Learning begins from the moment your child is born. They are a blank slate, ready to take in everything from the world around them. It may start with simple observation, but eventually your child is ready to start learning through more intentional and tactile means, exploring their own emotions and trying out roleplay.
By the time your little one is 4 years old, choosing the right toys is key to promoting their education before they are ready to start school in kindergarten.
To help narrow down your search, we have compiled a list of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds.
Our Top 25 Picks
Introduce your kid to board games as educational toys for 4-year-olds with the HASBRO GAMING:Chutes and Ladders Board Game. The rules are very simple for your child to follow, even at this young age of four. There is no reading required; all they need is the ability to count to 6.
This game will teach basic skills, like following rules and counting as well as the difference between good and bad deeds. It’s both fun and educational.
- Ages:4 and up, Players:2 to 4
- Fun without Words: ‘Chutes and Ladders’ is simple and easy to play, with no reading required. Be First to land on the 100 spot and win the game
- UP THE LADDERS AND DOWN THE CHUTES: Land on good deeds and climb ladders toward the winning spot. Land on bad deeds and ride the chutes back down
Motor skills are an important part of a child’s development. The Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Pad will help your child practice their scissor skills and exercise their hand-eye coordination.
Most of the projects included are fairly simple, teaching your child to cut carefully in simple lines and shapes. Your child will feel a sense of pride when they complete one of the crafts on their own.
- Paper-cutting project book with pre-printed activity pages and an ocean theme
- 21 activity pages which increase in difficulty
- Includes plastic child-safe scissors that naturally encourage proper form
Kids are always curious about what grown-ups are doing. You can help them feel just like a grown-up with their own computer: the LeapFrog My Own Leaptop.
This is one of the best learning toys for 4-year-olds. Your little one will be exposed to the alphabet, learn first vocabulary words, and even send pretend emails, just like mom and dad.
- Pretend, play and learn away! Learn about the alphabet, spell your name and more on a pretend play computer built for kids
- The award-winning play of My Own Leaptop is now even better with a larger screen featuring 26 fun critter animations! Tap away in 4 learning modes—ABCs, Messages, Games and Music—and bop along to 16 songs and melodies
- Be big - and little. Pretend to be like Mom and Dad with fun computer role-play, such as emailing with Scout or Violet, and a take-along handle
4. Little Engineer
Boost your child’s creativity and brainpower with the Thames & Kosmos Kids First Robot Engineer Kit & Storybook. Your child will enjoy reading the story together as they build a robot with this interactive toy for 4-year-olds.
The kit comes with 53 pieces and various patterns to allow your child quite a range of creativity. They can learn how gears work together, wheels turn, and more.
- Read the funny story of two inquisitive kids in this read-along and build-along adventure
- Build simple, non-motorized models of the robots they construct and fix during their adventure to an automated candy factory
- The robots have moving parts, wheels, and gears
Is your little one ready for an adventure? Help engage their sense of exploration with the Adventure Kidz – Outdoor Exploration Kit.
Included in this kit are all the tools they need to explore the far reaches of the backyard: binoculars, flashlight, compass, magnifying glass, and whistle. Send them on a scavenger hunt, or allow them to explore on their own and see what they can discover.
- 🦆ADVENTURE KIDZ KIT! Fun Gift Set - that supports STEM Learning and encourages scientific exploration and a love of nature. Whether it’s indoor or backyard play the handy backpack allows for easy carrying enabling the adventurous child to explore and learn. Fantastic for bird watching, sporting games, hunting, nature walks and wilderness expeditions.
- 🐞BINOCULARS - 4x30 magnification for viewing nature up close with flexible rubber eye pieces protecting delicate eye area. Shock resistant with nonslip grip ergonomically designed for small hands. Binoculars come with lanyard for easy carrying and a protective soft case that can attach to a belt. Lightweight and easy to use for hours of carefree fun for boys and girls.
- 🦉FLASHLIGHT - with bright LED lights. Simple hand cranked function recharges in-built batteries so no additional batteries or charging required, the compact size and wrist strap make it perfect for camping, sleepovers and backyard nighttime adventures.
