Turning six is something to celebrate. It’s a time when kids are showing big leaps in cognitive development, becoming more capable and independent every day. That means the best toys for 6 year old boys are the ones that help them boost their developing ability to focus, keep them healthy and active and engage them cognitively with words, numbers and concepts. Looking for a great pick for your special six year old boy? Take a peek at our greatest hits – you might just spot his new favorite.

The Winners

#7

Sega Toys Home Planetarium Star Projector

The planetarium is a place to view images of the night sky, which can be beautiful and relaxing. Star projectors can bring some of the fun of the planetarium to your home, and the Sega Toys Home Planetarium Star Projector has a display which features over 60,000 stars. 5-watt warm LED technology projects bright stars when it shines through the advanced multi-level glass lenses. It’s a unique addition to any room, but it’s especially great in playrooms, as it can be a calming sensory experience for younger kids. It’s also a cool nightlight pick, especially in an outer space or nature themed bedroom.

Developmental & Play Insights Sega Toys Planetarium Star Projector

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#4

Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

Everyone knows iPads are already packed with awesome features, but this kit takes Apple’s beloved technology to a whole new level. The Osmo Genius Kit for iPad features both number and word games, both of which are important subjects at age six. Tangrams, which are colorful geometric shapes used for teaching, are included. They’re great because they promote visual and spatial thinking, and can be used in games that involve problem solving skills. The kit comes with a sturdy iPad stand and reflector for play. Storage is a breeze thanks to conveniently streamlined stacking containers that hold all the pieces when they’re not being used.

Developmental & Play Insights Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#1

US Art Supply Art Creativity Set

Art supplies are an awesome gift for six year olds. Their fine motor skills have improved to the point where they can draw recognizable people and objects, and doing so is a great outlet for their creativity. The US Art Supply Art Creativity Set​​ is loaded with all the good stuff: colored pencils, oil pastels, graphite pencils, a sharpener, erasers, watercolors and watercolor paper and sketch pads. The supplies carry easily in their convenient wooden case, and a handy desk easel gives them an ergonomic prop for their tabletop art projects.

Developmental & Play Insights US Art Supply Art Creativity Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#10

LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box

LEGOs are a part of almost every childhood, and for good reason. Building sets offer a cognitive boost to kids, encouraging them to use their hands, get creative and consider possible projects and strategies. This Classic Large Creative Brick Box features LEGO bricks in 33 different colors, as well as baseplates, windows and wheels which may inspire some exciting ideas. The bricks come in a convenient, sturdy plastic container that makes storage simple and neat, which will matter a lot to you if you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO(ouch). They’ll be building houses, scooters and unique creations in no time, and we dare you not to join the fun – everyone loves a good LEGO set!

Developmental & Play Insights LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#2

Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids

Offering a bit of education and plenty of fun, the Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids, offers your six year old a chance to build a real mini garden that doubles as a cool night light. The light up terrarium in this kit is easy to put together. It comes with blue sand, soil and river rocks to create a layering effect. The chia seeds that are included can be planted to grow foliage in the terrarium, which lights up at night time and illuminates their efforts. A small bunny and mushroom figures are included, which kids can use to decorate their terrarium. Reusable stickers and a convenient spray bottle for watering are also included, and no batteries are needed thanks to convenient MicroUSB charging.

Developmental & Play Insights Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#3

Awesome Jokes for 6 Year Old

At six, kids are beginning to understand and enjoy humor, and telling jokes is becoming a favored way to break the ice and bond with others. Reading is also very important for six year olds, which gives way to the perfect combination – a joke book especially for your six year old! The Awesome Jokes for 6 Year Old is a great birthday gift, and it’s packed with easy jokes that are fun to tell and have appropriate subject matter for younger kids. They’ll love memorizing these cute chuckles and sharing them with their friends and family, and they’ll reap the cognitive benefit of reading and memorization while they’re at it.

Developmental & Play Insights Awesome Jokes for 6 Year Old

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#5

LED Foam Finger Rockets

There’s no batteries or fuel needed to make these LED Foam Finger Rockets fly, just the kinetic energy that’s created by pulling on a rubber band. They’re easy and safe to trigger, and firm enough to fly without being hard enough to hurt anyone. There’s plenty of rockets in this 21 pack, so it’s great for the whole family, and playtime doesn’t have to end if one winds up out of bounds. The set comes with a convenient plastic storage box, and they’re a great addition to group playtime at the pool, a barbecue or your own backyard.

