The 47 Best Educational Toys for a 4-Year-Old

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Shopping for toddlers can be so fun if you know what you are looking for! So let me help you out with this list of the best educational toys for a 4-year-old. I compiled this list because I have a 4-year-old, and I want her to enjoy her toys, but I also want them to expand her world, her mind, and her imagination! This list of toddler gifts has something for every preschooler.

If you're looking for gift ideas for other ages, check out my posts here: 
Developmental Toys: Age 1
Educational Toys: Age 2 
Educational Toys: Age 3

What makes a toy educational?

If you are asking yourself “What is a good toy for a preschooler?”, you are probably wanting something that will help them develop their skills. Four-year-olds have so much going on, and they are at an age where they can learn so much!

If you want your child to thrive, getting them educational toys can be a great way to help them learn and expand their knowledge, all while having fun!

An educational toy has to be a few things. First, an educational toy should help your child learn or improve on a skill. There are so many skills that preschool children should be learning. At the age of 4, children can learn new things across many domains, including pre-literacy skills (the skills that will help them learn to read), cognition (problem-solving), fine and gross motor skills (how their body moves), language, adaptive skills (self-help/independence), and social/emotional skills. There are tons of toys designed to target all of these different categories.

Secondly, an educational toy for a child should be something engaging. If your child doesn’t want to play or interact with the toy, then it doesn’t matter how “educational” it is, because they won’t learn anything from it if they never want to take it off the shelf.

Next, an educational toy should be developmentally appropriate for a child. If a toy is too complex, the child will grow easily frustrated and may want to give up. At the same time, if a toy is too simple, a preschooler may get easily bored. Finding toys within a child’s range will help the child learn best.

With all of that in mind, look no further for the best educational toys for a 4-year-old.

Baby staring: Why do babies stare at fans?This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Best Educational Toys for a 4-Year-Old

STEM Dinosaurs

This set of dinosaurs is a wonderful toy for four-year-old boys or girls. The set comes with three different dinosaurs, drills, screwdrivers, and screws. Combine the joy of building and dinosaurs with this mix-and-match toy. Kids can work on their problem-solving, fine motor skills, and imagination.

It’s the perfect toy because it helps your children work on their creativity in a way that will interest them!

Play Mat

What’s more fun than a play mat for all of your cars? This play mat includes 12 friction-powered cars that can zoom across the town! This toy is great for pretend play, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and sensory development.

“Dragons Love Tacos” Book

In this beloved book “Dragons Love Tacos” kids find out that dragons love tacos, but they hate salsa! Find out why in this silly book with cute illustrations. A terrific gift for 4-year-olds, since it has quite a few words, but not too many! The silliness helps a lot, too! So if your child wants to invite dragons to their birthday party, then just be sure to serve up tacos and this book!

All books are an amazing way to help your child gain new vocabulary, understand new concepts, and learn important lessons.

Check out my article about picking books for toddlers. 

STEM Builders Kit

This STEM builders kit is soooo cool! You get to build 11 different vehicles (and one robot!). You and your child can construct everything using the provided tools. It’s an amazing opportunity to work with your child as they problem-solve and create. The tool combines science, technology, engineering, and math skills to help your child learn and thrive!

Snap and Glow Track

Race cars and a do-it-yourself racetrack are a super fun way for your child to use a little creativity while playing! With all of the ways you can bend, snap, and manipulate the tracks, your kids are able to work on a lot of skills. The toy helps to develop problem-solving, fine motor, and teamwork (when you invite a friend to join on the adventure).

UNO Junior

UNO Junior is perfect for your budding game player! It grows with your child, as there are three different levels of play! It’s a great way to introduce your child to the basics of a variety of games. Each UNO card has bright colors, animals, and numbers or actions on it. By playing games like this one your child works on turn-taking, rule-following, and social interactions.