It’s never too early to introduce your child to words. Reading together helps to boost their vocabulary and may even get them interested in reading on their own at an earlier age.
The Melissa & Doug See & Spell is a great learning toy for 4-year-olds. It teaches them to spell their first words easily using the same concept as a wooden puzzle. Help your child sound out the letter sounds as you spell simple three and four-letter words together.
You may be interested in: The Best Baby Toys 2020: Top Picks on 6 Popular Toy Categories
- Sturdy wooden case: For easy storage and portability, this learning toy comes with a sturdy wooden case, which is compact and easy to carry
- Develops multiple skills: This set develops sight reading vocabulary, spelling, and fine motor skills; it’s an easy and exciting toy that multiple children can play with at once, helping them develop important social skills
- Gift for kids 4 to 6: This puzzle set makes an exceptional gift for kids ages 4 to 6; Add the Melissa & Doug Wooden Number Puzzle with storage box to round out the hands on play experience and give kids another engaging option for screen free fun
If your child is interested in building structures, the Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Building Toy Set is a great choice. Similar to the toy we looked at previously that allows them to build their own robot, this one focuses on gears and how they work together.
Your 4-year-old will learn cause and effect, watching the way one gear interlocks with another so they move together. There are endless possibilities and setups with this toy, which will keep your little one engaged for hours on end.
- Celebrate 25 years of Gears! in 2019 and set imaginations in colorful motion! Kids develop creativity, imagination and fine motor skills by building. Chunky spinning gears snap easily into place and help kids develop fine motor skills. Compatible with all other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets for even more imagination and fun. Get your gears moving!
- DISCOVER: Invite “little engineers” to explore a garden of building possibilities while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills
- DEVELOP: Boost fine motor skills while promoting reasoning as children create moving experiments; learning gets more intricate as children’s abilities advance
One of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds is the ThinkFun Zingo 1-2-3 Number Bingo Game. This is another game that is simple enough for your child to play at a young age and will also grow with them as they learn new number skills.
This game encourages number recognition three different ways: by recognizing the number itself, by counting, and by reading the word for each number. As your child grows, they can move on from the simple number cards and start on the addition cards. This game is sure to last them for years to come.
- Trusted by Families Worldwide - With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world's leader in brain and logic games.
- Develops critical skills – Gameplay provides a stealth learning experience, where players develop counting, simple addition, number sense and word recognition skills.
- What you get - Zingo 1-2-3 is one of ThinkFun's Enormously popular Zingo products, containing a fun Zinger, 6 double sided cards and 72 double sided tiles.
Is your child musically inclined? Do you find them trying to keep beat with their favorite music? Get them the VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set. This musical educational toy for 4-year-olds will be so much fun, they won’t even know they’re learning.
There are four modes of play on this little drum set. They can have fun with free play and music modes, or you can introduce some educational elements with letter and number modes. Watch as they develop key skills, like memorization, musical creativity, and phonics.
- Kids learning toy has three drum pads and cymbal each with its own unique sound for sensory development
- Toddlers can play along to 9 melodies in styles including rock, dance and pop; music toy teaches letters, numbers, and music
- Kids drum set has 4 modes of play: Free Play, Letters, Numbers, and Follow-Along; each drum features a unique LED light
Every child needs a good set of building blocks. They help children practice their motor skills by stacking and balancing blocks on top of each other, teaches cause and effect as they knock them down, and promotes creativity as they build new creations.
The Melissa & Doug 100-Piece Wood Blocks Set is one of the best block sets on the market. This set comes with more than just plain square blocks. Your child’s creativity will soar as they use different shapes to create towers and castles of all sizes.
- Hours of educational fun: The Melissa & doug wooden building blocks set includes 100 durable wooden blocks in 4 different colors and 9 shapes; it’s a classic educational toy that provides hours of hands on, screen free play and learning
- Stimulates creativity: Our set is designed for kids entertainment, but also introduces early math concepts, and helps kids develop strong motor skills and even resilience as they experiment with building, knocking blocks over, and building again
- Durable and safe construction: Though our colorful building blocks are made of solid wood, these blocks are light in weight, which makes them safe for kids; the blocks have rounded edges and a smooth painted finish that won't splinter with play
Want to introduce your child to computer coding? The Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot is one of our top picks for educational toys for 4-year-olds, which teaches them basic coding with their own little robot.
