The 50 Best Toys and Gifts for 4-Year-Olds

Our top picks include Encanto books, Bluey toys, and cool crafts

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds in 2022

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Picking out the perfect toy for the 4-year-old in your life is no easy task, especially when you're looking for something that's educational, entertaining, and durable enough for use in both indoor and outdoor settings. Toys at this age should focus on expanding kids' development of key skills, including color and number recognition—as well as being totally fun.

"Think about toys that have colors, numbers, and shapes embedded into the materials," Emily Stith, a licensed speech-language pathologist, shares with The Spruce. "We should be using toys to expose children to a variety of important concepts. Talk about the educational concepts rather than question them."

We researched and tested the top picks on the market—evaluating educational value, durability, and age range—and found lots of great products to entertain any sharp 4-year-old. Some of our favorites include a personalized seek-and-find book, the ultimate fort-building set, and a mini monster creation kit your child is sure to love.

Here are the best toys on the market for 4-year-old toddlers.

Target Toy Shopping Cart

Target Toy Shopping Cart

Target

What We Like
  • Recognizable and adorable

  • Perfect size for toddlers

What We Don't Like
  • Sells out frequently

Quite possibly our favorite gift this year is this miniature Target shopping cart. For the toddlers who adore going on a Target run, they will immediately fall in love with this pint-sized version of the Target cart, complete with a few groceries. This 12-piece set is durable, easy to clean, and oh-so-fun.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 18.85 x 10.43 x 13.75 inches | Material: Plastic, Paper | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Bluey 13" Talking Bluey Plush

Bluey 13" Talking Bluey Plush

Amazon

What We Like
  • Recognizable character

  • Well-made

  • Perfect size for toddlers

What We Don't Like
  • Have to manually turn on the additional phrases

Beloved Bluey is ready to play with your 4-year-old in this plush version! This talking Bluey plush is interactive, and your child can sing and dance along to the sounds and songs of the show. Reviewers note that their children are obsessed with this toy—one notes "

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 12.99 x 5.12 x 13.98 inches | Weight: 10.6 ounces | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

FAO Schwarz Luxury Jet-Setter Pretend Play Luggage Set

FAO Schwarz Luxury Jet-Setter Pretend Play Luggage Set

Target

What We Like
  • Adorable design made for hours of play

  • Durable, wooden pieces

What We Don't Like
  • Though it's designed for real use, it's not sturdy enough for travel

Your toddler might not be old enough to start jet-setting around the world, but with this adorable set from FAO Schwartz, at least they can pretend. We can't stop smiling at its sweet design and thoughtful accessories, including a faux phone, passport, camera, and neck pillow.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: ‎5.5 x 10 x 17 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

SmarterKids Mighty Musical Playmat

SmarterKids Mighty Musical Playmat

SmarterKids

What We Like
  • 8 different instrument sounds

  • Rolls up for easy storage

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't come with batteries, requires 4 AA

Dance, dance! Your toddler will be able to dance to their own tune or to the pre-loaded melodies on this musical playmat. As they dance around, each key plays its own tune, and your child can learn to sing along. This is a great way to get your kids active and moving while striking a chord.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: ‎6' | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 - 7 Years

B. toys by Battat B. Pet Vet

5
B. toys by Battat

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Engaging

  • Interactive

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to lose pieces

The Pet Vet Kit encourages imaginative play while introducing core concepts like animal care and responsibility. The brightly-colored set includes a clinic, two plush pet patients, and plastic medical instruments like a stethoscope, syringe, and thermometer. 

The clinic, which has a fold-out exam table and four consultation rooms, acts as a storage container for the included accessories and has a built-in handle for portability. Our tester loved features like the keys that secure the doors and help promote the development of hand-eye coordination. 

