Five year olds are old enough to be able to follow most directions, while able to figure out some things on their own. They aren't a helpless age like the pathetic 3&4-year olds, but they aren't super-independent "I can do this on my own stop trying to help me attitude" that you get with 8&9-year olds.
Five is still easy enough to impress with super easy crafts or just a box of craft supplies in general.
Five is silly enough to laugh at easy things.
Five is not yet old enough to be completely stubborn about things and you can sometimes sway them to just do what you say.
Five is still young enough that you can sometimes convince them to take a wonderful-for-you afternoon nap.
Five year olds are still young enough to want to take bubble baths, but can do it alone without the constant fear of them drowning.
And five year olds say some really funny things.
My new five year old girl and I were talking about going to some event at a horse farm where kids can paint a horse - which is the most absurd thing I've ever heard, in addition, they provide lunch and horse rides for the $5 entry fee. I was explaining to her what to expect, as kids in therapeutic foster care really need to have a sense of what to expect as much as possible,and I told her they are even giving us free lunch! And this is how the conversation went:
Me: They will be serving hot dogs tomorrow.
Girl: Hot dogs?
Me: Yes, hot dogs.
Girl: Oh, I'm not hungry there.
It just made me laugh...she doesn't like hot dogs. Instead of just saying she doesn't like the food, she was going to just declare that she's not hungry in the future. And she could predict that if someone tried to feed her a hot dog, her appetite would be gone. Smart girl!!!