Help your child create a simple code for their robot to follow. With some simple programming, your child can control where it goes without needing to touch or redirect it. They will have a blast with the endless possibilities offered with this toy.
- Interactive robot friend for preschoolers ages 3-6 years
- 3 ways to play: free coding, learning challenges, and “secret codes”
- Input a code to decide where Code 'n Learn Kinderbot goes!
It’s pretty safe to say that most children go through a phase of wanting to be a veterinarian. Getting them the B. toys by Battat – B. Pet Vet Toy is a great way to help their dreams come true.
This toy not only promotes make-believe play by giving the tools to be an animal doctor, but it also promotes motor skills as they use the keys to lock the kennels for each animal. You will also love that everything stores right into the case and can be easily taken wherever your child does.
- Be a vet for day! Great for hours of imaginative play, alone or with friends.
- After playtime collect all the pieces and store them inside the clinic.
- Comes with a set of keys that unlock the assigned door.
Teach your child problem solving with the SmartGames Smart Farmer Board Game. This one-player game challenges your child to be flexible in their thinking as they work through the 60 challenges presented to them in the included handbook.
This game will grow with your child, offering 4 different skill levels based on your child’s age and cognition. And beyond the game, they can also just play with the little animals on their own.
- Fun & Educational Toys: Smart Farmer features 60 challenges with horses, pigs, cows and sheep. Can you use your brain to separate the animals into different areas?
- Brain Games Build Skills: Children can build upon their spatial insight, planning, problem solving, concentration, and flexible thinking while playing the Smart Farmer board game. It’s so fun to play, they’ll forget they’re learning!
- Puzzle Includes: Game board, 3 fences, 2 cows, 2 horses, 2 pigs, 2 sheep, a booklet with 60 challenges.
Similar to the coding robot we looked at earlier, the Primo Toys 1 Cubetto Playset Coding Toy will teach your child basic coding with their own adorable cube bot.
This is one of the educational toys for 4-year-olds that takes coding off the screen, making it easier to understand through hands on play. There is absolutely no reading required in order for your child to play with this toy.
- A coding toy for girls and boys aged 3 and up. It takes coding off of the screen, and into the real world with a programming language you can touch.
- Kids help Cubetto, a friendly wooden robot, find his way home using hands-on blocks to write their first programs.
- Montessori and Logo Turtle-inspired, Cubetto makes programming accessible to children before they can read or write.
This is a fun toy for children and adults of all ages! With the Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set, the building possibilities are endless. It truly is one of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds.
This set comes with several different shapes, which will challenge your child’s thinking in order to create 3D shapes that will stand on their own. They can start simple with a few cubes and work up to a work of art with a full castle.
- The original 3D magnetic building sets that engage young minds by fusing together math, science and creativity
- 100 translucent, colorful shapes including squares (4 large, 50 small) and triangles (20 equilateral, 11 right, 15 Isosceles)
- Sparks hours of imaginative free play in children. Anything they can dream, they can create!
There comes a point in childhood where every kid wants to pretend to have their own store. They’ve watched mom and dad make purchases on multiple occasions, and the cash register just looks so cool.
The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register is a great first cash register toy for your child. They can pretend to take your cash or swipe your card, as well as learn basic math skills with the calculator. It even comes with plenty of play money for them to have fun with.
- KIDS CASH REGISTER: Working solar-powered calculator
- GREAT VALUE: Includes 30 actual-size pretend bills, 40 plastic coins, pretend credit card, and activity guide
- REALISTIC: Makes a cha-ching sound when the drawer opens
The Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set is an excellent interactive toy for 4-year-olds that will teach them cause and effect as well as just endlessly entertain them.
This set comes with everything you will need to get started with your marble maze. With 85 maze pieces, including spinning wheels, tubes, large bases for stability, slides, and funnels, the possibilities are endless. It is even compatible with Marble Genius’ other products if your child wishes to expand their marble maze.