Through play, kids will become familiar with the various tools a vet uses on pets by performing check-ups on the cat and dog toys that come with the set. While the exam rooms are small, kids can use the medical instruments on any animal in their toy menagerie.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: 12.5 x 4 x 11.5 inches | Material: Plastic, plush | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

B. Pet Vet Clinic

The Spruce / Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis

What Testers Say

"The way kids interact with the clinic will likely depend on their age. For example, our 4-year-old son used the scale and thermometer to fix up imaginary ouchies and boo-boos."—Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, Product Tester

Disney Encanto The Ultimate Sticker Book

Disney Encanto The Ultimate Sticker Book

Amazon

What We Like
  • Over 100 stickers

  • Engaging story

  • Can still read book after stickers are used

What We Don't Like
  • Book is short

Affordable and sure to be loved is this ultimate Encanto sticker book. If your toddler couldn't get enough of the Encanto characters this year, they will jump for joy receiving this gift. The book tells the story of Encanto with the addition of over 100 stickers. Amazon reviews laud the book for its great quality, clear color, and amount of stickers included.

Price at time of publish: $7

Dimensions: 8.56 x 0.1 x 11 inches | Material: Paper | Recommended Age: 3-6 years

KiwiCo Marble Run + Art Easel

KiwiCo Marble Run + Art Easel

KiwiCo

What We Like
  • Great quality

  • Easy assembly

  • Grows along with your child

What We Don't Like
  • Small pieces

Any budding mini-engineer will have a blast with this easel that includes two ways to play. One side is a chalkboard, and the other is a DIY marble run gameboard, which your imaginative 4-year-old can customize with 35 track pieces and spinners to transport the marble to the bottom successfully.

Price at time of publish: $130

Dimensions: ‎21 x 25 x 38 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Magic with Light-up Handlebars

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Magic with Light-up Handlebars

Amazon

If your toddler doesn't already have a scooter, now is the time to get them one. It's the perfect gift to help them work on balance and gross motor skills. Your 4-year-old can cruise around the neighborhood in style with one of these top-rated scooters. The design makes balancing easy, making this a great option for outdoor play in the driveway or at the park.

Price at time of publish: $115

Dimensions: ‎‎‎21.65 x 5.59 x 10.43 inches | Material: Aluminum | Recommended Age: Toddler

Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set - 24 pc.

4.8
Squigz

Fat Brain Toys

 

What We Like
  • Encourages problem-solving skills and sensory stimulation

  • Fun, simple, and playful

  • Straightforward and easy to play with

What We Don't Like
  • Small pieces

Perfect for your 4-year-old's budding creative mind are Squigz, the sticky-suctioning-squiggly builders. Kids can sort and stack the Squigz in endless combinations for endless hours of fun. This starter pack comes with 24 pieces, which is a great start to a growing collection.

According to Colleen Mason, a K0/K1 Inclusion Teacher with a Masters's in Early Childhood Education, "STEM toys help children develop in so many different ways—logical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and perseverance. They’re a worthwhile investment and the basics—Legos, blocks, magnetic tiles—will last well beyond the 4-year-old age."

Price at time of publish: $32

Dimensions: ‎21 x 25 x 38 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

B. Toys Pop Snap Bead Jewelry Set for Kids (150 pcs)

B. Toys Pop Snap Bead Jewelry Set for Kids (150 pcs)

Amazon

What We Like
  • Promotes hand-eye coordination and creativity

  • Sturdy jar for storage

  • Thick, durable beads

What We Don't Like
  • A little difficult to put together

  • Small parts and pieces

A great toy for any play date, road trip, or party, this jewelry-making set from B. Toys is here to add a little glam to your toddler. With 150 pieces that easily pop and snap together, the color combinations and possibilities are endless. It includes 7 base bracelets and 5 rings to mix and match the fun.

Price at time of publish: $8

Dimensions: ‎4 x 4 x 4 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

KiwiCo Armadillo Bowling Set

KiwiCo Armadillo Bowling Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • High-quality design

  • Educational aspects while having fun

  • Doubles as a learning tool

What We Don't Like
  • Simplistic

What could be more fun than a desert-themed bowling set complete with a rolling armadillo "ball?" The setup of this game from KiwiCo is simple: roll up your armadillo pal and knock over the cactus pins to score points. Reviewers love the thoughtful design of this game, noting that the "pins" are a great weight for knocking over and that the learning aspect while you play is great.

