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25 Best Educational Toys for 5-Year-Olds of 2024

Updated
Unveil the best educational toys that combine fun and learning, perfectly suited for the curious minds of 5-year-olds.

In our desire to do the best for our kids, we can sometimes try to make every moment an academic learning experience. However, play is an essential element of every childhood, and the fun aspect of educational toys for 5-year-olds can be lacking.

We’ve combined our experience with extensive research to bring you this list of 25 educational toys that will not only teach your 5-year-old but will be a fun-filled way to spend their time.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe
Building Global Citizenship
LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe
  • Passive & active learning
  • Wide range of knowledge
  • Stylus is attached to base
Product Image of the Imagimake: Mapology World
Geo Hero
Imagimake: Mapology World
  • Durable
  • Meets ASTM standard
  • Familiarizes colors, shapes, and geography
Product Image of the Sphero Specdrums
Unique Concept
Sphero Specdrums
  • Durable silicone construction
  • Portable for travel
  • Versatile &engaging
Product Image of the Outdoor Explorer Kit
Curiosity Unleashed
Outdoor Explorer Kit
  • Explorer vest has plenty of pockets
  • Working compass
  • Clipboard encourages note-taking
Product Image of the Galt Toys Slime Lab
Gorgeously Gross
Galt Toys Slime Lab
  • Simple, age-appropriate science
  • No household items needed
  • Fun experiments
Product Image of the Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set
Programmable Fun
Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set
  • No gadgets required
  • Attention holding & versatile
  • Flexible play options
Product Image of the CoolToys Math Game
Single Player Fun
CoolToys Math Game
  • Promotes logical thinking
  • 65-piece set
  • BPA-, lead-, and phthalate-free
Product Image of the Magic School Bus Engineering Lab
Ms. Frizzle Approved
Magic School Bus Engineering Lab
  • Follows Magic School Bus show
  • 33 experiments to try
  • Progressively builds knowledge
Product Image of the Create With Clay Dinosaurs
Playful Paleontology
Create With Clay Dinosaurs
  • Durable, reusable skeletons
  • Combines art & science
  • Comes in other variants
Product Image of the Gears! Gears! Gears! Robots
Screen-Free Robotics
Gears! Gears! Gears! Robots
  • Compatible with other sets
  • Structured & free-form play
  • Screen-free & non-motorized

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we apply our hands-on experience and professional expertise to conduct thorough research and analysis on educational toys for 5-year-olds. Our evaluation process involves comprehensive assessments and comparisons, using a carefully selected criteria that takes into account key decision-making factors such as the toy’s design, performance, and educational value. We track and measure each toy’s performance, presenting you with quantitative data and facts. We identify what sets the best toys apart from others, and provide first-hand evidence to support our recommendations. Our findings are based on evidence, ensuring you make an informed decision when choosing the best educational toy for your child.



The Best Educational Toys for 5-Year-Olds of 2024

Here are our suggestions for some of the best educational toys for 5-year-olds.

LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe

Building Global Citizenship

Tap the stylus against the globe and hear one of thousands of educational facts about geography, geology, animals, habitat, and more.

For interactive fun, there’s a puzzle game, an “against the clock” challenge, and a quiz.

In addition, the base has a 2.7-inch screen on which you can watch over 600 custom videos from the BBC Wildlife team.

Pros

  • Passive and active learning opportunities.
  • Wide range of knowledge.
  • The stylus is attached, so it is difficult to lose.

Cons

  • The screen could be bigger — it’s tiny for watching videos.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

User Experience

From personal experience, this smart globe has exceeded my expectations as an educational tool for children. The numerous features, such as games, quizzes, and pre-programmed videos, keep my child engaged and constantly learning about other countries and various subjects. The display screen is bright, easy to read, and even plays videos, which makes it a favorite among my kids. However, the one downside is its reliance on batteries, which I've had to replace multiple times due to frequent usage.

Imagimake: Mapology World

Geo Hero

How can you incorporate learning while playing? Imagimake will help you!

Have your child become familiar with maps, shapes, and colors with this fun-to-play but interactive puzzle.

The puzzle includes the states in the US and the world.