- 85 complete see-through Marble Run pieces in 19 distinct styles allow you to see all the action (we don't count pieces like everyone else - these are actual complete pieces and not parts that have to be added together! See comparison in Product Description.)
- Solid plastic pieces that stick together and are easy for kids to play with
- 8 solid bases including 3 large bases to ensure maximum stability (large base designs vary slightly per included pieces image)
Introduce your child to science and biology from an early age with the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope. Allow your child to discover new things with slides including 60 full color images and Bindi Irwin’s voice giving them fun facts.
There are two ways to play with this microscope. Your 4-year-old can start by just exploring the images on their own with Fact Mode. Then, when they are ready to challenge themselves and put what they’ve learned to the test, they can move on to Quiz Mode. You’ll be surprised by how much your child will learn from this simple toy.
- LOOK, LISTEN & LEARN: GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope features up-close, quality images and the voice of Bindi Irwin, Wildlife Warrior who will expand your knowledge of animals and plants
- ONLY TALKING MICROSCOPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS: Introduce children to a real scientific toy that is easy to use and fun to learn with
- OVER 100 FACTS & QUESTIONS: Includes 60 beautiful full-color images and 2 modes of play, Fact Mode and Quiz Mode. Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included). English, Spanish, French, and German audio available
Puzzles are great as educational toys for 4-year-olds for developing motor skills and challenging cognition and problem-solving in children. The Coogam Wooden Tetris Puzzle is a puzzle unlike any other. It takes everyone’s favorite classic game and makes it hands-on in order to challenge your child even further.
Your child will need to problem solve in unique ways to get the different shapes to fit together the right way. The puzzle also comes with several examples to follow so your child can create pictures with the blocks, like an umbrella, robot, and airplane. And without the screen, your child’s eyes won’t be strained.
- Wooden Blocks Puzzle are made of natural and healthy basswood with high quality and smooth surface. Non-toxic paint ensure safe play. It contained 40 pcs with a reasonable sized board ( Length: 10.6" Width: 7 " Height: 0.39")
- Wooden Toys Tangram Brain Teaser Puzzle Game have several examples for shapes and things to make with it, each time you mixed up the pieces the puzzle would come out differently. such as pistol, human, robot, tree, umbrella, flower, pyramid, airplane and etc.
- The simple design and bright colors are perfect for sparking any imagination, and it feels great to challenge kids with this tangram jigsaw puzzle but also to just take on an easy challenge that you can complete differently every time. Perfect for times when you or your child just need to calm down or relax.
Most kids love to practice their creativity through coloring and drawing, but it can get a little expensive over time when you need to replace crayons and buy new coloring books when the pages run out. It can also get messy if your child is drawing unsupervised or trying to take it in the car.
The Fisher-Price DoodlePro is a great interactive toy for 4-year-olds that takes the mess and cost out of being creative. Everything your child needs is right there without the mess or the need to replace pages. Just draw, erase, and draw again.
- Draw & erase…over & over again
- Magnetic pen with spring-loaded screen-saver tip
- Tethered pen stores securely on the Doodle Pro Trip
Memory games are great for kids. It challenges their brains to remember the location of something and match two identical images.
While there are countless memory games available for 4-year-olds, you can’t go wrong with a popular favorite: the Paw Patrol Memory Match Game. Your child will have a blast matching cards with Chase, Marshall, Skye, Rubble, and the rest of the Paw Patrol gang.
- Join Chase, Rubble, Skye and the Paw Patrol gang in a Memory Matching Game adventure!
- The Matching game comes with 72 Paw Patrol pictures to try and match!
- Designed for up to 4 players ages 3+.
The Hape Kid’s Wooden Toy Ukulele may seem like a simple toy at first glance. You may wonder how this little ukulele can be classified as part of educational toys for 4-year-olds. But you may be surprised by the things your child can learn by making their own music.
