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How to buy the perfect gift for a five year old

07 March, 2017

How to buy the perfect gift for a five year old

The oldest kids in our current series of 'How to buy...' guides, five year olds are a really fun age group to buy for.

As most kids (in the UK at least) are at Primary school from 5 years old, educational gifts that help alongside the lessons they are learning at school can be a great idea.  But what if you don't even know what level their lessons are at?

When I asked around friends and family who have five year olds, the consensus was that by this age children tend to really know what they want and like.  In theory this should make them easier to buy for, right?  But of course, if you buy them exactly what they say they want, there is a high chance someone else will have got them the same gift too.

To help with this, this week I'm sharing my handy guide to five year olds.  This series of handy guides is a quick and easy way to help you to work out the best gifts to buy, and what activities or games might go down well if you don't get to visit very often.  

Have a look at the other guides in this series:  

Click here for one year olds

Click here for two year olds

Click here for three year olds

Click here for four year olds

Five Year Olds Want...

perfect fifth birthday present - development stage


At this age, most kids are starting to feel more secure when home and family aren't close.  Whether they are away from home for the first time at Primary school, or have been to nursery or pre-school already, this age really sees a noticeable step-up in the confidence to do their own thing. This self-confidence is reflected in their play too, with most kids at 5 able to play independently for longer periods of time e.g. puzzles, read books, imaginary play.

perfect fifth birthday present - independent play


As they grow and meet more children in their age group, five year olds are generally starting to build a group of real friends who they enjoy spending time with, and who like the same games and activities as them. For visiting aunts and uncles, friends can be a good topic of conversation now, as kids are able to talk about who their friends are, and what they are like. 


Five year olds tend to have strongly held opinions and beliefs about the way the world does and should work. Try asking them some questions about their parents (age/height/favourite food) or about themselves (favourite toy/game/tv show/what they want to be when they grow up etc) and see how the world looks from their angle!

Five Year Olds Want To...

perfect fifth birthday present - family activities

Great Gifts for a Five Year Old

"She's reached a bit of an age milestone where she's a little bit more mature, has specific interests and can concentrate for a while. Her presents were more 'doing' activities that she can sit down and get absorbed in!"

Sara (mum of 2)

Lessons at school, coupled with an increased attention span, means that five year olds should now be able to concentrate for much longer periods than before.  This should be reflected in gift choices - more complex puzzles, and longer group games will be enjoyed.


Gift Ideas: 

perfect fifth birthday present - play gift box be so baby

"I thought he would be too young for board games, but he actually really liked it and kept asking us to play with him."

Ava (mum of 2)

Be So Baby Play Gift BoxAt four years old, most children can start to learn to take turns and enjoy simple board games. By five, their ability to concentrate will have increased further.  Games such as Monster Bingo (featuring in our Play Gift Box) can be fun to play with the whole family.  This box also contains an animal puzzle made from environmentally friendly bamboo to keep little ones occupied and test their problem solving skills, and a lightweight hand-stitched cotton cover that turns a balloon into a durable ball to play with.


perfect fifth birthday present - dollhouse

" The best gift is a wooden dollhouse, which will hopefully last for a few years."
Lieke (mum of 3)
Dollhouse:  A gift that can be enjoyed for years to come.  Dollhouses allow children to use their imagination to create completely new worlds and play out real life situations too.


perfect fifth birthday present - aquabeads

"The Aquabeads kept her occupied for significant chunks of time when she first got them."

Sara (mum of 2)

Aquabeads: Aquabeads are a really popular choice at the moment (at least that's what my friends tell me). Either using templates or making up your own design, beads are arranged on a tray, sprayed with water, then when the creation has set it can be peeled off the template in one piece. Great fun to play with, this game will certainly make you popular with the birthday girl / boy.  This might not be such a great choice if there are younger siblings in the household though, as there are lots of small pieces involved that can be easily picked up and swallowed by any little ones under 3 years.


simple guide to five year olds

All this useful information and more is contained in our Beginner's Guide to Five Year Olds pdf.  Sign up to our newsletter here and we will send you your own copy  

Hopefully this has helped give you more of an idea about five year olds.  Please leave any of your own tips and ideas in the comments! 

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