The life of a 4-year old boy is an exciting one, to say the very least. As boys grow out of their toddler years they begin to develop vibrant personalities of their own. They begin to develop preferences on what sorts of games they want to play, what kinds of colors they like, and opinions on whether Spider-Man could beat Batman in a fight.
Simultaneously, the world of competition comes into play, as for the first time kids are starting to engage in group-based games and activities. These are games that require 4 year olds to work consciously with or against one another, which introduces a number of compelling philosophical questions that toys and playtime can help children understand.
The best toys for 4 year olds are going to take into account both the independent and cooperative nature of boys at this age while providing engaging entertainment and hopefully teaching something along the way.
We’ve browsed the digital toy aisles in an effort to review the best 4-year old toys on the market, and now we’re presenting you with the Top 50.
Related: The Top 50 Best Toys & Gifts For 4 Year Old Girls
The Best And Most Unique Toys & Gifts For 4-Year Old Boys
Toddler Backpack With Plush Dinosaur Toy For Kids 3-5
If your 4 year old boy is obsessed with dinosaurs, then this backpack from Naturally KIDS is a must! It is both functional and great for pretend play as well. After testing this backpack, I could tell right away that it was made from quality materials — everything from the zipper to the actual backpack material itself. The dinosaur stuffed animal is also well made and my son loves it! This backpack comes in many other cute animals if he’s not a dinosaur fan. I also love that you can unstrap the dinosaur from the backpack and replace it with any of your son’s favorite animals or plush toys!
Because young kids love to emulate their parents, things as mundane and ‘grown up’ as a vacuum cleaner can seem fantastic and impressive to a 4 year old. The Dyson Toy Vacuum is a faithful replica of its larger real-life counterpart, save for the vibrant plastic pellets that bounce around on the inside of the chamber. What’s really impressive is that this toy has a working chamber that really picks stuff up off the floor. We have to ask ourselves … if the toy vacuum works like a regular vacuum, then this isn’t as much of a gift to your kid as it is to you.
Toy Workbench With Realistic Tools
Toy tools have come a long way in our lifetime, from simple wooden cutouts to advanced, realistic replicas that actually work a lot like real tools. This Toy Workbench from ToyVelt is one of the most complete pretend tool kits that we have had the pleasure of reviewing. There are 12 different tools in all, including a saw, drill, ratchet set, wrenches, and more. These tools are designed to work with some of the included parts, like screws, nuts, and bolts. The top feature however is the fact that everything can be disassembled and stored as a suitcase sized box.
Whack A Frog Game
The title really says it all on this one! The Whack A Frog Game from YEEBAY is a cute, interactive electronic toy that pits your child against a pond of unassuming plastic frogs. Now, we’re not sure why exactly we’re supposed to be smashing frogs with a mallet, but that’s the game, and your kid is going to love it. Each frog is fitted with a light that will illuminate at random times, indicating that it is ready to be whacked. The score is kept on a digital timer readout up top, and big friendly buttons control a series of songs and sound effects (also whackable!) which make this feel more like a real-life carnival game than a simple toy.
Wooden Marble Run
When shopping for that perfect holiday gift for a 3-year old, it never hurts to go back to the classics. Marbles have been a stable of kids’ entertainment for centuries, and now they seem to be making a bit of a comeback. With this awesome Wooden Marble Run from Hape, kids can construct one of several marble run track designs that will take your marble on the ride of its life. Because the pieces are dynamic and versatile, kids also have the option of designing bigger and more complex systems as they become more familiar with the toy. Bonus: it comes with marbles!
Yukology Slime Science Kit
4 year olds have an innate drive to explore the natural world around them, as evidenced by their ongoing interest in everything ‘yuck’ The Yukology Slime Science Kit is a SETM-based science toy set that gives your little scientist the opportunity to make gross slime and dough using the kit’s measuring and mixing tools. A full-color printed guide can walk the kids through 6 different fun scientific activities, teaching them about the absolute basics of materials chemistry. After Yukology, be sure to check out the Yumology and Splashology kits, as they offer the same kind of scientific excitement.
