13 Best Educational Toys For Four-Year Olds In 2024

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Four-year-olds need toys that can intrigue their curious minds and encourage them to sharpen their creativity. 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 cognitive and physical 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 of educational toys from trusted brands to learn more.

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How Are Educational Toys Useful For 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.

  • 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 Creativity: Magformers Challenger Set

4.7
Magformers Challenger Set Image: Magformers

The 112-piece Magformers Challenger Set, made of highly durable material, is a great toy to get your child started on the path to unleashing their creativity and improving their social-emotional skills. It includes a variety of pieces, such as triangles, squares, and pentagons, in bright colors to make learning enjoyable.

With this engineering toy set, your child can construct houses, animals, vehicles, and anything else their imagination can conjure. In addition, this safety-tested toy set is made of non-toxic ABS plastic and powerful magnets that are strong enough to hold each piece in place.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • Includes an instruction booklet
  • Suitable for STEM education

Cons

  • May not be easy to store
  • Set might be smaller than expected

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 three and four-letter words. The words of this language learning toy have matching images and are self-correcting, as the pieces only fit if the spelling is correct. This educational game for four-year-old kids teaches letter recognition and early reading skills. It boosts their confidence, and children become more positive about attempting such tasks.

This spelling toy is the perfect way to develop children’s problem-solving skills. The puzzle toy also introduces children to ten puzzles containing three-letter words and ten puzzles containing four-letter words. This video showcasing a tester’s experience offers a more detailed explanation of the product.

Item Weight: 4.8 ounces | Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.5 x 8 inches

Pros

  • Thick cardboard pieces
  • Easy to grip
  • Supports motor skill development
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Expands vocabulary

Cons

  • Pictures may peel off with extended use
  • Some kids may find it less interesting

protip_icon Did you know?
The words coolly and minuscule are two of the most misspelled words in most English-speaking countries.

3. Best For Developing Fine Motor Skills: Skillmatics I Can Write Mat

4.6
Skillmatics Educational Game Image: Skillmatics

Enhance your toddler’s problem-solving, reading, writing, creative thinking, attention, focus, and comprehension skills with these reusable activity mats. This learning toy features six double-sided activity mats, a duster cloth, and a Skilly Billy achievement certificate. 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 and innovative. The activities are specially designed to improve pen control and build fine motor skills. Writing and wiping help 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. You may check this video for a better understanding of this product.

Material: Polypropylene | Item Weight: 1.43 pounds | Product Dimensions: 11.65 x 16.14 x 1.18 inches

Pros

  • Includes two Skilly Billy pens
  • Skill-oriented
  • Age-appropriate activities
  • Simple instructions
  • Enhances motor skill development
  • Available in different color combinations

Cons

  • Markers may leave stains on clothes
  • Markers may dry up soon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

About 9,778 reviewers on Amazon have given their seal of approval to the product.

4. Best For Hand-Eye Coordination: Likee Wooden Pattern Blocks Set

4.6

Watch your toddler’s imagination and creativity bloom with these 36 wooden blocks and 60-pattern cards. 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 critical thinking toy cards can also double up as sight word flashcards.

The durable 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. This product testing video will help you learn more about the product.

Item Weight: 1.07 pounds | Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 10.7 x 1.4 inches

Pros

  • Facilitates motor activity
  • Improves critical thinking skills
  • Easy to store and carry
  • Soft, rounded, and smooth edges
  • Ideal for ages three and up
  • Safety-tested

Cons

  • May not be suitable for group play
  • Some may find the pieces too small

5. Best Easy-To-Clean: Cenove Build A Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset

This 130-piece playset develops creativity, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills, provides STEM support skills, and is a great educational toy for the four-year-old age group. Made of BPA-free material, this safety-tested 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 eight bases, 52 stem and leaf

Item Weight: 1.83 pounds | Product Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.51 x 3.35 inches

Pros

  • Smooth pieces
  • Meets ASTM standards
  • Durable quality
  • Suitable for group play
  • Includes a storage box
  • Pieces fit well in child’s hands
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Some parts may fall off while stacking
  • Latches of the storage box may be flimsy

protip_icon Quick fact
Out of more than 270,000 species of flowers discovered, roses make up 35,000 according to botanists.

6. Best For Color Recognition: Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks And Boards

4.7
Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks And Boards Image: Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug’s educational block set contains 120 sturdy wooden blocks in various shapes and colors and five wooden boards to engage your child for hours. In this creative art activity, children can sort the blocks based on their color or arrange them in a mismatched manner on the double-sided boards to build different-shaped structures, such as houses, animals, birds, flowers, and more.

