By the time kids turn five, they are able to do a myriad of activities that were previously out of their scope thanks to where they are physically, emotionally, and socially. Skills like writing their own name, climbing and jumping, and scissors are now likely in their repertoire, opening up a host of new toy options.
To help prepare your little one for kindergarten (!), check out our list of great suggestions including some of our previous GH Toy Award winners and best new toys of 2019 we identified earlier this year. We’ve got picks for budding scientists, artists, coders, and more! They’ll help bolster cognitive and soft skills without your tot even realizing it!
The Good Housekeeping Institute scours the market to stay on top of the latest toy trends and product releases in the toy industry. We test the most promising toys and games for girls into our lab and vet them to ensure they are safe and well-constructed, and above all else, fun for kids! In the next few weeks, we’ll be testing out hundreds of new toys in the lab and with kid-testers, so we’ll have even more great summer and fall releases to add to this list soon for you. Check out our other handy gift-buying guides with great gifts for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 5 year old boys, toddlers, tweens, and teens,1GH HOT TOY 2019Stunt PlanesSTOMP ROCKETSTOMP ROCKETamazon.com$29.99SHOP NOW
One of the hottest toys of the summer, the Stomp Rocket gets kids outside and moving. They’ll unconsciously be learning about physics as they adjust the flight path angle and force applied to counter the weather effects like wind. This particular set includes three planes: a looper (curves), a glider (soars), and a wildcat (stunts), each requiring different inputs for the trajectory desired.2SCULPTABLE TOYPlayfoam PalsEDUCATIONAL INSIGHTSEDUCATIONAL INSIGHTSamazon.com$7.76SHOP NOW
Our kid testers always love this textured foam. And now they can combine this play pattern of molding with collectible fun! Inside each pod there is a fantasy friend to find and collect, and kids can get continued play with the squishy compound designed not to dry out. The collectibles pop apart and kids can trade heads and bodies for fun new combinations.
3GH HOT TOY 2019Coding CrittersLEARNING RESOURCESLEARNING RESOURCESamazon.com$39.99SHOP NOW
Sneak in some science this summer with these cute critters. Kids learn the basics of coding with these animals in a screen-free option. The interactive set will help facilitate learning in critical thinking, problem-solving and other STEM-skills as kids go through story-based adventures and challenges.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
4TRAVEL-FRIENDLY TOYWater WowMELISSA AND DOUGMELISSA & DOUGamazon.com$4.99SHOP NOW
If you’ll be traveling anywhere this summer, whether by plane, train or automobile, these sets are fantastic sets for occupying your kids! There are a variety of themes available, each catering to different skills like writing, reading, math, story-telling and more. They are a great screen-free and mess-free activity that can be used and reused endless times. 5GH TOY AWARD WINNER 2018FurReal Friends Ricky the Trick-Lovin’ PetHASBROHASBROamazon.com
$129.99$62.99 (52% off)SHOP NOW
If the name alone wasn’t enough to get you interested in this cute pup, the fun interactivity will! Kid-testers and GH Institute engineers always love the FurReal line from Hasbro (like Ricky’s pal Munchin’ Rex). By rubbing Ricky’s sensors or speaking to him you can illicit different motions and sounds — kids favorite was when the pellets he eats then comes out the other end.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
6GH TOY AWARD WINNER 2017Fingerlings Glitter MonkeyFINGERLINGSWOWWEEamazon.com
$17.99$7.31 (59% off)SHOP NOW
WowWee’s Fingerling line is a fave amongst toy testers, winning a coveted GH Toy Award in 2017 and continues to be on our hot lists. These new characters are sure to similarly delight as they respond to sound, motion and touch. The glittery monkey will blink, turn its head, babble and even kiss at you. Available in lots of fun characters and colors. 7GH TOY AWARD WINNER 2018Crayola Scribble ScrubbieCRAYOLACRAYOLAamazon.com$19.97SHOP NOW
There’s a reason this won a GH Toy Award in 2018 – kids can customize their furry friends, rinse, and repeat as many times as they’d like! (Note: We did find it took a bit of soaking to fully erase a past design.) Each set includes 4 pets and 6 markers, as well as the scrub tub and brush to facilitate repeated coloring and customizing of the dogs, cat, and rabbit.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
8GH HOT TOY 2019WowWee Lucky Fortune Blind Collectible BraceletsWOWWEEWOWWEEamazon.com$10.99SHOP NOW
We’re big fans of these cute collectible charms here at GHI. Each fortune cookie has a charm bracelet and paper fortune inside. This particular set includes 4 cookies (and hence 4 bracelets!), so kids chances of finding rare or highly coveted bracelets is upped.9GH HOT TOY 2019Sprinkle Art ShakerCRAYOLACRAYOLAamazon.com$19.99SHOP NOW
We can’t wait to get our kid testers trying out this fun set this summer: it includes the basic shaker frame, 5 bottles of colored sprinkles, glue tubes and sheets for artwork. As parents, anything to make glitter masterpieces slightly more manageable in terms of clean up is a major plus! 10LEGO SETDisney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 Buzz & Woody’s Carnival ManiaLEGOLEGOamazon.com
$49.99$39.99 (20% off)SHOP NOW
If you’ve got a budding builder at home, they’ll love this new Toy Story 4 set from Lego: Kids are tasked with building out a colorful carnival game. The set includes lots of little details like Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Bo Peep minifigures. And like other Lego sets, they can use the pieces from this set with others for extended open creative play.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
11GH HOT TOY 2019Disney Pixar’s Toy Story Ultimate Walking Buzz LightyearMATTELTOY STORYamazon.com$34.99SHOP NOW
Designed for kids as young as 3, this toy is sure to please Buzz fans of all ages with its iconic design, sound, and light effects. What’s coolest is that the moves and mannerism are spot-on for this beloved character. 12COLLECTIBLE STUFFIEDoughMisMOOSE TOYSPIKMI POPSamazon.com$9.59SHOP NOW
Each cute collectible includes a scented donut plush toy with a donut case. They also pack in 3 surprise items like rings, erasers, hair ties, note books, pouches, nesting donuts, flocked stickers and bag tags! They’re also available in smaller and larger sizes for lots of different combos to collect.