Developmental & Play Insights LED Foam Finger Rockets

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#6

TOP BRIGHT Tool Bench Set

Pretending and engaging in imaginative role play are lots of fun for six year olds, and they’re also developmentally important. The Top Bright Tool Bench Set features tools like a saw, screwdriver, wrench, hammer and other realistic picks they’d see in a real workshop. They’re totally safe for kids with no sharp edges, but they make awesome props during their creative play time. A nice bonus? The folding top “tool bench” also has a blackboard background, and it can be repurposed as a learning desk, so there’s a lot to do here.

Developmental & Play Insights TOP BRIGHT Tool Bench Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#8

Hasbro Pie Face Game

Getting messy can be tons of fun, especially if it’s as good-natured and relatively contained as it is in this quirky Hasbro Pie Face Game. It’s an unusual way to have a blast while bonding with family and friends. Players put face in the mask, use the spinner and turn the handle, but they could get hit by the pie machine at any time! It uses regular whipped cream, which isn’t included but is inexpensive, delicious and goes a long way. The first player to reach 25 points wins the game. The “pie” area of the machine isn’t particularly large, so cleanup is minimal – just keep a towel on hand, wash faces afterward and you’ll be good to go.

Developmental & Play Insights Hasbro Pie Face Game

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#9

Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set

Marble runs offer a fantastic cognitive boost, and the Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set makes it simple for kids to build unique runs by using short, colorful, semi-translucent pieces which snap together easily. They can start out by making shorter runs that work for their height range, graduating to larger, more complex runs as they grow. Not only does this pick stay fun, it boosts their critical thinking skills by encouraging them to plan and use logic and reason. 15 glass marbles are enclosed for use with built runs, and the set includes eight solid bases and three large bases for plenty of stability.

Developmental & Play Insights Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#10

LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box

LEGOs are a part of almost every childhood, and for good reason. Building sets offer a cognitive boost to kids, encouraging them to use their hands, get creative and consider possible projects and strategies. This Classic Large Creative Brick Box features LEGO bricks in 33 different colors, as well as baseplates, windows and wheels which may inspire some exciting ideas. The bricks come in a convenient, sturdy plastic container that makes storage simple and neat, which will matter a lot to you if you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO(ouch). They’ll be building houses, scooters and unique creations in no time, and we dare you not to join the fun – everyone loves a good LEGO set!

Developmental & Play Insights LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#11

Gizmovine RC Car 4WD 1/16 Rock Crawler

The large torque of this Gizmovine RC Car 4WD 1/16 Rock Crawler gives it phenomenal ground performance. It’s not the sole star of the show, though, as the all weather, four wheel drive, oversized anti-skid tires make this car excellent at multi-terrain play and handling small hazards. It also features high-suspension shocks, which make it both flexible and durable. It’s waterproof, so a little bit of rain or an errant puddle won’t put this bad boy out of commission, and it’s a great accompaniment to all of their outdoor adventures. The impressive 200+ foot control distance rounds out this quality pick, which is the perfect first RC for a six year old boy: uncomplicated but highly functional.

Developmental & Play Insights Gizmovine RC Car 4WD 1/16 Rock Crawler

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#12

Nerf Phoenix Laser Tag Guns

Laser tag is one of the coolest childhood pastimes, and thanks to this two pack of Phoenix Laser Tag Guns from NERF, parents can do a barrel roll and dodge steep arena entrance fees. They’re a great pick for siblings or sharing with friends, and they’re compatible with multiple sets – in other words, if you buy a second two pack, even more kids can join in on the same interactive game. Sound effects and vibration make the NERF laser tag experience even more authentic. One gold and one blue blaster come in each set, and they’re just the right size for five year old hands.

Developmental & Play Insights Nerf Phoenix Laser Tag Guns

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#13

ZOKEA Dinosaur 3D Night Light

Night lights can be a great way to help soothe kids to sleep. Six year old boys love dinosaurs, and this unique night light pick, ZOKEA Dinosaur 3D Night Light features  color changing laser projection of a triceratops. He’s a great addition to the bedside table, and can be operated either via touch buttons on the base or remote control. It’s great in a dino-themed bedroom or playroom, and the remote is easy to control. The triceratops displays in seven colors, including red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, purple and white, and is powered by 3 AA batteries or USB.