Dimensions: ‎17.7 x 11.02 x 4.33 inches | Material: Plush | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Spelly Straws Reusable Drinking Straws for Kids

4.6
Spelly Straws Reusable Drinking Straws for Kids

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Unique gift

  • Encourages spelling skills

  • Keeps kids busy

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most exciting toy

Even though kids shouldn't play with their food, these straws are here to bring a little fun to their drinks. The pack comes with 44 colorful letters and four straw connectors that all easily snap together. As kids are focusing on learning to spell in school, these will reinforce their studies in an engaging way.

Tested by The Spruce, our reviewer notes, "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."

Price at time of publish: $15

Dimensions: ‎‎12.5 x 2.7 x 18.5 cm | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Playz Kids Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop Playhouse

Playz Kids Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop Playhouse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with storage bag

  • Easy assembly

  • Fun and playful

What We Don't Like
  • Ball pit doesn't come with balls

Until this one, we'd never seen a playhouse complete with two tunnels, a tent, and a ball pit equipped with a basketball hoop. This playhouse really has it all for hours of fun play. The pieces are also interchangeable to fit your space and your kids' imagination.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: ‎‎20 x 20 x 2 inches | Material: Fabric | Recommended Age: Toddler

CENOVE Flower Garden Building Toy

CENOVE Flower Garden Building Toy

CENOVE

What We Like
  • Carrying case for easy storage

  • Smooth-surface pieces

  • Made with eco-friendly materials

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of little pieces

Any budding young gardener needs this fun flower play set. Your child can learn the parts of a flower in a colorful, engaging way by placing each of the plastic pieces in its appropriate spot, creating a lush, complete garden.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: ‎8.27 x 5.51 x 3.35 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets Mega Pack

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets Mega Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun made to last for hours

  • Great quality

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • Has to be washed right away for the ink to come off

With over 3,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, there's a reason that this Crayola set is so beloved by toddlers. Color, play, and wash it all away on these adorable, customizable pets. Reviewers noted that their toddlers played with these for hours and absolutely loved the characters—and the fun adjoining bathtub.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: ‎12 x 4.75 x 8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Bluey Scavenger Hunt Game

Bluey Scavenger Hunt Game

Amazon

What We Like
  • Recognizable characters

  • Simple game setup

  • Encourages teamwork

What We Don't Like
  • Does not come with batteries

Even though it's almost time for bed, Bluey is ready for a scavenger hunt adventure—and you are invited to play along. The Bluey Scavenger Hunt game follows Bluey and her friends as they find and collect tokens. This is a perfect introductory board game for your four-year-old with familiar faces they will love.

Price at time of publish: $15

Dimensions: 20 x 0.04 x 15.25 inches | Material: Multiple | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

LeapFrog Number Lovin' Oven

5
LeapFrog Number Lovin' Oven

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for many ages

  • Fun and playful songs

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Strange lyrics—like adding an egg to pizza

The Leapfrog Number Lovin' Oven is a classic toy—there's a reason why it boasts tons of 5-star reviews on Amazon. This toy provides excellent preschool preparation toy for your little one. As they play, they are learning numbers, counting, serving, and sharing, and with all these new skills, you can be sure they'll approach preschool with ease.

The oven is loaded with over 30 songs and phrases, so your child will be absorbing new vocabulary all while having fun with pretend pizza, pie, and cupcakes. Reviewers on Amazon did note that some of the lyrics can be a bit funny, like encouraging your child to crack an egg over their pizza, but noted that both they and their child laughed about it.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: ‎5.31 x 14.88 x 9 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 - 5 years

ABCaptain Counting Animal Matching Game with Sorting Cups

Counting Animal Matching Game with Sorting Cups

Amazon

What We Like
  • Brightly colored and sturdy

  • Great for teamwork

What We Don't Like
  • Small pieces could be hazardous

Refine your child's motor skills and counting abilities with this animal matching game. This hands-on toy will encourage your child to think critically and learn color classification, as well as simple adding and subtracting. Users love that the game encourages multiple children of all ages to get involved—and noted that they were kept busy for hours on end.