11-In-1 Engineering Construction Car
Can’t decide on what kind of toy truck to get your kid this year? Skip the decision process altogether and just get him one of these 11-In-1 Engineering Construction Cars from the people at Toyard. This beast of a hauling truck opens up to reveal a full set of engineering toys, including a helicopter, bulldozer, dump truck, tank truck, asphalt car, and much, much more. This set makes your kid the construction foreman, whether he is working in the dirt out back or with a pile of Lego bricks in the play room. We love the way everything fits neatly into the carrier truck … truly a nifty design.
12V Red Hawk Motorcycle
The world of ride-on RC toy vehicles has only been getting more and more impressive in selection, and the 12V Red Hawk Motorcycle by Big Toys is further evidence of the trend. This zippy ride-on style electric cycle uses a 21 volt battery to power its motor, providing dual speeds of 2.5 or 5 miles an hour based on the setting. Just like a real motorcycle, the motor is controlled by a handlebar-mounted throttle … simply release the throttle and the cycle will come to a fast and safe stop. The only thing missing is a cool pair of biker sunglasses and maybe the leather jacket!
12V Ride-On Truck
Anyone who has been thinking of getting their kid a Power Wheels electric vehicle should know that you no longer need to go with a name brand toy to get awesome performance and design. The Best Choice Products 12V Ride-On Truck is a Jeep-style toy car with big off-road wheels that can perform well even on dirt and grass. The double doors have magnetic locks for safety, or you can remove them altogether for a more Jeep-like off-road experiences. This truck can go both forwards and in reverse, and utilizes a powerful 3-speed motor with a soft-start protection system, so you don’t have to worry about your kid slamming on the gas pedal.
All-In-One Art Easel
With the award-winning All-In-One Art Easel by Hape, your kid doesn’t have to decide whether they want to be a painter, a sketch artist, or even a university professor. They can easily do all three and much more with this well-designed art center. One side of the easel is a big magnetic dry erase board, while the opposite side is a chalkboard. Up top, a wide roll of craft paper can be dispensed downwards, providing the perfect place for impromptu painting and coloring. There’s even a handy shelf for storing all of your kid’s favorite art supplies.
Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet
The amazing thing about the Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet is how brightly it is able to display your child’s writing or drawing. This tablet-style sketch pad presents a flat black surface that kids can use to sketch whatever their heart desires, using one of the included plastic pens. The images are easily erasable, which makes this a great on-the-go toy that also happens to fit quite easily in a purse or bag. This is also a great item to keep in one of the car seat pockets, as you never know when the kid is going to get bored on the road!
Brickyard Educational Building Blocks
You might be hearing a lot about STEM toys these days, and for good reason. The best toys around are the ones that educate as well as entertain, and in that capacity, the Brickyard Educational Building Blocks are one of the best toys out there. Unlike some of the more complicated Erector Set type building kits, the Brickyard Blocks are perfect for 4 year old boys who are just developing the urge to build, create, engineer, and re-invent. Included in this set is a guidebook that will walk your kid through 42 different designs, that is, if they don’t have a design of their own in mind!
Calculator Cash Register
Teaching kids math doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it out to be. All you have to do is provide your 4-year old with a fun reason to actually use math, and the Calculator Cash Register from Learning Resources is the absolute best way to do that. This cute, compact register toy comes with pretend bills and coins that can be used for all sorts of transactions, whether he is running a wooden pizza parlor or selling Hot Wheels to passersby. Each transaction can be added up on the big-button calculator pad, which is a friendly introduction to calculators in general.
This sturdy pair of rubber-coated Compact Binoculars by LET’S GO are a great way to encourage a sense of adventure and curiosity in the growing child. Whether it is bird-watching or adventure-seeking, a good pair of binoculars brings the world to you. These offer a crystal clear view and a superb magnification of 8x, which is pretty good for a kids’ toy. Non-slip, scratch-proof, and ergonomically designed, this is just a really well made gift that your boy is likely to have for a long time. A choice of ten different colors at checkout makes customization easy.
Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Tin
It seems like there are literally dozens of different building block brands on the toy market today, but 100 years ago, this certainly wasn’t the case. Back then, Lincoln Logs were the first toy to utilize this kind of stick-stacking in order to create fun models and toy houses. While the original design was based off the cabin that Abraham Lincoln once lived in, there is a lot more that kids can build than just some old stuffy cabin. Made from 100% wood, Lincoln Logs are remarkably sturdy and if stored in this collectible tin are sure to last for decades.
Design & Drill Activity Center
The little plastic drills that are included in a lot of construction bench playsets now have their very own playset in the Design & Drill Activity Center. A safe and lightweight electric drill works with two different types of plastic screw to create a realistic handyman interface that is exciting to the growing boy. By inserting the colored screws into different places on the plastic pegboard, kids will try to create bright, fun images like rocket ships and butterflies. The full template kit includes 20 different designs, so it will take more than a couple afternoons to get bored of this one.
Digital Picture & Video Camera
It seems that digital camera technology has finally gotten to the point where it can be distilled down into a simple, easy to use, durable toy that is intended exclusively for young children. That is the case with the OMWay Digital Picture & Video Camera, a 32GB electronic delight that is well suited for boys and girls as young as 4. This camera is capable of taking both still 8megapixel still pictures as well as 1080p video, which is much better than a lot of the cell phones out there. A thick silicone coating adds a significant amount of drop protection, not to mention a sturdy grip that won’t go slipping out of little hands.
Dinosaur Activity Play Mat
Drop right in on the prehistoric action with the Dinosaur Activity Play Mat, nearly 9 square feet of deep-jungle park terrain that is designed to emulate that one dinosaur movie that kids love so much. It also comes with 9 dinosaurs, enough to have a real adventure with plenty of kids able to get in on the action. This imaginative and creative gift will spark hours and hours of play, all without the addictive flashing screens that so many other games rely on. The woven fabric of this mat makes it a lot stronger than you’d imagine … the perfect thing to take a rough ‘n tumble beating from a herd of plastic dinosaurs.
Don’t Break The Ice
Here is a fast and simple 2-player tabletop game that will have your kids rolling in laughter. The aim of the Don’t Break The Ice Game by Hasbro is to use the included pickax to tap out individual ice bricks one by one. The player who makes Phillip the Penguin fall from his icy perch loses the game! 4 player play is possible if the kids are willing to share mallets. This is a great game to break out anytime the little ones need a quick activity to hold them over until dinner.
Firemen Backpack Water Shooter
Water guns and fire trucks are two of the most essential elements of any boy’s summer, and now they are combined inside of this fully-features Firemen Backpack Water Shooter Set. A pump-activated water blaster is connected to the backpack container, which only needs to be filled once for a whole afternoon of play. A cool red fireman’s hat finishes the look, and will provide your boy with a detailed jumping off point for hours of imaginative play. In the bath or at the beach, this is a highly versatile summer toy that only need about a gallon of water to come to life.
First Big Book Of Why
Everybody knows that 4 year olds are inquisitive, and even though they are reaching an age when they are able to ask & comprehend more complex questions, the one that they choose to ask on a regular basis is “WHY?” The National Geographic Little Kids’ First Big Book of Why is a colorful, educational, and engaging book that has set out to answer this question in as many ways as possible. Why does soapy water make bubbles? Why do seeds grow up? Why are some animals big and other animals are small? These are but a few of the pressing questions that kids wrestle with on a daily basis, and the First Big Book Of Why is the answer.
Foam Pogo Jumper
If there is one thing that all 4-year old boys have in common, it is an abundance of energy. The Foam Pogo Jumper by Flybar is a great way to funnel some of that energy back into the world with some healthy bouncing action. Both safer and lighter than a traditional Pogo stick, this model swaps out the spring for a wider, more secure foam bouncing brick. It makes a fun squeaking sound that is hard not to smile to, and the fact that it is available in almost 20 different colors means that you really can find the perfect one for your own child.
