The four-year-old in your life has a lot going on. She’s on the cusp of entering school. She’s left the world of babies for good and is now a “big kid.” There are many things she’s curious about and the opportunity to learn while playing is endless.
Although this age is still young for the expensive tech toys that are popular now, she still needs toys that allow her to express herself, take on different roles as she explores the world around her, and think outside the box.
We’ve compiled a list of compelling toys for a “big kid” like your four-year-old. Each toy offers the chance for her to learn while playing without even knowing she’s learning. Let’s take a look at the ten best toys for her.
One of the most critical learning methods for children is dramatic play. When children take on the role of someone else, they learn to think critically, empathize, and work out essential life lessons.
Melissa and Doug’s doctor role play set allows the four-year-old girl in your life to act out the role of caregiver, problem solver, and communicator. She can doctor her stuffed animals or play with friends and siblings.
The set comes with seven pieces. Included are a jacket, mask, stethoscope, reflex hammer, ear scope, syringe, and reusable name tag. The stethoscope even makes realistic sounds. It’s all the familiar tools of her pediatrician, and now she can become the medical expert.
Why she’ll love it: Dramatic play is one of the most critical parts of a child’s learning process, and this set includes quality tools that she’ll play with again and again.
The Just Play Puppy series is a surprise in every box. Each mommy puppy comes with a litter of adorable puppies, but you won’t know how many until you open the box. You might get three puppies, four, or even five! One of the puppies will even bark.
Mommy and puppies are all soft, colorful fabrics, perfect for cuddling. She can practice caring for a pet, grooming them, and then at the end of the day, the set is the ideal comfort toy. It’s important for children to begin to learn to care for things, and this is a wonderful way for her to practice those skills.
Why she’ll love it: The package is a surprise right at the beginning with the number of puppies. After that, this is a toy that will offer comfort and real caregiving skills.
Most girls dream of becoming a princess, and this is their chance to live in a castle. The Intime play tent is a pink princess tent with real LED lights. It’s 55” by 53”, giving it plenty of space for dramatic play. Even an adult can fit inside.
The color is a dreamy pink, and the tent can be used indoors and out. It’s easy to disassemble; it comes with a special carrying case for moving it indoors and out. The dramatic play possibilities are endless.
Why she’ll love it: A light up, pink, princess tent? What’s not to love? It’s the perfect accessory for a tiny monarch.
This Fairy garden is a magical tiny world that encourages the four-year-old in your life to learn and imagine. It comes with two adult fairies, one child fairy, a unicorn, a wand, a leaf chair, flowers, tables, lutes, and other accessories designed for imaginative play.
The figures can move and bend. She can create stories and move the figures to suit the action. It’s a magical bit of world that allows her to imagine what hidden mysteries exist in nature.
PLAYMOBIL toys are durable and made of brightly colored materials. They are perfect for small hands and fit well into a child’s developing motor skills. It can even be converted into a carrying case, making the entire system portable and convenient.
Why she’ll love it: This is a magical, all in one, portable play scene. It’s perfect for encouraging imagination and storytelling.
This glitter temporary tattoo kit is a great way for your four-year-old to experiment with self-expression and creativity. It’s hypoallergenic, and dermatologist tested, so you won’t worry about adverse reactions.
The kit comes with extra large glitter adhesive and 12 stencils. She can mix and match to create personalized body art that washes off in up to five days. This is an excellent way for her to explore her own creativity and have freedom of self-expression.
The special adhesive is easy to use, and the glitter brushes are high quality. She’ll be able to use them for a long time to create again and again.
Why she’ll love it: She’ll appreciate the beautiful glitter creations she can make on her own body. Way better than that stolen sharpie.
Speaking of self-expression, Joyin’s facepaint crayons make designing a face mask a snap. She can create any character she chooses or simply decorate her face and body in whatever creative design she wants.
The crayons are non-toxic and a large size for developing hands. They are easy to apply and even easier to wash off. The 24 color pack includes all the standard colors plus a few metallic colors for extra punch. There’s no scrubbing needed when playtime is over. Simply wash gently with soap and water. They are fragrance and paraben-free.
Why she’ll love it: If you’ve ever seen how excited children are to get their face painted at festivals and events, you’ll understand how excited she’ll be to do it herself whenever she wants.
Back 2 Nature’s outdoor set is designed for outdoor exploration. Your four year old will be able to interact with her environment in ways she hasn’t before. It includes binoculars, a compass, a flashlight, and a magnifying glass.
She can go birdwatching or examine tiny insects close up. The flashlight and compass are durable and well made. She can learn the basics of direction, how to focus on finding objects from a distance, and how to look closely to identify small details. The flashlight is hand cranked, so you’ll never run out of batteries again.
Why she’ll love it: The world is a source of curiosity for children, and with the right tools, children can spend hours exploring it.
This wooden food playset is a quality toy that separates food into four main groups. She will have a variety of foods to experiment with and sort into categories. All are brightly painted to maintain visual interest.
The foods can be mixed and matched to help your child learn about healthy, balanced eating. The set is perfect alone or paired with other food playsets. The pieces are sturdy and perfectly sized for small hands just mastering motor skills. There are many ways the parts can be used and combined to encourage dramatic play.
Why she’ll love it: Anytime a toy mimics what she sees in real life, this is a valuable opportunity to try on a role and learn.
Space is a source of endless curiosity for children, and this dual function lantern and star projector will inspire her interest for the great beyond.
The Discovery Kids lantern has two functions. First, kids can use the lantern portion to play a variety of games and imagined scenarios. Second, the top of the lantern projects star patterns onto the ceiling.
It requires four AA batteries, and can easily be switched back and forth. It’s perfect for sleepovers and indoor camping, plus any other imaginative situations as she plays.
Why she’ll love it: Kids love having their own light source, and the double function of this lantern will be a fun addition to playtime.
Every child loves a baby doll, and Melissa and Doug’s version is a soft bodied doll with wipe clean arms and face. It comes with a removable romper. It can suck its thumb or a pacifier.
It’s important for children to practice caregiving skills, and this is the perfect accessory for dramatic play involving home life. She will love the lifelike body and the opening and closing eyes. She can practice fine motor skills removing and adding clothing and diapers, plus practice language skills she talks and soothes the baby.
It’s perfect alone, or it can be combined with other Melissa and Doug accessories in the same toy line.
Why she’ll love it: Dolls are a dramatic play staple, and she’ll love having her own baby to love and care for just like mommy.
Any of these toys will give her the chance to think outside the box and begin to express her personality and creativity. The dramatic play possibilities are endless, and she’ll love the look and feel of each choice.
Tell us a little about her personality and which toy you chose in the comments. Let us know how she reacted when she opened your gift!
Looking for Gifts & Toys For Other Ages Of Children?
Do you have more than child to buy for who is at a different age? If that’s the case then you might want to check out our other guides of carefully curated and considered lists of gadgets, games, puzzles and toys that cater for all different ages and development stages of kids.
You’ll find that the guides below have toys that have been specifically designed and developed to match your child’s physical, emotional and cognitive abilities. I hope these guides provide you with all the inspiration you need to get your child gift idea spot on!
Other toy related buying guides you may want to check out….
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Best Kids’ Scooters – Read more
Best Star Projectors for Kids & Teenagers – Read more