Dimensions: ‎3.74 x 3.74 x 6.18 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

Educational Insights Microscope

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Bindi Irwin is your guide

  • Clear and detailed pictures

What We Don't Like
  • Slides can be difficult to insert

Get ready to be up close and personal with our ecosystem—this microscope is perfect for science lovers who want to glance into outer space or have an encounter with nature. The Talking Kids Microscope features up-close, quality images of nature, and the guiding voice is none other than Bindi Irwin, who is sure to be a fantastic mentor as your child expands their knowledge of animals and plants.

Price at time of publish: $55

Dimensions: ‎10.1 x 8.1 x 5.6 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 4 - 8 years

SmarterKids Inspiring Growth Social Emotional Art Kit

SmarterKids Inspiring Growth Social Emotional Art Kit

SmarterKids

What We Like
  • Promotes emotional wellness

  • High-quality materials

What We Don't Like
  • Challenging if your child doesn't enjoy art

Art is a powerful mode of self-expression, and a great way to begin encouraging this at an early age is this art kit. Included are two vases to paint in any shade of the rainbow. Color is a great mode of expression for little ones, and they'll begin tapping into their creative sides with this painting set, which includes materials for 3 projects.

Price at time of publish: $30

Paint: 2 oz each | Material: Ceramic | Recommended Age: 3 - 6 years

Panda Brothers Wooden Geoboard

Panda Brothers Wooden Geoboard

Amazon

What We Like
  • Well-constructed

  • Wide variety of shapes

  • Perfect for "quiet time"

What We Don't Like
  • No additional rubber bands sold separately

  • Some colors don't exactly match the card

Sturdy and durable, your four-year-old will find hours of fun with this wooden pegboard learning game. Your child can create endless shapes and patterns with the colored rubber bands, following the instructional photos given or creating something all their own.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: ‎7.87 x 7.87 x 0.79 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

SmarterKids Creative Creatures Dough Builders

SmarterKids Creative Creatures Dough Builders

SmarterKids

What We Like
  • Great for tactile learners

  • Encourages creativity

  • Fun and playful

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of little pieces to keep track of

If your child is already a fan of Play-Doh, then they're sure to love this toy, which adds an additional layer of creativity and imagination to the activity. The set comes complete with hundreds of accessories to create fun little creatures out of the modeling dough—your little one will be scared of monsters no more.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: N/A‎ | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 - 6 Years

Lakeshore Learning Materials Lakeshore Ultimate Fort Builder

Lakeshore Learning Materials Lakeshore Ultimate F

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Grows with your child

  • Easy to assemble

  • Fun for many ages

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Blanket not included

If you haven't seen your toddler in a while, chances are they're hiding out in their new fort. With strong, snap-together building materials, this is a dynamic toy that teaches children motor skills, problem-solving, and allows their imagination to run wild. Users noted that although it is pictured, this doesn't come with a blanket to cover the top, so you likely will have to provide one to your little one as they build.

Price at time of publish: $95

Dimensions: 10.63 x 5.51 x 18.11 inches‎ | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 4-11 years

Little Passports Early Explorers 3-Pack

Little Passports Early Explorers 3-Pack

Little Passports

What We Like
  • Many diverse, hands-on activities

  • Step-by-step instructions

  • Unique and creative

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

  • Not good for multiple uses

This immersive learning experience is perfect for the well-traveled toddler. There are three different kits included in this set: Worldwide, Oceans, and Food. Each comes with its own supplemental materials to take your child on an adventure through different places and cultures alongside penpals Max and Mia. And if your child enjoys this kit, Little Passports has tons more on offer, including subscription boxes that have additional adventures delivered monthly.

