Best Christmas Gifts for a 4-Year-Old
Are you looking for the best Christmas gifts for a 4-year-old boy (or girl)? Here’s a round of tried-and-true gifts that are educational and fun from a mom who has tested them all!
If you have a 4-year-old in your life, you know they’re something special! They’re outgrowing the terrible twos and three-nager phases and coming little people whose brains are growing faster than they can keep up! The challenge at this age is to keep them occupied, learning, and interested in toys, games, and activities.
I’ve been an aunt to literally dozens of nieces and nephews, and a mom to two busy kids of my own. Among all the 4-year-olds in my life, I’ve watched firsthand which gifts really are the best Christmas gifts for a 4-year-old, and which to pass on. I’m here to report the major winners and gifts kids will love and use!
The Best Christmas Gifts for a 4-Year-Old Boy (or Girl)
They’re broken down into the following categories to help you find the best Christmas gift for the 4-year-old in your life!
- Big Gift Ideas
- Construction Toys/Building Toys
- Outdoor Toys
- Imaginative Play
- Toys That Build Fine Motor Skills
Fun Big Gifts
As I type this there is a 4-year-old in a playroom building an epic train station with interlocking train tracks he’s collected and loved since age two. The gross motor skills it takes to assemble the different shapes and levels of tracks has been the perfect way to build STEM skills for both of our toddlers. There are so many critical thinking skills in designing and building new tracks each day.
Aside from being one of the best gift ideas, it’s an extra fun one to gift! We’ve had Santa set up a train set around the Christmas tree, build tracks around presents, and just have a fun setup perfect for a little man (or woman) to find on Christmas morning!
Set of Blocks
This classic toy has so many uses, and I think may be the best gift you can give a young child! We’re talking about the open-ended toy of all open-ended toys with about a billion things they can create.
Loverly Block Set
If there was a perfect toy, this just may be it! This little box contains the highest quality wooden blocks and figures in bright colors with all shapes and sizes. It’s one of those modern kids’ educational toys that has won so many awards! They offer 12 different ways to play with their blocks, outside of the ordinary, and let me tell you, my 4-year-old gravitates to this toy more than most! It’s a great toy that will pass through several children with ease and delight, and is so worth the investment!
Motorized Ride On Car
I was perhaps the most dubious parent about gifting kids a ride on vehicle, but I am a changed woman who is so glad we own one of these!
I had my safety concerns when my husband mentioned Santa would be bringing this mini Tesla for our three-year-old. But I watched his little hands master the steering wheel, and controls, and truly just have a lot of fun after a few laps around the backyard. It’s kind of the perfect gift for a big Christmas or birthday present. And now that I’ve had two 4-year-old boys love this toy, I can honestly say it’s been one of the best toys and most played-with items my kids adore.
A Play Kitchen
I have a niece who was born four weeks before my little man. It’s been a joy having a season to watch those two toddlers play! They’re both so imaginative, and it only affirms even more which toys are big hits to all toddlers. She got the most darling kitchen in the world last Christmas! Years later, it’s what my kids run to. He pretends to talk on the phone, cook with her play with dishes, and bake in the oven. We try to ignore the fact that sometimes it’s stuffed animals he’d putting in the oven, oh toddlers! If you want your kid to learn to cook and be more familiar with the food, a play kitchen is a must!
Construction Toys/Building Toys
A great way to encourage STEM skills and problem-solving skills is through toys that encourage building and construction. I have witnessed firsthand with my own kids how much problem-solving and learning happens with these open-ended toys. I think they’re the actual best things to give as Christmas gifts for 4-year-old boys!
Reversible Power Drill Construction Toys
We actually own two of these because not only does my little guy love them, but his older brother does too! These come with pieces to construct together using a reversible power drill and some chunky plastic bolts. It’s great for eye-hand coordination, and something they can build and take apart over and over again.
I’ve raved about these in our toddler gift guide, but I’ve learned they grow with your kids, and preschool age is the perfect age to really build and construct.
I have yet to meet a single parent who hasn’t sworn by these things! They all tell me their kids loved them as babies and continued to play with them until they were pre-teens. That’s a lot of mileage for one toy! The STEM-loving family we are appreciates the building and imagination aspect, and the versatility that these offer to kids of all skill levels. They can get a little pricey, although there are smaller less expensive sets too, even with the price tag I’ve seen several family members have sets that look almost new after years of play later. we own this set and have years of play with it!