Remote Control Cars

This two-pack of remote control cars is so cute and a perfect toy for your 4-year-old. Having two cars means that the toy becomes more interactive! Your child can work on their social skills while they share and play with a friend. These remote control cars are also wonderful for working on hand-eye coordination and understanding the basics of steering.

Where’s Bluey?

The “Where’s Bluey?” book is a great way for your child to love and interact with one of their favorite TV characters in a book! This search-and-find book is a perfect way to get your child involved in reading. For kids who are hesitant to read books, “Where’s Bluey?” may be the perfect antidote with its engaging nature. This book is ideal for attention, building independence (if they look at it alone), or new vocabulary (if you read it with them).

Princess Tent/Reading Nook

A princess tent is a perfect toy for a 4-year-old girl (or boy!). Your little princess will love having her own space to play with friends, take some quiet time, or read her favorite books. Your little one might also enjoy some pretend play inside this tent while they act as their favorite princess!

Learning to Read Books

Is your child beginning to show an interest in reading on their own? There are TONS of books in this Pete the Cat Learning to Read series: 12 in all! There are easy words to read, colorful pictures, and simple stories. We love Pete the Cat at our house, so this would be a motivating series for my own kids. If your children like a different character better, try searching “Learning to Read” + their favorite book or TV character.

If your child is interested in learning to read, make it low-pressure and exciting! At this age, they don’t NEED to be reading yet, so if it’s not fun, move on.

National Geographics for Kids

This might be my favorite item on this list! This “Big Book of Why has the amazing pictures that National Geographics is known for and it presents fascinating facts in a kid-friendly way! And toddlers are famous for their “why” questions, so it makes sense to have a book all about it!

Get your kids excited about reading while helping them learn cool facts. (Did you know that reading non-fiction books gives kids a HUGE boost for reading later on?) There are other educational books on more specific topics like this one about space, or this one about dinosaurs!

Magnet Letters

At age 4, children are getting more curious about letters. By having these high-quality magnet letters, your child can learn more about letters and prepare for preschool and kindergarten. This set has tons of letters and an included magnet board so you can start exploring spelling simple words with your child.

Waiting is Not Easy!

If you haven’t heard of Elephant and Piggy books, you (and your four-year-old) are truly missing out! The books are silly, entertaining, and sometimes teach a valuable lesson, like “Waiting is Not Easy!“. The benefits of reading to and with your child are honestly hard to list in one little post. Reading helps your child in lots of obvious ways (learning about letters and new words), but also in other ways you may not expect. Did you know that reading can teach empathy? By considering different aspects of how characters experience the world, your child can learn about emotions through books! Amazing!

Unique Gifts for 4 Year Olds

Wimmel Books

Wimmel Books are basically “Where’s Waldo?”, but more interesting and engaging! In these search-and-find books, kids can follow multiple characters through this wordless story. Each character has their own little story that unfolds throughout the pictures on each page. Your child can work on their problem-solving skills, attention, and independence with this silly, interactive book!

Digital Camera for Kids

This digital camera is the perfect, unique gift for a 4-year-old! Having a camera will make them feel so big! Help them develop their creativity, independence, and cognitive skills. There is a regular point-and-shoot mode and a selfie mode. It’s a stellar starter camera to get your kids interested in a new hobby!

Zingo! Game

Zingo! is one of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds. It helps to build pre-literacy skills as the children use words and pictures to play this matching game. It is a unique way to introduce new words and word sounds. The clear instructions make Zingo! easy and fun to play!

“What Should Danny Do?” Book

“What Should Danny Do? is a fabulous interactive book that is a “choose your own adventure”. Your child gets to pick what Danny does as he goes throughout his day. It’s wonderful for social-emotional skills, as your child begins to understand that their choices matter, to Danny and to them! This book is another great one for kids who are hesitant to sit down and listen to a story. The interactive nature of “What Should Danny Do? makes it more adventurous and engaging for your child.