Pros

  • Two puzzles in one set.
  • Meets ASTM standard.
  • Teaches color, shapes, and geography confidence.

Cons

  • It may be too challenging enough for some kids.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Personal Perspective

This foam puzzle map is an engaging and educational tool for children to learn geography while having fun. My grandkids, as young as four years old, have been captivated by the activity of finding where each flag goes, and they don't even realize how much they're learning in the process. The puzzle pieces are made of thick foam that interlocks, and the base outlines the shape of the states, making it easier for early learners to assemble. One minor drawback is that not every country has a flag, so a more detailed version would be appreciated.

Sphero Specdrums

Unique Concept

Creativity meets tech with these fabulous little rings from Sphero.

Slip a Specdrum onto your finger and tap them against the included “play pad” to create music.

Alternatively, you can tap them on any surface, and the rings will create sounds in response to the surface’s color.

Download the app to your smartphone, tablet, or any other Bluetooth enabled MIDI device, and you can create music wherever you happen to be.

Pros

  • Durable silicone construction.
  • Portable — since they will work on other surfaces, they are great for traveling.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • Requires an app download.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with this product has been quite enjoyable, especially for my kids who love creating music with it. The Specdrums app provides a variety of sound kits, and it's quite impressive how the rings can be used on other colored household items for an interactive experience. However, the battery life of the rings is a bit disappointing, as it only lasts around 15 minutes when fully charged. Nonetheless, this product offers a unique way for children of all abilities to engage with music and explore their creativity.

Outdoor Explorer Kit

Curiosity Unleashed

Landing at the sweet spot where affordability and price meet, this kit contains everything your child needs to begin exploring the wonderful world of nature.

Gently scoop up your bugs with the globe ended tongs and drop them into one of the bug boxes for observation. Then note your observations on the clipboard and pad.

Encourages observational skills and physical activity as well as a way to learn about our natural environment.

Pros

  • Explorer vest has plenty of pockets.
  • Working compass.
  • Clipboard encourages note-taking.

Cons

  • Cheap plastic bugs.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

First-Hand Impression

For my three-year-old grandson and my seven-year-old twin girls, this explorer set has been an absolute joy. The vest, hat, and binoculars are great quality and have provided endless hours of imaginative play for them. Even though the plastic bug catchers might not last very long, the other accessories are well-made and worth the price. The only minor issue we encountered was the pencil holder on the clipboard being too loose, but overall, this set has been a fantastic gift for my little adventurers.

Galt Toys Slime Lab

Gorgeously Gross

The Galt Toys Slime Lab has seven different scientific “experiments.”

The 16-page instruction booklet guides you and your child through the steps to make, among other things, a glow-in-the-dark slime alien and a bouncy slime ball.

The box has everything you need to carry all of the booklet’s experiments, so there’s no need to supplement the kit with other items, which we think is a huge bonus.

However, beware of the fart noise slime experiment. It induces unstoppable giggles.

Pros

  • Simple, age-appropriate science.
  • No household items needed.
  • Appealing.

Cons

  • Slime can be messy.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

User Experience

In my experience, this science kit provided a fun and educational bonding experience for my 4-year-old grandson and me. We enjoyed exploring the house with the included magnets and conducting various hands-on experiments under adult supervision. While some experiments like making slime didn't turn out perfectly, others, such as the super ball, kept the excitement alive - making this kit an engaging and entertaining learning tool for young children.

Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set

Programmable Fun

Botley introduces the basic concepts of coding — the idea that you create a series of commands, send them to the robot, see what it does, and change your commands if the outcome is not what you wanted.

This set includes over 70 accessories so your child can build fun courses to send Botley through, including the programming device.

Pros

  • No phone, tablet, or computer required.
  • Attention holding and versatile.
  • Flexible play options.

Cons

  • Requires 5 AAA batteries.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

Personal Perspective

I'm a parent who recently bought the Botley Coding Robot for my kids, and I must say it's been a hit! This robot comes with a variety of pieces, including cubes and rods for maze-building, coding cards, and even attachable arms for knocking down obstacles. My 5-year-old son has had a blast programming Botley to navigate through mazes and complete various tasks. However, the line-following feature can be a bit finicky, especially on carpeted surfaces.

