So, you’ve got a four-year-old child you need to buy toys for, correct? When children reach the age of four, they enter a whole new stage of life and learning. Many four-year-old children will enter preschool for the first time to prep for kindergarten. Also, by the age of four, most children emerge as human beings with their own opinions and personalities, which can be vastly different from their parents.
Four-year-old children enjoy asking a multitude of questions to adults, while they start developing strong friendships with their peers. It’s also at this stage of life when children get pickier about the toys they’ll play with, so you’ll need to be able to assess your four-year-old child’s interests as well when purchasing toys for him or her.
Top 5 Educational Toys For 4-Year-Olds
Brickyard Building Blocks’ STEM Toys Kit is probably the best product you can currently find if it’s creativity that you want to enable in your child.
Billed at 50$ on most websites and retail stores, it contains 75% more pieces than other STEM Toy Kits on the market totaling up to a number of 163 allowing multiple children to play with at a time shutting down the possibility of a fight breaking out among kids due to there not being enough pieces. Due to the nature of this kit, its ability to enhance your child’s basic science, math and engineering is unmatched. If your child needs aid in building, the kit comes with a guide that has designs of 42 different structures. The guide comes in full color and is easy to understand. To ramp up the difficulty and creativity, the blocks come with built-in screwdriver slots that allow your child to experiment and create even more complex structures.
The 163 pieces that come with the kit are easily washable and non-toxic in nature ensuring that they do no harm to your child.
- Product dimensions: 11.1 X 6.6 X 6.5 inches
- Item weight: 2.69 lbs.
- Satisfaction Guarantee: Guaranteed refund if you’re not satisfied with the product.
CoolToys’ Monkey Balance Math Game is one of the more creative entries on this list and one of the better STEM toys on the market and comes at a fairly cheap price of 20$. It’s pretty simple actually, the monkey carries two plates on each side. Grab a card and it will give you a number and then on one side you have to place the number block and on the other side, you have to place that same number of mini-monkeys. This helps your child develop basic math and counting skills while having fun at the same time. It also massively improves memory.
The toy is easy to set up and easy to follow along and allows for some pretty fun and interactive sessions between the parent and child. The colors are bright and easy on the eyes and make for an attractive and educational package.
- Product dimensions: 10.5 X 10.3 X 2.9 inches
- Item weight: 1.7 lbs
IQ Builder’s STEM Toy Kit allows you to set a solid foundation for creativity, basic science, technology and mathematics in your child. It comes highly recommended by educational professionals and is available for a whopping 25$ only.
The kit allows you to build on your child’s mental fortitude and skills and gives them a tool to regularly test themselves with. The kit comes with three instructional ebooks that aid the process. The kit is easily washable and is also made of toxin-free material ensuring safe use and is also easy to store making for a solid product.
- 40 connecting balls and 88 different length ball connectors.
- 24 cover plates to decorate finished designs.
- Easy to wash
- Product dimensions: 9.8 X 6.9 X 5.3 inches
- Item Weight: 2.18 lbs
- 100% Money-back guarantee if the user isn’t satisfied.
ATOPDREAM’S Matching Letter Game is the cheapest entry on this list and that’s not a dig at its quality. A fairly well-made product with a pretty simple game as it’s selling point. The premise is simple, a card with a picture is displayed and the child has to use letter blocks and spell out the animal/object into the tray and if he/she spells it correct, the card pops out with the correct answer. It’s simple yet effective in improving your child’s vocabulary. Billed at a mere 14$ you can’t go wrong with this one.
- 8 letter blocks that are used to spell 60 3-4 letter words.
- 30 picture cards
TOP RACE’s Take Apart Toy kit is probably the “coolest” entry on this list. It’s basically a toy kit that allows kids to construct their own remote-controlled battery-powered trucks. It may sound and look too complicated but it is fairly easy to construct and use. It’s even easier to construct thanks to a guide that offers step-by-step instructions should you choose to use them.
The RC range covers a 100 feet and works well. The truck sounds are pretty realistic and the truck itself is pretty robust making it a very viable product billed at 30$.
- Product Dimensions: 1 X 1 X 1 inches
- Item Weight: 1.63 lbs
Educational Toys For 4-Year-Olds: Buying Guide
Four-year-old children tend to enjoy open-ended toys, which can also help enhance their educational capabilities in a variety of ways. For example, blocks, Legos, and anything that requires a child to build something would make for an excellent educational toy. Keep in mind that the less fancy a toy is, the more your child’s imagination will have to fill in the gaps. However, the less fancy a toy is, the less likely a four-year-old kid might be interested in it.
So, while it’s nice to have some electronic toys for children at this age, many of those that are made for four-year-old children are so fancy that children don’t have much interaction, and instead watch what’s in front of them. However, some of the best toys for four-year-old children are those that force them to use their imaginations so that they can pretend.
Some tremendous educational gifts include things like simple board games, which force children to use self-control as well as their imaginations. By playing board games, children also learn how to lose with dignity. Other great toy ideas for education would be a chalkboard for your child so he or she can write and draw on the board. Or, consider getting a bike or some other toy that forces your child to think and move, keeping your child’s body and mind healthy and strong.
Essential Factors to Assess about Your 4-Year-Old
When it comes to figuring out what toy to purchase for your specific four-year-old, you’ll need to assess a few things about the child that will be receiving the toy as well as your own financial situation. Since four-year-old children already have their interests, you’ll need to take the child’s personality, education, and interests into account before you purchase a toy. Below we cover some essential factors to consider about your four-year-old.
