Christmas of 2019 is around the corner and my guess is you’re hear to find toy ideas that will contribute to the development of your child rather than just provide mindless distraction. There’s a lot of useless toys on the market which is why I’ve invested the tie and hand-picked some of the very best educational toys for 4 year olds.
Let’s be honest, there are countless educational toys for children and I can’t possibly cover all of them, but I have high standards and I think you’ll find something here worth buying. I recommend only reputable toy brands that are safe and well designed; suitable for girls and boys. We think you’ll find a lot of inspiration here.
Let’s get started…
How about this gift — speed up their spelling skills
- 50+ colorful wooden letters : Spell 3 & 4-letter words
- Develop sight-reading vocabulary, spelling & fine motor skills
- Fits compact wooden case : Easy to store and carry
- Letters can be used for stenciling
- Engaging Tactile toy
Best Educational Toys for 4 Year Olds
As parents we want the best for our children. They are growing up in a fast-paced world full of technology and you want to ensure they are adequately prepared. Toy manufacturers understand this and have developed some of the best educational toys for 4 year olds that make learning fun. Modern-day toys are designed to help encourage children to learn and thrive in school and in life.
A child learns about things by doing and through play. Children that are of preschool age typically love to play with toys on a daily basis whether at home, daycare, or even at the doctor’s office. Educational toys provide fun and engaging activity to enhance their playtime into a wonderful learning experience.
Introduce a child to science and encourage them to explore their curiosity.
- 8x Magnification microscope.
- 2 Extra-large eyepieces / LED light
- Easy-to-use focus knob.
- 3 AAA batteries (not included).
- Encourages scientific exploration and observation.
— Checklist of Areas for Kindergarten Readiness
Prior to starting Kindergarten it is recommended that preschoolers have some knowledge in key areas of development and learning. Developmental experts and educators suggest ample exposure and knowledge in the following areas for academic success.
It is highly encouraged that children have knowledge of the alphabet by the time they’ve reached their 4th birthday. While most preschoolers are able to recite all or most of the letters in the alphabet, others may require more time in different areas. Specifically, children should be able to identify letters of the alphabet, their sounds, and distinguishing upper-case from lower-case letters.
Cool Gift Idea | Melissa & Doug Self-Correcting Alphabet Wooden Puzzles
Along with their letters, number recognition is another valuable concept to learn for pre-kindergarten children. By the age of 4 children should be able to correctly count up from 0 to 10 or higher as well as count out objects. Learning activities and games that incorporate numbers and counting can help instill number concepts with understanding to quantity.
Preschool-aged children should be able to identify patterns as well as copy them. Learning toys or activities with shapes and colors can help identify pattern sequences. In addition to patterns, they should be able to identify up to 10 colors correctly, arrange objects by size (big to small), and use comparisons such as bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, etc.
Language and Creative Arts
Activities and toys that incorporate language and creative arts can be very valuable to a child’s development. By age 4 children should have mastered the fine motor skills to grasp objects such as a pencil or crayon. The use of different colors and ability to draw lines are encouraged. They should be able to master simple one-step and two-step directions. Exposure to descriptive language is also a valuable asset to their language development.
It is not expected of a 4-year old to be able to read, but they should show interest in looking at books and pictures. Identifying objects and images in a book format is the first step towards reading and comprehension. Preschool-aged kids should be able to identify rhyming words and have the ability to blend sounds into words.
This has been proven very beneficial to a child’s development. It is very common in young children to learn through songs and nursery rhymes. Most educational toys feature some type of music or sounds that are appealing to children and make learning fun. It is also believed that children exposed to music as well as different instruments are able to perform better academically.
Not all preschool children will master every one of these areas in learning by the time they begin Kindergarten. Some learn at different rates and other factors such as disorders that may affect development can result in children being delayed in learning. Toys that implement these areas of learning are a great component for growing minds and can be very beneficial.
LeapFrog and Vtech are two widely recognized brands that specialize in some of the best educational toys for 4 year olds and school-aged children. Here’s a look at some of the best sellers and popular favorites in preschool toys.