Geo Safari Jr. Talking Microscope
While not technically a microscope, the Geo Safari Jr. is a great way to introduce your kid to the world of scientific observation. By inserting pre-loaded picture slides and looking into the eye pieces, kids will see enlarged images of cool science stuff like animals, extreme weather, and microscopic cells. Each slide also is linked to a pre-recorded bit of information courtesy of Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late legendary Steve Irwin. Switch into fact mode for quick learning, or try your hand at game mode and see if you know the answers to Bindi’s science questions.
Glow Stomp Rocket
The physics behind Stomp Rocket is pretty simple, but that doesn’t stop it from being perhaps the best kid-powered rocket toy of all time. With no engines or propulsion of any kind, the Stomp Rocket is able to soar into the sky powered by nothing but the blast of compressed air that a good stomp creates. This new glow in the dark version makes it possible for kids to do their stomp-rocketing when the sun is down, making this a particularly good gift for camping trips and car trips. Each pack contains 4 glow-in the-dark stomp rockets, so there will be plenty to go around.
Hot Wheels 20 Pack
Miniature Hot Wheels Toy Cars are not only fun to play with, but they are one of the most engaging collectible toys, especially for boys between the ages of 3 and 10. With literally thousands of different high-quality replica car toys to choose from, kids will take great pride in their own collection over the years. This 20 pack of Hot Wheels cars features a totally unpredictable mix of cars … everything from ambulances and police cars to monster trucks and SUVs. Use this to either kick-start a new Hot Wheels collection or as a neat way to add excitement to your kids’ next birthday party or family gathering.
Kick Scooter With Removable Seat
When you turn 4 years old, speed comes with the territory. These growing youngsters become eager to explore their world in better and faster ways, so it is no surprise that kick scooters are one of the most popular holiday gifts for kids that you can imagine. This 3-wheeled Kick Scooter from LaScoota has light up wheels, an integrated foot brake, and a height-adjustable steering column. The real surprise though is the removable plastic seat, which can slide onto the steering column and lock into place. The adjustable nature of it also means that kids won’t physically outgrow it as fast as other toys.
Kids’ Walkie Talkies
Getting your kid a pair of Walkie Talkies is a good idea for more reasons than one. Not only does it provide your kids with a fun way to communicate with one another, but a fun way to communicate with you, which is truly invaluable. Walkie Talkies can be used as a helpful tool, and awesome toy, or both, and as such have been a popular toy for young boys since their inception. Now, Walkie Talkies are more affordable than ever and make great stocking stuffers. Because these operate on a 22-channel system, there is technically no limit to how many can communicate on the same channel, so get one for everyone in the family!
Kinetic Sand 2 Pound Bag
Even we adults are a little amazed by the fun texture of Kinetic Sand. This crazy material feels and flows just like sand, that is, until you compress it with your hands. That is when it starts to act more like clay, retaining whatever shape you put it in. This is the magical nature of Kinetic Sand, one of the coolest new sculpting toys of the year. This 2 pound bag of Blue Kinetic Sand is enough to get started on a modest sand castle, but it never hurts to get more than one just in case!
Lego Juniors Spider-Man vs. Scorpion
In one of the most iconic comic book match-ups of all time, The Amazing Spider-Man will take on the venomous villain known as The Scorpion on the streets of downtown New York City. Each contender will arrive with a cool vehicle that matches there image, so this could very well turn into a car chase! Because the Lego Juniors Sets have fewer pieces and come for fully assembled, they are a great way to introduce younger kids to the world of Lego without overwhelming them with complications. While this comic-book inspired set is all a kid needs to have a good time, every piece is compatible with other Lego brand building blocks.
Lego Raptor Rescue Truck
The exciting world of dinosaurs has returned to vivid life with the Jurassic Park series of books and movies, and now that world has made its natural way to Lego. The Lego Raptor Rescue Truck sets the scene of a handsome dinosaur-wrangler who has to work hard to keep his pet raptor under control. If he doesn’t a not-so-happy looking guard will use his tranquilizer gun, so it’s best to try to play by the rules! But if there’s trouble, hop in the park Jeep and high-tail it out of there … just make sure you are not being chased by a dino.
