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When children turn 4, they are entering into a time of major milestones and changes. They are sensing that there is more to the world than what just happens around them and, in turn, they are curious. This is the age of testing independence, identifying the rules of play, and considering the roles of others.
With these new social, emotional, and physical developments, it’s no surprise that 4 year-olds—whether they are inquisitive, pensive, or rowdy—crave fresh and exciting activities.
So, with this in mind, what toys make the best gifts for 4-year-old kids? Baby toys are no longer interesting to them, and maybe you want to invest in some STEM toys or educational toys.
Would a child this age like a balance bike or a Lego set? Do they play with stuffed animals? Are they coordinated enough to use active toys like a pogo jumper or a jump rope? Would they have fun with a kitchen set or a board game for kids like Candyland or Zingo Bingo?
What about building blocks or Lincoln Logs? Do they already have magnetic tiles? How about marble runs as a toy gift? Would they be interested in lacing cards or maybe a balance board? How about a unique wooden toy?
If you’re looking for gift ideas for 4-year-olds, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out our 6 favorite toy and gift ideas, sure to put a smile on any child’s face.
Who doesn’t have vivid memories of playing in a sandbox? This defined space is perfect for a positive sensory experience.
For example, here little kids can learn how wet sand feels compared to dry sand, and what feels different when rocks and sticks are added to the mix. Their little hands and fingers will have a chance to get stronger and more dexterous the more they dig and build and engage in this physical activity.
And, of course, a sandpit is made for social opportunities, like figuring out how to cooperate or share toys and ideas with peers. Sandpits are one of the best outdoor toys and they come in a range of sizes and designs, and some even have attached canopies for protection from the sun.
It’s probably safe to say that the sensation of swinging is synonymous with childhood. But besides being one of the most thrilling things for a child to do, it’s also physically and mentally beneficial.
No wonder swings make an awesome addition to a just about any play area! While your little one is pumping her legs and holding on tight, she is strengthening her core muscles and improving her sense of balance. For some children, the swinging motion is extremely calming and even helps them to focus.
There’s a reason why dolls remain one of the most popular gift items and often become the most cherished of personal belongings. Not only are they one of the best learning toys, but dolls bring out the nurturing side of children. By engaging in pretend to play with dolls, children learn what it feels like to be responsible for something and to care for someone.
Oftentimes a strong, loving bond is formed between a child and a doll. This connection, based on empathy and compassion, will serve the children well as they mature and become an active member of society.
Of course, dolls also provide kids with the opportunity to use their imaginations by acting out scenes, testing out language and other communication skills. There are so many types of dolls to choose from that there’s a perfect match for every child!
There’s something magical about a dollhouse, no matter its size or shape. Each small room is filled with tiny furniture and other miniscule pieces that beg to be touched and put into action.
By manipulating these items, kids are able to creatively express themselves while strengthening their fine motor skills. Dollhouses are also another way for little ones to practice nurturing and caring and cooperative play.
When you realize how many benefits there are to trampolines, you’ll wonder why every child doesn’t own one! The first and most obvious benefit is that a trampoline encourages kids to spend time outdoors (in other words, away from screens).
Next, the jumping movement strengthens and tones leg muscles, plus helps to exercise all of the other muscles in the body. And while they are jumping, their heart will get a good workout, too. And finally, studies have shown that the feeling of weightlessness promotes a sense of happiness and wellbeing, which makes a trampoline a perfect tool for stress reduction and one of the best toys for kids.
Role playing is something every child should be encouraged to explore and with various play costumes, it’s fun and easy to dive right in. Not only will your child learn basic skills like putting on various pieces of clothing and accessories, but dressing up also provides a chance to try out different conversations and types of social interactions.
Putting on a costume set allows kids to experience the world from a new perspective, and to learn how others perceive what’s around them. So, whether it’s as a superhero, a teacher, a truck driver, or a fire chief role play costume, there’s no doubt that it’s exciting for children to be someone else, even for just a little while.
Learning through play
One thing is for certain: there’s no shortage of toys and gifts for 4-year-old boys and 4-year-old girls. You may want to pick out something that helps with child development and gross motor skills, STEM skills, and hand-eye coordination.
Preschoolers have a lot going on. They are adventurous, energetic, excitable, and happy to be with other people. They are primed to try new things, be it something like riding a bike or wearing a new outfit.
During this time, play is an essential part of their growth and development. For grownups, that means it’s worth it to put some thought into finding the perfect presents that will enhance this special time in the little ones’ lives.