10 Learning Toys for a 5 Year Old

Sometime before the holidays, I was talking to a friend about the type of presents we were giving our children, friends, and family.  We were both talking about how we were trying to cut down on the flimsy, plastic trinket-type toys that kids play with for 2 minutes and then they end up either broken or forgotten about.  This year my holiday shopping focused on toys that were both educational and fun for my 5 year old and his similarly-aged cousins and friends.

Here are some of the coolest learning toys I came across during my holiday shopping last year.  Lots of these toys are almost as much fun for adults – and I’ve learned a bit from them, too!

  1. GeoSafari Junior Talking Microscope.This fun, talking microscope gives children the opportunity to get up close and personal with specimens and insects.  Your kids can even quiz themselves on what they’ve learned.  It’s the perfect learning toy for a kid who is interested in science.

  2. Magic School Bus Science Kits.  Did anyone else grow up reading the Magic School Bus books?  I loved them and it’s fun to see that the Magic School Bus has science kits now.  These are super fun for the budding scientist.  They have a variety of kits ranging from the human body to weather.

  3. Edu Science Young Explorer Illuminated Globe.  Globes are a wonderful tool for kids who want to learn about the world around them.  There are a lot of snazzy globes out there for kids nowadays, but I love just a simple globe like this one.  It does have a fun perk, though:  it lights up and you can see constellations.

  4. Erector Set.  This classic toy has entertained young engineers for generations.  The Construction System line is made specifically for little hands – it’s perfect for a 5 year old.  Kids can learn basic engineering and building principles and as a bonus, afterwards they can play with their masterpieces.


  1. Legos. I love Legos for kids because, like an Erector set, they can teach kids basic engineering, building, and direction-following skills.  They can also be a totally creative toy, where kids can design their own buildings and vehicles.  Legos truly never get boring.

  2. Scientific Explorer’s Ice Cream Science Kit.  Learning toys are fun, but what could make a science kit even more fun?  Ice cream!  This science kit teaches kids about the science of ice crystals while they make a delicious dessert.

  3. Fire HD Kids Edition.  There are tons of tablets for kids on the market right now, but I like the Fire HD Kids Edition quite a bit.  I don’t want a tablet that my kid will outgrow next year.  The Fire HD Kids Edition has different interfaces, one for little kids, one for older kids, and one for adults.  It also comes with a very durable case and a 2 year no-questions-asked warranty.  You have access to the Amazon App store, which has lots of educational apps.

  4. LeapFrog Printing Dry Erase Activity Book.  These letter-tracing activity books are great for kids who are just at the beginning stages of learning to write or kids who need to work on making their letters straight and legible.  No more wasting paper, just wipe clean and start over again.

  1. See-Through Compost Container.  This is educational for both kids and adults.  You can put anything in this container and watch it break down!  There are three separate compartments that allow you to view the entire decomposition process clearly.  Learn what will biodegrade outside and what kinds of items won’t decompose.  It’s also a lesson on the environment and why littering is bad and recycling is important.


  1. Record & Learn KidiStudio.  If you have a kid who has a passion to play music, this learning piano toy is a wonderful pick.  Children can learn to play their favorite tunes by following the lights on the light-up keyboard.  They can also get in touch with their creative side and record their own creations.  It’s great fun and a nice way to get a young kid interested in playing the keyboard.

There are so many excellent learning toys for 5 year olds available right now.  From science-related toys to helping kids learn to write, these toys make learning fun.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my husband is a bigger fan of the Legos and Erector Set than my 5 year old.