I have to admit my first thought was this is such an amazing concept and company! Then, the price tag initially scared me away. We were gifted a robot set, and oh my word has my son loved this thing for years! It goes with us to church and he happily plays with it every Sunday for at least 30 minutes. Most of the sets turn into 2-3 things. They are fun to manipulate, figure out, and play with once they’re built. It’s a STEM toy perfect for four-year-olds!
This is what Santa brought my first four-year-old, and it was one of the best gifts that little boy played with for years!
My son earned money and selected these quirky things, and we loved them so much! Squigz are great for little kids through older children. The suction building concept is a fun new take that will take a little engineering brain to design and put together. Also, they’re great for bath time! They make fun suction sound effects young kids just love!
If your child is tall like mine, I’d look into a tricycle. This RadioFlyer trike is the one my kids have used and loved. It’s perfect for kids up through age five, and the perfect training bike to graduate onto a bike in the near future.
Grab a steady three-wheel scooter with a helmet if you can! We’ve been a big fan of the Radioflyer scooter, as well as this light-up scooter for family walks.
If your little one is close to riding a bike, a balance bike is a great place to start! Help them learn the skills for riding a bike and feel like
Bike with Training Wheels
If they’re getting close to being ready to ride a bicycle, this is a great age to gift one! Get one with training wheels that you can easily remove so they’re ready to learn, and ready to remove and ride!
Soccer Ball and Soccer Net
I know I may be biased as someone who played soccer in high school, but I think it’s the best sport for little kids to start learning and playing! The concept of kicking a ball into a net is easy enough for kids this age to understand. Plus, you can set up a net and gift a ball without having to be present for all their play and practice time. They can learn to dribble, shoot, and aim with a little sideline coaching and a lot of their own independent practice.
Hooray for healthy active kids who can burn off a lot hyper energy they tend to carry at age 4!
I can’t believe how much my kids have loved a Tonka Dump Truck! It’s lived in their rooms to transport all their belongings. They’ve moved outside to the backyard for adventures. And they’re particularly fun in the dirt or sand.
The right gifts keep kids busy for hours- and sand toys are perfect for anyone who loves to go to the park! A good set of sand toys will extend our play time by at least an hour every time. Plus, it’s a really affordable gift that kids really love!
Little Tikes made the perfect ride-on toy that has been a classic for literal decades! Little ones can climb in their car and roam around Flintstone style pedaling by foot.
Imaginative Play Christmas Gifts for 4-Year-Old Boys
Imaginative play is booming at this age, and it’s actually how kids learn! Encourage all that learning and growth with some fun Imaginative play gifts. They make fantastic Christmas Gifts for a 4-Year-Old!
Whether they like to pretend to do projects with their parents, or they like to pretend to be construction workers, a set of pretend play props and tools are one of those favorite role-play toys for little guys.
Melissa & Doug Chopping Set
I’m going to shout out to Melissa & Doug as one of the best toy makers, who are always some of our favorite picks for gifts for kids!
This toy in particular is fantastic for 4-year-old boys and girls. I babysat a nephew years ago who was three and he played with this chopping playset for literally over an hour saying “I chopping! I chopppppppping!” with glee the whole time. We bought one long before we had kids and pulled it out whenever another kid came over. And wouldn’t you know it, each kid did the same thing playing for extended periods of time!
Also, the cute fruit version was the perfect two-year-old gift.
We’re now huge fans of the ice cream scoop set, the cookie set, the pizza set, the birthday cake set, and the Make-a-Cake Mixer set.
This is the age kids learn to steal phones, operate iPads, and make Facetime calls. If you give them a set of walkie-talkies, they’ll love the option to feel like they have their own communication tool. And as a bonus, they often don’t even care if anyone is on the other side ready to listen to their toddler’s enthusiasm.
If you want to bring out a child’s imagination, grab some costumes for young children. Also, pro tip, they are a great price after Halloween and perfect gifts for the holiday season! My oldest first asked for a Spiderman costume, and I watched him have so much fun pretending to be his favorite superhero. I mean young boys love Batman, Captain America…pretty much any superhero. But we also think a great choice is an astronaut costume to encourage bright little minds to learn more about space. Firefighter costumes, animal costumes, and anything real-life job-related in the right size for a little kid is honestly perfect!
Apron and Chef’s Hat
I know this could go with costumes, but I think it deserves its own line since it’s such a great idea for a gift! I watched a grandma gift this to a four-year-old grandson and offer to bake cookies regularly in their aprons. What a gift to patiently give time to help kids learn step-by-step instructions and real-life skills. You give quality time, something tangible for them to wear, and associate this early start to culinary skills concretely with. And the best part if you start to help them see the educational value of learning a real-life skill!
