Parents say these are the best gifts for 4 year olds, perfect for hours of fun well after Christmas or the birthday is over!
We're sharing games for preschoolers that you'll play over and over, creative and versatile toys, and more favorites to inspire imagination and active play. Toys for this age group can get used for years, so check our lists for 3 year olds and 5 year olds too.
Add your picks for the best toys for 4 year olds to the list!
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Erin P.: There are a number of different magnet toys out there that make wonderful gifts for 4 year olds. This one, though, is a favorite as it is very sturdy and the pieces are semi-transparent, allowing kids to build see-through houses, garages, and spaceships. The tiles are great at helping a child learn about spatial relationships and problem solving! They come with examples of different shapes and objects children can build.
Marble Genius Marble Run
Amanda Banta: A good marble race set can keep your kid occupied for hours because he can do something different with it every time he plays with it. Marble runs are some of the best toys for 4 year olds because they encourage problem solving and engineering skills and can be used for years. Splurging on a big set is worth it for the opportunities your kids will have to use it on their own and with you.
Micro Mini Scooter
Kelly R.: The 3-wheel design of this scooter is perfect for younger kids who are still working on balance. No turning required - just lean the handles to steer.
Melissa & Doug Police Officer Costume
Erin P.: Melissa & Doug makes a lot of great costumes which come in handy on many a rainy or snowy day. It is great fun to see just how observant children truly are once they start playing doctor, police officer, fire chief or construction worker. These costumes are great gifts for 4 year olds with a big imagination.
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!
Chrissy OGorman: Perfect for the budding engineer in your family! Your child can create endless combinations of moving structures.
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Vanessa M.: This is one of the best games for preschoolers (and their grownups) because it is easy to learn and each game plays quickly. The little squirrel and all the game pieces are also too cute for words! Spin to collect acorns, but watch out for Squirrel Storms that blow your acorns back to the tree, and also keep an eye out for that Sneaky Squirrel who likes to steal acorns!
Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Cone Play Set
Vanessa M.: Scoop up some fun with this adorable ice cream play set. This toy has been in our family for over a year and still gets played with almost daily! I love that it comes with two scoopers and two cones; this makes it a great toy for 4 year olds to share with a friend. Magnets inside the scooper and ice cream make it easy for little hands to assemble their ice cream cones. I'll take a double scoop, please!
Grimm's Large Rainbow Stacker
Jennie Utsinger: This gorgeous hand-carved rainbow offers endless play possibilities. It's one of those perfect versatile toys for 4 year olds, but delights kids of all ages - and grownups too! Balance the pieces on top of each other, create bridges for cars, rock your dolls, or practice your colors.
Pop Up Soccer Goals
Tim Ponisciak: These transportable goals are fun gifts for 4 year olds who are just getting started with the sport. There are different sizes depending on your child's ability level. They are also small enough to be used inside if you have a room safe from breakables!
Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box
Kristy Pepping: My 4 year old loves puzzles. The hard part about this age is that they are too old for the pieces that go back into a cut-out board, and they are too young for puzzles with tiny pieces. These Melissa & Doug puzzles are nice gifts for 4 year olds and perfect for this age group. They come with four puzzles that each contain 12 pieces. Kids can use the top of the box for constructing the puzzles. Choose from several different puzzle themes like construction, dinosaurs, princesses and more.
Butterfly Growing Kit
C. Wal: Exploring the life cycle of the butterfly will be a fun science experiment that is not quickly forgotten. Note that live butterflies will need to be released into a mild climate outdoors, so this is not a year-round gift for areas that experience all seasons. The container and tools can be reused with additional purchases of new caterpillars.
Chutes and Ladders
Age 3+ (2-4 players)
Brigitte Nohra Miller: Some games just don't go out of fashion and Chutes and Ladders is one of those games. Not only will you enjoy watching your kids play a game you grew up with, but Chutes and Ladders will help 4 year olds to develop counting skills. Give an old classic a new try!
