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Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds

Donna Freydkin

Four is a huge milestone year for children, because it’s when many of them start preschool. But that’s not all.

By age four, your child gets more and more creative with make-believe play. According to the CDC, he cooperates with other kids, and will articulate what he likes and cares about. Playdates become your new normal. She’ll sing a song or poem from memory and can tell stories. And of course, she knows her first and last name. Your kiddo will name some colors and numbers, begin grasping the concept of time, draw an actual human with up to four body parts, and will play board games. And when you go to the park or playground, he’ll catch a ball and hop around.

These are the best toys for four year old children, to help them develop their increasingly complex skills.

Fat Brain Toys Wooden Personalized Name Puzzle

As long as you keep it to nine letters or less, your child gets his or her own personalized name puzzle, to help with alphabet and letter recognition.

Buy Now $26.95

Yes, this looks cool. But the name puzzle also makes your kid feel special, and boosts fine motor skills and letter recognition because the child has to fit the correct letter into its corresponding slot.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel

Unleash his or her inner artist with this high-quality, durable easel, perfect for budding creatives.

Buy Now $66.26

Four year olds love to draw, so here’s an easy way to help them do it. This set also includes a dry-erase board, chalkboard, a locking paper roll holder, a child-safe paper cutter, four easy-clip grips and two plastic trays for markers, chalk and other supplies.

MindWare Imagination Magnets

By age four, kids recognize body parts. This set lets them create animals, faces, cars, flowers, and buildings.

Buy Now $21.70

This magnetic set is mess-free, and it lets four year olds use magnets to create whatever they want. From flowers to skyscrapers to dogs to mom and dad, the proverbial sky’s the limit. They can follow the enclosed puzzle cards, or freestyle. And when done, the magnets are stored in the wood carrying case.

Hape Discovery Space Center Kid's Wooden Playscape Set with Accessories

This is imaginary play at its best, thanks to 37-piece spaceship set with four different levels of operations.

Buy Now $139.99

Yes, this spaceship play set has the right stuff, indeed. It transforms kids into Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride. It’s a four-story spaceship that mimics actual space shuttles with specific areas for mission control, an on-board laboratory, a living compartment and even a gym, plus a working elevator.

ZOOB BuilderZ 250 Piece Kit

Yes, they do get underfoot, but these Zoob builders include gears, axels and joints that snap, click, and pop together, so you can build actual toys that you can actually play with.

Buy Now $31.99

These Zoobs helps kids develop hand-eye coordination, and unleash their imagination because they can create whatever they want. They’re meant for slightly older kids, but we think it’s never too early to start.

Melissa & Doug Verdie Chameleon Beanbag Toss

By age four, kids can throw balls over their heads. Help them build their skills by tossing beanbags through openings in this fun game.

Buy Now $24.99

This game is double-sided, works indoors and outside, and includes eight beanbags, plus two play options.

Spot It!

This popular game, for 2-8 players, helps kids develop focus, visual perception skills, speech-language skills, and fine-motor skills.

Buy Now $10.39

By age four, kids love board games and can follow along. While this isn’t exactly a board game, we promise, your child won’t be bored when he or she competes to spot symbols.

ALEX Discover My Giant Busy Box

This activity set includes buttons, dough, crayons, doilies, flowers, feathers, eyes, bags, pipe cleaners, frames, boards, stickers, paper, tissue, and a glue stick.

Buy Now $19.32

No more rainy day blues, with this glorious activity set. By age four, kids can draw and even use scissors, to keep ’em busy with this fun set.

Fisher-Price Octonauts Octopod Playset

Fans of the show will love this two-sided playset, which includes 10 play pieces, phrases, sounds, and characters.

Buy Now $68.10

By age four, kids are fully into imaginary play. And this set, which includes a removable Octo-Alert that plays phrases and sounds, will keep ’em entertained.

LINCOLN LOGS –Collector's Edition Village

No, they're not fancy. And no, they're not tricked-out. But this classic toys lets kids build whatever they want.

Buy Now $98.54

With 327 pieces, your kid can create an entire universe from his or her imagination.

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