CoolToys Monkey Balance Cool Math Game

Single Player Fun

CoolToys Monkey Balance is a fun math game for children to play alone or with others. That means it’s good for an only child or for kids with siblings or a lot of friends.

It’s made with safe plastic materials which are BPA, lead, and phthalate-free.

The first challenges are appropriate for complete beginners and then become progressively more challenging. Now learning math should never look dull and boring with this game.

Pros

  • Promotes logical thinking.
  • 65-piece set.
  • BPA-, lead-, and phthalate-free.

Cons

  • Won’t appeal to everyone.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

This educational toy is an entertaining way to teach kids about numbers, counting, and basic math concepts like addition and subtraction. My child received it for their 4th birthday and loved the cute design and ease of use. As they grew, the included math cards provided extra challenges to keep them engaged. However, be cautious when handling the toy, as the plastic pieces can be quite delicate and prone to breakage.

The Magic School Bus Engineering Lab

Ms. Frizzle Approved

Open up the fun, bus-shaped storage box and discover 33 experiment instruction cards, a “data notebook” for your child to record their observations, a solar panel, a motor, an electrical buzzer, and more.

The kit asks questions and encourages your child to form a hypothesis, building on their experience from previous experiments and then testing their theories.

Pros

  • Links to Magic School Bus show, which your child may already love.
  • Engaging.
  • Progressively builds knowledge.

Cons

  • Some household materials are needed, such as vinegar.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

First-Hand Impression

Definitely an interesting and educational kit for kids, this product provides numerous hands-on experiments to keep children engaged and excited about learning. My five-year-old son particularly enjoyed using the litmus papers and recording his observations in the included notebook. While some experiments did not work as expected, with a little effort and research, we were able to adapt and make most of them successful. One downside is that certain necessary ingredients, like cornstarch, are not included in the kit, making some experiments momentarily inaccessible.

Create With Clay Dinosaurs

Playful Paleontology

This set from Create With Clay has a trio of molded plastic dinosaur skeletons. It also has all of the clay you need to flesh them out and create three models, a T-Rex, a stegosaurus, and a triceratops.

The clay is non-toxic and non-staining, and there is also a pair of googly eyes for each dinosaur and two modeling tools.

Pros

  • Durable, reusable skeletons.
  • Combines art and science.
  • Other sets are available.

Cons

  • More clay would be better.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

User Experience

When I first saw this product at a museum, I knew it would be a great gift for my unicorn-loving niece and my own children. This clay toy has provided hours of entertainment for kids of various ages, from making wacky looking dinosaurs to mythical creatures. The clay can be a bit tough to mold initially, but once an adult preps it, the process becomes more enjoyable. Though the clay may stick in crevices, it doesn't dry out, and even after months of use, it remains in good condition. It's not only fun but also helps build finger and hand strength, making it a fantastic activity for young ones.

Gears! Gears! Gears! Robots in Motion

Screen-Free Robotics

With more than 110 brightly-colored pieces, this Robots In Motion set gives your child options. They can either follow the instructions and build one of the pre-designed robots or let their imagination run wild and design one of their own.

Finished robots are not motorized, so there’s no need for batteries. However, depending on the build, they do have plenty of fun and exciting moving parts.

Pros

  • Compatible with other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets.
  • Structured and free-form play opportunities.
  • Screen-free and non-motorized.

Cons

  • May need adult help for disassembly.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

Personal Perspective

My experience with this toy has been quite enjoyable for both my kids and me. It's bright, sturdy, and offers endless possibilities for creativity and imagination. My 5-year-old initially needed some help, but soon became more independent in following the instructions. However, we did encounter some challenges as not all instructions were included and the ones provided could be clearer. Despite some pieces being difficult to separate, it's a fantastic toy that promotes learning and hours of fun.

Merge Cube

Holographic Fun

The Merge Cube is a foam block that interacts with your smart device.

You aim your device’s camera at the block while you are holding it, and as you turn the block in your hand, the image on the screen will move in the same way.

This allows you to view things through the app on your phone, such as a globe, as if you were holding them.

