Best Educational Toys for 4 Year Olds: Buying Guide & Reviews

Well, it is fun to walk around toy stores and bring your kid. They will point their fingers to almost every toy that you will pass by. It is not hard to find a toy that will put a smile on your kid’s face. All you have to do is bring them to a toy store and let them choose what they like. However, the toy that your kid would be playing should not only make them happy but also train their mind. Getting the best educational toys for 4 year olds is a smarter choice. It helps them develop skills a bit faster.

At this age. Your kid would be going to school soon. So, it is important that you would be getting toys that will help develop their reasoning and creative-thinking skill. You would also like them to develop their vocabulary and social skills so that they can get along with other kids well.

Below is the list of best educational toys for 4 year olds

Here are some of the things that you will observe on your child at this age:

1. Physical development

The first thing that you will probably notice is the physical changes. Of course, you will see some improvements in your child’s motor skills. They will have much better coordination and balance. You will also have a hard time keeping an eye on them since they will constantly move from one place to another. This is normal, and you should allow your kid to move around the house often. The good news is that your kid would be able to communicate with you a lot better. They can understand you much easier. That means you can set some rules around the house which your kid had to adhere to. Like keeping away from the stove and climbing chairs.

2. Social development

Since your kid has better verbal skills, there is no doubt that they can make new friends easily at this age. There would be minor temper tantrums since your kid will learn how to adapt to different situations. They become a bit more understanding. However, they will tend to listen more to their new acquaintances than their parents. So, if your kid is playing with other kids, it is important to keep an eye on them.

You will see them with friends and playmates more often. They will have the constant desire to go on some adventure due to their curious mind. Set some rules which your kid has to follow to avoid injury. Although, it is fine to let your kid have some fun with their friends. The good thing is that they will still look for a trusted adult so you will have an easier time having them follow your rules.

3. Language Development

Your 4 year old toddler will become more talkative in this upcoming milestone. He will start to be able to say his full name and complete address. And when you read him a bedtime story, he will be able to retell it to you afterwards. He will still love to ask you questions like, “Why do the little prince have to think that way, mom?” or “Why did Snow White did not recognize the witch?”. Your adorable toddler will also be able to recall various parts of the story you just told him a while back. Speaking four to five sentences will be easier for him, and he will be able to say sentences with future tense like, “Yehey! We’re going to the park, tomorrow” or “Dad will buy me a new toy car next week.”

4. Cognitive Development

Your adorable kiddo will become more active not only with his daily activities but how he thinks about things; He will be able to count one up to ten or even more. He will be able to identify four colors correctly. Understanding the concept of time will also be much easier for him and learning about things used in the home like food and different appliances will be something he will understand.

5. Social and emotional development

In this milestone, your adorable toddler will go through a different level of social and emotional development. They will love to make more friends and want always to please them. You will also start to notice your child saying, “Sally has a new Barbie doll, I want one too, mommy.” They have this feeling that they want to be like their friends and have what they have. They would love to sing, dance, and to act. This is one of the reasons, why pretend-plays are one of the best past time activities kids love to do. Socializing will become their favorites, and they would love to give their next-door neighbor a visit.

As part of their emotional development, they will start to be aware of their sexuality. They will start to instruct peer players like, “All boys should act as the police officers” or “Us, girls, will play as the cashier registers. They will start to show some independence even when they play with their toys. “I know how to play it, mom.” or “I can do this, dad.” will be some of the phrases you’ll hear whenever you play with them. Demanding of things is normal for them, and they will be able to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Just do note that every child develops in their unique manner. There can be delays, and it’s okay, there could also be mannerisms or behaviors that seem to be advance that what they are supposed to be learning or acquiring at a particular stage. At their toddler years, your adorable kid can be somewhat calm or active or both. As the step in their 4th birthday, you will start to notice that they become a dynamo of energy, belligerence, drive, and bossiness. It’s going to be a whole lot of new challenges sets for your tackle, but hey, it’s not that you’re just going to witness their war-like behavior all the time, there are times when your kiddo will be sweet and kind to you.

How did we pick our top 10 best educational toys for 4 year olds?