Lego Toy Story Thrill Coaster
The age difference between 3 and 4 might not seem like much, but it represents a significant step when it comes to building sets like Lego. The Lego Toy Story Thrill Coaster uses the same real Lego bricks that your child will be using for years to come, but the set itself is presented in a simple way and easy for kids as young as 4 to build on their own. Some exclusive Lego minifigures include Buzz Lightyear and one of those adorable squeaky Alien Toys. Put one or both of them on the 3-slot train and watch them blast around the coaster track.
Light Up Walking Dinosaur
If the youngster in your life has not been through a dinosaur phase yet, do not worry. He will. Dinosaurs are right up there with firefighters, jet planes, and rocket ships as the coolest things to boys. 4 year olds in particular are drawn by the immense size and power of these terrible prehistoric lizards. Here we have some sort of cross between a T-rex and a stegosaurus, one that has a vicious light-up breath and a fantastic rainbow dorsal fin. Watch in terror as he stamps around the room, roaring and flaring, longing for a time when his vicious brethren walked the earth.
Little Tikes Mini Trampoline
Trampolines have always been a hard gift to give, not only because of their relatively expensive prices but also because they are so large and hard to manage. Both of these issues are deftly eliminated with the Little Tikes Mini Trampoline, a lightweight and affordable kids’ bouncer that is both safe and easy to move around. A sturdy metal crossbar provides support for bouncy-time, while thick rubber shoes protect your floors from the thick metal legs. The best part about a toy like this is that it helps get rid of some of that trademark excess energy that comes with the territory of being a 4-year old.
The hottest new building blocks aren’t really blocks at all, but rather thin and colorful plastic panels that can snap together in dozens of different ways to create impressive structures that are simply not possible with traditional opaque blocks. Magna Tiles are also stylishly unique, sporting a color and translucency that simply makes them look awesome. They are also sturdy and lightweight, so storage is easy and they don’t break easily. They also help develop problem solving and tactile skills. Remember: the more Magna Tiles you have, the greater the possibilities are, so don’t hesitate to pick up two sets!
Matchbox 4-Level Garage
If you notice your boy’s Matchbox Toy Car collection growing at an alarming rate (as they have a tendency to do) then it might be time to invest in a little bit of infrastructure. The Matchbox 4-Level Garage has enough room to store a crazy amount of Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. Simply drive into the loading dock, wait for the elevator to take you to one of 4 floors, and drive on out. Each floor is connected by curvy parkways that will wind you down to the bottom in no time. The included gas station is a nice touch as well.
Matchbox Gift Pack
To a 4-year old boy, the only thing better than one Matchbox Toy Car is 9 Matchbox Toy Cars. That is what you are getting with the Matchbox Gift Pack, a randomized bundle of miniature toy cars. Every pack is different, which is what makes this gift box and excellent idea for collectors. Seeing as how there are many hundreds of different cars in the series, even buying two boxes would leave very small chance of getting the same vehicle twice. In addition, each 9 pack includes one exclusive decoration car that cannot be purchased anywhere else.
Mountain Train Set
This sleepy mountain village is getting a new train conductor, and it could very well be a 4 year old that you know. The Mountain Train Set from KidKraft sets the scene of Bucket Top Mountain, an idyllic little wooden village with happy people, healthy trees, and a full-service airport. A wooden roadway and rail track navigates through the town in multiple ways, allowing for hours of imaginative fun. Included in the set is a three-car train, a police car, a fire truck, a helicopter, and a passenger airplane … everything needed to run a happy and healthy pretend community.
One of a boy’s first introductions to sports is through the game of T-ball, a simplified baseball-like game that removes the whole pitching element in favor of a static ball that rests on top of a plastic post. This lets younger kids practice their aim and swing without having to worry about getting hit by the ball. The Little Tikes engineers even made it possible to disassemble the tee and click it into the base plate along with the bat for easy storage and transport. Included is five different plastic balls that are both lightweight and safe, even when hit at high speeds.