1 Toy Age Range
Four-year-old children are at an exciting point in their lives. We no longer consider them toddlers at this point so that some toys will appear “too babyish” to them. However, they still aren’t ready for big-kid toys. Before you purchase a toy for your four-year-old, take a good look at the toy’s box and assess the age rating on the toy you might buy. By looking at the toy’s age range, you’ll be able to pick something out that’s in the correct field for your four-year-old.
2 Educational Opportunities
Most four-year-old children are preparing for kindergarten throughout the year. It’s an excellent idea to purchase toys that will reinforce the items they’ll be learning once they get into kindergarten. Plenty of toys help teach simple counting, reading, and math. Locating games and toys that help develop some school-age skills could help them make waves when they first enter kindergarten.
3 Current Interests
You’ll also need to think about the current interests of your four-year-old. Most four-year-old children already demonstrate a strong individual personality, so they have their opinions and interests. Pay attention to the shows the child watches, the other toys the child likes, and any movies the child is interested in seeing. All of these things can help guide you in figuring out the right toy.
Since children, all have different tastes and interests, and those can seemingly change daily, you’ll need to narrow things down to what the child is interested in owning moar. Sometimes you can tell this by figuring out what the child’s favorite toys already are. However, if all else fails, you can ask the four-year-old what he or she wants or talk to his or her parents.
4 Purchase Non-Toxic Toys
Toys made for children should feature non-toxic materials only. Non-toxic materials include items like plastic, which are safe for children to use. If you wind up purchasing a metal toy, make sure it’s safe and won’t harm the child. Toys made of wood and steel tend to last longer and offer more reliability, but they can also pose safety hazards depending on how the gadget is developed. While plastic toys don’t last as long, they tend to be a lot safer for children.
Another thing to consider is your relationship with the four-year-old child. If you know the child well, you’ll be more likely to spend a little more money. For instance, if you are a grandparent, you’ll probably wind up spending more money than a friend of the family. So, keep some family expectations in mind, too, when you decide on your toy choice.
6 Look for Bright Colors
If a toy has a lot of bright colors and offers a few different ways for a child to play with it, then a four-year-old will be more likely to fall in love with the toy. Four-year-olds tend to gravitate more towards exciting, loud, bright toys, so keep that in mind as you make your decision.
7 Avoid Small Parts
While most four-year-old children love toys with a bevy of pieces, you don’t want to freak mom out because the child lost a piece, and that piece is vital to playtime. Since young children can quickly lose small parts, it’s best to avoid them. Not only that, but toys with small parts are still choking hazards at this age. Although most moms don’t enjoy loud toys, if that noisy toy makes her four-year-old child happy, she’ll deal with it.
How to Pick Quality Toys?
When selecting a toy for a four-year-old, you’ll most likely want something entertaining but also educational. Even if a toy only teaches a child about a single skill, it’s still building on the knowledge they’ll need later on in life. So, it’s a beautiful plan to select learning toys when shopping for four-year-olds that teach them about the alphabet, numbers, and shapes. That way, the child is preparing for both preschool and kindergarten successfully.
For any toy, you purchase, make sure you assess the durability of the toy. If you are buying toys that are too cheap because of your budget, you might wind up wasting your money. That’s because more inexpensive toys often break easily, and can even harm a child when they break. It’s better to find more robust toys.
Consider the Child’s Physical Abilities
During this stage of life, most four-year-old children are experiencing improvement with their motor skills and flexibility. So, it’s a good idea to consider supporting the development of those excellent motor skills as they are becoming more precise. Your child probably already dresses himself or herself at this point, brushes his or her teeth, and potty-trained. However, physical activity is still critical because of your child’s development. So, continue to purchase toys that encourage outdoor activities, like bikes, swing sets, etc.
Consider the Child’s Emotional Abilities
Emotionally, most four-year-old children have developed a sense of emotional security, although that’s still got a long way to go. Four-year-old children start experiencing empathy for others and realize that other people do have emotions that might not be the same as theirs.
However, your child may still be too blunt from time to time, which can cause some hurt feelings. Four-year-old children are also more in tune with their own emotions and start experiencing more feelings than ever before. Your child will demonstrate feelings that you haven’t seen before, like excitement and fear. Also, children start becoming more competitive at this age as well. So, finding a few board games that force your child to both compete and think can add a lot of fun to the house.
Consider the Child’s Social Abilities
Another beautiful thing about having a four-year-old around is that they’ve outgrown throwing constant temper tantrums. Four-year-old children develop better coping mechanisms than their younger peers. However, substantial changes can still cause stress for your four-year-old, like a friend moving away or a new sibling.
Children at this age start making closer bonds with friends and also become better at taking turns. So, if you want to reinforce these skills, you can consider purchasing some games that require the taking of turns and sharing.
Consider the Child’s Cognitive Abilities
Four-year-old children avoid talking often, and your child can now say over 3,000 words each day. During this year, the four-year-old will probably learn 2,000 more words or so. That means that the child will be asking a lot of questions. You may even notice that your child has an imaginary friend at this age. Since your child’s imagination is growing so much, you can consider toys that could help expand on that creativity. Purchasing costumes for dress-up is one way to accomplish this.