4-year-olds need toys that can intrigue their curious minds and encourage them to sharpen their creativity. So, here’s our list of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds to choose the right one. Children from this age group are still coming to terms with the things around them, and naturally, their questions are endless. So, educational toys help them know their environment better while enhancing their physical and cognitive skills.
These toys encourage the development of critical thinking and confidence while improving communication and collaboration skills. STEM toys are suitable for 4-year-olds since they help develop math, science, engineering, and technology skills. Whether wooden blocks or toys with gears and wheels, they are of much help in cognitive development.
Children love experimenting with shapes and sizes, and educational toys help them connect between cause and effect. These toys also keep them engaged and entertained for long. With various features and benefits, you can explore our list to learn more.
Our Top Picks
How Educational Toys Are Useful To 4 Year Olds
- Motor development
The sensory-motor skills of children like vision and auditory skills are developed through vibrant and colorful lights and sounds. Fine motor skills are enhanced by art and craft and various activities. This eventually enhances better communication skills and personality development in your kid.
- IQ and problem-solving skills
Educational toys enhance the IQ level of children as it boosts memory, literacy, and coordination. These toys challenge their minds, and while stacking blocks may be difficult, the child learns how to balance them. Puzzles are another way to enhance these skills.
- Develop social and emotional intelligence
Playing with educational toys teaches children to share, wait for their turn, care and bond with other children. Educational toys teach kids to develop empathy and understand emotions and role play. They also learn to respond appropriately to happiness, sadness, and anger, thus developing emotional intelligence.
- Improved concentration
While playing, children have to focus on a task for a longer stretch of time. Introducing educational toys early on helps to improve their concentration and focus which helps them later on with their academics as well.
- Promotes creativity and imagination
Many educational toys allow children to develop their imagination and creativity as they can make something beautiful or express themselves as they want.
13 Best Educational Toys For 4 Year Olds
1. Best For Improving Painting Skills: Toyk Store Water Doodle Mat
This large-sized doodle mat has an ocean pattern and can be folded into a compact and portable size. It measures 40 x 28 inches, includes 6 pens, 4 drawing templates, 8 drawing molds, a drawing booklet, jigsaw, and storage bag, and is a great interactive and learning toy for 4 year olds. Just fill the pen with water and draw on the mat as you please, and after 3 to 10 minutes, depending on airflow and temperature, it magically disappears. The mat can be reused and helps develop hand-eye coordination, color perception, and creative and painting skills. It involves no paint or ink, is non-polluting and non-toxic, and can be used alone or with friends. The back of the mat is made of nylon, is water-resistant, and can be cleaned easily.
2. Best For Problem-Solving Skills: The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling Game
Enhance your toddler’s vocabulary and spelling with this colorful 20-piece spelling puzzle of 3 and 4 letter words. The words have matching images and are self-correcting as the pieces only fit if the spelling is correct. This educational toy for 4 year olds teaches letter recognition and early reading skills. It boosts their confidence and children become more positive about attempting such tasks. They are the perfect way to develop simple problem-solving skills and graduate to more complex skills. A durable and thick cardboard construction makes them simple to use and grasp while developing motor skills, concentration, and hand-eye coordination. This toy is part of an award winning series that introduces children to 10 puzzles of 3 words and 10 puzzles of 4 words.
3. Best For Developing Fine Motor Skills: Skillmatics I Can Write Mat
Enhance your toddler’s problem solving, reading, writing, creative thinking, attention, focus, and comprehension skills with these reusable activity mats. This learning toy features 6 double-sided activity mats, a duster cloth, 2 Skilly Billy dry erase markers, and a Skilly Billy achievement certificate with instructions which are simple to follow. Your child learns through 14 fun and stimulating activities based on alphabets and numbers, colors and shapes, writing words, patterns and strokes, body parts, creating sentences, and calendar planning. The content is engaging, age appropriate, innovative, and skill oriented. The activities are specially designed to improve pen control and build fine motor skills. Writing and wiping helps them to keep practicing even if they make errors. Your child can learn key concepts with this mat while interacting with their friends and family.