Playfoam 8 Pack
Acting simultaneously as a liquid and solid, this weird and wild Playfoam is a no-rules sculpting toy that kids around the globe are going crazy for. With eight different balls of colored foam, kids can create everything from magical landscapes to kooky characters, or they can simply squish and squash to their little heart’s desire. Unlike molding clay, Playfoam never dries out, so it will last a long time even if it is being used every day. Safe and totally nontoxic, this 8-pack is ideal for the home or classroom. A new glow-in-the-dark Playfoam as also just been released, adding to the squishy fun.
RC Gravedigger Monster Truck
There’s nothing like a monster truck to bring a smile to a boy’s face, especially one as menacing and iconic as the Gravedigger. This officially licensed toy is a faithful replica of the real-world Gravedigger Monster Truck, and as such is the gift imaginable for any kid who is into that kind of thing. A snappy and responsive RC control system lets your kid decide where the Gravedigger goes, and a pair of dense foam wheels means that you’ll never have to worry about losing air pressure. Today, there are more Official Monster Truck RC Toys than ever before, so it is a great time to start collecting!
RC Police Car 2-Pack
There’s nothing like 2-player fun when it comes to growing boys, especially at the young age of 4 when competition becomes a major player in a child’s physical and sociological development. This PrexTrex 2-Pack of RC Police Cars has enough fun in the box for two players, as long as they can decide among them who is going to be the cop and who will be the robber! The controllers are shaped like little steering wheels, adding to the video game-like control style that is already so much fun. Realistic honking and siren sounds can be controlled from the remote, or if things get really heated, you can flash the headlights with the press of a button.
Sandbox Digger Crane
It used to be that this type of sandbox digger crane toy could only be found in certain parks, where it had to be cemented into the ground in order to be sturdy. Now, all the excavating fun of these classic sand-movers is now available in a form that is more portable, more affordable, and can move even more sand or dirt than ever before. By swapping out the cement-mounted ground pole with a 4-leg stabilization base, this little crane will hold steady while your 4-year old works the controls. The seat and crane arm rotate a full 360 degrees, maximizing the total play space.
Solid Wood Building Blocks
What we love most about building blocks is that there are no rules for how to play with them. Even the ones that include instructions can be used in all sorts of ways, as opposed to some toys in which there is only one way to ‘win’. The Melissa & Doug Solid Wood Building Blocks are a simplistic yet elegant set of building blocks that come inside their own wooden container. With shapes like cubes, triangles, and cylinders, things like castles and houses can go up in minutes. The natural wood construction provides a lasting sturdiness without all the potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in some paints and dyes.
Spider-Man Hot Wheels Launcher
Although we are not sure if Spider Man ever did have a car like this, we can offer a safe bet that your kid is going to overlook that detail. This stylish Spider-Mobile has the ability to launch any Hot Wheels Toy Car out at amazing speeds, utilizing the spring loaded mechanism built into the car’s spoiler. By loading the white Web Car into the front and them pounding on the spoiler mechanism, the smaller car will blast out the front at high speeds. Fans of this toy should know that there is an Iron Man version that works in the same way … you can choose which one you want at checkout.
Spider Man Slumber Bag Set
Here’s the thing about boys’ sleepover parties: you don’t want to be the only one without a cool superhero printed on your sleeping bag. This 2-piece sleeping bag kit celebrates our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man like never before, allowing the infamous web-slinger to join in on all the sleepover or birthday party shenanigans. This is a simple and comfortable polyester bag that tucks right back into its “Spider-Sense” carrying case for easy storage and transportation. Keep a few of these in the closet in case of an impromptu party, or set inside a play tent or fort to setup a private napping space.
Take Apart Toy Racing Car
As boys get older, they start to develop an innate desire to take things apart, perhaps in an effort to get to know the world around them in a closer way. The Take Apart Toy Car is a starter-level construction kit that allows your child to both construct and deconstruct a working racecar, all with the help of a safe, battery powered electric drill and a set of plastic screws. With this kit, your boy becomes not only the driver, but also the pit crew! Electronic sounds and lights make it that much more exciting for everyone.