Price at time of publish: $85

Dimensions: N/A | Material: Multiple | Recommended Age: 3-5 years

Wonderbly Where Are You? Book

Wonderbly Where Are You? Book

Wonderbly

What We Like
  • Fun twist on classic game

  • Lots of personalization options

  • Ability to order a sequel

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

In this search-and-find story, Waldo is taking a backseat, and the main character is...you! This customizable book from Wonderbly is one of our favorite picks for your four-year-old child. This book provides hours of fun playing along with the "I-Spy"-like games, and there are 750 customizable characters to choose from—so you are sure to find one that looks like your child.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches‎ | Material: High-quality paper | Recommended Age: 4-10 years

BravoKids LCD Writing Tablet

Bravokids LCD Writing Tablet

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Reduces waste

  • Durable

  • Suitable for various ages

  • Usable in various environments

What We Don't Like
  • Flimsy packaging

  • Battery life can be short

Four-year-olds can foster their creativity and release their inner artist with this mess-free tablet that can be used anywhere. Little hands can practice numbers, letters, colors, and more with the stylus or draw and color as they please without wasting paper or making a mess with paints or crayons. Bring the tablet on the go during long road trips or running errands to keep toddlers entertained and engaged for hours.

Price at time of publish: $24

Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.68 x 0.75 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Just Play Blue's Clues & You! Check-Up Time Blue

Just Play Blue's Clues & You! Check-Up Time Blue

Amazon

What We Like
  • Recognizable character

  • Interactive

  • Educational

What We Don't Like
  • Some users were disappointed by the number of phrases

Blue needs a checkup, and your 4-year-old can come to the rescue with this interactive plush of the iconic character. Toddlers can listen to Blue's heartbeat, take her temperature, give her medicine, and talk to her to make her feel better. The doctors in training can learn more about taking care of animals during hours and hours of engaging and educational play.

Price at time of publish: $38

Dimensions: ‎13.75 x 6.5 x 12 inches | Material: Plastic, Plush | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Crayola Table Top Easel Art Case for Kids

Table Top Easel Art Case for Kids

Courtesy of Crayola

What We Like
  • Portable

  • Includes multiple activities

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • Can be messy

Whether the little one in your life has a knack for creativity or just wants to experiment with art, Crayola's Table Top Easel Art Case is a great option. The set is fully equipped with all of the essentials that'll make it easy for kids to create a masterpiece.

The case includes an assortment of paints and painting tools, as well as paper and a storage case. There's also a built-in double-sided easel, so it's easy to use if your little one wants to paint with a sibling or friend as well.

Price at time of publish: $23

Dimensions: 2.04 x 15.56 inches | Material: Plastic, Paint, Art Supplies | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Entertaining

  • Perfect for bath time

What We Don't Like
  • Some parts can stop working over time

This submarine spray station will have them begging to stay in for some serious splashing fun. The battery-operated toy (four AA batteries are required but not included) attaches to the tub. Water comes in through the submarine and is circulated up through the diver shower head, which can then be sprayed into two funnels that produce fun, mesmerizing effects with spinning wheels, fountains, and googly eyes.

Price at time of publish: $35

Dimensions: 9.45 x 2.56 x 12.99 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

Playmobil Large City Zoo

Playmobil Large City Zoo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Detailed pieces

  • Great bonding activity

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to assemble

Playmobil's Large City Zoo is a great option if you're looking for an activity that'll entertain the whole family. The 213-piece set allows users to explore the zoo and learn about different species around the world with ease.

Ideal for ages 4 and up, the set includes six figures, a selection of animals, and tons of other accessories to enhance the experience. From walking the penguin habitat to viewing giraffes, all you and your little one have to do is grab and map begin the adventure.

Dimensions: 23.03 x 15.16 x 4.92 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo!

4.2
alphabet-bingo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great bonding activity

  • Educational

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to lose pieces

This is Bingo, but with a twist. Instead of a caller shouting out numbers, players reach into a bag and pull out a letter. If the letters are on their card, they mark them. Once someone gets four in a row, they should “Bingo!” and win.