4. Best For Hand-Eye Coordination: Likee Wooden Pattern Blocks Set
Watch your toddler’s imagination and creativity bloom with these 36 wooden blocks and 60 pattern cards. This learning toy also improves their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This wooden pattern blocks set is perfect for color and shape recognition, spatial awareness, and problem-solving as kids learn to sort the blocks by color and shape and also make patterns. Children can use their creativity and create patterns beyond the 60 pattern cards. These cards can also double up as sight word flashcards. The blocks are approximately 0.12 inches thick, making them convenient to slide, place, rearrange, and pick up, while they are large enough not to be a choking hazard. They are well designed, non-toxic, and follow international safety standards.
5. Best Easy-To-Clean: Cenove Build A Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset
This 130-piece playset develops creativity, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, provides STEM support skills, and is a great educational toy for 4 year olds. Made of BPA-free material, this gardening set is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and has no sharp edges to hurt children. It’s easy to clean and can even be put into the dishwasher. It encourages children to sort, match, and build as they create different kinds of flowers. The package contains a gift box, 8 bases, 52 stem and leaf sections, 34 flower pieces, 34 stamens, and 2 flower pots. Children can use this to build different flower combinations and gain knowledge about different flowers.
6. Best Engaging: Maxee Sight Word Game
Color coded according to their difficulty level, these sight words have 5 levels— blue for pre- kindergarten, red for kindergarten, green for first grade, orange for second grade, and purple for third grade. Children can start with the easiest level and gradually work their way up. Comprising 192 sight words, kids will remain engaged playing for hours without realizing they are learning in the process. The vibrant colors and big letters on both sides hold children’s attention and there are extra blank cards to add your own words. Both the fly swatters and the cards are very durable, and it comes in a drawstring bag to store everything. The set also includes 2 marker pens with erasers to fill in the blank cards. It’s an interactive, visual, and tactile learning toy proving to be extremely engaging.
7. Best For Cognitive Learning: Fansteck Button Art Toys
Bring out the artist in your child and enhance their eye-hand coordination, imagination, and cognitive learning with this innovative game. It includes 24 pictures, 50 button pegs, 2 clips, 1 pegboard, and 1 storage tray, with which your child can make various unique patterns. The pictures can be stored in the storage tray while the buttons stay safe in the drawstring bag. Vibrantly colored plant and animal patterns help arouse their curiosity and stimulate their imagination and creativity. They are crafted with high quality, safe ABS plastic and paperboard, and have no sharp edges to hurt their hands. This learning toy is ideal for children who are 3+ and can be used for several years.
8. Best Non-Toxic: Free To Fly Take Apart Dinosaur Toys
This exciting educational toy for 4 year olds features 3 kinds of dinosaurs— blue tyrannosaurus rex, green triceratops, and brown velociraptor. These realistic looking dinosaurs encourage creativity and imagination, develop fine motor skills, critical thinking, and brain development. The joints of the dinosaurs are movable, so children can make them strike different poses by swinging the hands, feet, mouth, tail, and head. They can also mix and match the parts of different dinosaurs to give wings to their creativity. The set includes a low speed electric drill with 2 kinds of drill bits, 3 manual screwdrivers, and simple instructions to assemble them. The toys are made of non-toxic, durable, ABS material and have smooth edges so they won’t hurt your child’s hands.
9. Best For Imaginative Play: Lokuo Wooden Doctor Toy Playset
This playset is an ideal learning toy as children develop a better concept of dental hygiene, get some medical knowledge, and learn to take care of one another while playing. Role play among children enhances emotional and social skills and also eliminates the fear of visiting a doctor. This educational toy for 4 year olds includes a doctor’s apron, movable teeth model, blood pressure meter, stethoscope, hammer, pliers, syringe, X-ray film, toothbrush, thermometer, and a storage bag among other things. For safety, a water based, non-toxic paint has been used in the making of these toys and there are no sharp edges that can hurt your child’s hands.
10. Best For Improving Team Building Skills: Parhlen Building Blocks
Help your child develop logical thinking, shape recognition, team building skills, and creative thinking with this 244-piece building block set. Apart from blocks, it also features nuts and bolts, wheels, and an interchangeable electric screwdriver. Kids can use the screwdriver to create 2D and 3D art pieces by assembling the plates onto the grid. They can learn about shapes and colors and develop creativity by creating a truck, lion, butterfly, bird, flowers, and helicopter. Crafted with durable and non-toxic ABS plastic and with smooth edges, this learning toy is extremely safe for your child and meets all safety standards. They can be cleaned easily with water and soap and there’s a convenient bag to store all the pieces.
