Holiday Gifts for 5 Year Olds

10 comments

I have no idea what to get my 5-year-old for Christmas. I feel terrible about it. I mean, moms are just supposed to know what their kids want and like, right? Well, I don’t have  clue and keep asking myself, “what is it that Max likes to do?”

Ben, my preschooler, I have no problem with. He likes all the regular things that 3-year-olds like. Trucks, trains, anything from Jake and the Neverland Pirates are a sure win. He’s pretty easy. He is able to use his imagination to play. He’s not much of a block builder, but he is getting pretty good at roads and train tracks. Santa may just bring him a train table if his dad Santa’s elf is successfully able to make one.

Max however, does not do much imaginative play. It’s just not something that comes easily to him, so this rules out things like blocks or dress up clothes. That, and we got him those last year. His fine motor issues make things like building with Legos or even Duplos difficult and require an adult’s assistance. He already has a bike, a sled, a LeapPad and because his birthday is in the summer, all the yard games a boy could ask for (and our garage can hold).

What he really loves are books. He is also interested in bridges, the states and maps. He also needs things like slippers and snowboots. I do plan to put some on his Christmas list, (books about bridges perhaps) but they don’t really evoke the run down the stairs excited to see what Santa brought kind of holiday image I have in my head. A globe maybe?

I’m at a loss. Any ideas on what I can put on his list? What are your kids asking Santa for this year?

10 comments on “Holiday Gifts for 5 Year Olds”

  1. I’ve just spent a really *ahem* productive day at work and found ebeanstalk.com which lets you search by age and gender for the toys on their site. I’m sure it’s not a novel concept but I was pretty impressed with the selection of things I had not even thought my 4 year old would be ready for but make sense. I sent a bunch of ideas to my mom!

  2. Max and Nate seem to share some personality traits, and Nate LOVES Magna Tile blocks. They might be a hit! He especially loves to put those battery-operated tea lights inside his creations so they glow…he got a set for his birthday and for Christmas…he wanted “more of those magna tiles..” haha…

    http://www.magnatiles.com/

  3. Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve added a few items to Max’s wish list and will keep you posted on what I end up with. Michelle, we have this issue almost every year….and with that EXACT SAME TRAMPOLINE in fact. Ours ended up at the consignment shop after being used a few times during a really snowy winter. The conversation we have is that we are pretty particular about the kind of toys our kids play with (wood vs plastic etc.) and would rather not have something like that at home. Or try “there isn’t a lot of room for it and we just don’t feel like it’s the right toy for Lills yet”. If they are insistent, you can let them know that you appreciate the gesture but unfortunately you’ll have to donate/return the gift if they buy it. It’s good to set up these rules while she’s young so they know what to expect each year. Offering other suggestions (I keep an Amazon WishList for each kid and update as I see things throughout the year) will help. And sometimes, just sometimes, you have to give in and just let grandparents be grandparents. This wouldn’t apply to something as big as a trampoline, but smaller gifts. Good luck!

  4. Unfortunately I have no ideas for you but I do have a question. Any advice on how to tell a relative not to buy a particular toy? My in-laws want to buy my one-and-a-half year old a mini trampoline and I (1) don’t want it in my house and (2) think she’s too young – the kid walks into walls pretty much on a daily basis so she doesn’t have the coordination for a mini trampoline. I’ve tasked my husband with telling them but he hasn’t done it yet…

    1. One thing we due is give people ideas of what our daughter would like or needs. If something suggests something we know she won’t use or really don’t want her using we tell them things like “Maybe next year but she is just not ready yet” or “She has a similar thing and never uses it, I hate for you to waste your money on something she won’t use.” Or “she really needs X,Y,Z and would love to get them from grandma and grandpa.” If they still insist and your husband doesn’t speak up, hopefully you can exchange it. If they ask about it later, you can say something like “It was missing pieces and they didn’t have anymore so we let her pick something else out.” Yes not the entire store but better than her ending up in the ER because of something she is to young to use.

  5. One of my cool Aspie sons loves geography. He has fun with board games like Name That Country, and Where in the World. One of his favorite gifts was a deck of US State cards. They had facts like state flower, capital city, state motto, etc.. He also liked big wall maps, and views of New England from satellite. Both my Aspie sons also like big coffee-table photo books of their special interests (like bridges). Also dvds can be really fun for these guys, Have you seen the Eyewitness videos? Amazing! One of my guys would watch only these for years. Finally, Playmobil, Thomas, and Melissa and Doug make sturdy, fun toys that may include bridges and are not delicate or tiny. If it opens and closes, you are probably all set! We also had fun building bridges with blocks and sending things under them. Nothing is more fun than a kid’s special interest, whatever it may be. I hope you find a couple of cool things and, mostly, find joy in his pleasure.

  6. I think I saw a cool globe that lights up and shows all the constellations at night. Would he like something like that? I think my kids will love it when they get a little older. I have a cool US map that doesn’t light up or talk or anything, but has transparent “button” that you push to see the capitols underneath. Not sure where I got it but it’s simple and my kids love it. I also just ordered some science-type books for my 4yo, ones about clouds, weather, day/night, etc. They are going to be a little beyond him right now but he’s already starting asking questions that I can’t answer. Let me know if you want me to find any links to any of these things.

  7. It sounds like for your son, the globe and books on bridges WILL give him that run down the stairs excited feeling. My son has unusual taste in toys a lot of the time, and is not as into imaginative play either. He might get 20 fancier things, but still love his $7 math dice the best, or something like that.

    The list for my son, who is soon to be eight, this year includes Monopoly Electronic Banking and a game called Bop-It Smash, which I have no idea how to use or whether it would be fun for anyone else. He likes a lot of board games, and has also requested Pay Day, Risk, and Clue this year. Not sure which, if any, he is getting.

    I always take my kids to the toy store and let them play with stuff so I can get ideas, and I am always surprised by the stuff that they are drawn to. You might try doing that.

    1. I agree with trying out toys at the store. We do that and we also get tips when they are at playgroup and we see what toys they like at other people’s houses.

  8. I know I have seen an interactive globe before. Not sure who makes it but possibly VTech or someone like that. If he likes his LeapPad and maps he may also like this.

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