Best educational toy for kids who love to learn and be challenged. Model : 80-21600E
- Interactive learning system designed to get 2-7 year olds excited about counting, learning to read and problem solving through fun, replayable activities.
- The magic behind LeapStart is a stylus that reads invisible dots on every page, triggering questions, challenges, songs, jokes and more.
- Grow-with-me stylus is comfortable for kids of all ages and promotes proper writing grip.
- Most replayable activities have two levels with more than 50 key skills per level covering a variety of preschool through first grade subjects so kids can play and learn at the right level and move up when they’re ready.
- Includes 400+ activities across a library of more than 25 books (sold separately), which includes two Learn to Read book sets to help kids build tomorrows skills today.
This interactive learning system features numerous activities for kids that covers everything from problem solving to reading. The system is designed like a book that includes a stylus pen for following along to the stories and games on the pages. The pages have invisible dots that the pen detects for touch-and-talk games, songs, questions, jokes, and more.
VIDEO | Truly one of the best educational gifts for 2 to 7 year olds
This system comes with a sample book featuring 30 replayable activities that improve math skills, problem-solving, storytelling, making music, and a great deal more. LeapFrog has a library of over 25 additional books that are sold separately for this LeapFrog LeapStart system featuring key concepts. The books each offer varying levels to suit your child’s readiness and helps challenge them in fun and exciting ways.The system offers endless learning possibilities that can grow with your child as they progress in development from 2 years to 7 years of age.
Best educational toy for 2 to 4 years olds. Love the whimsical design and color scheme.
- Delightful singing oven warms up counting, sharing and vocabulary skills.
- 30+ phrases & songs : Press the chef’s hat for learning songs, or listen and learn along to fun phrases.
- 16 ingredients : Fry an egg in the skillet. Bake up bread, a pizza and cupcakes, and serve food onto plates with the spatula!
- Move the number slider to explore numbers, time and temperature.
- Place the pan on the stove for real sizzle sounds. Turn the timer and count clicks!
- Nourish math learning: cut food into 2, 3 or 4 equal pieces.
- Close the oven to explore numbers and counting. Open it to learn about counting and sharing.
- Easy take-and-go play—everything fits inside!
This adorable little oven is a fun toy that offers plenty for kids to learn. They think they’re just cooking up dishes but there’s much to be gained for little learners from the Number Lovin’ Oven. The fun loving singing oven features over 30 different phrases and songs that help to expand your child’s vocabulary.
Included with the oven are 16 different ingredients from pizza to cupcakes. The pizza and bread come in equal slices that help incorporate early basic math concepts in dividing equal parts that make a whole. Two cupcakes and two plates encourage sharing and serving -- important concepts in social development. The oven also features additional elements with numbers for counting, tracking time, temperature, and features realistic sounds.
Best Educational Toy for kids 3 Years Old and older.
- Trace the lights to learn how to write!
- New writing accuracy feedback and easy-grip stylus
- Now teaches A-Z and 1-10, Ages 3+ years
- Product and packaging may vary
- The batteries are try me and hence needs to be changed, work well and long with Polaroid Batteries
Get those early writing skills going with this traceable scribble and write. The device features lights that children trace to practice writing letters from A to Z and numbers 1-10. The easy-to-grasp stylus features a comfortable design for right-handers as well as lefties to make writing less challenging.
The Scribble and Write also features different activities that help reinforce their learning with multiple levels to challenge their skills as they progress. Children will learn how to count, practice letter sounds, and improve hand-eye coordination. Parents will appreciate the single surface that is retraceable as opposed to going through endless sheets of paper.