Pros

  • Useful for visual learners.
  • Wide range of apps.
  • Fun games.

Cons

  • Some features require a paid subscription or VR headset.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

This holographic cube is a fascinating learning tool that can provide hours of fun for both kids and adults. My 9-year-old son and I enjoyed exploring various science concepts and playing games using this cube, which is made of lightweight foam and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. However, we did encounter some issues with the apps, as some of them didn't work properly, and a few advertised games were no longer available. It's important to note that the cube's performance may depend on your phone's capabilities, and it helps to have your phone in a steady position while using it. Despite these minor drawbacks, this cube is an engaging way to learn and interact with the digital world, making it a great gift idea for the curious and tech-savvy.

GeoSafari Jr. Ladybug Garden

Marvelous Metamorphosis

This robust ladybug garden allows you to watch as larvae turn into ladybugs over the course of around four weeks.

Full instructions for the proper care of your larvae are included. Once you buy your larvae, which are not included, you transfer them to the habitat, and you can feed them through the smaller lid within the main lid, preventing escapees.

Pros

  • Encourages observational skills and patience.
  • Built-in magnification spots.
  • Reusable.

Cons

  • Ladybug larvae are not included.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

First-Hand Impression

I'm really impressed with this ladybug habitat and how it has served as a fantastic learning tool for my kids. The cute, durable design is visually appealing, and the tree-like structure provides plenty of hiding spots for the little critters. However, the process of acquiring the ladybug larvae was a bit of a challenge, as it seemed quite pricey and the shipping experience seemed inhumane. Additionally, the twist-on lid could be improved, as it can be difficult to screw on properly and has led to a couple of escapees.

Learn & Climb 21 Experiments Science Set

Attention Grabber

While this is not the highest quality multiple science experiment kit out there, it is a decent one for the price.

Along with a variety of basic items such as PVA glue and baking soda, the kit contains sturdy plastic test tubes with screw-on lids and a stand-in in which to place them. It also has a fun volcano, Petri dishes, and a beaker, all of which are reusable.

The experiments are interesting enough to capture a 5-year-old’s attention and demonstrate a range of scientific principles.

Pros

  • Instructional videos are available.
  • Progressively more difficult.
  • Reasonable quality equipment.

Cons

  • Requires household items.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4 / 5
Durability
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this experiment set has been delightful, as it provided hours of engaging fun for my son and his siblings, ranging from 4 to 8 years old. The kit includes several exciting experiments, all with easy-to-follow instructions and necessary materials like cups and sticks. The crystal growing activity was a particular hit, with my son eagerly checking its progress daily. Unfortunately, the dropper provided for measuring liquids fell apart quickly, but the customer service was efficient in replacing it.

Squishy Circuits Kit Electric Circuit

Electrifyingly Good

With an Squishy Circuits Dough kit, your child will learn about electricity while molding imaginative creations. There are instructions for making a range of models. Then, when your child is more confident, they can begin building models of their own.

There is a variety of LEDs and connectors, a battery holder, and batteries. The conductive dough set includes access to the mobile app, which has several step-by-step videos for additional projects.

Pros

  • Screen-free activity.
  • Encourages creativity.
  • Maintains interest.

Cons

  • Could contain more dough.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Personal Perspective

If you're looking for a unique and engaging way to teach circuits to children, this kit is the perfect choice. I've used it in my classroom and saw firsthand how it sparked curiosity and excitement in my students. The dough is soft, pliable, and has vibrant colors that don't stain the hands, making it perfect for young learners to mold and create closed circuits. The only downside is that the LED lights tend to burn out quickly, so be prepared to replace them.

Sight Word Swat Game

Slap-Tastic

With five levels of play, this fun game grows with your child.

The concept is simple. One person reads out a sight word, and the other players race to “swat” the fly-shaped card with the matching word.

There are five colors of card and bug, each with a different level of difficulty. It also includes several blank cards and two dry erase markers so you can use the words of your choice.

Pros

  • Combines physical activity and wordplay.
  • Storage bag included.
  • Suitable indoors and out.

