Our Top Picks
"Kids can use letters to build words that become straws they can drink out of, making spelling fun."
Best Active: Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper at Amazon
"This toy provides all the jumping fun of a traditional pogo stick, but has a foam base and rubber handlebars to make it safer."
Best Pretend Play: FoxPrint Princess Pop Up Play Tent at Amazon
"Decorated with glow-in-the-dark stars, this tent is a great center for pretend play, coloring, or just taking a rest."
Best Creative: Play-Doh Sparkle Compound Collection at Amazon
"This set includes six colors, each of which is infused with sparkly flecks, and two cutters to help her create a masterpiece."
Best Tech: VTech Kidizoom Kids Smartwatch DX2 at Amazon
"This smartwatch features cameras that let her take videos and selfies, comes with games she can play, and even has a pedometer."
Best Tent: Indoor Garden Playhouse at Crate and Barrel
"For a place to escape with her thoughts, dreams, and friends, this indoor garden playhouse can't be beaten."
Best for iPad: Osmo - Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad at Amazon
"This kit has lots of games and activities, including stories, activities for pretend play, and games for cognitive skill-building."
"Kids can play and record their musical creations using a variety of instrument sounds, including piano, violin, and trumpet."
"With 100 pieces in all, you get the perfect starter kit or a great addition to the tiles she may already have."
Best Educational: LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart at Amazon
"This ice cream cart comes with a magical scoop that lets her create colorful creations with sprinkles and other toppings."
01 of 20
Best Overall: Spelly Straws Reusable Drinking Straws for Kids
Everyone always says not to play with your food, but no one ever said anything about your drinks! These Spelly Straws are a smart, fun way to do just that. In a word these things are brilliant. Seriously, you’ll wonder why no one thought of them sooner.
The pack comes with 44 colorful letters and four straw connectors that all easily snap to one another to make the most fun reusable straws you’ve ever seen. Kids can spell words, their names, and anything else they can think of, then just snap on the straw ends and sip away. All of the parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
"Each pack of Spelly Straws can spell 300,000 words, which should keep kids busy for a long time. Don’t be surprised if your little one keeps asking for refills, since it’s so much fun to watch the liquid filter past the words they’ve created. Even after our kids finished their drinks, they continued to spell words with the straws and had fun arranging the pieces."—Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
02 of 20
Best Active: Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper
To help get some of that endless energy out and keep kids active, check out this Flybar pogo jumper. It provides all the jumping fun of a traditional pogo stick, but it has a foam base and rubber handlebars to make it safer. It can be used indoors or out, and it can support jumpers up to 250 pounds, so they won’t outgrow it anytime soon (and mom and dad can take a turn, too, if they like).
" The base is made of heavy yet soft foam, so our kids were able to bounce indoors without destroying our floors or leaving unsightly marks. The jumper squeaks every time they bounce, which we found slightly annoying, but thankfully you can remove the squeaker from the toy."—Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
03 of 20
Best Pretend Play: FoxPrint Princess Castle Glow in the Dark Foldable Pop Up Play Tent
Every little princess needs her own castle, and this pop-up tent is a perfect first one. Decorated with glow-in-the-dark stars, it’s a great center for pretend play, having a tea party, or just taking a rest. It’s easy to set up and fold down, making it simple to take along to the park, beach, or anywhere else royal adventures await.
"The description for this play tent touts its glow-in-the-dark properties, but in actuality, it barely emitted any light in a darkened room."—Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
04 of 20
Best Creative: Play-Doh Sparkle Compound Collection
Classic Play-Doh gets a fancy twist with this sparkly upgrade. This set includes six pretty colors, each of which is infused with sparkly flecks. It also includes two cutters to help them create their masterpieces. It’s a great inexpensive option if you’re looking for a little something for the little girl in your life.Continue to 5 of 20 below.
05 of 20
Best Tech: VTech Kidizoom Kids Smartwatch DX2
She’ll be styling and smiling with this smartwatch of her own from VTech. Not only does it feature cameras that let her take videos and selfies, but it also has games to play and a pedometer to see just how much she’s moving. It comes in two fun colors—purple and blue—and online reviewers give it top marks, saying kids love it.
"Our niece loved playing with the camera most of all...She had a blast taking photos of her own surroundings and had even more fun taking selfies. There is also a voice recording function that she used non-stop."—Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
06 of 20
Best Tent: Indoor Garden Playhouse
This fun twist on a play tent is the best gift for a 4-year-old girl who wants a cozy place to play by herself or with friends. The outside is decorated to look like a greenhouse, complete with flowers, a door, and plants galore. The roof is made of see-through mesh to let in light and air as she plays.
07 of 20
Best for iPad: Osmo - Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad
Your iPad can be a launchpad for learning with this fun starter kit from Osmo. It contains a ton of fun games and activities, including stories, ideas for pretend play, and games that teach important skills such as letter formation, problem-solving, and more. An iPad isn’t included, but it’s compatible with most iPads (2-6) as well as iPad Minis (1-4), iPad Airs (1-2), and iPad Pros (9.7- and 10.5-inch).