I will forever sing the praises of gifting books! This is an age where vocabulary is booming, and listening comprehension skills are really shining! You’ve made it past the wiggly baby phase, and kids are ready for great stories and connection time with their caregivers. Don’t underestimate how much a great book or book set will go this year in their development!
And if you need some ideas, we have several book recommendations for you!
Our Favorite Books for National Book Lover’s Day
20 Books Every Family Should Own
The Best Books for 3-year Olds
Simple Board Games
Kids are learning to work cooperatively, and take turns. This is a great age to introduce some simple games and include them in family game night. Check out these games that make great Christmas Gifts for a 4-Year-Old! Check out our list of the best board games for kids for tons of ideas!
Let’s Go Fishin
This is such a great gift idea to help with hand-eye coordination
This classic game is a preschooler favorite for great reason! It’s a great game to let little hands learn to manipulate the tiny fishing pole and catch a fish. I’ve watched my kids play this game happily with others, as well as spend a lot of time learning and playing alone. We also love to gift let’s go fishin’ to other kids for gifts!
This is a fantastic game to help kids learn different colors and a lot of adjectives!
This game is one step above a 4-year-old skill level, but we think it’s a great addition to a game collection families can play together and your 4-year-old can still feel involved. I love that it’s a cooperative game working together.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
You’ll never guess what simple game my 4-year-old boy grabs first every single game night. The large pieces in Hungry Hungry Hippos are easy for little hands to manipulate. Plus, it’s perfect for short attention spans who still really love to be involved in family game nights!
Find their favorite character, movie, or colors and grab a matching game as one of those great learning resources! Kids learn to take turns, find patterns, and identify colors and objects, and they grow their vocabulary with most matching games.
Toys That Build Fine Motor Skills
Play-Doh and Accessories
There’s nothing my toddlers love more than playing with Play-Doh and accessories.
I am the first to admit I cringe a little at it. It can be a mess even when you know they’ve outgrown trying to eat it. It can be a mess, but it’s also easy to contain with a plastic mat or tarp, and the sensory skills your child experiences are so good for them! Not to mention this has been a bestselling toy since it hit the market decades and decades ago. Having some accessories like cutters, molds, etc. only add to the fun even more.
Also, you can go really affordable with this one and make your own play dough using our easy play dough recipe!
This inexpensive item is one of those creative toys kids adore and love to use on the pavement or in the garage. Also, learning to control their grip and the pressure for sidewalk chalk is such a great skill for kids!
Watercolor Paints and Coloring Books
My son could sit and do this activity for hours! It’s been so cool to watch him learn the different ways water makes the paint applied, and he’s honestly getting so creative and artistic! Best of all, this a super cheap gift for 4-year-olds coming in at only a few dollars.
I’m not sure I sing the praises of Kinetic sand enough! Think of a sandbox without the mess and sand that sticks together. It’s so good for sensory play, and there are so many different modes you can make this gift work. I’d grab a Kinetic sand set and a bag of extra sand for the perfect gift.
Music is one of the best things for brain development! We love this Melissa & Doug music set for all kinds of musical play.
I watched my nephews play with these and love these for years! Not only are they excellent to practice the ABCs with, but they are also excellent for little hands to practice fine motor skills, and to play with as figures, and they are just a really cool toy kids adore! The number set is darling too!
Can we talk about the ultimate in eye-hand coordination for little fingers? This is one non-traditional Montessori toy my kid’s Montessori preschool teacher highly recommends to work on concentration and fine motor skills. I bought my boys this set for quiet time play, and it’s been a fantastic toy to keep them occupied for hours! Plus, they feel like they’re creating some light show without a screen, so I feel like it’s a win for everyone!
Grab a cute stuffed animal that acts as a puppet and make sure it has a place to move the arms, mouth, and head. Kids have a great time trying to get this plush toy to move and act like a character. It’s fantastic for their cognitive ability to manipulate an object while they engage in parallel play creating characters and stories.
You can buy so many pre-made sensory bins these days, and you’ll be amazed at how much those bright little minds come up with while they play with the different things in the bin. You may also be impressed how they get into fewer things at home when their sensory needs are fulfilled! It’s just about the most perfect Christmas Gifts for a 4-Year-Old!
I hope this list helps you find the perfect gift for the little one in your life! And may it be a gift that gives the gift of learning and play that will last for years to come!
Like this Gift Guide for 4-Year-Olds? Be sure to check out these posts too:
The Best Activities for Three-Year-Olds
Gifting Experiences Instead of Just Things: Experience Gifts Ideas They Will Love!
Star Wars Gifts for Star Wars Lovers
10 Ways to Manage and Limit Screentime
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