Not sure what toys to buy for a four year-old? Read on for some tips and suggestions from the Good Toy Guide experts!
These are some examples of toys that a child of this age may enjoy, but please remember that every child is unique and has a preference for different toys and brands.
This is a common time for anxiety to surface relating to a new environment children will be entering – i.e. school – as well as sadness for leaving the nursery or the pre-school they have grown so familiar with. Role play can help a child prepare for starting school and help a child feel more confident.
We like the Pretend and Play School Set from Learning Resources, which has loads of props for school role play including a pointer hand, a classic school bell, and a map.
Small World / Playsets
Small world sets such as dolls’ houses, car garages and farmyard sets can be used to help children to understand the world. Children may use different voices for different characters, noises for the animals or transport, all of which is great for their developing language skills.
The Le Toy Van Jolly Pirate Ship will take any 4 year old on an exciting swashbuckling adventure. The ship has some great features, from a crow’s nest to a wind-up anchor!
Scooters are a great craze that promote balance and coordination (plus they will make a slow journey to school far quicker!). As the child gets better, a two-wheeled scooter can be introduced building on their balance techniques and introducing more advanced steering systems.
The Mini Micro Scooter has 3 wheels and a lightweight but strong frame, making it easy for 4 year olds to zoom about on.
More advanced models are becoming accessible at this age and children may be able to follow simple instructions to create a model from particular box set, especially when using picture clues. The satisfaction of having finished a model boosts confidence and self esteem. Encourage children to make their own models too though as this promotes additional skills such as creativity and decision making.
My First Bizzy Bitz has a variety of tiles and wheels to experiment with; there are instructions to copy a few models but children can also explore their imaginations and create whatever they like.
Gadgets and toys that interact with tablets are increasingly starting to feature in play time.
Pebli Town is a great toy for 4 year olds which connects to a tablet. Children can play the on-screen games by moving the physical characters around, or even create and record their own stories with them.
If you are thinking of buying a tablet for a child, have a look at our tablet comparison guide for more information on features – such as parental controls and content – that are key when considering a tablet for a child.
Page updated: December 2015