Best Educational Toy for 3 to 6 Year Olds
- Learning toy magnetic drawing board provides a fun way to get a head start on learning how to write with writing and drawing activities
- Pre-k learning toy has animated Demonstrations that allow children to follow along and learn proper stroke order for uppercase and lowercase letters
- Doodler allows toddlers to customize the creative center with your child’s name to teach them how to learn to write their name step-by-step
- Stencil toy teaches children how to draw by progressing from simple lines and shapes to 26 different objects; little artists explore creativity by drawing pictures
- Includes 2 AA batteries for demo use only (new batteries for regular use) and a stylus for drawing; great toddler travel toy is intended for ages 3 to 6 years
Toy magnetic drawing boards can provide a mess-free alternative to crayons and papers which are perfect for travel. This Write and Learn Creative Center boasts many features to go beyond simply drawing and practice writing. It displays animations on a screen with step-by-step guided instructions to follow for practice writing uppercase and lowercase letters.
It can even be customized to help them practice writing their own name. It also includes stamps and stencils for drawing and fun music to get those creative juices flowing. The slider at the bottom erases their creations for a clean new slate that offers limitless possibilities.
Best Educational Toy for kids 2 to 5 Years Old.
- 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
- Educational kids toy includes two drumsticks; allow your child to feel like a real Drummer
- Kids drums are intended for toddlers aged 2 to 5 years old; 3 AA batteries are included for demo, use new batteries for regular use
Inspire your little musician with their own drum set by Vtech. Musical arts is a valuable concept for preschoolers to learn and enhance development. The KidiBeats drum sets features 3 drum pads and a cymbal for toddlers to rock out on. The drum set features 9 different melodies in various music styles. In addition to free play, the drum set has 3 other modes that teach numbers, letters, and follow-along with individual LED lights for each drum pad. With 2 drumsticks this drum set will make them feel like real rock stars.
Best Educational Toy for kids who love music between the ages of 2 to 5.
- The Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe is an interactive desk and includes five activity pages to explore that are filled with engaging content
- Extend the fun with expansion packs (each sold separately) that include a wide curriculum; LED display illustrates letter and number stroke order and how to draw basic shapes
- Transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with storage space for art supplies to encourage play and discovery; stool included
- For more ways to play, pretend to make a call on the toy telephone or listen to fun tunes on the music player
- Features 100+ vocabulary words, 20+ activities and 20+ songs and melodies; requires 4 AA batteries (not included); intended for ages 2 years and up
VIDEO | See this wonderful desk up close
This interactive activity desk if full of surprises to engage your preschooler in a variety of learning areas. The desk comes with 5 activity pages that each feature specific learning modules such as math, science, language arts, plus more. The desk can be expanded with additional pages that are sold separately to provide more challenges. In addition to the learning pages, it also has a light up display that demonstrates how to write letters and numbers, a music player equipped with 20 melodies, and a toy phone that introduces numbers and greetings. Lift up the desktop and they also have a chalkboard/easel to get creative. The desk provides a storage area inside to hold art supplies and store activity cards.
Best Educational Toy for 1 to 5 year olds.
- 9 SmartPoint locations
- 7 interchangeable track pieces
- 3 electronic light-up buttons
- Turn the helicopter pad to raise and lower the elevator
- Elevator recognizes each floor with fun sounds and phrases
- Teaches the letter “T” and the name of the vehicle
- Tow truck plays fun sounds and music when rolled over SmartPoint locations
- Works with other Go! Go! Smart Wheels, Go! Go! Smart Animals and select Go! Go! Smart Friends playsets (each sold separately
Cars, trucks, and tracks are very appealing to toddlers and preschoolers. This Smart Wheels garage provides fun amusement with many valuable elements to learning and development. The interactive car garage comes with 7 different track pieces for preschoolers to build and create their own custom garage. It comes with a tow truck that features a light up button to play sing-along melodies and introduces the letter ‘T’ for tow truck. The garage also has 9 specific SmartPoint locations on it that say different phrases, make fun sound effects, and play music. There’s even a helicopter pad they can turn to operate the elevator that raises or lowers the toy truck to any floor of the garage. The tracks are interchangeable with other Go!Go! Smart Wheels and Smart Animals playsets to expand and explore.
Learning Resources Pretend & Play School Set
Best Educational Toy for 1 to 6 year old kids.