We are aware that every child is different from another. And that they develop in different times, so we have decided to compile various toys that would catch the interest of children not just how fun and entertaining they are to play with, but how it helps them to attain the specific milestones, they’re supposed to achieve at this stage. As your adorable kiddo continues to emerge into schooling, he will need toys or items that will help him learn and understand concepts faster. We have included from building non-linear blocks to techie stuff that are hot and so-in in the market right now.

1. SmartMax Start XL

Are you looking for ways your child can learn basic science and engineering concept– all while having fun? Then this SmartMax Start XL will become one of your child’s favorite educational toy to have. It allows your child to explore magnetism safely and it lets him build amazing stuff. The pieces are purposely made to be large, so your kids will not find it difficult and challenging to handle them.

This focuses on teaching your young learners how magnets can keep the bars together. There will be a guide that your child can follow so he can successfully build amazing and cool models. The balls included are made large enough, so it cannot swallow. This gives a bonus when it comes to safety.

What we like about it

We love the fact that it promotes safe magnetic discovery for young learners like your child. The models are fun to create; it’ll keep your kids occupied for some time.

Pros
  • Perfect size for the 4 year old child’s little fingers.
  • The magnetic function is good.
  • Colorful and fun to play.
  • Enhances balancing skills.
Cons
  • Has limited pairing.
  • Does not encourage creativity (the magnet only works to limited pairings/combinations, thus, limiting creativity.)
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2. Magna-Tiles® ICE, 32 Piece Set

Is your 4 year old adorable kiddo into building stuff? Then the Magna Tiles will become one of his favorites. The end game will be a 3D like a castle which will capture the interest of your child. He can further be creative and put a mini figure inside the castle and watch it from outside. The tiles are all in clear and colorless flat materials, so your child can see what inside. This building set encourages creativity and exploration play, where your 4 year old child is free to build whatever he has in mind.

What we like about it

We like the fact that every tile made with a flat surface. So, whenever your child wants to use it as a street for his cars, there will be no bumpy edges that may interfere with the car’s speed. We also like the fact that this building set introduces the basic concepts of geometry. There will be different shapes introduced to the child while he’s having fun building his dream castle. It’s super fun and engaging, and we think that every 4 year old child will be fascinated to have this as one of their building sets.

Pros
  • The 3-D structures are very attractive and cool for kids to build (it excites them to see the result).
  • Promotes creative and exploration play.
  • Introduces basic ideas of geometry (shapes and structures).
  • All tiles are flat.
  • Made with sturdy materials.
Cons
  • -All tiles are clear and colorless (not for kids who loves to play a lot with colorful items).
  • The magnets are not that very strong.

3. Wild Animals Set for Understanding Animal Habitats

The Wild Animal Set allows your 4 year old child to get acquainted with the actual ways of the animals to survive and exist in their environment. Just like hundreds of satisfied parents who bought this item, your adorable kiddo will be able to have long hours of fun time performing pretend-plays with the animals. There will be 2 giraffes included , 1 turtle, 2 bears, 3 penguins, 3 lions, 2 zebras, 1 panda, and a lot more. The prints and color of the animal figures are super realistic, which encourages more imaginary pretend-plays.

Since there are mommy and baby figures of the animals, your kids will have fun animating how a giraffe mom would take care of this baby giraffe. There will also be a mommy and a baby bear. There will be icebergs, trees, benches, etc. It represents the habits of the animals.

What we like about it

We love the idea and the concept of this playing set. It educates young learners the actual habitat of the wild animals. They do not happen to see these often, only when they visit the nearby zoo or watch wild animals on TV. So, it’s cool that parents can now finally give their kids a mini-zoo where they could play with the DUPLO pieces.

Pros
  • Introduces the different habitats of animals.
  • The animal figures are realistic.
  • Fun and engaging for 4 year old kids to play.
  • Promotes and encourages pretend play.
  • Made just in perfect sizes for your kids to carry around.
Cons
  • Polar bears and penguins would share the same ice structure even if they came from opposite poles.