Cons

  • Some kids get aggressive.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

From the moment my son started playing with this sight word game, his excitement for learning skyrocketed. The color-coded cards and hands-on approach make it an ideal tool for teaching vocabulary at different levels, while the interactive fly swatter adds a fun twist. Although the swatters may not be the most durable and some cards have minor misspellings, the overall experience is engaging and effective for children learning to read.

Dive into Shapes!

Perfectly Formed

While this is a box of cards, plastic balls, and sticks, some kids will enjoy this for hours on end.

The cards show different 2D and 3D shapes for your child to recreate, as well as challenges connected to that shape. One card shows a cube and asks if you can build a bigger one.

Part of this toy’s beauty is that it can be used with cards or without for free-form play.

Pros

  • Promotes fine motor skills.
  • Teaches basic math concepts.
  • Encourages creative thinking.

Cons

  • Could include more challenges.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

First-Hand Impression

My kids absolutely loved playing with this box of cards, plastic balls, and sticks for hours on end. The cards provide them with different 2D and 3D shapes to recreate, ultimately promoting fine motor skills, teaching basic math concepts, and encouraging creative thinking. They also enjoyed the versatility of using the cards for guidance or just engaging in free-form play. However, I do feel that the toy could benefit from including more challenges to keep them engaged even longer.

Crashapult! STEM Challenge

Laugh And Learn

This is an excellent toy that introduces the concepts of force, motion, and direction to kids while they play.

The child operated seesaw catapult sends the ball flying through the air.

It’s up to your little one to work out how to make it pass through the hoops and land in either the goal cup or the target funnel.

Pros

  • It can be a high or low energy game.
  • Outdoor or indoor play.
  • No batteries are required.

Cons

  • More accessories would be nice.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this toy has been both fun and educational as it introduces kids to the concepts of force, motion, and direction in an engaging way. The child-operated seesaw catapult sends the ball flying, and it's up to the little ones to figure out how to make it pass through the hoops and land in the goal cup or target funnel. This versatile toy can be played with both high or low energy, and it's suitable for both indoor and outdoor play, with no batteries required. Though the toy is great as it is, having more accessories included would have been a nice addition.

GeoSafari Ant Factory

Amazing Arthropods

Enjoy watching your ants create their city in this escape-free ant habitat from GeoSafari.

When closed, the colony is sealed to prevent escapees. It’s designed so you can provide your ants with the food and water they need through a small, escape-proof opening.

It comes with a dropper and a tunnel starter, but you do need to buy some play sand for the ants to live in.

Pros

  • Includes an activity guide.
  • Promotes nurturing.
  • Fascinating for the entire family.

Cons

  • Sand is not included.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Personal Perspective

This escape-free ant habitat from GeoSafari offers a fascinating experience for the entire family, as you can watch ants build their city and promote nurturing behavior. It includes an activity guide, dropper, and tunnel starter, but you'll have to purchase play sand separately for the ants to live in.

Educational Insights Hot Dots

A World Of Literacy

One pen and two spiral-bound books combine to bring you 100 lessons in literacy covering spelling, punctuations, comprehension, vocabulary, and more.

Your child presses the Hot Dots pen on their answer in the book, the pen reads it out, and then tells your child if they are right or wrong.

Pros

  • Great for travel.
  • Expandable.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • It does get some false readings at times.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

For my granddaughter, this educational book has been a helpful tool in improving her reading skills. As she already had some basic reading abilities, the simplicity of the book allowed her to learn on her own. However, the accompanying pen can be a bit finicky, as it requires tapping the center of the black dots for it to register as a correct answer. The materials in the book are well-suited for her age, and she was excited to use it. Although the pen can be touchy at times, the overall concept and learning experience provided by the product is appreciated.

Jackinthebox Space Educational Stem Toy

A Space Explorer’s Delight

Projects included in this box include a solar system mobile and a kaleidoscope, but that’s not all there is to this big box of space-themed crafts.

Add a pack of Oreos, and you’ll learn how to lick the cream off the center and create a diagram of the phases of the moon. Then there’s the board game you make yourself, the constellation streamer, and the rocket experiment to enjoy.

Pros

  • Aimed at craft lovers.
  • Unusual projects.
  • Age-appropriate.

