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My 5.5 year old son now likes building toys for the first time. So one of his favorites right now are Legos, and he also likes Knex and Zoobs (although the Zoobs break so might not be a great choice if your son breaks toys a lot- I'm amazed at how durable Legos are, by contrast).

He also spends lots of time with his Playmobil people. He has lots of pirates, knights, soldiers, etc.

He still uses his dress-up clothes, though less than he used to.

He has elaborate ideas for building things. Sometimes he just lets loose with empty boxes, stuff from the recycling bin, various tools, tape, glue, etc.

He also likes board games- chess, Battleship, Great States, etc.

For a 5 year old girl, maybe a more elaborate dollhouse with more detailed furniture than the basic wood type? Some dolls? Props for different types of role-playing? I recall spending a lot of time at that age playing school, vet's office, etc.

Does your son have a telescope, or a microscope along with tools to collect things from nature? We have a card deck of science experiments- we haven't tried it much yet but it seems like most of the experiments use things we actually have around the house.

It seems like my 5.5 year old is moving into a phase where fewer toys will do (although his toys now have a zillion little pieces). My toddler, however, is moving into that stage where I want her to have a lot of fodder for her budding pretend play. But, like you, I have seen that my own kids play better with their toys when there are fewer of them!
 

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Playmobil has some pieces that come apart (like a knight might have a helmet and breastplate that can be taken off) and they have various things they can hold (swords, etc). But you can't take apart the actual bodies except for the hair.

If he is a "deconstructor" you still might do OK with things like Lego, Knex, Zoobs, etc. Just stay away from the sets where you build a certain object from Legos and stick with the generic type sets. Then he can put together and take apart to his heart's content.
 
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