing an educational toy for a 5-year-old is versatility. Here we mean a toy that touches on more than one learning objective. Toys like puzzles or fishing games, combine fine motor skill development with pattern recognition, while toys like our recommended globe support curiosity and knowledge development in multiple subjects. Versatility helps ensure that kids will stay engaged longer, and that they will benefit in multiple areas while playing and having fun. At this age, combinations of colors, letters, counting, and patterns, along with motor skills are really appropriate and engaging.
Factor 2: Focus
The primary focus of the toy may be as important as it’s overall versatility. Children often have specific interests, and if a toy speaks to their interests, it is going to grab their attention and keep them more engaged for longer. So if preschoolers love to fish, our recommended fishing toy is an excellent choice. But if they love trucks, you may want to look out for a similar toy that has a truck theme, as that is more likely to be fun for your child.
Factor 3: Quality
Toy quality is always a consideration, but if you anticipate something will be used a lot, it’s going to be even more important. Look at reviews, and search for toys made of sturdy materials with storage containers. The containers can help keep the toys in-tact and organized. It’s also one way to ensure that pieces won’t go missing. Materials like quality plastic and wood are more likely to stand up to rougher handling by younger children. All of this will ensure that your child enjoys the toy more while playing.
Factor 4: Learning Outcomes
Another important consideration when buying a learning toy is whether you are looking for a specific learning outcome, or just a good all-around educational toy so that your child is learning and developing while playing. If you’re looking for a specific learning outcome, like counting, colors, or reading, you are sure to find a lot of toys that are more targeted to specific topics. As noted above, we think that toys that encourage multiple learning outcomes are more versatile, and more likely to be used for longer. However, in cases where a specific topic is important, don’t hesitate to do some specific searching and you’ll be sure to find a toy that meets your child’s learning needs that is also engaging and interesting to your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best counting toy?
The best counting toy really depends on your five-year-old’s interests. Math concepts for young kids start with counting, simple adding and subtracting, and categorizing. Almost any toy with multiple pieces could be used to support these math concepts, and there is a lot to be gained from using toys that aren’t math specific, as that will help illustrate that these ideas exist everywhere and in everyday life. We recommend picking something that will encourage counting and categorization naturally. Some good examples from above are the CozyBomB Magnetic Fishing Game, Mathlink Cubes, and the LiKee Wooden Pattern Blocks.
How do I find a good spelling game?
We highlighted the Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzle Spelling Game since we liked the versatility of individual letters. But there are some great options where words are made with 2 or three puzzle pieces and tons of other examples. So we encourage you to consider how interested your child is in learning letters, if they like more traditional puzzles over something like the wooden letter boards, and whether they will be doing the spelling game independently or with friends and other adults. Pick something that seems developmentally appropriate, yet challenging, and likely to engage your child’s interests based on its content.
What are the best building toys?
When it comes to building toys, there are seemingly endless options. Lots of building toys age well while some sets can be expanded as children grow. We recommend picking something that has pieces and building options that excite your child, and one that has standard-enough pieces that any individual set can be expanded and adapted as your child grows. This way, they’ll start with a great foundation and a fun toy that can grow up with them.
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Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API