- The Pretend and Play School Set not only supports imaginative role play, social interaction and problem solving, but encourages school readiness for young students
- The Pretend School Play Set features a travel-friendly tri-fold board with dry erase surface and eraser, clock with moving hands, working school bell and 15-inch hand pointer
- 149-piece set includes 2 erasable crayons, 20 note sheets, 20 hall passes, 20 awards, 20 worksheets, 20 good-job stickers, 20 grade book sheets, 20 report cards and 2 double-sided dry erase sheets, a U.S. map, world map, weather map and calendar
- Kids can take their lessons on the road with the nylon tri-fold board which folds flat with a hook-and-loop fastener
- When open the tri-fold School Set measures 16-inch x 37.5-inch, dry erase surface measures 8.5-inch x 11-inch and maps measure 7.5-inch height x 11-inch width
Get them excited and ready for school with this pretend and play school set full of engaging activities. The tri-fold board of this playset makes it ideal for travel with a dry-erase board, a clock with movable hands for telling time, and a variety of learning tools. It comes with 2 double-sided dry-erase sheets featuring a map of the United States, a world map, a weather map, and a calendar. It also comes with 20 worksheets, 2 erasable crayons, a pointer, working school bell, and a variety of rewards along with report cards for encouragement. This set is also great for role-playing with school-aged children.
Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- Solar activated calculator and cash register with LCD screen
- 73-piece set encourages children to learn basic math and money skills with this real-working cash register.
- Includes 30 pretend US bills, 40 plastic coins, pretend credit card, and activity guide
- Cash drawer makes a “cha-ching” sound when it opens, just like a real register
Ideal for ages 3+
This is a classic take on an educational toy that continues to excite and help kids learn about number concepts. The toy cash register features a solar-powered calculator with oversized buttons and operates like a real cash register. The drawer opens and makes a ‘cha-ching’ sound for realistic play with compartments to hold the pretend play money in different denominations. It’s a fun classic to help them learn simple math concepts, money skills, and encourage role playing.
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- Foster a curiosity for science by conducting real hands-on experiments
- Visually appealing science tools and easy-to-follow, beginner science activities
- Learn the names of science tools and broaden your child’s understanding of science terms
- 12-piece set includes: beaker, magnifying glass, funnel, eyedropper, flask, tweezers, goggles, 1 large 6″ test tube (with lid and stand), 2 small test tubes (with lids and stands), plus 10 activity cards
- Winner of 4 awards, ideal for ages 4+
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award (2010)
- Parents’ Choice, Recommended Award (2010)
- National Association for Gifted Children’s (NAGC) 2010 Toy List
- FamilyFun Magazine, Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Award Winner (2010)
- Good Housekeeping’s Best Toy Award (2010)
Children have a natural-born sense of curiosity which helps them learn about the world around them. Feed that need for learning with this cool science lab set featuring different visual components that help them understand science. The set comes with easy-to-use science tools for hands-on experimenting such as a magnifying glass, a funnel, eyedropper, flask, tweezers, a large 6” test tube, 2 small test tubes, a beaker, and safety goggles. It also comes with 10 activity cards that introduce science terms, living and nonliving things, and beginner science activities that are easy and safe for little learners to follow.
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- The Mathematics Bot is on a mission to help your little one explore the world of numbers and mathematics
- This robot friend features a colorful touch pad sensor panel, interactive LED face and four games modes
- Learn the Numbers, Find It, Mathematics Quiz and Calculator Fun are the games that will have your child turning into a real problem solver
- Winner Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of the Year Award 2015
- Requires three AA batteries (included). For ages 3 and up
- Multiple play modes
- Develops number and math skills
This mathematics bot makes a really cool buddy for your preschooler to help them learn numbers and math concepts. The robot offers 4 game modes to make learning math fun. The interactive light-up face helps them learn counting by displaying dots.The bot also features a touch pad sensor panel with numbers from 0 to 20 and math symbols. It features a friendly voice that helps them recognize and identify numbers by finding them on the touch panel, introduces problem-solving with a calculator mode and has fun math quizzes.