Learn to Draw

Do you have a budding artist on your hands? This kid-friendly drawing book helps your child learn the basics of drawing different figures. The drawing book will help your child with their fine motor skills, independence, and creativity. Your child just might become the next Picasso!

Big Ticket Gifts for 4 Year Olds

Ride On Car

A perfect 4 year old gift: a Ride-On Car! What child doesn’t want to have their own car to ride around on, just like mom and dad? This awesome ride comes with two ways to drive-your child can handle it all, or you can intervene with a remote control option. There is a seat belt and even a Bluetooth speaker! Your child can work on hand-eye coordination all while having a blast!

Playhouse

Imagination isn’t just about fun, it’s actually good for your child’s brain! A playhouse can be a way for them to act out a variety of scenarios that encourage problem-solving, social skills, and language building. It’s delightful because it’s something made just for their size, what could be more special?

Awesome Bike

This awesome bike is a terrific gift for a four-year-old. It comes with training wheels that can be easily removed when the time is right. The bike comes in a variety of bright colors, and it has a water bottle holder. Riding a bike helps work on hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and autonomy. Watch your child’s confidence grow as they learn the new skill of riding a bike!

Dollhouse

Another beautiful option to help your child grow their pretend play skills is a dollhouse! Dollhouses are ideal for this age because your child gets to act out whatever scenario they want to! Pretend play is so beneficial to kids, that it is sometimes used in therapy! Play is a powerful tool, so giving your child some enjoyable, unique ways to go about it is more important than you might think!

Tonie Box

Have you heard of the magical Tonie Box? It is a super exciting (screenless) way for your child to enjoy some of their favorite characters. Basically, it’s a kid radio that both tells stories and sings songs related to the characters you purchase. Kids can learn new vocabulary, learn life lessons from the stories, and practice their singing.

Check out my article here about the perks of singing with your little one: Why You Should Sing

Pikler Triangle Set

If you’ve got a busy body at your house (or maybe a few!), then a Pikler Triangle Set might be the perfect addition to your house! This climbing set is a glorified indoor jungle gym! The parts can be moved around to keep things exciting and new for your child. This set is marvelous for working on gross motor skills and problem-solving as they navigate the terrain.

STEM Foam Blocks

The sky is the limit with these amazing STEM Foam Blocks! There are 100 foam blocks in all different shapes and colors. The magnet STEM Foam Blocks can become just about anything your child desires! These blocks can even be used in the bath. STEM toys like this one are perfect for children as they problem-solve and design their own creations.

Indoor/Outdoor Jungle Gym

This Indoor/Outdoor Jungle Gym is just perfect for kids who need to climb. Instead of scaling your walls or bookshelves, they can climb all over this Indoor/Outdoor Jungle Gym! This gym is a fabulous way to develop those gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It’s also amazing because it can be inside or outside, and it’s quite simple to put together.

Gifts for Four-Year-Old Girls

Make Your Own Necklace

If you have a girl with an eye for fashion, this Make Your Own Necklace kit is perfect! There are plenty of character options to choose from, to make sure your girl has what she loves. Stringing beads is a classic fine motor skill and it will certainly spur on some creativity!

Princess Dresses

Imagination is a helpful, necessary part of childhood! These Princess Dresses are bound to keep your little princess happy! As I mentioned before, pretend play is a central way for children to learn at this age!

Princess Accessories

If your princess has beautiful dresses, she might just need to accessorize! These Princess Accessories include a crown, necklace, earrings, and four pairs of shoes! Your four-year-old will feel very special as she plays away with these charming dress-up details!

DIY Princess Wand

Crafts are so entertaining at this age, as kids are becoming more independent and creative. This DIY Princess Wand is a perfect way for your girl to get inspired. She can use her imagination and fine motor skills as she creates a beautiful wand and then plays with it!

Dot It Sticker Activity

Another excellent gift for a 4 year old is this Dot It Sticker Activity! It is a terrific way to develop hand-eye coordination, pincer grasp, and creative expression. Plus it’s super cute and not too messy since it doesn’t require glue!

