Educational birthday presents for a 5 year old boy?

My little boy is turning 5 in a couple of weeks. I want to get him something educational. He has a V Smile, a Leapster, and a V Tech laptop (he's the only grandbaby on both sides). He's really into music and musical instruments. He already has a ukelele and a drum set. I want to encourage his creative side and development. He's a bit behind on his social skills, and he's an only child. Any ideas?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about his social skills at his age. There's nothing inherently wrong with him enjoying time alone. He is five, after all. I'm one to believe that once he starts school or as he ages he'll become more extroverted. It seems like you've already done a lot to encourage his musical side and his technical aptitude with the things you mentioned. As for my ideas for educational presents, I firmly believe you can't have too many books. I urge you to consider buying your son something other than toys, especially the electronic ones he already owns. I heartily advise you to invest your money in something that (when used daily) can benefit him for the rest of his life. Think about the impact great children's literature can have on your son's life. Think of the special opportunity you have to influence his early learning and foster his emergent reading skills. Picture yourself reading to him, enjoying a great book, laughing or crying, exploring new worlds and new ideas, building the bonds of love and trust, teaching him the concepts you value most, and creating a foundation for his future. I'm sure you know that a book can be an everlasting gift. Moreover, you can inscribe a special message within it, creating a lasting memory for your son. I still have books that my aunt and uncle gave me when I was a child, and upon rereading these same books as an adult I loved rediscovering the inscriptions they wrote inside. The single best way to help a child become a reader (for life) is to read to him. You know that he can do almost anything with your help, and you can help him get an early start on reading and learning by providing him with great children's literature. By establishing that you value reading and books you're encouraging him to value the same. I advise you to look for books that rhyme or have a rhythmic pattern. Also, pop-up books and lift the flap books are very attractive to young boys his age (I've included some below). There are thousands of books that you might choose for him, but let me recommend a few:

    "The Long-Nosed Pig" by Keith Faulkner; ill. by Jonathan Lambert

    "The Wide-Mouthed Frog" by Keith Faulkner; ill. by Jonathan Lambert [this and the above are two great pop-up adventures]

    "Shark in the Park" by Nick Sharrat

    "Bark, George" by Jules Feiffer

    "T is for Terrible" by Peter McCarty

    "Some Dogs Do" by Jez Alborough

    "Duck in the Truck" by Jez Alborough

    "Hug" by Jez Alborough

    "Where's My Teddy?" by Jez Alborough

    "Louella Mae, She's Run Away" by Karen Beaumont Alarcón; ill. by Rosanne Litzinger

    "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" by Keiko Kasza

    "Knuffle Bunny" by Mo Willems

    "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems

    "Sheep in a Jeep" by Nancy Shaw; ill. by Margot Apple

    "Caps for Sale" by Esphyr Slobodkina

    "Freight Train" by Donald Crews

    "Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On" by Lois Ehlert (check out the many other wonderful titles she's written)

    "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson

    "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans

    "Millions of Cats" by Wanda Gag

    "How Loud Is a Lion?" by Stella Blackstone; ill. by Clare Beaton

    "The Napping House" by Audrey Wood; ill. by Don Wood

    "Rosie's Walk" by Pat Hutchins

    "Where's Spot?" by Eric Hill

    "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle

    "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

    "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault; ill. by Lois Ehlert

    "Clickety Clack" by Robert & Amy Spence; ill. by Margaret Spengler (Wonderfully rhythmic!)

    "Jamberry" by Bruce Degen

    "One Red Dot" by David A. Carter [spectacular pop-up]

    "Blue 2" by David A. Carter [another spectacular pop-up]

    "Arrowville" by Geefwee Bodoe

    "Duck on a Bike" by David Shannon

    "No, David!" by David Shannon (he's written several other books starring David)

    "Dinosaur Roar" by Paul & Henrietta Stickland

    "Ella Sarah Get Dressed" by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

    "Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin; ill. by Betsy Lewin (they've collaborated on several other books starring Duck and his barnyard friend)

    "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?" by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

    "How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?" by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

    "How Does a Dinosaur Eat His Food?" by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