Uno Card Game Tin
The only bad thing that we could ever say about the Uno Card Game is that both the box and cards can get folded and bent, especially with vigorous use at family game night. The Official Uno Tin is a safe and stylish way to store your Uno cards while not in use, as well as keep everything organized during game play. If you’re not familiar with Uno, then do yourself a favor and pick up this kit anyway, because you and you and your kids have been missing out on one of the most lively family card games of all time.
Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar
We live in a world where technology has become to prevalent that it is now accessible even by the youngest members of our species, who seem to be taking a real like to it. The Code-A-Pillar is an intro-to-coding toy that uses a series of buttons to teach your kid about the basics of computer programming. While it might sound complicated, the process is actually as simple as snapping the caterpillar segments together. Each segment represents a different movement that the Code-A-Pillar will perform in order. This opens the door to all sorts of games, like trying to get the right combination to avoid obstacles and reach the prize.
Think & Learn Smart Cycle
Designed to work with an existing smart tablet or TV, the Think & Learn Smart Cycle by Fischer-Price is a fun twist on the exercise bike that will have your kid pedaling away all that excess energy in no time. By hooking up the bike unit to the TV or tablet, kids will be able to play a number of awesome games that will require not just fast pedaling, but also a good amount of problem solving courtesy the Smart Cycle’s built-in educational programming. Unlike a lot of toys for this age group, the Smart Cycle is made with steel, so it is ready to take whatever 4 year olds can throw at it.
Unique Gift Ideas For Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah & More!
The years seem to pass more and more quickly, don’t they? Now that you boy is walking, talking, and asking questions of the world around him, you should only expect things to get quicker. 4 years old is a special time for a boy, as they are truly starting to come into their own unique personalities. This is the age where they can experiment with how those personalities can interact with others, from fellow preschoolers to grown-ups.
The best birthday or holiday gift for a 4-year old boy is going to be the one that truly engages the boy’s growing curiosity and intellect, while appealing to that special something that just makes boys, well … boys!
The 50 gift ideas for 4 year old boys that we’ve reviewed above are only a highlighted sample of what is available to kids of this age. In reality there are tens of thousands of different products to choose from, though we did our best to filter out a lot of the chaff, so to speak.
If the toys we reviewed above aren’t quite doing the trick for you, then have a look at the following buyer’s guide, where we wade a bit further into the question of how to shop for a four year old boy (either for his birthday, Chrismas, Hanukkah or any other holiday/special reason).
The Different Types Of Toys Appropriate For 4-Year Olds
Because our review has been more focused on the recommended age of a toy than splitting things up by type, our list of the top 50 toys for boys has all sorts of different things on it … everything from board games to building tiles, picture books to marble sets.
If you are shopping for a boy at this age group, then the first decision you need to make is what type of toy you’re looking for. Here is an overview of your options, as well as a few notes on why each might be a good or bad option depending on your needs.
Building Blocks & Engineering Sets
While you may have introduced you child to Lego or Duplo blocks when they were three, 4 is the age where they really start to engage with toys like these. Now that they have the increased dexterity, concentration, and imagination of a 4 year old, they are likely ready to make more and more advanced creations with their building sets.
Another great thing about these sets is that they can represent an actual investment into your child’s toy collection. For example, buying a Lego kit for your boy does not replace the old Lego kit, but simply expands his collection of Legos, which will in turn unlock even more possibilities for creation and explorations.
From ages 2 to 7 and well beyond, one thing that most boys have in common is an affinity for those small, rolling toy cars. Whether you are a Matchbox Fan or a Hot Wheels aficionado, kids have a lot of choice when it comes to toy cars. There are quite literally thousands of different card to collect and trade, so don’t be surprised if they turn into something of an obsession!
For birthday parties and stocking stuffers, the multi-packs that these companies release are a great way to get as many as 9 cars per box, each one as unique as the last.