Includes Storage Box : Best Educational Toy for kids.
- Great for matching and counting skills
- Color pictures feature familiar objects
- Wooden storage box with slide-in lid
- 40 wooden pieces
- Ages 4 years and up
Preschoolers will love learning their numbers and matching with this wooden number puzzle set. The set includes 40 matching pieces that demonstrate numbers 1 to 20 with colorful pictures they can identify to aid in understanding quantity. Each number pair has unique interlocking pieces so that only the matching pieces will fit correctly. The pieces all fit inside the wooden box that has a slide-in lid for convenient storage.
Melissa & Doug Stack & Count Parking Garage
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- Stack 10 wooden cars in the Melissa & Doug Stack & Count Parking Garage and top them with the sliding counter
- Suitable for ages 3 years and up
- Includes :
- 10 wooden cars
- 1 gated parking tower
- Cars drop down in parking tower and the counter points to a lower number each time a car is removed from the bottom
- Measures 3″ L x 5.25″ W x 12.25″ H
- Constructed of 90% wood
This wooden parking tower has a clever design in helping children count and identify their numbers from 1 through 10. The wooden frame is numbered and comes with 10 wooden toy cars featuring the coordinating number in the same color. Each wooden car has a peg for toddlers to slide and stack the cars to the matching number on the tower. The design helps in promoting a variety of skills apart from just counting. The various actions of sliding the cars up and down with the pegs and stacking help to encourage fine motor skills making this toy a fun tool that has also been used in pediatric therapy.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Town Play Set With Storage Tray
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- 32-piece set of wooden streets-cape “blocks” to create a town
- Includes 12 buildings, such as police and fire stations, hospital, service station, recycling center, and more
- Also includes nine traffic signs, 8 trees, a brick wall, picket fence, and park benches with fountain
Brightly colored solid wood pieces store neatly in divided wooden tray
- For ages 3+; 17″ x 14″ x 2″ package
This wooden town play set is a fun way to engage young preschoolers in pretend play while also helping them learn about things around them. It comes with 32 block pieces featuring buildings, street signs, trees, and other elements they likely see in their own town. They can identify important buildings like the police station, fire station, hospital, and other common buildings featured in the set. The set comes in its own storage tray to keep them neatly organized when not in use. A great addition to this town block set is the Melissa & Doug Town Road Rug (sold separately).
Melissa & Doug Kids’ Magnetic Calendar and Responsibility Chart Set
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- My Monthly Magnetic Calendar and My Magnetic Responsibility Chart
- My Magnetic Responsibility Chart includes 90 wooden magnets highlighting responsibilities, positive behaviors and rewards
- My Monthly Magnetic Calendar includes 134 wooden magnets to post the day of the week, date, weather and special events
- Both activities feature fold-down magnetic dry-erase boards with fabric hinges and wood frames
- Each measures 16″ x 12″ closed and 16″ x 25″ open
- Age range: 3 years and up
- Age: 3 years & Up
Teaching children about responsibility at an early age can help in boosting self esteem and prepare them for school. Learning and doing tasks around the house will help them to be well equipped on taking care of their own belongings in the classroom. This magnetic set features two magnetic fold-down dry erase boards to display a calendar and a responsibility chart. The calendar features 134 wooden magnets to display dates of the month, important events and holidays, and the weather. The responsibility chart comes with 90 wooden magnets featuring responsibilities and encouragement for good behavior and rewards. Help your child create their schedules and keep track of chores and responsibilities.
Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Book
With Pair of Child-Safe Scissors
- Paper-cutting project book with pre-printed activity pages
- 20 activity pages
- Includes plastic safety scissors that naturally encourage proper form
- Features mazes, puzzles, animal art, sequencing activities, and much more
- Encourages fine motor skills and cognitive skills
Preschoolers are encouraged to know how to cut and use scissors correctly by the time they start Kindergarten. This activity book has 20 pages of pre-printed activities with paper cutting projects for children between the ages of 4 to 7 years. The activities promote concentration on directed scissor-cutting projects similar to the activities they will likely be doing in school. The variety of games, crafts, and projects featured in the book will provide a fun and constructive way to keep them focused and ready for learning.