Cons

  • No background information.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

First-Hand Impression

Love the variety of projects in this big box of space-themed crafts, especially the solar system mobile and kaleidoscope! I found the Oreo-based moon phase diagram both fun and educational. The age-appropriate board game and rocket experiment added to my hands-on learning experience. However, I do wish it included some background information to better understand the science behind these projects.

Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab

For Budding Scientists

The central part of this toy is the “reactor lab” into which you drop the reactor pods. The pods sit in a beaker, and when you pump the liquid from the tubes to the beaker, there’s a chemical reaction that reveals a fun creature.

The set comes with two pods, and you can buy additional pods.

Pros

  • Other creatures are available.
  • 15-piece set.
  • Reusable.

Cons

  • Potential for a mess.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

User Experience

This Liquid Reactor Super Lab is a fantastic and engaging toy for young science enthusiasts. My 4-year-old loved filling the beakers with water and using the plungers to push water through the tubes, eagerly awaiting the reveal of the hidden creatures. The set is perfect for little experiments and even older kids enjoy mixing colors and making slime. However, be prepared for a bit of a mess, so using a tray with a lip underneath is recommended to catch any spills during playtime.

Plugo Tunes by PlayShifu

Music to your ears

Plugo Tunes is a keyboard that you link to a tablet or smartphone. You place your device on the stand, in the play pad, set the keyboard on the mat, and you can learn musical notes as well as how to play over 50 tunes.

You need the internet to download the initial app, but once that’s done, you do not need any wi-fi, internet, or Bluetooth connectivity.

Pros

  • No batteries are required.
  • You can record your own music.
  • Portable.

Cons

  • Requires a smart device to get started.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
4.5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Personal Perspective

My experience with this Plugo Tunes keyboard has been enjoyable and educational. After connecting the keyboard to my tablet, I was able to learn musical notes and play over 50 tunes without needing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. I appreciated the portability and the ability to record my own music, all without requiring any batteries. The only downside is that a smart device is necessary to get started.

Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station

Flexible Creativity

Circuit Explorers is a unique line of building toys with built-in connectors that allow your child to build exciting 3D circuits within toys that move and light-up. The instructional booklet is image-focused, so no reading is required.

There are multiple Circuit Explorers sets, which work alone or together, so if your child enjoys this set, you can always add more to the mix.

Pros

  • Teaches circuit basics.
  • Guided and open-ended play.
  • Promotes logical thinking.

Cons

  • Batteries required.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

Community Feedback

This space-themed building set has been a hit with my 5-year-old who has a fascination for space and electricity. While some of the directions were unclear and certain pieces were difficult for young hands to assemble, we worked together to complete the project and my child was filled with pride. The circuits are easy to connect, but there isn't much explanation, making the educational aspect somewhat lacking. However, this set combines elements of popular building sets and circuits, making it a great toy for kids who love science and engineering. My child enjoys creating their own moving and light-up creations, keeping them entertained and learning simultaneously.

Learn & Climb Play Money

Financial Literacy

Use these realistic notes, coins, credit cards, and a checkbook to teach your child about money.

The items come in a storage tray and can be used as either a teaching tool in themselves or as part of a broader game, such as a pretend store.

We particularly enjoy using this set to demonstrate the differences in the prices of things our children would like.

Pros

  • Promotes financial literacy.
  • Excellent for math.
  • Works with multiple toys and games.

Cons

  • Cashless transactions are making this less relevant.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this money set has been enjoyable and educational for both my child and me. The realistic design of the notes, coins, credit cards, and checkbook promotes financial literacy and offers excellent opportunities for teaching math concepts. We particularly love using it in various pretend play scenarios, like running a store, which makes learning more engaging. Although cashless transactions are becoming more common, I believe this set remains a valuable teaching tool for kids to understand the basics of money management and transactions.

Sum Swamp Board Game

Adds Up To Fun

Particularly useful for learning-averse kids, Sum Swamp is a hit in our home because our daughter doesn’t realize she’s practicing math.

As you work your way around the board, you encounter math challenges that require you to exercise your addition and subtraction muscles.

