Age 4 is a great time; little boys of this age are curious about how things happen and their cognitive development is happening at lightning speed! For this reason, most 4-year-old boys tend to be interested in absolutely everything. Social skills and development also become incredibly important at this age as 4-year-olds are beginning to understand much more of the social world and take an interest in others’ opinions, lives and preferences. Around age 4, imitation and play-acting scenarios are typical types of play and many of the gifts on this list will support this kind of play and the development of social skills.
With so many different products and great options on the market, it can be overwhelming to try and choose a gift for a 4-year-old boy. This list showcases a range of different options to help you pick something out.
1. Theo Klein Bosch Workstation
Role-play is a way that 4-year-olds make sense of the social side of the world; they use imitation and acting to experiment with different situations and scenarios, which in turn helps them to develop appropriate ways of interacting and to ‘file’ away and make sense of their social experiences.
The Theo Klein Bosch Workstation is an ideal toy for role-play as it is based on real Bosch products that the child may have seen a family member, friend or workman using and it comes with 40 accessories to support a whole range of play. This kind of play is perfect for supporting the development of fine-motor skills and dexterity in the fingers, hands and wrists too.
2. Playmags 100 Piece Super Set
Playmags are a brilliant resource for any home; they span a wide range of ages and even adults love using them. The Playmags 100 Piece Super Set has a variety of pieces making it easy to bring a wide range of ideas to life. Connecting together using just magnetism, Playmags are a very satisfying construction toy that is also promoting important engineering skills.
Trying to work out how best to build and connect the tiles encourages a basic understanding of physics and the properties of magnetism as well as increasing problem-solving skills when construction doesn’t go quite to plan! 4-year-olds will improve their motor skills and control with these high quality, durable tiles which make the perfect gift for those that love construction activities.
3. Paw Patrol Ultimate Police Rescue Cruiser
As a cartoon that is very popular with 4-year-old boys, Paw Patrol is a great theme for children’s play as it includes a range of social scenarios including ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ superhero type play. This set is ideal because it includes all of the characters from the series so that nothing needs to be bought separately. Including all the characters ensures that there are plenty of different scenarios that a 4-year-old boy can act out, experimenting with different kinds of interactions between the characters and practicing his speech and language.
The Paw Patrol Rescue Police Cruiser not only features all the characters and encourages imaginative play but also has real working parts to enhance play and increase children’s understanding of technology.
4. Shifu Orboot Globe
Globes are a fantastic learning resource that will last a child through their school years, adding context to children’s learning and realism to their understanding of locations. The Shifu Orboot Globe takes this a step further, adding an extra layer of interest with augmented reality accessed via an app.
As children hold their device up to the globe, they can access a huge range of information improving their technology skills and promoting positive use of technology. The Shifu Orboot Globe is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and helps to build children’s interest in geography and their knowledge of the wider world.
5. Hot Wheels 50 Diecast Car Pack
Playing with small cars and vehicles is a popular pastime for plenty of 4-year-old boys and many of them love to amass a collection of cars to show off and share with friends during playdates. The Hot Wheels 50 Diecast car pack is ideal to start off such a collection with a huge range of cars available.
To make this pack even more exciting each car is individually wrapped so a 4-year-old boy will have a wonderful time unwrapping each car individually and seeing which cars he has. These diecast cars are ideal for enhancing imaginative play scenarios, with plenty of realistic details for a child to notice and weave into their storytelling. They also come complete with a storage box to make tidying up a bit easier!
6. Canicove Teepee Tent
Dens are popular with 4-year-olds, offering some privacy and secret space in which to play. They also offer imaginative role-play opportunities and can be very open-ended as the den could be a traditional Teepee, a Bat Cave, a secret lair…and so on! All depending on the 4-year-olds imagination.
The Canicove Teepee tent is an award-winning teepee style tent that can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it ideal for play in the bedroom, playroom or garden. With its practical design, it can also be folded away easily for storage.
