At the age of five, play is not just play for boys. Play is learning and exploring. Many of the simple games boys play at the age of five can teach them valuable lessons about personal interests and socialising. There are also many games for this age group that help young minds grow and practice basic concepts. Buying the right toy for a five year old can help support and encourage social, creative and physical growth.
Toys for Creative Play
"Simply Toys," the website directory for educational toys states that arts and crafts "foster visual and fine-motor skills as kids have the opportunity to share with you how they see the world." At five years old, boys are beginning to explore self-expression and new forms of non-verbal communication. Creative toys that support your five-year-old's sense of self expression are important for this age. Young boys may like musical toys such as xylophones, toy guitars and drum sets. Toy versions of instruments may be precursors for actual instruments to practice later in life. Small easels, colouring books, "Little Picasso" painting kits and water paints can all be useful for fostering creative growth in five-year-old boys.
Toys for Active Play
Five-year-old boys are beginning to notice increased dexterity and are eager to build upon and show off these skills. At the kindergarten age, boys have huge amounts of energy and smaller-scale version of "grown-up toys" are especially exciting. Training bikes and skateboards give the five-year-old in your life the chance to build muscle coordination and release some of his bountiful energy. Jungle gyms and other outdoor climbing equipment is great for active group interaction without creating competition that may upset younger boys. Simple, soft sports toys like whiffle balls, plastic bats, soft frisbees and soft child size footballs are also toys five-year-old boys tend to enjoy. When gifting any child a bicycle, skateboard or roller-skate, be sure to include a helmet and always supervise the child during play.
Toys for Manipulative Play
"The Learning Child" describes manipulative play as "play that involves skilful use of the hands." The U.S. Consumer Report's "Which Toy for Which Child," notes that by the age of five, boys are able to "sort and match using one or more than one quality at a time." Puzzles with up to 50 pieces may be really satisfying to a five-year-old. Construction toys such as "Shinky Dinks Insects", "Clics," building blocks and Legos are all suitable for kindergarten-aged boys. The U.S. Consumer Report also suggests that boys of this age may enjoy sandbox tools, play dough, and other materials that they can use to model real-life objects.
Toys for Make-Believe Play
Five-years old is also a time where children begin to show an "increasing interest in dramatic and pretend play" according to the report "Which Toy for Which Child." Toys that enrich make-believe play like small-scale garden tools, remote-control cars and battery-operated cars are popular. This age is also marked by increased awareness of gender difference. Your son, grandson, or nephew may be more interested in "boy" things during make-believe play at this age. Toy hammers, repair tools as well as career-based dress up clothes and accessories enrich the make-believe play experience. Simple, kid-friendly electronics like camera, laptops and cellphones also provide youngsters with a chance to play grown-up.When buying kid-friendly electronics, five-year-olds prefer for the toy to actually work. Function does not have to be full, but basic features make the toy more exciting.
Toys for Learning Play
Many five-year-olds are beginning school and are excited about showing off what they have learnt. The start of school is a very important part of a boy's life and there are toys that support and encourage his enthusiasm. Simple matching games like dominoes, flash cards and memory games are suggested by the Consumer Report as well. Subject games such as "Pop Bottle Science" allow young scientists to conduct simple experiments. Many computer games feature age ratings on the cover and often serve as learning tools.