Disney Dolls

These cute little Disney Dolls are a nifty way for your daughter to work on some of their pretend-play skills. They can act out their favorite scenes from movies, and make up new storylines for their princesses, too!

Glitter Girls Doll

This grown-up-looking Glitter Girls Doll is a wonderful fit for your big girl. Your 4 year old just might love this doll and all of the joy she will experience as they play together.

Girls First Science Kit

I’m going to be honest, I LOVE this gift idea for a 4-year-old girl! This Girls First Science Kit includes more than 50 different experiments! Help your girl discover her love for science with unique activities like making her own slime, designing her own perfume, making a lava lamp, and more!

Presents for Four-Year-Old Boys

Best Educational Toys for  a 4-year-old

Superhero Capes and Masks

What little guy doesn’t dream of being a superhero? Make his dreams come true (or at least let him pretend) with these awesome Superhero Capes and Masks. Help him continue to grow in his pretend-play skills.

Foam Airplane Launcher

Get your big boy outside with this awesome Foam Airplane Launcher! This toy will have your guy launching his airplanes high up into the sky. This toy helps with hand-eye coordination and problem-solving. Plus, your child can learn about how wind and other forces affect flight.

Remote Control Dino

This Remote Control Dino won’t disappoint! Your child can enjoy making the dinosaur move and roar. This toy can be a way for you and your child to explore more information about dinosaurs. The Remote Control Dino can spark imagination and help your child with hand-eye coordination.

Hot Wheels Car Track

So many little boys love car tracks! This Hot Wheels Car Track will elevate your child’s play with the fast-moving, corkscrew design. There is an important element of problem-solving, as your child figures out how to keep the cars from crashing.

Stretchy Heroes

These silly Stretchy Heroes are another way to help your child engage in pretend play. The squishy, stretchy nature of the toys is also fantastic for sensory exploration and fun.

Foam Blaster

This Foam Blaster is a wonderful introduction to aiming at targets. The toy comes with two blasters, 24 balls, and a target. The Foam Blaster helps with hand-eye coordination and can promote friendly competition when you make it into a game.

Spider-Man Robot

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Check out this super cool Spider-Man Robot! This toy rotates 360 degrees, plays music, dances, and lights up. The toy can be a fun way to engage socially for you and your child as you dance along with Spiderman.

Outdoor Toys for a 4 Year Old

Stomp Rocket

This stomp rocket is another fun idea for 4-year-olds. It is a fabulous way to get some energy out and work on coordination. This stomp rocket comes with rockets of varying colors and the ability to aim your rocket wherever you want! Your child can use their cognitive skills as they learn how to set it up on their own.

Gardening Set

Kids can learn A LOT through doing! So let them work alongside you as you garden! Your 4 year old will learn so much by gardening with you including math and science. They will also learn the value of hard work, but it will be the fun, productive kind! Help them feel extra involved by getting them their own gardening tools.

Foam Pogo Jumper

If you are looking for a cool, active, outdoor toy for a 4 year old, look no further! This Foam Pogo Jumper is a unique way for your child to work on coordination, balance, and gross motor skills.

Toss a Catch

This classic Toss a Catch game has stood the test of time for a reason. The velcro mits and balls make it a little easier for your growing child to catch a ball. The toy promotes coordination, gross motor skills, and social engagement.

Soccer Goals

It’s not too early to get your child these Soccer Goals and work on their soccer skills. They won’t be perfect right away, but this toy helps your child get out and play!

Basketball Hoop

If soccer isn’t your child’s sport, maybe basketball is! Get this adjustable Basketball Hoop that grows with your budding athlete. Playing (and practicing) sports promotes coordination, health, problem-solving, and social skills!

Hope You Found What You’re Looking For

I sure hope after checking out this extensive list that you found what you are looking for! If you have other fun, educational toys not mentioned in the list, drop a comment!

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