08 of 20
Best Musical: Best Choice Products 37-Key Kids Electronic Musical Instrument
This toy will strike just the right note for little ones who love music. It allows kids to not only play but also record their musical creations using a variety of instrument sounds, including piano, violin, and trumpet. To amp things up more, they can add one of eight rhythms, such as rock, disco, or samba, and add in drum beats, animal sounds, and more. There’s no telling what kind of masterpieces she’ll compose.Continue to 9 of 20 below.
09 of 20
Best STEM: Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
Magna-Tiles make a magnificent gift. This set contains 100 pieces in all, which is perfect as a starter kit or to add to a box of tiles she may already have. The 3D magnetic tiles allow her to build limitless creations. While she’s having fun constructing, she’s also building important STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills.
10 of 20
Best Educational: LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
She’ll scream with delight for this fun ice cream cart from LeapFrog. It comes with a magnetic scoop that lets her create deliciously colorful creations with sprinkles and other toppings while fun, upbeat music sets the mood. As she is having all that fun in her world of make-believe, she’ll be building important skills such as counting, identifying colors, sequencing, and more.
11 of 20
Playz Kids Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop Playhouse
This playhouse and tunnel set is packed with potential for fun. It comes with five pieces in all, including two tunnels, a tent, and a ball pit equipped with a basketball hoop. The ball pit can hold up to 1,000 balls, though you’ll have to purchase those separately. All the pieces can be used alone or separately and combined in countless ways.
12 of 20
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Build & Bloom Building Set
Fun will bloom with this great garden-themed gear set. There are 117 pieces in all, including colorful gears, butterflies, flowers, bees, ladybugs and more. All of them can be combined into various designs as kids build their fine-motor, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.Continue to 13 of 20 below.
13 of 20
Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen
Fun will definitely be on the menu with this kitchen set from Pottery Barn Kids. It features a refrigerator, oven, a stovetop, and a sink with storage underneath. Made of fiberboard and solid wood, it’s sturdy and stylish with great, realistic details that will make it the star of any playroom.
14 of 20
WisToyz Kids Toys Hover Soccer Ball Set
Spice up soccer games with this set that includes both an inflatable soccer ball and a hovering soccer ball, as well as two goals. The hover ball lights up and can glide across low-pile carpet and hardwood and tile floors. It also has foam bumpers so you don’t have to worry about it banging up your furniture and walls. Score!
15 of 20
LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's Scribble and Write
This fun tablet helps little ones hone important skills they'll need as they get ready to go to kindergarten. They can use the attached pencil—Mr. Pencil, that is—to complete fun activities that include writing, drawing, and spelling, which are accompanied by adorable animations. It runs on three AA batteries, which are included, so the fun can begin right out of the box.
16 of 20
Skoolzy Preschool Learning Toys Flowers ABC Learning for Kids
She'll be having so much fun with this letter garden, she won't even realize she's learning from it. Flowers are stacked on top of stems, and each is printed with a letter (lower case on one side and upper case on the other). This set is great for building fine motor skills, learning letters, and practicing spelling. Reviewers rave about this toy, saying it’s well-made, versatile, and fun.Continue to 17 of 20 below.
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Toyk Aqua Magic Mat
This magic mat offers all the creative fun of markers and paints, but with none of the mess. Kids use the magic, water-filled pens to create amazing masterpieces on the mat. Those creations stay on the mat because the pens only work there—not on your carpet, couch or anywhere else. When the water dries, kids' designs disappear, and they can start all over again.
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Twin Baby Dolls with Milk & Juice Bottle
Double the playtime fun with this set of adorable twin dolls. Included are a boy and a girl, each with their own bottle. They’re about 12 inches high—the perfect size for snuggling— and dressed in sweet three-piece outfits including a shirt, pants, and a coordinating hat.
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How We Tested
We bought three top-rated gifts for 4-year-old girls and our reviewers tested them for weeks on end. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these gifts, from their educational value to their age-appropriateness. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Gift for a 4-Year-Old Girl
Age-appropriateness When shopping for a 4-year-old, check a toy’s age rating to ensure that it’s a good fit. Toys for toddlers might not keep a 4-year-old engaged, but a product that’s too complicated may leave her frustrated.
Educational value The best gifts aren’t just fun — they’re educational, too. That doesn’t mean you have to buy her a textbook, though; many of today’s top toys encourage creativity, critical thinking, and STEM skills. Look for one that’s the perfect combination of educational and entertaining.
Interests When shopping for a 4-year-old girl, the ultimate deciding factor should be her interests. For example, if she loves science, a dollhouse may not be her cup of tea. Think about the toys she loves now, and when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask her what she’s into lately — most 4-year-olds will be happy to tell you!