This educational set for ages three and up can help teach basic math concepts such as counting, addition, and subtraction. The math toy also improves children’s color recognition, spatial awareness, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

Pros

  • Bright colors
  • Features ten design prints
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills
  • Ideal for gifting

Cons

  • Wooden tray may not have a lid
  • Board might be slightly slippery

7. Best With LCD Display: Best Learning Connectrix Junior Memory Matching Game

4.4
Best Learning Connectrix Junior Memory Matching Game Image: Best Learning

Put your memory skills to test with this educational kit by Best Learning that includes 24 cards with over 570 questions-answers. The memory game features an LCD display system that displays the progress and scores.

This STEM educational kit is easy to play and can improve various skills like logical thinking, problem-solving, concentration, and memory. The problem-solving toy features two modes—Versus and Co-Op—that can accommodate one or two players, allowing players to learn independently or with parents and friends to solve the questions.

Item Weight: 13.4 ounces | Product Dimensions: 11.61 x 2.56 x 4.02 inches

Pros

  • High-quality speaker
  • Includes cord storage
  • Helps learn the alphabet, numbers, geography, and more
  • Features 48 interactive and educational lessons
  • Comes with three AA batteries

Cons

  • May not be beginner-friendly
  • Font size on the card may be small for some

Our Reviewer's Experience

"The best part about this game is that my children can play with it independently or together. Getting used to its loud volume took a while, but the wide range of developmental opportunities it bestows on my kids is marvelous. I'm happy with this purchase!"


8. Best For Reading Skills:ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words

4.7
ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words Image: Thinkfun

Enhance your child’s reading ability with the ThinkFun Zingo sight words. It includes 72 Zingo tiles, each featuring a sight word to help children read and write. The cards are made of high-quality materials and have vibrant colors to attract children. All the child needs to do is slide the zinger, match it with a word on the cards, and fill in their card to win. Loved by many reviewers, this reading game can be played by two or more players, making it an ideal choice for family nights or when camping.

Item Weight: 1 pounds | Product Dimensions: 8.25 x 3.5 x 10.25 inches

Pros

  • Developed by educators
  • Helps improve critical thinking skills
  • Includes a detailed instruction manual
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Battery-free operation

Cons

  • Tiles may jam at times
  • May not include a storage box

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This game has improved my child's word recognition and word-to-image association skills. The tile dispenser could have been more child-friendly, yet the screen-free learning experience it offers my little one makes it a noteworthy purchase. Plus, it allows me to spend quality time with her."


9. Best For Pincer Grasp: Learning Resources Mini Muffin Math Activity Set

4.7
Learning Resources Mini Muffin Math Activity Set Image: Learning Resources

Learning Resources mini muffin-containing activity set helps improve children’s color recognition, size recognition, and fine motor skills. The educational game set includes a muffin pan, 60 mini muffin counters, squeezy tweezers, 12 double-sided sorting circle inserts, and two dice. The fine motor skill toy can be played alone or with multiple partners.

Children need to roll the dice, pick the same number and color of the muffins seen on the dice, and sort it into the muffin pan with the help of the soft tweezers. The fun activity for kids can help improve their basic math skills, such as counting, addition, and subtraction while sorting the muffins according to the colors and numbers.

Pros

  • Helps improve pincer grasp
  • Non-toxic pieces
  • Includes an activity guide
  • Ideal for gifting

Cons

  • Tweezers might be a little tricky to use
  • Circle inserts might be a little flimsy

10. Best Durable: Coogam Wooden Alphabet Tracing Board

4.4

Teach your child how to write the alphabet with this durable wooden board with directional arrows to guide your child to trace the letters using the wooden stylus pen. The board is double-sided, with upper-case and lower-case letters, making it an ideal choice for alphabet recognition and improving handwriting, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, the board is made of natural solid wood and coated with environment-friendly water-based paint, ensuring safety and durability.

Item Weight: 12.3 ounces | Product Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 1 inches

Pros

  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Designed with gently engraved curved grooves
  • No rough edges
  • Travel-friendly
  • Includes a pen slot

Cons

  • Arrows may be a bit confusing for left-handed children
  • Wooden pen might slide out of the grooves

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Following the directional arrows has helped teach my child to form the letters correctly. Keeping the stylus from getting lost is a bit of a hassle, but the board's child-safe, smooth finish gives me peace of mind. The toy has also improved my child's hand-eye coordination."


11. Best Colorful: Mobius STEM Toys Kit

4.5
Mobius STEM Toys Kit Image: Mobiustoys

The STEM toys kit from Mobius consists of 223 construction-themed pieces that can be assembled to build various structures, from small models to large-scale projects. The tired-and-tested set includes a mechanical screwdriver, three DIY tools, multiple screws, and colorful geometric pieces to help bring your children’s imagination to life.

