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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 four year olds 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.

See more: Best Toys for 5-Year-Olds

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

Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run Construction

One of our most beloved toy brands ups the ante yet again with this STEM game, meant for kids four and older.

Buy Now $96.45

Kids learn problem solving and spatial reasoning with this marble run, which is made up of 147 pieces. With this run, you get straight and curved rails, high-velocity funnels, red double-sided rocker, accelerators, blocks, levelers, bases and 50 marbles. Literally, there’s no room for boredom.

What's In the Box

Kids love surprises. Kids love gross, mysterious things. This toy combines both into one brilliant product.

Buy Now $19.99

Sometimes, it’s simple toys that truly rock. Like this one. Kids find weird things to put in the box, and players have to stick their hands in and try to figure out what they’re touching.

Blume Doll

Meet the latest player in the surprise toys category. Blume Dolls sport fabulous fashion hairstyles and outfits that kids can mix and match. You just add water and see what blooms. Get it?

Buy Now $9.88

Kids open the pot, add water, and discover what sprouts out. And they’ll be wowed and dazzled by the surprise factor.

Educational Insights Pancake Pile-Up! Relay Game

This pancake-balancing game helps kids get a handle on coordination, critical thinking, and counting. Also, it's hella fun.

Buy Now $16.77

Kids play this pancake stacking game by turning over a card and finding the first pancake. They put pancakes on spatulas and race to stack said pancakes in a relay-like race. Sounds complicated. It’s not.

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets, Vet Toy Playset with Toy Pets

A fantastic toy for your four year old, this Crayola set lets kids kids decorate their white pets with an assortment of colorful markers. And they can do this over and over again, by wetting their pets, washing off the colors, and doing it again.

Buy Now $14.99

It’s portable. It’s easy to clean up. And it unleashes kids’ imaginations, as they create their own creatures. Plus, it’s solid pretend play, since kids are also vets tending to their animals.

VTech Starshine the Bright Lights Unicorn

Ah, the mythical appeal of the unicorn. This one lets kids choose from seven charms in the heart-shaped dish and place them on the three hearts to hear colors, objects and phrases said in English and Spanish.

Buy Now $19.95

But there’s more! The unicorn’s horn lights up in a rainbow of colors and when kids the blue heart button to hear quiz questions, they place the charms on the unicorn to answer them. 

Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom

Yes, it's messy. But kinetic sand is a wonderful sensory toy that also encourages limitless creativity. Just use a baking sheet to contain it.

Buy Now $17.99

Kinetic sand feels like wet beach sand, but is made with natural sand that never dries out. Kids can build sandcastles galore, plus entire magical kingdoms. And it’s a great sensory tool, too. This kit comes with molds and tools to create walls, bridges and towers.

Ravensburger 08796 Disney Pixar Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 is a major thing. And so this is puzzle, ideal for kids four and up. Every piece in this puzzle is unique, meaning reduced confusion and frustration.

Buy Now $7.98

This 35-piece jigsaw puzzle is made of entirely unique pieces, and helps Toy Story 4 fans (and anyone else) develop concentration skills and problem-solving skills.

Melissa & Doug Chef Role-Play Costume Set

Kids this age are really into dressing up. As just about anything So get them started with this detailed and well-made chef's costume.

Buy Now $19.70

Your kid can dress up as a police officer, a firefighter, or a veterinarian. But this costume in particular includes a chef’s jacket, hat, oven mitt, three wooden utensils, plastic measuring spoons, and nametag for pencil personalization.

Step2 899399 Espresso Bar Play Kitchen for Kids

Give your pretend chef his or her own kitchen. This kitchen play set features an electronic stovetop burner with realistic cooking sounds and flashing lights, plus it has its own built-in coffee station.

Buy Now $69.99

As parents, we can’t resist anything that includes coffee, the elixir of survival. This toy kitchen has a built-in coffee station, comes with 21 cooking accessories, features an oversized refrigerator and large oven that double as storage space, and even has a hangout for pets. Apparently, health codes don’t apply in pretend cooking land. 

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 $66.99

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 $29.95

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 $124.99

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 $21.24

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 $9.97

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 $22.73

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 $79.99

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 $89.99

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

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