Each space on the cards has a picture of something that starts with the letter. For example “F” has a flower and “O” has an owl, so not only is the game great for teaching letter recognition, but it helps with letter sounds as well.

Price at time of publish: $17

Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 1.7 inches | Material: Plastic, Cardboard, Fabric | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo!

The Spruce / Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis

What Testers Say

"By playing with friends and family, preschoolers practice cooperation, sharing, and taking turns (aka patience). It took some time, but our 4-year-old eventually understood that he had to wait for everyone to identify their letters before drawing another token, and he eventually shared the responsibility of calling out letters."—Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, Product Tester

Melissa & Doug My Magnetic Daily Calendar

Melissa & Doug My Magnetic Daily Calendar

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Helps with learnings days and months

  • Suitable for daily, repeated use

What We Don't Like
  • More holidays than activities or uses

If you are looking for one of the best functional toys for a 4-year-old, look no further than this magnetic calendar. Here your child will learn more about the days of the week, seasons, months, holidays, temperature, and more. Besides being a fun way to teach your child, it also helps set up a daily routine for them, so they know what to expect every day.

Price at time of publish: $28

Dimensions: 15.75 x 1 x 12 inches | Material: Plastic, Magnets | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Educational Insights Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Pick-It-Up Truck

Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Recycling Truck

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy for kids to maneuver

  • Interactive

  • Long lasting fun

What We Don't Like
  • Some pieces are fickle

This innovative set comes with an operational drill. Of course, it's low speed and plastic, so while your child should always be supervised using it, it's intended for children. It also features a truck, wheels, bolts, and two toy figures. Kids can even use the drill to operate the truck's arm.

Price at time of publish: $35

Dimensions: 7.5 x 12.4 x 5.9 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

HABA Little Friends Vacation Camper Play Set

haba-little-friends

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Fosters imagination

  • Detailed pieces

What We Don't Like
  • Some pieces can be flimsy

Even if you can't physically take your little one camping, this play set will kinda make it feel like the real thing. The set includes a vehicle, camper, two chairs, and a toy figure. The camper door opens and closes and the awning is even detachable.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 16.14 x 6.69 x 8.07 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

VTech LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Multiple ways to play

  • Fosters creativity

  • Interactive

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to lose pieces

Kids can play ice cream scooper as they serve up delicious treats for their friends, family, and stuffed animals. It comes with four flavors of ice cream, three toppings, three flavors of syrup, and six order cards. There’s even a bell to let people know they’re coming or that their order is up. The cart also plays music and features more than 200 fun phrases.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 7.87 x 20.58 x 23.77 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

Basic Fun Cutetitos

Cutetitos - Mystery Stuffed Animals - Collectible Plush

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Adorable

  • Element of surprise

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • No way to guarantee which toy you are receiving

Kids can't get enough of mystery toys, and the Cutetitos are yet another example of the trend. Hidden in each sealed bag is a cuddly stuffed animal wrapped in a soft blanket that's meant to look like—you guessed it—a burrito. The 12 animals include Chihuahito, Catito, Puppito, Sealito, Pigito, Walrusito, and more. Each one also comes with a collector's card listing its name, birthday, and species.

Price at time of publish: $28

Dimensions: 2.75 x 5.5 x 9.75 inches | Material: Plastic, plush | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors Set

magnetic building tiles

Clear Colors

What We Like
  • Great bonding activity

  • Fosters imagination

  • Multiple ways to play

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

These transparent, multi-color magnetic building tiles are something your children will likely play with well into the tween years, with the structures getting increasingly complicated. The 32-piece set comes with a mix of two sizes of squares and three types of triangles, but you'll likely want to spring for an additional set to cut down on sibling squabbles and increase the design possibilities. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 8.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

USA Toyz Glow Race Tracks

USA Toyz Glow Race Tracks

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to assemble

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Users found inconsistencies in the cars

The only thing cooler than a race track is a race track that also glows in the dark. This one comes with 360 pieces in a rainbow of colors, two light-up LED cars, two balls (they can get pushed by the cars during races), and fun touches like a suspension bridge, gas station, and road signs.

