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The Best Low Tech Toys for Five Year Old Boys: Toys With No Batteries.

Updated on May 21, 2012

Fun With Low-Tech Toys

So many of our five year old's toys eat through batteries to make all the bells and whistles work. But some of the best toys for five year old boys old are low-tech. These toys with no batteries are the ones they keep going back to again and again. And these toys without batteries don't cost a fortune either...

Melissa and Doug Decorate Your Own...

The Decorate Your Own series from Melissa and Doug (and other companies make similar products) entertain and keep the little guys busy. They are so proud of their creations when finished.

Wow, do my boys love these. You are supplied with a solid wooden frame and the other pieces of the vehicle. There are trains, planes and racecars.

Then your child paints the vehicle with the supplied paints and brushes.

When the painted item is dry, it can be assembled easily by adding the wheels or wings or other supplied accessories.

Top off the toy by placing stickers on it. Usually these are for the windshield or doors and the like.

We cannot get enough of these simple, no-batteries-needed, crafty toys. My 5 year old boy and his 3 year old brother still play with the ones that they made over a year ago. We often give these as gifts at birthday parties and have always gotten great reviews.

The Melissa and Doug line of toys are well-made, solid items.

Costumes are great for every day and Halloween too! They love these things.
Costumes are great for every day and Halloween too! They love these things.
Three year olds like costumes too!
Three year olds like costumes too!


My 5 year old wants to be a policeman...or a fireman...or a construction worker. The 3 year old definitely wants to be a construction worker, and they love dressing the part. I could not have predicted how much dressing up in the uniforms would add.

Again, my favorites come from the Melissa and Doug line. They are good quality, easy to put on and off with velcro closures, come with cool accessories (handcuffs with the police outfit, siren with the fireman uniform) and have stood up to several washings.

You do NOT need to wait for halloween for a costume. My boys wear one of these nearly every day. But when halloween did roll around, we already had their favorite costume ready to go! They knew they wanted to wear one of their favorites.

There are also costumes for chefs, doctors, pirates and astronauts.

Moon Sand

It's rather hard to describe moon sand. Described by the makers as "moldable sand", the moon sand is like a cross between sand and play dough. Yep, it's messy. If you plan to use this inside, use it on hard floors preferably with a garbage bag or small tarp underneath.

If you prepare for the potential mess, this stuff might quickly become a favorite in your house, just as it has in mine. Each "kit" has a theme and comes with accessories to fulfill the theme.

My kids have one of the construction kits that comes with a little 'worker guy' and miniature steamroller that snaps into his hands. Very cool.

Good Old Fashioned Board Games

Board games encourage cooperation, patience and healthy competition. Kids learn that they "win some and lose some". At about age 5, this is a valuable lesson.

Oh man, I remember playing Trouble at my grandmother's house when I was a kid. The popping action that rolls the die for some reason, is very entertaining to children. I don't know why, but my kids think so too. Taking turns, counting and racing the pegs around the board makes the 5 year old feel very grown up.

Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, memory games and Connect Four all teach valuable skills while entertaining and providing fun family time for your kids.


Legos have been a favorite for years. My kids really got into them after visiting Legoland in Carlsbad, CA.

Instead of just the blocks, they now come in kits to build specific structures. Of course, the boys like the firetrucks. We built them, they played with the finished product and then took it apart. They like to rearrange the parts now to create variations of the firetruck.

Great, creative and imaginative play.


The new Imaginext series by Fisher Price is a kids' new favorite line. These plastic toys are sturdy, interesting and well-made, but take no batteries (for the most part). They may have functions such as working 'cranes', hooks or missle launchers, but these are operated by mechanics and not batteries. This provides a bonus for the parents in that they make no noise!

The toys are just the right size for kids from three to eight years old and all come with fun accessories. See the listings for specifics about each toy- they really are very cool.

Current favorites include the Sky Racers Carrier, Serpent Pirate Ship and the Animal Rescue Boat

Bouncy House

Ok, so this one does need electricity (not exactly low-tech) and is a total splurge. But, we live in the mountains where the kids end up being cooped up for days on end during storms. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of having the bouncy house inside the house.

A bouncy house, usually used outdoors, is a GREAT indoor, winter or rainy weather treat. The kids get their exercise, have fun and love to have their friends over to bounce. Several of my friends have these as well, and we all agree that they are worth the price and the space they take up.

Measure carefully if you are using this indoors-- some of these things are huge. We have the Magic Castle and it takes up our entire downstairs space between the bedrooms. Totally worth it and it deflates to a rather small package. Perfect sanity saver for parents.


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    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Lego rules in our house with my 5 yr old grandson. In the summer the trampoline rules! Fun for all the family including me. We have a net enclosure for safety. Costumes are a great idea, thanks for all the tips

    • TahoeDoc profile image

      TahoeDoc 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

      Hadn't heard of marble run, I'll have to look for that, now that the baby brother won't eat the marbles. Thanks :)

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona

      Great ideas! Legos are a big hit at our house too. My son is almost five, and he really loves building with his marble run. I recommend that toy for sure. Congrats on your hubnugget nomination :)

    • TahoeDoc profile image

      TahoeDoc 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

      Thank you Deborah and all! The costumes were the big surprise to me. They love, love to put those on. I didn't expect it.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination. My boys love legos, and lincoln logs. Also, magnets of all shapes and sizes are a big hit at our house. Thanks for the other good ideas.


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Toys with no bat is a good idea for kids! Every time I buy a gift, I make sure it has no batteries thingy too! LOL

      Yes, congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination indeed! To vote for the Hubnuggets:

      Participate in the Hubnuggets Forum to celebrate your nomination:

    • TahoeDoc profile image

      TahoeDoc 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

      Thank you. My kids really love these things, but nomination?.....edited to say....just found it. I had no idea. I really am a newbie, eh? Thanks so much!

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Great things to keep little boys busy and out of trouble. Congratulations on your nomination.