7. Lego Duplo Cargo Train
Even fairly young children are interested in, and surprisingly skilled with, technology so the Lego Duplo Cargo Train makes the perfect gift for a 4-year-old boy who is curious about how things happen and why things work. This set combines all the usual fun of Lego Duplo, with an easy to operate push and go motor. The robust, child-friendly design makes it easy to increase children’s interest in and understanding of technology.
The Lego Duplo Cargo Train can also be controlled using an app, increasing technology skills and understanding further and ensuring that the set can be used as the child grows.
8. Buzz Lightyear Astronaut Helmet
Dressing up is a popular activity for 4-year-olds and often they have plenty of opportunities to do it with special events at schools, parties, holidays and just general everyday play. In fact, dressing up is an extension of role-playing which helps to develop social skills and empathy as children play and think about how others may feel in different scenarios.
The Buzz Lightyear Astronaut Helmet will appeal to 4-year-old boys who are fans of the popular toy story films and includes multiple special effects like sounds and character phrases.
9. Micro Scooters Mini Deluxe
Scooters are popular with children of all ages and by age 4 they can become a really useful mode of transport when the stroller is outgrown but walking is still too slow! The Micro Scooters Mini Deluxe is specially designed for younger children, aged 2-5 years, and has a handle that can be easily adjusted to the right height and plenty of grips on the scooter deck so it’s perfect for a 4-year-old boy.
Scooters are a great way to encourage outdoor, physical play to keep children active and healthy, and to help burn off some of that endless energy! Scooting also helps to develop balance, coordination, core strength and control.
10. Playmobil City Action Firestation
Role-playing based on different occupations and ways of life is an important developmental milestone, showing that a child can comprehend and explore issues beyond what immediately affects them. Role-playing the emergency services and ‘people who help us’ demonstrates that a child is beginning to understand the wider society in which they live.
The Playmobil City Action Firestation is ideal for this kind of play, including sound effects and working elements it allows children to role-play imaginatively and explore the fire service. This set also improves construction skills as children need to follow instructions to put it together.
11. Brio World Travel Switching Set
Train tracks are a classic toy, offering a range of benefits for children’s development. For example, as children learn to connect pieces, they improve their hand-eye coordination, as they decide on the pieces they need, they develop problem-solving skills and as they plan their creation, they work on their spatial awareness.
The Brio World Travel Switching Set adds interest to train track play with two battery-powered engines based on trains from around the world. This encourages and develops an interest in different modes of transport. The Brio wooden tracks are also compatible with other train track sets.
12. Mario Kart Mini Anti-Gravity RC
Remote-controlled gadgets are a popular choice for 4-year-old boys who are often interested in technology, how things happen and why things work, as well as enjoying the experience of being in control of an object. The Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Mario Mini RC Racer is a remote-controlled car, perfect for encouraging positive use of technology.
The Nintendo Mario Mini RC Racer is based on the popular Mario Kart characters to add interest to the item and can perform a range of tricks and stunts that are sure to delight most 4-year-old boys.
13. Galt Toys Super Marble Run
Marble runs make excellent open-ended construction toys which can help to boost a child’s understanding of cause, effect and gravity. As a 4-year-old uses the easy to connect pieces he will be forced to consider how best to do so in order to allow the marbles free passage down the run.
The Galt Toys Super Marble Run can be added to with other Galt Toys Marble Run sets and includes instructions so that a 4-year-old can follow them and construct a tried-and-tested marble run, as well as coming up with their own designs.
14. Coding Critters
Coding skills are highly in demand right now and the earlier children can develop them the better! If children are interested in technology then encouraging that interest and the related skills is certainly a good idea.
The Coding Critters set is a set of cute animals that children can learn to use code and program them to move around. They have plenty of extra activities available for easy download and children can also use ‘Play Mode’. In play mode children do not need to program the animals, they can just play with them and pretend to take care of them.
15. Playmobil Porsche 911
Based on the popular classic car, the Playmobil Porsche 911 can also be used with other Playmobil sets to encourage imaginative, social play. The Porsche, figures and accessories can be used to ‘act out’ scenes and other social scenarios, helping to improve the understanding of social situations.