4. Edushape Big Edu-Color Blocks

Ever experienced being thrown by a hard block by your child before? Ouch… it can be painful that you sometimes wish your kid will never have to play with blocks again. The good news is that with Edushape Big Edu-Color blocks, you never have to worry about being hit with a block every again. This set is made up with super lightweight foam blocks, which allows your kids to focus on building anything they have in mind, instead of having to worry whether it would hurt their playmates when they throw the blocks at each other. The blocks do not make any noise when it falls down the floor, which is a good plus.

Your kid’s little hands can hold the perfect size these blocks have, thus allows them to enhance and practice their fine motor abilities a lot. This will be more fun when they have playmates to build and talk with, thus contributing good impact on their social and emotional development. 32 assorted block sizes come in 4 bright primary colors, which captures the attention of the toddlers. They safe and soft to play, which puts at great ease whenever they’re playing with it. And just like the hundreds of satisfied users of this building set, your child will be practicing his hand-eye coordination even more.

What we like about it

We like the fact that these blocks are super soft, it saves you from the worry that your kids might hurt one another while they’re playing with it. We have to admit; this is one of the best building sets we have reviewed so far. Due to its popularity, there are many knock-off imitations of this building set in the market. To make sure, you are directed directly to the official retailer, we have included a link above for you to follow. It allows your kid to dive himself into a creative and exploration play where he’s free to build whatever he has in mind.

Pros
  • Perfect for young learners who love the build.
  • Safe to play with.
  • Promotes creative play.
  • Enhances exploration play.
  • Blocks are soft.
Cons
  • Blocks cut unevenly.
  • Come in a bit weird smell.

5. Kids First Boat Engineer Science Kit

If you are looking for a perfect toy that is perfect for young builders, then our 5th pick will become your child’s favorite. It allows your kid to build robots and boats that he could play during his bathtime and free time. The boats can float on the water, which will fascinate your 4 year old kid. Since there are pieces that your 4 year old kid can use to building something, this allows him to be creative and stretch his exploration skills.

To step up the challenge, you can take out the manual and let him build anything that he has in mind. We will never know what he’s capable of unless we let him follow his imaginations without providing him with any blueprint. It introduces the basic concepts of engineering to your 4 year old child while they’re having fun. The boat can float, so your kids can have a pretend-play while taking a bath. This allows them to exercise their minds and allows them to construct more and more sentences in their head.

What we like about it

We love the fact that the boat could float. We love it when your kids get imaginary since this also boosts their creativity skills. The kit also introduces what pieces should go together. We also like the fact that it could allow your kids to build robots, the only problem we did have is that the arms are of the robots are no bendable and not as identical as the bot that presented on the manual. It would be much better if it were identical, but overall we love that it allows your 4 year old child to build a lot of amazing and cool stuff.

Another important detail we have to point out is that the ideas presented in the manual are very fun and engaging, which in turns encourages your child to play with for a longer period, especially during their tubby time. We have high hopes that there are experimental or science kit as well that will push your child to go trial and error before they can come up with the right concept. In this engineering kit, everything is written and put in the manual, but it’s still fun to play!

Pros
  • Introduces basic concepts of engineering.
  • Allows your 4 year old toddler to build 10 simple boats that float.
  • Promotes creative and exploration play.
  • Fun to play.
  • Colorful which attracts to kids to play with it more.
Cons
  • The pieces are not consistent in sizes.
  • Should be made with durable materials.
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6. Edushape 709084 Corrugated Blocks

The Edushape Corrugated blocks is a great building set that does not only push creative and exploration play of your kids, but it’s also a good toy for large muscle development. The blocks are a bit challenging to assemble, which could either be a complaint or bliss for those who have bought it. It lets your kids to think outside the box and lets them go under trial and error to come up with the right assembly. It instills good logic and reasoning skills to your child, which allows them to be good problem solvers in the future.

What we like about it

We like the fact that it can hold up to a 25-pound child, they can play and stand on the block. It’s challenging, and it lets your children use their mind to build. This will be a perfect choice for parents who are not huge fans of educational toys that have loud sounds and lights.

Pros
  • Practices gross motor skills.
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination.
  • It allows your child to socialize.
  • It instills logic and reasoning skills to your child.
  • Fun and engaging to play with.
Cons
  • Cannot accommodate a 30-pound child to stand on.
  • A bit tricky to assemble.

