Editors Note: There are many research-based articles on the pros and cons of gender-specific toys, a topic that many parents are passionate about. In our toy series with our partner Wicked Uncle, we will be highlighting a specific age and gender. Our sister sites in other parts of the country will be doing the same, with a collective goal to provide a comprehensive list of quality toy choices based on developmental milestones. You will find as you look through the lists that our top choices are great for any gender. We encourage play and imagination at any age!
Ah, 4 year old boys. The sweet age in between toddlerhood and childhood. This is the pivotal age when his preferences are becoming abundantly clear, making the 4 year old boy a rather easy one to shop for. There are many toys that are marked with “4+”, but many times, this marker may just be a safety indicator for younger children. To help you select the best gifts for 4 year old boys, our team of moms has selected our top picks of “parent-approved” toys based on our collective experiences and how well they align with the developmental milestones at this age.
Here are our top picks for the 17 best toys and gifts for 4-year-old boys:
- Four-Stage Rocket Ship
- Spinforce Globe
- Isotta Discovery Car – 9 Piece Construction Set
- Rain Forest Stamp-A-Scene
- Peppa Pig Sidewalk Chalk
- Monster Bowling Set
- Saxoflute – Build Your Own Musical Instrument
- Take-Along Town – 18 Piece Wooden Set
- Monster Math Scale
- My First Microscope
- Constructable Dinos – Bring Them To Life
- Mr. Potato Head – Bucket Builder Kit
- Splashology – Watery Wonders
- Babiators Aviator Shades
- My First Camera
- Ogominton – Indoor Badminton
- Yuckology Slime Lab – Ooey, Gooey Fun!
These recommended toys encourage critical developments in creativity, imagination, cooperation, and coordination. It is important for the 4 year old boy to try out new things and be stimulated with novel projects or activities. 4 year old’s have the desire to socialize with others, and the best way to satisfy this need is through interactive and pretend play. These toys are a great medium to fuel their curiosity by helping them understand basic, fundamental concepts of how the world – and life in general – works. With influence from his friends and budding social circles, the little guy may vocalize his choice of specific toys or gifts, but whether he would truly end up liking what he thought was his choice in the long run is up in the air. So don’t be afraid to pick something new and unexpected for this dude, as he still has the flexibility and utmost curiosity to take on many new interests – and you will, in turn, help expand his horizons.
This is a giant wooden space rocket with four open-sided tiers that will keep your inter-galactic traveler busy for hours on end. Beautifully crafted, this highly detailed 20 piece set is perfect for encouraging creative play. The lift-off top doubles as a secret getaway spaceship and the set comes with astronaut, robots, and the obligatory alien, as well as other accessories like the moon buggy with trailer.
This easy-to-build, high-speed sixteen-piece racing set includes a pullback car track to whizz cars around a central globe. Their 360 degree spinning skill is all down to your little racer – just pull the two colorful cars back and watch them go. This fun set demonstrates physics in action and bonus – no batteries required!
Your little mechanic will learn how to build a transparent and colorful car all by himself with this easy-to-build construction set. He will also discover how the internal car mechanisms work – check out the pistons, rods, and gears, and see what happens when he shifts gears, or find out how a differential unit works. Made with high quality materials, this is a great building set for the little car enthusiast!
Mix and match wooden stamps to create hundreds of scenes from the rain forest. This 26 piece set with smart wooden storage box holds detailed stamps, colored pencils, and a two-color stamp pad filled with blue and green washable ink. Hours of entertainment for your little jungle lover, creating lovely scenes filled with monkeys, snakes, birds, and bugs galore!
These five colorful chalks are perfect for no-mess artistic fun. Draw sidewalk creations in pastel pink, blue, yellow, red, and orange. Each chalk is neatly packaged in a cute Peppa Pig designed holder – no need for little hands to get messy with sidewalk drawing. These cool holders also make it easy to pack the chalks away – clean up, clean up, everybody let’s clean up – oink!
This is a wicked bowling set with furry, textured monster pins and one beastly bowling ball to knock them all over. Perfect for developing your little bowler’s gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination, this brilliantly entertaining set comes in a handy zipped carry case to take anywhere. Who wouldn’t like bowling with monsters?
Make a saxophone, flute, trumpet or weird invention using colorful pieces and then play music with your creation. This Italian-made saxoflute will have your little music lover bopping, making weird and wonderful music. Connect the bright interconnecting tubes, mouthpieces, and horns to build a wacky instrument, plus learn how different configurations make different sounds!
This 18 piece fun town play set has a colorfully illustrated play surface with built-in road tracks to bring a little town to life. Let your little mayor’s imagination take control as they set up police car, ambulance, fire engine, traffic lights, buildings, and fly a wooden helicopter to watch over their town! Complete with a tunnel and monorail, this great set folds away neatly in a wooden case so you can play toy town anywhere.
This fun and educational mathematical set from Hape includes beautifully made wooden pieces to help little ones learn about basic mathematics. Delve into weights, measurements, and balance with colorful monsters. Progress with the different levels of mathematical games by following educational cards as you join this funny monster family.
The fully functional microscope is easy-to-use and can be viewed with both eyes using the two large rubberized eyepieces, eliminating the need to close one eye. Designed especially for little hands, the oversized knob allows for simple focusing and the LED light enhances viewing of small details on the fixed stage. Perfect for your little scientist’s first microscope, it has 8x magnification and all images cleverly appear left-right correct for easy understanding.
Construct your own friendly dinosaurs by snapping together the easy-to-connect colorful plastic pieces to make a Brontosaurus, Triceratops, T-rex, or Mastodon. Power-up your prehistoric creatures by connecting the battery power pack and watch the dinosaurs move, wag their tails, and chomp their mouths. Your little paleontologist can even mix and match to create their very own unique pet dinos!
With fifteen facial features included, little ones can mold their friendly Mr. Potato Head into dozens of original and personalized expressions. This classic toy can double as décor in the playroom, or it can easily be disassembled and returned to the bucket to be taken on a trip. Classic molding fun!
This fun and easy-to-use water lab set has nineteen durable pieces of watery wonder including test tubes, colorful bubble wands, floater flasks, and a floaty boat tray. Splash around in the bathtub, kitchen sink, or even at the beach. Conduct seven fun hands-on experiments, including buoyancy and water flow, from the easy-to-follow waterproof experiment cards.
These super cool, bright blue aviator shades are shatter proof and provide 100% UV protection with the utmost style. These sunglasses are both a safe and smart choice to protect a child’s eyes with soft, BPA free rubber to frame the face, and 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. What’s more, if your little one loses or breaks their first pair, Babiators will replace them for free – just pay shipping!
This starter camera takes high-resolution photos and videos, and comes with a 4GB memory card and allows for USB downloads. Sturdy, cool-looking, and rechargeable, this camera will outperform many Smartphones and is perfect for children to learn the art of photography. What’s more, this gadget comes with a variety of preloaded video games to be played on its 2″LCD screen with built-in speakers.
This badminton set is cleverly designed to be played both outdoors and indoors, and develops your little athlete’s hand-eye coordination under any weather! Instead of a wired racquet, the backing is made of smooth, stretchy lycra – totally comfortable for small hands. Instead of a shuttlecock, you’ll find a lightweight, slow flight ball that can fly around inside or outside.
Make your own gooey slimes (even glittery ones!), stretchable putties, and delightful doughs out of common household ingredients by following six simple recipes. This fabulously ‘yucky’ set has twelve durable plastic pieces of gooey magic including a slime strainer, sludge stirrer, and a 2-piece muck mixer. Store them away at the slime lab containers to play with again and again.