Price at time of publish: $34

Dimensions: ‎16.8 x 11 x 3.8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Think Fun Zingo! Family Board Game

ThinkFun Zingo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for family bonding

  • Easy to follow instructions

  • Durable pieces

What We Don't Like
  • Some users were unsatisfied with the number of words included

Zingo features a "Zinger" box that kids can take turns pushing, and when they do, two tiles pop out. The tiles all have familiar words like "shoe" or "clock," with corresponding pictures for the kids who can't read yet.

Each child gets a bingo-like card with nine squares, and as the tiles show up, they can grab one if it matches a square on their board. As with bingo, the kid who fills their card first wins.

Price at time of publish: $22

Dimensions: ‎8.25 x 3.5 x 10.25 inches | Material: Plastic, Cardboard | Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper

Amazon

What We Like
  • Quiet

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • Can be flimsy

A pogo stick for your 4-year-old doesn't have to sound scary or dangerous. The height adjusts to the child's size and features extremely durable foam and comfortable handles to grip. It can be used inside or outdoors and makes a fun squeak sound when kids jump.

Price at time of publish: $18

Dimensions: ‎10.35 x 5.63 x 5 inches | Material: Foam | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Paw Patrol Inflatable Playland Ball Pit with 20 Soft Flex Balls

Paw Patrol Inflatable Playland Ball Pit with 20 Soft Flex Balls

Walmart

What We Like
  • Fun with recognizable characters

  • Easy to use

  • Hours of fun

What We Don't Like
  • Messy

Your toddler girl will definitely play the day away in this inflatable Paw Patrol ball pit. Complete with crawl-through openings and an awesome ball-toss roof, your child can develop hand/eye coordination while fun, of course.

Price at time of publish: $33

Dimensions: ‎7 x 8 x 5 Inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2-5 years

INPODAK Hopper Ball Bouncy Ball

INPODAK Hopper Ball Bouncy Ball

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with a pump

  • Suitable for indoors and out

What We Don't Like
  • A bit large, better for kids 4-5

This bouncing ball is simple, classic toy that your toddler will love. It includes an easy-to-grip handle for hours of hopping around the house (or outside). Plus, it's easy to inflate and deflate to store.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: ‎8.31 x 6.73 x 4.88 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

BigShu Magnetic Blocks

BigShu Magnetic Blocks

Amazon

What We Like
  • Curved pieces to build a variety of creations

  • Fun and colorful

  • Engaging Montessori toy

What We Don't Like
  • Lightweight pieces

With 48 magnetic blocks, the possibilities are endless with this set. The pieces included are large, colorful, and allow your toddler to build unique 2D and 3D creations. Reviewers appreciate the larger pieces that avoid choking hazards and the curved pieces not seen in other sets.

Price at time of publish: $47

Dimensions: ‎9.33 x 6.26 x 2.36 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Play-Doh Peppa's Ice Cream Playset

Play-Doh Peppa's Ice Cream Playset

Amazon

What We Like
  • Adorable characters

  • Great value

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to clean

Who doesn't love Play-Doh? Peppa Pig is the star of this set, and watch as your 4-year-old helps her serve up unique ice cream combinations. Your child can make Play-Doh ice cream cones, ice pops, and teddy bear treats with the molds included—and we know your little piggies will adore this set.

Price at time of publish: $17

Dimensions: ‎3.19 x 10 x 8.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

TEMI Dinosaur Truck

TEMI Dinosaur Truck

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multifunctional

  • Built-in storage

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller than its pictured

This toy comes with it all: a truck to transport all the little dinosaurs, a themed play mat, and even dinosaur eggs. The best part is this toy is recommended from ages 3 all the way to 12, so this gift is sure to last for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: ‎15 x 6 x 11 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

iHaHa 236 PCS Construction Toys Race Tracks

iHaHa 236 PCS Construction Toys Race Tracks

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great value

  • Easily reengineered

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries need to be replaced often

An "Amazon's Choice" pick, we adore this comprehensive construction track set—and know your toddler will too. This set comes with 200 flexible pieces including tracks, race cars, construction vehicles, trees, and a bridge. There are a ton of was to DIY this set, making for endless hours of fun that can be redone again and again.