11. Best For Preschool Learning: Wedraw Interactive Talking Robot
This educational robot is the perfect learning toy as it uses a human voice to teach your children through drawing and keeps them away from screens. Age appropriate learning material has been designed by experts for 3 to 5 year old children and the set includes shapes, simple math, letters, animals, transport, over 100 sight words, body, jobs, and some other STEM essentials. Eggy, the robot looks adorable, has a friendly voice, and combines robotics and attractively colored learning flashcards for preschool learning. It enhances hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, imagination, creativity, hand-writing and drawing skills. It is made of premium non-toxic ABS plastic material, has no sharp edges, and the size of the learning cards makes them easy for kids to handle.
12. Best For Reasoning Skills: Homecent Engineering Building Kit
This learning toy with its 175 pieces promotes divergent thinking, hand-eye coordination, creativity, problem-solving skills, and brain development. It’s a perfect resource for STEM skills and challenges children to build their own robots and cars. It supports interactive play, logical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning. The toys and containers are non-toxic, BPA, lead, and phthalate-free, and can be cleaned easily by rinsing under warm water. This toy grows with your child with different levels of challenges and offers endless possibilities to unleash your child’s creativity. Several children can play together with this toy which encourages teamwork, communication, and language skills.
13. Best For Visual Development: Satxtrem Flash Cards Reader Set For Toddlers
This set of 56 flashcards and a card reader helps to teach children colors, alphabet, shapes, and identify objects on the cards. They boost visual, cognitive, auditory development, and pronunciation. The card reader reads the QR code on each card and recognizes and pronounces the words. It also makes the sounds of the animals on the cards which children try to imitate. The sight word flashcards are heavyweight cards with smooth edges and colored with environmentally-friendly paint. Each card of this learning toy for 4 year olds measures 2.3 × 3.5 inches and is the perfect size to hold. The card reader is made of durable ABS plastic, can be charged by USB, has an auto-off feature, and comes with adjustable volume.
Now that you have been through our review of the 13 best educational toys for 4 year olds, let us give you a few tips to keep in mind while choosing one for your munchkin so that they derive maximum benefit out of it.
How To Choose The Right Educational Toys For 4 Year Olds
As the developmental rate of every child is different, try to get toys that focus on the skills that they haven’t mastered yet so that they can strengthen that particular skill.
A 4 year old has quite distinct likes and dislikes, so choose a toy that caters to their particular interest so that learning becomes all the more fun.
- Age appropriate
Most toys have the age range mentioned on them and it’s best to go for a toy that’s suitable for a 3 to 5 year old child so that it’s neither too easy nor too difficult for your child to learn from.
- Choose versatile toys
Choose toys that your child can use in many different ways. 4 year olds love taking things apart and putting them together again. Interlocking plastic blocks, wooden blocks, toys they can play with in the water or sand, and nesting blocks can be used in a number of ways. They develop creativity, problem-solving skills, and logical reasoning in children.
- Toys that grow with your child
The idea is to look for toys that your child can enjoy at different stages of development. Action figures, toy animals, dollhouses, vehicles, and stuffed toys can be used in different ways by children as they grow older.
- Toys that encourage cross-generational play
Some toys are specifically designed so that adults can participate as well. Consider board games that you can play together. Such games also encourage memory skills, counting, matching, listening skills, language skills, and self-control. It also teaches sportsmanship and how to be gracious losers and humble winners.
Educational toys should cater to the interests of your child and the skills you are trying to inculcate in them. In today’s world, it’s not always a simple task as they have so much exposure to the electronic world, they may not always be interested in regular toys. The best educational toys should not only be a great learning experience but they should also be loads of fun. Your child won’t even realize how much they are learning as they spend hours on end with an educational toy. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task, but we hope our review of the 13 best educational toys for 4 year olds will help you find the perfect one for your little one.
The purpose of educational toys is to make learning more engaging for your child. However, getting your children to set aside their gadgets and play physical games can be challenging. The above toys will help develop your child’s social, communication, and collaboration skills. When buying toys for four-year-old children, make sure they are safe, engaging and help hone their cognitive skills. Educational toys will keep your child hooked and make learning fun and interesting. These toys and games can also serve as a great bonding time with your little one.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Priti Bose is a product writer who is passionate about reviewing toys for children and recommending the most useful and safest ones. In this article, she has reviewed the best educational toys for four-year-olds after considering factors such as how engaging they are and their age-appropriateness. She has also included a detailed and informative buying guide and some pointers on choosing the right educational toy to help develop your child’s skills.