Developmental & Play Insights ZOKEA Dinosaur 3D Night Light

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#14

Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst

Science kits that make cool stuff while remaining safe for younger kids are absolutely golden in our book. The Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst can be built and rebuilt again and again, which makes it particularly versatile. Kids can build a robot that can doodle a picture, create a small car, or motorize the creations they make with their toy blocks(think LEGO mobiles). 50+ real parts are included in this kit, and 10 project cards offer some inspiration and instruction for kids as they’re starting out. It features real hardware, so parents may want to supervise, especially when they’re beginners. It’s a great pick for boosting their critical thinking skills, and it may generate early STEM interest.

Developmental & Play Insights Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

How to Pick the Perfect Gift for a Six-year-old Boy

Consider Their Developmental Stage

A truly good gift is one that’s safe, fun and beneficial for kids. To assure that your pick meets those standards, make sure you understand where kids are developmentally when they reach 6. Knowing the basics can often help you determine if a purchase will be appropriate.

Six year olds have greatly expanded their ability to communicate, doing so in clear sentences of five to seven words. They’re able to follow three commands in a row, such as “close the door, take off your shoes and hang up your backpack”. They can read books at an age appropriate level. They understand how to tell time, and know the meaning of day and night. They’re able to tell left from right, and their gross motor skills are mostly developed, so they have both the focus and ability to participate in social sports.

Kids are more independent than ever at six. They’re likely to engage in people pleasing behaviors with peers and teachers while testing boundaries with parents and siblings, because home is where they feel safest(it’s hard to take it as a compliment, we know, but…). They enjoy making friends and talk about school pals frequently.

The best toys and games for six year olds include wordier books, puzzles around 50 pieces, board games that encourage socialization, building sets, games that encourage focus and age appropriate athletic toys.

Entertainment vs. Education

Six year olds are very adept at learning, which makes it the perfect age to introduce early STEM concepts. Safe building sets and science kits help focus their energy and attention on creating and learning cool things, which is a good way to generate early interest in STEM education. They’re also still perfecting their reading and writing abilities, so vocabulary and phonics games are ideal now.

There should be plenty of time for fun, however, and board games with simple instructions that can be played with friends and family will give six year olds some of the social time they crave. Picture puzzles and focus games are also good for moderate skill building that just feels like playtime.

Physical vs. Cognitive vs. Social

Running, jumping and playing is important for all kids, and at six, physical activity keeps their growing bodies healthy and helps them work out excess energy and aggression. Age appropriate sports toys, bikes, jump ropes and other picks are great, offering a social aspect to playtime that’s especially important for six year olds.

Cognitive stimulation at six should come in the form of books with more words and fun science and building sets. It’s not necessary to go overboard on educational toys at this time, though they’re always important. Kids are learning a lot in school, so keeping lessons playful at home will prevent them from feeling drained.

Socialization may just be the most important developmental aspect at age six, a time when kids are beginning to understand their social hierarchy and test boundaries at home. Regular social experiences with friends are important now, giving them a chance to exercise their social skills and form important bonds. Games, puzzles and building sets that accommodate multiple kids are excellent for fostering social play.

Digital vs. Manual

While we generally feel pretty positively about limited use of toys with screen time, it can be detrimental to six year olds who are learning to focus. Some digital toys are just fine, especially educational ones. That said, parents should take care to limit screen time now, as this is an age where bad habits can develop. Kids may retreat into overuse of screens as a reaction to school stress and anxiety, so make sure to follow up if they seem too attached. Puzzles, building sets, STEM kits and word games are better picks now.

Wrapping Up

Independent, social and tons of fun, your six year old boy is a blast to be around. There’s lots of awesome gifts for 6 year old boys to really dig into and learn from, and any one of them would make a perfect gift pick. Now that you’ve seen our winners, you’re more prepared than ever to snag a present he’ll always remember.

Quick Decision

Sega Toys Home Planetarium Star Projector​ – Best Overall
A cool nightlight pick to view images of the night sky that brings a calming sensory experience for younger kids.

Osmo Genius Kit for iPad – Upgrade Choice
This pick features both number and word games, both of which are important subjects at age six. 

US Art Supply Art Creativity Set – Best Budget Buy
An awesome gift for kids loaded with all the good stuff which can be a great outlet for their creativity.

Best marble mazes

Marble mazes help kids develop spatial reasoning skills, logic and motor skills. We’ve taken a look at the top marble mazes to help you make your best pick.

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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