The Playmobil Porsche 911 comes with all the accessories needed for a race and has light-up elements. This set could make a great starting point for a Playmobil collection or an addition to an already growing one.
16. Hasbro Hungry Hungry Hippo
Playing games with family and friends is another great way for children to work on their social skills as they develop the ability to take turns, play fairly, follow the rules and begin to regulate their emotions as they win or lose. It also helps to build some social rapport and is a lovely way for family and friends to bond.
The Hasbro Hungry Hungry Hippo game is ideal for 4-year-olds as it doesn’t require lots of strategies or critical thinking and has a fast pace. The game is ideal for improving hand-eye coordination and motor skills as children press the buttons on the hippos to make them snap their mouths open at the right time. Early maths skills are also supported as the balls need to be counted to determine who has won.
17. Aquaplay Mountain Lake
Water play forms a popular part of many preschool settings and for good reason! The learning opportunities when playing in water are very rich and playing in water is a sensory play opportunity in and of itself. The Aquaplay Mountain Lake is a water canal system for children to experiment and play with.
This helps to build early engineering and scientific skills as children begin to experiment with and gain an understanding of dams and water wheels. Early maths skills are developed through water play too as children begin to play around with concepts like full and empty. This is an ideal gift for children who love to play outdoors with water.
18. Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
Part of the popular Hot Wheels range, this set is ideal for imaginative play with toy cars. It has space for over 140 cars and is compatible with other Hot Wheels sets so play can really be extended as much as desired. Imaginative play with cars is another way for children to experiment with different social situations and develop their language as they often use language to narrate what is going on or give speech to different characters in the scene they are creating.
The Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage is over 3 feet tall so would make a really exciting gift for a 4-year-old boy which will help to improve his construction skills too.
19. Brio Builder Creative Set
Open-ended construction toys are ideal for improving children’s development, as they allow children to experiment with different ideas, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and in turn, developing their problem-solving skills and understanding of basic engineering and construction concepts.
The Brio Builder Creative Set is a lovely, wooden construction set that encourages open-ended play but also comes with instructions to follow if the 4-year-old needs a few ideas to spark off their creativity. Constructing in this way also helps to improve children’s fine motor skills by using nuts and bolts.
20. Playmobil Wildlife Adventure Tree House
Playmobil is a great resource for promoting children’s imaginative and social play at age 4 because at this age they become very interested in a wide range of social scenarios and Playmobil gives them the characters and scenes needed to explore these.
The Playmobil Wildlife Adventure Tree House is ideal for this kind of imaginative play as it has lots of working features and is also compatible with other Playmobil sets so that play can be expanded by joining sets together and introducing characters to play.
21. Toy Story Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear
Toy Story has become a popular and instantly recognizable enterprise and the most recent Toy Story 4 movie was a big hit, so many 4-year-old boys will be fans of the characters from the Toy Story 4 movie. Buzz Lightyear, as one of the main characters, holds special appeal.
The Toy Story Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear is a fun play figure with lights and sounds who walks and talks! Most 4-year-olds will be delighted to hear him repeat popular catchphrases and will have hours of fun creating imaginative play scenarios based around storylines from the films, and their own ideas.
22. Lego Classic Extra Large Stone Box
Lego is a real timeless classic when it comes to open-ended construction toys and it really is built to last forever. Many families have Lego from when their adult children were younger, which they pass on to grandchildren or keep in their home for children to play with when they visit; this just shows how long the appeal of Lego will last!
The Lego Classic Extra Large Stone Box features 1500 Lego elements for lots of open-ended play which will boost children’s imagination and creativity. The set also includes some construction ideas in case children need some inspiration to get them started.
23. Tomy Pop Up Pirate Game
The Tomy Pop Up Pirate Game is great to play with all the family as it is suitable for a range of ages, and can be played by up to 4 players at a time. However, it is also perfectly possible for a child to play with the game pieces alone so doesn’t always require extra players to be around.
The game requires players to poke little swords into holes in the barrel until eventually one of them triggers the pirate character to pop up. Being able to put the sword pieces into the right holes requires dexterity and helps improve fine motor skills.