SmartGames Three Little Piggies
Amanda Banta: This game brings the story of the three little pigs to life, letting young kids problem-solve through a fun brain teasing puzzle. The game comes with multiple challenges, with the object being to place the houses around the pigs or to put the pigs inside the houses and safe from the big bad wolf. The game pieces are easy to hold and maneuver with little hands.
Now that my sons have had the game for a while, my 5-year-old will go off-book and create his own challenges and my 7-year-old also finds some fun in the harder challenges.
Learning Resources Cash Register
Carly Follett: Every time we are at the store, my son asks me if he can slide my card, punch in my pin, get the receipt and get the change. Well with this toy, he can do it all and more! My son loves playing with this register using the money and acting like he is a real cashier. These are great toys for 4 year olds, and I love that they incorporate learning through play!
Hardcover Blank Books
These blank books are great gifts for 4 year olds that allow young children to express their creativity and grow an appreciation for stories and books by creating their own. You and your child can create a story, and work together on illustrating and writing it. The hardcover nature of this book will make it a treasured keepsake as they age.
Melissa & Doug My Magnetic Daily Calendar
Lisa R: A magnetic calendar is a great way to help kids talk about their day and set the stage for early reading and number recognition.
Race to the Treasure! Board Game
Tim Ponisciak: Cooperative games are good gifts for 4 year olds, and the rest of your family will certainly enjoy Race To The Treasure! Try to grab all the keys hidden on the board and make it to the treasure chest before the evil ogre. The game does not require reading or math, just visual recognition, so it is great for 4 year olds but also can be played by younger kids as well!
LeapFrog Scribble and Write
Erin P.: These LeapFrog tablets are the best toys for 4 year olds learning early writing and spelling! The child sees the letter lit up on the screen, and then uses the pencil to trace the shape. The LeapFrog Scribble and Write is able to recognize if the child correctly traced the letter and plays cute animations.
Hoot Owl Hoot!
Age 4+ (2-4 players)
Kelly R.: I love that this is a cooperative game, so everyone wins or loses together. It was one of our favorites when our kids were preschool-age! The goal is to get the owls back home before morning.
ALEX Paper Bag Puppets Kit
Kelly R.: I love giving easy arts and crafts supplies as creative gifts for 4 year olds. This box contains all of the supplies necessary to create 5 different projects. Fun for the child, and gives the parents an already-planned activity to pull out on a rainy day.
Schleich Animal Figurines
Kelly R.: All of the Schleich animal figurines make the best toys for 4 year olds, and will see many hours of imaginative play over at least the next couple of years. They are so much more durable, realistic and beautiful than other brands, and our trusty T Rex still looks pretty cool in our tween's room years later!
Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 Pencils
C. Wal: These awesome crayons function as a colored pencil, watercolor paint, and wax crayon all in one! Also great for drawing on glass, with easy removal.
Tiny Toot Small Fart Firing Blaster Toy
Alexandra F.: Ok, hear me out. I wouldn't recommend a farting toy if it hadn't been one of the hands-down, without-a-doubt most popular toys in our house for the last several years. My mom got it for my older kids when they were about six and eight, and I thought it'd be a fun gag gift they would get tired of after a few days. Wrong! This little blaster has kept everyone laughing for years. Our four-year-old can play with it all day long and it cracks him up the whole time. Nothing funnier than farts when you're four!
Kelly R.: Mad Mattr is a fun sensory toy that kids can stretch, knead, squish, and mold in endless different ways. I prefer it to kinetic sand because it holds its shape much better and creates far less mess - an important consideration when choosing gifts for 4 year olds! It also never dries out like dough does.
Playcolor Paint Sticks
C. Wal: These bright bold paints are easy to use and clean up. So fun for kids (and adults) to paint and mix colors and the high quality colors have beautiful results. Great for box forts, easels, or regular paper.
Disney Animators' Collection Doll
Kristy Pepping: My 4 year old girl is obsessed with Disney. Any princess-themed gift is sure to please her, and the 16 inch Animators' Collection dolls from Disney are beautiful and high quality. Choose your child's favorite character!
Primary photo: Umanoide on Unsplash
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