This ukulele starts by teaching hand-eye coordination as your child holds the instrument and strums. As they grow, they can begin to learn to make real music, recognizing sounds that are on key and keeping rhythm. Of course, you will also have fun listening to them making their own tunes even if it’s not perfect.
- Perfect introduction to teach kids about the world of music
- Sturdy ukulele for young hands yet fully playable and easily tunable
- Teaches young kids about basic rhythm, strumming, and other musical techniques
Inside every little boy is a handyman. He watches his father fix and build things around the house, longing for the day he can use his own tools to make something of his own. No need to wait until adulthood; his dreams can come true with the Take Apart Toys with Electric Drill.
With his electric drill, your little boy can build three different trucks. He will learn the basics of how a screw works, like righty tighty and lefty loosey. Then once the truck is built, he can drive it around with the included remote control, take it apart, and put it all together again.
- Top Race 3 In 1 Remote Control Battery Powered DIY Construction Trucks Set, Great gift Toys for Boys 3,4,5,6,7 Year Olds and up.
- Build your vehicle with the easy step by step guide and powered drill tool, great way for kids to learn "righty tighty" and "lefty loosie"
- Convert the battery powered drill into your very own remote control truck in 1 easy step
Every kid needs a few puzzles in their collection of toys. You can make it easy and purchase the Dreampark Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles, which gives you 6 puzzles in one pack.
This pack of puzzles will keep your child busy for quite a while, each containing 60 pieces and creating a different picture with each one. And because these puzzles are wooden, they offer better durability so they will last longer than the traditional cardboard ones that can rip over time.
- HIGH QUALITY: The wooden jigsaw puzzles are made of Eco-friendly non-toxic material, sturdy and durable. The round edges are safe for your little ones. Good tactile feeling.
- LEARNING TOYS: 6 Pack of Kids Puzzles--Farm, Planet, Animal, Dinosaur, Benthos, Insect. Each theme contains 60 Pieces, with detailed bright colors and adorable pictures on it. Puzzles help to train the baby's constructive thinking and imagination, develop hand-eye coordination, cognitive and fine motor skills.
- GREAT GIFT IDEA: The puzzles for toddlers are great gift choices for a birthday, Christmas, Easter and other holidays. Suit for kids ages 2-8. Enjoy family time while everybody interacting together and build a colorful childhood for your children.
The CozyBomB Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game Toy is different from most other fishing games for kids. This wooden set is durable and goes beyond just the fun of fishing for toy fish.
The two modes of play as well as alphabet and color recognition this game offers makes it one of the best educational toys for 4-year-olds. Your little one can have fun with their fishing poles as they fish in the lake and on the ice.
- 🐟【CREATIVE MULTI-Play DESIGN】Enjoy two scenes in one fishing toy for kids! Use doll magnet to search and pull fishes under iced lake and magnetic fishing poles to hook fish in the ocean. Game instruction is included
- 🐟【EARLY DEVELOPMENT COMBO】Enhance color recognition, hand-eye coordination, math counting skills and cognitive level. Learn all 26- letters English Alphabet and sea animals fishing concept
- 🐟【GROW PARENT-CHILD INTIMACY】Wooden fishing game designed for multi-players to build close interaction and communication. Select letter or colour for preschool montessori toys for toddlers to catch the right fish!
We hope you enjoyed reading through our list of best engaging educational toys for 4-year-olds. We tried to include toys for every personality type as well as hobbies that children enjoy at this age.
Need more help narrowing down your choices? How about choosing one of our top 5 picks for educational toys for 4-year-olds:
- Kids First Robot Engineer Kit
- ThinkFun Zingo 1-2-3 Number Bingo Game
- Paw Patrol Memory Match Game
- Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
- CozyBomB Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game Toy
These toys promote some of the most basic skills that a 4-year-old will need to practice before entering kindergarten. With the help of these fun activities, your child will be introduced to their alphabet and numbers, basic math, and color and shape recognition.
Their motor and cognitive skills will also greatly improve through their practice of hand-eye coordination, memorization, pattern and matching recognition, and cause and effect. Who knew learning could be so much fun?
Did we miss something on our list? What’s your favorite educational toy for your 4-year-old? Let us know in the comments below!
Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API