This fun kit designed for children aged three years provides a unique and cherished play experience for children. Moreover, this cognitive development toy ignites children’s curiosity and promotes the development of real-world skills.

Item Weight: 2.77 pounds

Pros

  • Encourages creative thinking
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Storage bag included
  • Packaged in a unique gift-ready box
  • Comes with a step-by-step guide

Cons

  • Some pieces might be small
  • Some might find it difficult to assemble

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I like that the pieces of this set have rounded corners, making it a safe option for my little one. Initially, I needed to help my daughter with the construction, but she now plays with it independently for hours at a stretch. The hands-on learning experience makes it worth it."


12. Best For Creativity: Betheaces Water Drawing Mat

4.2
Betheaces Water Drawing Mat Image: Betheaces

The water drawing mat from Betheaces is an excellent tool for children to unleash their creativity. This large mat is made of high-quality polyester and has a water-resistant nylon backing, allowing children to draw in a mess-free manner. The mat comes with a magic brush, two magic pens, drawing templates, and stencils to provide a complete drawing experience to the child.

It requires no cleaning and is reusable, as the temperature-sensitive marks magically disappear in three to ten minutes. Moreover, the foldable mat is suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use.

Item Weight: 2.77 pounds

Pros

  • Easy to use–requires only water
  • Includes a drawing booklet
  • Helps improve hand-eye coordination
  • Ideal for gifting

Cons

  • May not be mold-resistant
  • Might discolor after a few uses

13. Best STEM-Based: Dan&Darci Light-Up Terrarium Kit For Kids

4.4
Dan&Darci Light-Up Terrarium Kit For Kids Image: Dananddarci

Introduce STEM concepts to your child in a fun way with this light-up terrarium kit from Dan&Darci. The kit includes soil, a spray bottle, seeds, figurines, rocks, and sticks to create a realistic mini-garden. Additionally, the kit features an LED light-enabled lid that illuminates the garden and provides a mesmerizing ambiance.

This beautiful toy can help children step away from screens and learn about nature and the life cycle of plants. Moreover, the mini-garden can be personalized to your liking, allowing you to experience the miracles of nature from the comfort of your home.

Color: Terrarium | Shape: Cylindrical | Material: Plastic | Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required | Item Weight: 8 ounces | Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 7 inches

Pros

  • Includes a USB cable
  • Charges in less than three hours
  • Comes with an instruction guide
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Ideal for gifting

Cons

  • May not be mold-resistant
  • Jar may not be scratch-proof

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The tried-and-true product has earned over 14,154 good reviews on Amazon.

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Educational Toys For 4-Year-Olds?

Here are a few points you should keep in mind while choosing one for your munchkin so that they derive maximum benefit out of it.

  1. Skills: 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.
  2. Interests: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Versatile toys: 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 a multitude of skills, including creativity, problem-solving skills, and logical reasoning in children.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes a good educational toy?

A good educational toy should be able to stimulate or develop logical thinking, creativity, Imagination, problem-solving, expression, memory, sensory, and hand-eye coordination skills.

2. How can I help with my child’s development through play?

Toys and games aren’t meant for entertainment purposes. They can foster psychological and physical well-being too. While solo games could help improve the child’s cognitive skills and introduce them to various facets of the external world, multiplayer games could facilitate quality child-parent bonding and instill teamwork and social skills (1).

3. How do educational toys for four-year-olds differ from the same toys for three-year-olds?

At times, the type of toys could overlap for both ages but in general, the complexity levels of the toys meant for four-year-olds are comparatively slightly higher.

4. Why should I choose educational toys for four-year-olds?

Children attain certain milestones or skills such as simple decision-making, interacting with other children, and basic language skills during their preschool years (2). Appropriate educational toys could help four-year-olds achieve these milestones.

5. How safe are educational toys for four-year-olds?

It could depend on the type of toy you select. Opt for age-appropriate toys that have a smooth finish and are made of non-toxic materials. Also, parental supervision is always advised if a toy contains small units to prevent choking.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Priti Bose is a product writer and reviewer 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 the four-year-old age group after considering factors such as how engaging they are and their age-appropriateness, as well as going through their user reviews. 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.

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 the four-year-old age group, ensure 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.

Infographic: Why You Should Bring Home Educational Toys

Educational toys are the best tools to encourage children to use their imagination and enhance their creativity. In addition, introducing educational toys can help them better understand their surroundings. Here are a few benefits of educational toys for children listed in the infographic below.

Benefits-Of-Educational-Toys (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How play helps children’s development:
    https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/how-play-helps-childrens-development
  2. Preschoolers (3-5 years of age)
    https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/preschoolers.html

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