Screen-Free Toys for 5-Year-Olds

Especially when children are learning from home, but even at other times, there seems to be more and more of a pull toward screens. And it can be hard to choose great screen free toys for 5 year olds that will engage them in the same way and encourage their imaginations and creativity.

As children get older there is certainly more of a pull toward technology. And whether it’s watching their favourite programs, playing video games or using educational apps, children tend to spend more time looking at screens. However children still need to be in the driving seat while they play at this age, and need to be engaging their creativity and imaginations as well as their bodies while they play.

One of the key differences between playing games on a screen and playing with toys is the difference between passive and active play. Open ended toys support active play and offer far greater opportunities for learning than more passive toys that are ‘one trick ponies’ as it were and are often the toys with flashing lights and sounds that need batteries to operate.

By the age of 5 children may well have quite clear ideas of the toys they want and what they want to be doing with their time that may not align with what we know to be best for them or the toys and activities we want in our homes. There are of course times for letting them choose, but we also get to make sure we give them the best toys and the best opportunities for learning and development through play.

Our Top Screen-Free Toys for 5 Year Olds

Here are a few of our favouite open ended toys for 5 year olds.

Marble Runs

Marble runs are great for this age as they combine so many skills in a really fun way. Children learn problem solving skills as they figure out how to build the marble run as well as patience when things don’t work as they want them to.

Building Toys

We might think of building blocks as being for babies but there are lots of amazing building toys for older children as well. Lego has been a classic for generations of children and there are lots of other options for building as well. We really love Tegu blocks and all the fantastic Grimms building sets.

Arts and Crafts Toys

Maybe not a toy as such but arts and crafts materials are perfect for screen free time for 5 year olds. Drawing a picture or colouring in can engage children for extended periods away from a screen. Alternatively for children that prefer something more tactile dough is a great option. Or something even collecting leaves and other items from nature and using glue to turn them into beautiful pictures or mandalas.


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