Price at time of publish: $46

Dimensions: ‎10 x 3 x 8 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Yuham Gifts Kids Cornhole Game

Yuham Gifts Kids Cornhole Game

Amazon

What We Like
  • Portable

  • Takes up very little space

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to get back in the bag

From the beach to the backyard to the playroom, this cornhole game brings the fun just about anywhere. We love how the design is perfect for kids and comes complete with fun dinosaur characters. Plus, there are several learning benefits, from hand-eye coordination to number recognition.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: ‎‎3.86 x 3.86 x 0.62 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Peppa Pig All Around Peppa’s Town Playset

Peppa Pig All Around Peppa’s Town Playset

Peppa Pig

What We Like
  • Recognizable character

  • Imaginative play

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

Educational and playful, your little one can travel around town with Peppa Pig with this play set. As you drive along the track, the narrator reveals interactive stories to listen to and play out for hours of imaginative play. Kids can build the track and take it apart again and again for a completely unique experience each time. Add in other figures and locations for even more fun.

Price at time of publish: $67

Dimensions: ‎‎5.31 x 18.25 x 15 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Ozlife Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit

Ozlife Adventure Kidz Outdoor Exploration Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Real, working toy binoculars, whistle, and compass

  • Great for multiple ages

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic feels cheap

This kit includes everything your little one will need to explore the great outdoors. Whether you plan to go hiking or just roam the neighborhood, this kit includes binoculars, a magnifying glass, a compass, and a flashlight. Another great bonus? Everything fits conveniently in the accompanying drawstring backpack.

Price at time of publish: $30

Weight: ‎‎14 ounces | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Costzon Ride-On Motorcycle

Costzon Ride On Motorcycle

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Motor sounds realistic

  • Perfect size for toddlers

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly proved a bit difficult for reviewers

We've never seen a cooler toy! Your toddler will be riding around in style on this motorcycle-shaped option that actually has three wheels to ensure ultimate safety—but will still make them feel cool and grown up. And your kids won't be traveling too fast—the max speed on the bike is only 2 miles per hour, so no need to worry.

Price at time of publish: $110

Dimensions: ‎‎32 x 13 x 21 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

What to Look for in a Toy For a 4-Year-Old

Age Range

Four-year-olds are at a tricky age, as they’ve officially graduated past the “toddler” stage, yet they might not be ready for big-kid toys. It’s important to check the age rating on the toys you’re considering, as these will help you purchase one that’s appropriate for their level of development, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Educational Value

Some 4-year-olds might be headed to school, so it’s always beneficial to get them toys that reinforce the important skills they’re learning. You might consider getting them toys that teach basic counting or reading skills or games that help them practice taking turns.


“Providing toys that allow for real-world play strengthens the developmental skills used for social connectedness and critical thinking,” says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. “Although playing with a kitchen set, for example, may not seem very complicated to an observing adult, the skills a child uses during pretend play are foundational for social and emotional growth.”

Longevity

At 4 years old, kids are still toddlers but on the cusp of early childhood. To get the most mileage out of any toy you purchase, look for items that will keep their interest as they progress. Toys that encourage open-ended play and can be tailored to a child’s development level are perfect, as they can often be used for several years. Similarly, look for toys like bikes and scooters that have adjustable seats and handlebars, so they can better grow with your child.

Why Trust the Spruce?

This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce and The Spruce Crafts, covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, crafts, and the holidays. Additional research and reporting was conducted by Mia Ingui, an editor at The Spruce.

Updated by
Julia Fields
Julia Fields The Spruce

Julia is the Assistant Commerce Editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday. She studied English and minored in Journalism and Gender and Sexuality Studies at New York University. 

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