7. Music Goose

If you are looking for something cute and adorable to give as a present for your 4 year old kid? This might be a great option that you can consider. The Music Goose, allows your kid to hear a different style of hip-hop, thus introduces a genre of music. What’s amazing about the Music Goose is that it moves rapidly, which encourages your kid to follow it around, engaging his large muscle groups. When your kid moves a lot, it helps them to build stronger bones when they grow up.

The goose does not get stuck when it bumps against something sturdy or the wall, it bounces back and continues to move. It’s super fun and engaging to play with, which is a huge plus. It comes with a Swedish accent; it would be better if it were in an American accent so the child can 100% relate to it. Overall, it’s still an adorable gift that we’re quite sure will put your child in surprise.

What we like about it

We like the fact that they toys shows some struggling effect whenever your kid holds its neck. It somehow instills some emotional development for the child that struggling a living being is not a good thing. It’s a cute thing and will become your child’s instant best friend during play time. It may come too loud when it starts singing; you can easily get access to the volume control and lower it down. The music goose is a good educational toy that helps in your child’s language development.

Pros
  • It practices your child’s large motor skills (he will love to follow the goose around).
  • Introduces different music genre.
  • It bounces back when it bumps (so it doesn’t get stuck in particular place).
  • Fun and engaging to play with.
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Cons
  • It talks with a Swedish accent which is a bit odd.
  • Smaller than expected.

8. Educational Insights Design & Drill Power Tool Workshop

The Design and Drill power tool allows young children to engage themselves in creative matching and patterning of the bolts. After they have completed their designs, the next step will be drilling them so the bolts will stay in place. Thus, helping them to enhances their fine motor skills in handling the little drills.

What we like about it

We like the fact that it teaches young children matching, counting, and patterning at first hand. Children tend to remember what they play hands-on. It also promotes imaginative and creative play which is a great thing. There are different shapes and colors, which makes the whole activity more fun and engaging. There will be 100 regular bolts included in this set. We also like the fact that there’s an activity guide included so your kids can have a final activity card to follow.

Pros
  • Fun construction play.
  • Promotes creative play.
  • Lets your kids practice their imaginary skills.
  • Includes matching and patterning designs.
  • Enhances fine motor skills.
Cons
  • There are no batteries included.

9. Talking Toy Cash Register

Children naturally love pretend-plays. They want to become grown-ups and work like mommy and daddy. The talking toy cash register allows your 4 year old child to experience what’s it like to be a cashier at first hand. There will be bills, coins, and cards, which makes it all realistic and more fun for kids to play. There will be 3 languages that your kids can choose from English, Spanish, or French. The buttons are large enough, and the total amount will be put in clearly on the machine’s LCD screen.

What we like about it

Everything about it is super realistic and plain fun. There’s a microphone included where your child can say, “Thank you for shopping with us!” or “Please, come again. Thank you.” It gives them real experiences to add, subtract, and multiply. The “beep” and “cha-ching” sounds are very fun, and your child could slide the credit cards on the machine.

Pros
  • Enhances your child’s mathematical abilities.
  • Promotes pretend-play.
  • Fun and engaging to play with.
  • Kids can learn about money .
  • An interactive toy cash register.
Cons
  • The drawer only open at 2-3 inches.

10. Sunnytech Mini Hot Air Stirling Engine Motor Model

Perfect present for children who love engineering and mechanical stuff. It’s fun to watch how this educational works and it works perfectly as a table display as well. The Sunny Tech Mini Hot Air Stirling is made with durable material and has a metal construction. While it’s running and on the action, it’s cool and fascinating to watch. Just do note to supervise your child when watching this thing on the action, it involves some heating process to make successful combustion, so your strict supervision is required.

What we like about it

We like the fact that it compactly designed. It’s powered by a lever mechanism, and it’s cool to watch it on the action. This is a perfect gift for kids who are looking for something unique and out of this world. Typical educational toys can be boresome, so give him something this cool stuff. He can show this to his friends.

Pros
  • Made with durable materials.
  • Introduces engineering concepts to your 4 year old child.
  • Instills some mechanical knowledge.
  • Awesome for room display.
Cons
  • The base should make with sturdier materials.

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