    "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

    "Mockingbird" by Allan Ahlberg

    "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds

    "Corduroy" by Don Freeman

    "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt; ill. by Tony DiTerlizzi

    "Imogene's Antlers" by David Small

    "Un Gato y un Perro" by Clare Masurel

    "Bear Snores On" by Karma Wilson; ill. by Jane Chapman (they've written three other Bear books)

    "Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!" by Sandra Boynton (you can't go wrong with this author--she's written scores of books for tots)

    "Banana Moon" by Janet Marshall

    I've read the above stories scores of times to varied audiences with great success. Click on my profile and e-mail me. I would be happy to correspond with you and make further suggestions. I'd encourage you to check out the above titles from your local library before you buy any books. While you're there, talk to the children's librarians and ask them for their recommendations, too. I'd also suggest you find a copy of Jim Trelease's "The Read Aloud Handbook" (see link below). It's an invaluable resource for parents. Another good source of information is "Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children," published by The New York Times and edited by Eden Ross Lipson.

    Source(s): I am an elementary school librarian and a reader for the Denver Public Library, the Children's Museum of Denver, Community Resources Inc., and Reach Out and Read Colorado.
  • Kris L
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Get your boy some old wood pieces (free from any construction site), and a small 'tool chest' with a real hammer (they come in small sizes suitable for children), real pliers both -- and x shaped, some pliers, and a 'nice assortment' of nails (several sizes) and screws (wood screws only at first, also several sizes) ... I have a 'musical' son who was given this for his 5th birthday, and he loved 'designing and building' the most wonderful shapes ... some were boats, some were buildings, some were 'flying or space machines' ... and many were just great 'abstract forms.' Also get him two to five REAMS (500 sheets per ream) of plain 'copy paper' or newsprint, the LARGEST box of crayons you can find (Crayola makes them in boxes of 96 different colors), some glue, some 'safety' scissors, and a large assortment of colored construction paper. If you don't mind a little 'mess' also get him some 'paints' ... both water color and finger paints, and also some 'tempera paints' with LARGER pieces of newsprint or 'butcher paper' to draw, color, or paint.

    Both of these will not just ENCOURAGE his 'creative side and development' ... he's already got that ... they will EXPLODE because you will be giving him the 'freedom' to explore these new 'visual/tactical' areas of his mind.

    Source(s): I had four kids, and I home schooled my kids ... at least 2/3 of that was what they thought was 'recess' or 'free time' ... they are all grown, successful, and also very artistic, each in his/her own way!
  • 1 decade ago

    might i suggest if hes behind on social skills - which cant be taught in any book. enroll him in some sport/activity maybe swimming, little league, or possibly a day care program where he can be with other kids.

    for presents how bout simple things like building blocks, crayons and coloring books, paints those are some things my nephew enjoys maybe that will help. try the guitar hero game if hes into music. its fun for all ages. they have to hit the buttons that coordinate with the colors to play the song right. its pretty fun.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    right here's a record... :-) one million- iTunes present card ($15 or $20/$25.... undergo in innovations he could desire to have an ipod to apply this) 2- If he dosen't have an iPod, evaluate getting him an iPod shuffle.. it particularly is fee is everywhere from $25 - $50 reckoning on the place you purchase it (he could desire to have a working laptop or pc to apply this) 3- soccer ball/ base ball/ base ball glove... something activities suitable 4- funds or present card (for a 12 year previous.. $20 is suited, $15 in the experience that your low on funds) 5- If he reads, get him a e book. At Barnes & Noble they sell leather-based certain books with each little thing Lewis Caroll has ever written for $20... great purchase 6- in case you comprehend his length get him outfits (pass to marshalls, and look for stuff in his length, often times you will stumble on a Ralph Lauren polo for $20 - $25) good success :-)

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  • Buff
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I found this website to explore for ideas....

    Maybe a membership to the local gymboree or swimming pool or YMCA might encourage your son to get out and be more social while encouraging him to learn new activities at the same time.

    Best wishes!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Webkinz is the newest thing for that age! A little plush toy that comes to life online! For more info got to

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Go to and check out the educational toys they have.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    instead of buying him an educational toy, why not take him on an educational trip?

  • 1 decade ago

    send him to day camp to learn socialization.

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