24. Puzzle Globe
Around about age 4 children are ready to understand their place in the wider world, including the idea of the globe. An early introduction to geography will benefit children as they read stories and learn about festivals from other countries, or even as they travel to go on holiday as it will give them a point of reference in which to understand the new information they are presented with.
The Puzzle globe includes six continent pieces, ocean names and famous landmarks which helps children to learn major geographical concepts. The pieces fit with different shaped pegs which helps to encourage children’s shape recognition too.
25. Battat Take-Apart Roadster
Early engineering skills are all about how things fit together, how they work and also how they can be taken apart. Many children are interested in taking things to pieces, and though parents can find this infuriating it is actually a very normal part of development.
The Battat Take-Apart Roadster is a car that has 18 pieces that can be taken apart and then reconstructed, developing early engineering skills and problem-solving skills. Using the tools included in the set also helps to develop fine motor skills and strength in the fingers, hands and wrists.
26. Hape Playful Piano
Music is a huge interest for many 4-year-olds who seem to have a natural love for experimenting with different sounds, and it’s a great interest to encourage too as enjoying music has a whole host of educational benefits. Children who enjoy, and are regularly exposed to, music have improved listening skills which helps them to differentiate between speech sounds and learn language more readily.
The Hape Playful Piano is a beautiful, lifelike piano to encourage children’s musical skills. 4-year-old boys will love playing along, experimenting with sounds and creating their own “tunes”. Made from high quality, sustainable materials the Hape Playful Piano is a gift that should last.
27. Kinetic Sand Folding Sandbox
Sensory play is important throughout the early years, and that includes age 4 too. Sensory play allows children to experiment with a whole range of different concepts and learn by being hands-on.
Kinetic sand is sand which can be easily molded and is extremely satisfying to use. The Kinetic Sand Folding Sandbox is ideal as it can simply be folded away when a child is finished playing with it, the box itself is a convenient, built-in storage solution and comes with 7 molds and tools. The kinetic sand itself is non-toxic and hypoallergenic so very safe for children to play with.
28. Sonic The Hedgehog Blue Force One
Toys based on popular characters are ideal for encouraging 4-year-olds to play imaginatively as they give them a familiar base from which to start their imaginative play scenarios and some background information on characters to work with and expand upon.
This Sonic The Hedgehog Blue Force One Toy is based on the popular Sonic The Hedgehog character and includes a sonic figure alongside the vehicle. This transforming toy has 3 different configurations to inspire several different kinds of imaginative play and would make an ideal gift for a 4-year-old boy who is a big fan of Sonic the Hedgehog.
29. Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper
Keeping kids active is really important for their overall health; physical activity helps to improve cardiovascular health, develop muscles and flexibility but is also plays into children’s overall development. Strong muscles and lots of practice with large scale movement improves gross motor skills.
The Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper is a great open-ended option for children to work on their physical skills. It can be used as a rocker, sitting or standing, as a bridge, slide or balance beam, all of which promote imagination and improve core strength and muscle tone. It is also an unusual toy that many children will not have played with before.
30. Intex Giant Gator
Swimming is a great exercise for young children and by 4-years-old many children feel more confident to experiment in the water. Under adult supervision, using this fun, inflatable alligator toy they can build up their physical strength and fitness. The two handles increase the float’s stability in the water meaning that it is less likely to tip, further increasing children’s confidence. The Giant Gator is ideal for children to ride on whilst in the water.
Swimming also improves children’s gross motor skills as they learn to move their bodies through the water, and the Intex Giant Gator also encourages skills like pulling up, balancing, and kicking.
4-year-old boys are at a wonderful stage in their development when they are seeking to become more and more independent and want to explore a wide range of toys, crafts and games. They are also full of a real zeal for life which means they often have quite broad interests and lots of them. In some ways, this makes buying a gift for them easier, whilst in other ways, it may become overwhelming with such a wide variety of products on the market! This list of 30 ideas captures a range of quality products available as gifts for 4-year-old-boys so will hopefully help you as you consider what might make a good gift for the 4-year-old boy you need a gift for.