It is easy to learn how to play the game while being challenging enough to be a worthwhile learning experience.

Pros

  • Learning disguised as fun.
  • Camouflaged math drills.
  • Just competitive enough.

Cons

  • Not for older kids.

Our Ratings

Age Appropriateness
4.5 / 5
Educational Value
5 / 5
Safety
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

User Experience

For someone seeking a fun and educational game, Sum Swamp is an excellent choice. This board game cleverly disguises math practice as an engaging adventure, challenging players with addition and subtraction problems. However, older kids might find it less appealing due to its simplicity.

What Should a 5-Year-Old Be Learning?

It is entirely normal for a child to be ahead of their peers in some areas and behind them in others. This is because we all learn things in different ways and at varying rates.

When you look at the milestones for a 5-year-old child, remember that these are the things an average child of this age will be able to do. It doesn’t mean they can magically do these things the moment they turn 5, but sometime before their 6th birthday.

So, with those thoughts in mind, here are some of the things you can expect your child to be able to do before they turn 6.

Count To Ten

Your child will probably be able to count to ten before their 5th birthday, but, to some degree, this will be a matter of saying words in a particular order rather than understanding the concept of numbers and counting.

Name At Least Three Shapes And Four Colors

Being able to recognize and name colors and shapes is an essential foundational skill. Not only is this ability important for math, but it also expands your child’s vocabulary and allows them to express their needs in a more specific manner (1).

Express Positional Vocabulary

Using and understanding positional vocabulary helps your child to communicate more effectively. When your little one can tell you things like the book they’d like is “on top of” the bookshelf, it reduces frustration.

Grasp Money Basics

Although your child will not be able to estimate the cost of something accurately, they will begin to learn which banknotes and coins are which. They will also start to understand some concepts, such as four quarters being the same as one dollar.

Recognize Written Words

While reading may be a little ways off for your 5-year-old, you can expect them to recognize some essential, familiar written words. One example is if they are familiar with a stop sign, they will be able to read the word STOP in other situations.

Draw Shapes By Copying

Looking at a shape and being able to name it is a different skill than hearing the name of a shape and being able to draw it accurately from memory. So, if you ask your child to draw a triangle without any reference, they may not be able to, but they will be able to copy one.

Draw Recognizable Objects

It’s around this time that your child will start to add more detail to drawings. They will also have better fine motor skills. You’ll begin to see things like a drawing of a body rather than a stick figure.

Stack Blocks

Those new counting and fine motor skills can be combined, and your child will be able to stack several blocks in response to a request. If you ask, “Can you build a tower of ten blocks?”, your child will be able to do so.

Share & Take Turns

This is the age when kids begin to enjoy playing, sharing, and taking turns with others. They will start to enjoy board games, card games, and other activities that require patience and cooperation.

How to Choose Educational Toys for 5-Year-Olds

With so many options available, how do you choose suitable educational toys for a 5-year-old?

Purpose

Choose toys that cover a variety of skills and academic areas. Toys that provide an opportunity to develop artistic and physical skills are just as important as those focusing on reading.

Child’s Preferences

One of the best ways to help your child learn is to choose items that relate to their current interests, learning style, and preferences. It’s not just about the subject matter.

So if you have a quiet child, board games and crafts might be suitable, and if you have an active kiddo, the kind of games that allow them to jump about will be better.

Durability

Educational toys for 5-year-olds do not have to last forever, but it is important that they stand up to use for a few years at least. Look for items that are well made from quality materials.

Safety

By the time your child is 5 years, choking hazards are no longer a big concern unless you have younger children in the household, too.

Now you’ll want to look for toys that are free from harmful or potentially harmful materials and will not break up into dangerous pieces.

Budget

Rather than looking for toys and trying to stretch your budget to afford them, set a reasonable budget, and look for the best toys in your price range. This will minimize the chance of spending too much on things your child may not enjoy.


Laugh And Learn

Play is a critical part of childhood and one that can be overlooked when we try to pack our children’s lives full of educational experiences.

However, these educational toys for 5-year-olds have been chosen because they are inherently fun. The learning element is a fortunate by-product and a blast for adults and children to enjoy together.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.