The Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds That Are Educational and Engaging

Our top pick is the Pet Vet Kit from B. Toys

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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 both educational and entertaining and is durable enough for use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

We researched and tested the top picks on the market, evaluating educational value, durability, and age range. Our favorite, the Pet Vet Kit by B. Toys, is interactive, visually engaging, and introduces concepts like empathy and responsibility.

Here are the best toys for 4-year-old boys and girls.

Our Top Picks

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.

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

WowWee Baby Shark's Big Show! Shark House Playset

What We Like
  • Recognizable characters

  • Multiple ways to play

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

Enter the world of Baby Shark with this interactive and adorable play set! Four-year-olds can have Baby Shark slide down the slide, swing with friends, or jam out to songs with the included karaoke machine. The included 25 pieces, sounds, and light-up parts leaves tons of room for imaginative play.

Dimensions: 3.5 x 6 x 8.25 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

BravoKids LCD Writing Tablet

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.

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.

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.

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

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Yookidoo Bath Toy

Courtesy of 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.

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

Courtesy of 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!

3.8
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Magna Tiles Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Solid Colors Set

Solid Color Magna-Tiles

Courtesy of Walmart

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. 

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

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Colorful illustrations

  • Engaging story

What We Don't Like
  • Users say some illustrations can be scary for young readers

Some classics are, well, classics for a reason. They're just forever timeless. And that's why Llama Llama is a great read. The book revolves around Baby Llama who just needs mama's reassurance during bedtime. Kids will love the illustrations all while learning about comfort and patience.

Dimensions: 10.38 x 0.4 x 10.56 inches | Material: Paper | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

Micro Kickboard Micro Mini Original

Micro Kickboard Micro Mini Original

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Built to last

  • Perfect for practicing balance

  • Suitable for various ages and sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Featuring a "lean-to steer" design, this lightweight, durable scooter means that kids will need to shift their weight right or left into turns. It's suitable for children up to 44 pounds, and the three-wheel profile and low, flexible deck help kids feel stable from that first push-off.

Dimensions: ‎23.5 x 9.5 x 5.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 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.

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

Think Fun Zingo

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.

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

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.

Dimensions: ‎10.35 x 5.63 x 5 inches | Material: Foam | 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.

Updated by
Julia Fields
Julia Fields The Spruce
Julia is the Assistant Editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday. 
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