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4-year-olds are at that sweet age where they want to have endless hours of fun, so why not incorporate gifts that seamlessly integrate playtime with education? Whether the child in your life is interested in science, cute dolls, or adventure, there's a fun, and equally educational, gift for them.
Ideally, look for toys that allow for real-world play, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. These toys are foundational for social and emotional growth, plus they are open-ended and allow for tons of fun in a variety of unique ways. Toys like books, balls, building blocks, dolls, and stuffed animals, and arts and crafts are also sure hits with educational value, she explains. Just be sure to consider each pick's recommended age, educational value, and longevity while you shop.
Here, the best gifts for 4-year-old girls.
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. The pack comes with 44 colorful letters and four straw connectors that all easily snap together. 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
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 with a foam base and rubber handlebars. It can be used indoors or out, and it can support 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
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 nylon fabric of this tent is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth. Parents can choose to keep it assembled or pack it away after each use, depending on how much free space they have. However, we found the playhouse more difficult to disassemble than it seems.."—Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
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.
"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
Adora Playtime "Little Prince" 13 inch Baby Boy Doll
She'll absolutely adore this Adora baby doll. Measuring 13 inches tall, the doll can suck his thumb and has eyes that open and close. It has a slightly weighted bean bag bottom to mimic the feel of a real baby, but it's still light and easy to carry. Parents, you'll love the fact the doll is 100 percent washable.
"Right out of the box, the Adora PlayTime Baby Doll was a huge hit with both my 3-year-old daughter and my 6-year-old son. Each thought the Little Prince version we selected was adorable and immediately went about building him his own place to sleep...so he’d be cozy in his new home."—Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope
Though this is intended for kids ages four to seven, parents will also probably play with this cool toy, at least once. This talking microscope includes 20 slides and more than 100 facts. Kids can learn all about animals and plants and there's even a quiz mode to test their knowledge. Just remember to buy the three AAA batteries, which aren't included.
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 sparkling flecks. It also includes two cutters to help kids create fun masterpieces. It’s a great inexpensive option if you’re looking for a little something for the little girl in your life.
Crate and Barrel 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.
Ozlife Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit
When it's time to explore the outdoors, there's no better gift than this. Whether you plan to go hiking or just roam the neighborhood, this kit includes binoculars, a magnifying glass, compass, and flashlight. And of course everything fits conveniently in the accompanying drawstring backpack.
Skyrocket Blume Doll
A sweet surprise is in store for any girl lucky enough to receive a Blume Doll. It's literally a surprise. Just add some water to the pot and a doll sprouts. She'll have a funky hairstyle, stickers, and fun accessories. The entire collection has 22 unique dolls so your little one will love collecting them.
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad
An 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 models.
American Girl Joss™ Doll & Book
Your girl will love this awesome and inspiring doll. Joss is a hearing impaired surfer girl who also loves to cheer. She comes dressed in shorts, a hoodie, and swimsuit and her hearing aid also has a carrying case.
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.
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.
Fisher-Price Smart Scan Word Dash
This seek-and-find toy is sure to keep kids busy and learning along the way. The scanner prompts them to find discs that start with certain letters and then there's a mini lesson on the word. The game also plays music and can inspire children to create their own stories.
VTech 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's having all that fun in her world of make-believe, she’ll be building important skills like counting and identifying colors.
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 separately or combined in countless ways.
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 so kids create an almost endless amount of designs using their imaginations.
Pottery Barn Kids Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen
Made of fiberboard and solid wood, this kitchen set from Pottery Barn is sturdy and stylish with great, realistic details that will make it the star of any playroom. It features a refrigerator, oven, a stovetop, and a sink with storage underneath. Fun will definitely be on the menu for hours and hours.
LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's Scribble and Write
Kids 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.
Skoolzy Preschool Learning Toys
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).
Hasbro Gaming Hungry Hungry Hippos
This classic game is a gobbling good time. Players press the levers over and over trying to get their hippo to chomp up the most marbles in as little time as possible. It’s not the quietest game on the shelf, but it’s one of the most fun.
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.
KidKraft My Dreamy Dollhouse with Furniture
Dreamy, indeed! This KidKraft My Dreamy Dollhouse is packed with potential for all sorts of pretend adventures. It comes with 14 pieces of furniture, including a grand piano and a toilet that makes flushing sounds. There’s even a hanging plant!
Radio Flyer Big Flyer Sport Chopper Tricycle
Radio Flyer is such an iconic brand, so why not gift your youngster with a set of classic wheels? This tricycle is intended for ages three and up (with a max weight of 65 pounds) and includes an easily adjustable seat to work with your child's height. The chrome handlebars and smooth wheels have such a sleek look and is sure to provide hours of cruise in style.
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
When shopping for a 4-year-old, check a toy’s age rating to ensure that it’s a good fit, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association. Toys for toddlers might not keep a 4-year-old engaged, but a product that’s too complicated may leave her frustrated.
The best gifts aren’t just fun— they’re educational, too. That doesn’t mean you have to buy her a textbook, though, says Dr. Jody LeVos, chief learning officer for HOMER. 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.
4-year-olds are growing rapidly—both developmentally and physically. To get the most use out of any toy you purchase, look for items that encourage open-ended play and can be tailored to a child’s development level. It also pays to look for toys like bikes and scooters with adjustable seats and handlebars, so they can better grow with your child.