While these miniature cars are plenty of fun on their own, they can be enjoyed on an entirely different level when paired with a Hot Wheels playset or race track. Other accessories that the Hot Wheels fan will appreciate are car carriers, garage playsets, and snap-together plastic roadway sets, all available online.
Kids of all ages can benefit from a little artistic expression every day. Creative activities like drawing, painting, sculpting, and tracing can increase attention, memory, and concentration, while also providing a calming effect to children who are prone to hyperactivity. Also, it never hurts to find out if you have a little da Vinci on your hands!
One of the more recent development in this genre of toys is electronic-based drawing pads that don’t use any paper. The Boogie Board LCD writing tablet is one such device, which uses a computer stylus and an LCD screen to make detailed patterns on an erasable screen. These little doodle-pads are great for car trips as they can be used over and over again.
Toy Tool Kits
Hands-down, one of the most popular toys for boys in this age group are Toy Tools and Workbench Playsets. Playing pretend is one of the primary ways that kids are able to ‘try on’ different personalities and social methods. It not only builds empathic response within the child, but also helps develop their abstract reasoning and problem solving skills.
In the last few years, some really cool Workbench Toy Kits have been coming out that actually transform from a carrying suitcase into a fully functioning workbench. For both transportation and storage this is a handy feature.
Electric toy drills and screws have also become more popular in recent years. Toys like the Take Apart Race Car utilize these simple plastic screws and electric driver to add an element of realism that toy tools have never had before, all in a totally safe way.
The 4 year old mind is eager and inquisitive, and this is a great time to introduce the basic concepts of scientific thought and procedure. STEM based toys each will teach a different core element of rounded education, like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Whether it is a bolt-together construction toy or a make-your-own slime kit, STEM toys are lauded for their ability to teach kids about basic scientific concepts while still managing to be totally fun and engaging.
Who knows? The Fisher-Price Geo-Safari Junior might just turn your 4 year old boy into a caner-curing scientist!
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: Is there any difference between Matchbox Cars and Hot Wheels Cars?
A: Actually, there are a few significant differences between the two miniature toy brands, though many of their products look very similar to one another. First off, Matchbox Cars tend to have a greater attention to detail, spending less time on things like wheel performance and overall speed. Hot Wheels has taken the slightly different route of aiming for a faster car with more fantasy elements in many cases. This is why Hot Wheels Cars work much better on Hot Wheels Tracks than Matchbox cars do. But let’s be honest … if your boy is only 4 years old, it might be a little too early to care about this kind of thing.
Q: Are there any gifts I could get for a 4-year old that he will still like in 5 years?
A: This is one of the toughest questions that parents have to ask when shopping for their growing children, but unfortunately, even careful planning and thoughtfulness might not affect how long a toy will remain relevant for your child. There are a number of reasons why kids stop playing with toys … everything from lack of excitement to simply physically outgrowing it.
Our advice here is to look for toys that can be played with in different ways as the child gets older and older. For example, walkie talkies and building sets like Legos will ‘grow’ with your kid, that is, the child will start to change the way they use them so they tend to stay more relevant.
Conclusion: The Best Gift For A 4-Year Old Boy
Whether you are looking for a birthday present, Hanukkah gift, or something “just because”, finding the right toy for a 4 year old boy can be a bit of a challenge. First, you have to decide which type of toy you are looking to buy, based on what the child likes and what you would like them to learn. Then you have to compare between dozens of different toy companies, each one claiming to offer “they very best” toys for kids.
Fortunately, there are more than a few great toys on our list that are just as educational as they are entertaining. For our dollar, the All-In-One Art Easel made by Hape has the greatest chance of being loved by the greatest amount of kids, no matter what kind of things they are into. The dual-sided drawing space and nifty paper dispenser provide three different ways to create, and we bet that your kid will come up with a few more of his own.
For more unique boy gifts, check out the following:
Top 50 Most Sought After Toys & Gifts For 3-Year Old Boys
The 50 Most Popular Toys & Gifts For 5-Year Old Boys