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope
Best Educational Toy for 4-year old kids.
- Even preschoolers can see a magnified hidden world with ease, thanks to 2 extra-large eye-pieces and a chunky, kid-sized focusing knob!
- Examine everything from a rock to a penny, stamp, or leaf in magnified 3-D with this fully functional dissecting microscope!
- Encourages an early love of scientific investigation and discovery!
- Features 8x magnification, simple focusing knobs, LED light for enhanced viewing, non-skid feet, and sample tray.
- Winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal, Parents’ Choice Silver Award, and Toy of the Year Finalist.
- Supports STEM learning through scientific exploration and the introduction of a key scientific tool.
- Designed by a scientist and mother of two!
- Encourages scientific exploration
- Rewards curiosity
- Introduces kids to a key scientific tool
- Cut to the Chase
- A microscope designed with preschoolers in mind
- View anything at up to 8x magnification
- Part of the award-winning GeoSafari Jr. line of toys
VIDEO | Watch this Video of the GeoSafari Jr. — My 1st Microscope
Children love to collect and observe things providing a great learning opportunity. This Jr. Microscope is designed specifically for preschoolers to give them a better close-up view of various objects. It has two large eyepieces for easy viewing and a chunky kid-friendly knob to adjust magnifications up to 8x. They’ll be eager to find things to observe from rocks to pennies and everything under the sun while gaining skills in using a microscope and STEM learning.
Learn STEM-based learning through basic engineering and construction play.
- Promotes hand-eye coordination, matching, patterning
- Develops problem-solving skills
- Builds construction and fine motor skills
- Perfect for STEM learning
- Rockin’ robot with swivel head, arms and upper body
- Includes colored bolts and kid-friendly screwdriver
- Customize with decorative stickers
Building toys are among some of the best educational toys for 4 year olds to engage in for encouraging creativity. This design and drill robot comes with an easy-to-use screwdriver and multiple bolts for preschoolers to drill and design their robot. The concept in manipulating a screwdriver to put in each bolt aids in fine tuning essential motor skills they’ll need to master by Kindergarten. When it’s complete they will have a cool robot to play with that features a swiveling head, upper body, and arms to encourage imaginations.
Best Educational Toy for kids.
- Jumbo Size! 70 x 29 inches -- 24 keys. Made of heavy duty vinyl material
- 4 modes to select -- Play, Record, Playback and Demo
- 8 selectable musical instrument sounds -- Guitar, Piano, Clarinet, Trumpet, Saxophone, Violin, Banjo, and Xylophone
- Adjustable volume. Automatic “power off” system. Touch sensitive play mat.Uses 4 x AA batteries. (not included)
- Manufacturer recommended age: 12 months -- 10 years
This gigantic keyboard play mat offers big time fun and amusement through music. It has 4 modes to play music on the 24 touch-sensitive piano keys, record their compilations, playback to hear their own songs, and demo mode that features pre-recorded melodies. The keyboard mat features 8 different styles from different instruments including piano, guitar, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, violin, banjo, and xylophone. They can experiment and learn about different instrument sounds and tones as they stomp away on the keys. You can adjust the volume for loud and quieter play and it features an automatic shut off to conserve the battery when not being played.
Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
The human body offers so much to learn from in everything we do. The cat in the hat takes you on a journey through this book as Sally and Dick go for a ride on the inside -- the human body, that is. It provides a fun overview of the different parts and systems of the body from the brain to the bloodstream and your digestive system and everything in between. It appeals to preschool and kindergarten children in the iconic Seuss-style you would expect.
Highlighting some of the best educational toys for 4 year olds, these top sellers will have your child ready for school and beyond. These will provide amusement and fun learning opportunity that kids and parents will appreciate.
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