The Best Gifts for 4-Year-Olds

Enthusiastic and curious, preschoolers love to discover, explore and be active. We've rounded up the best gifts for your favorite four-year-olds.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
Updated on October 16, 2023

Preschoolers, especially four-year-olds, are movers and shakers, learning to skip, advancing their climbing and running, and starting to catch balls. They're creative — telling stories and using pretend play to learn about the world around them. They're growing their independence: starting to dress themselves, brushing their own teeth and helping out with age-appropriate chores. These ready-to-play, always-learning kids need toys and activities that meet their developmental and fun needs.

We've created a list of gifts that fosters their growth, in addition to ensuring they have a complete blast in their fourth year.

Best STEM Gifts

Preschoolers are full of curiosity with "Why?" being the first word of almost every single sentence. STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) almost always has an answer to that ever-present question. These toys get those curious minds thinking, solving problems and learning basic concepts at a young age.


My four-year-old nephew is obsessed with MAGNA-TILES, and we've just bought him this set to upgrade his designs. The neon-colored tiles include some new fun shapes, such as a spinner, windows and semi-circles, to elevate an existing set or to start their building journey.

$19.99 $12.99

This classic retro toy is still a hit decades later. The updated design has a bigger screen, more pegs and is much brighter so that your preschooler will delight in making creative art. Four different light shows — from blinking to pulsing – illuminate their designs in fun patterns.


Made for imagination and experimentation, this fun playset lets kids create a wiggly maze for nanos (little battery-operated figures that behave like bugs). After connecting the jelly-like walls and setting up the two merry-go-rounds, kids send the little bugs through to race and explore.

Best Gifts for Outside Play

Fresh air, exercise and exploring nature are just a few of the benefits of getting kids outside. Preschoolers are gaining more control over their bodies and motor skills, and these gifts will get them playing, biking and scooting all over the place.

Balance bikes help your little ones naturally develop their motor skills and learn how to ride a bike without the need for training wheels. This vintage-inspired bike with a charming wicker basket and bell has a height-adjustable seat and handlebars so that it grows with your child.


These scooters were my kids' absolute favorites. We loved them so much that when they outgrew this size, we upgraded to the ones for older kids. The three-wheel design creates a stable base for kids to learn how to steer, balance and ride.

Best Gifts for Pretend Play

Play is so important for how children learn, explore their feelings and develop their imaginations. Give them the chance to make up their own stories and adventures, as well as help you with household chores with their own child-size tools.

Completely delightful, this pretend general store gives your kiddo a space to make-believe. A striped canopy hangs over the shelves and interchangeable platforms allow little ones to customize the store to their imaginations.

Stock your general store with this oh-so-cute set of wooden food. Kids get to practice their "cutting" skills as they slice up bread, fruit and veggies. Each piece is made from solid hardwood, connects with hook-and-loop closure and is finished with non-toxic, water-based paint.


At this age, kids love being little helpers. This pretend leaf blower not only looks like the real thing, but it actually blows air so that your preschooler can help out with yard work.

Best Gifts to Get Kids Moving

Kids learn and grow with active play and need lots of physical activity to keep their bodies and brains busy. Help entertain them (while also aiding their development) with these made-for-moving gifts.

Unlike single trampolines, this extra-large one accommodates two jumpers (with a combined weight limit of 180 pounds) to provide hours of active indoor play. Any parent that's tried to entertain a preschooler on cold or wet days will appreciate having a place where kiddos get their excess energy out. When not in use, fold down the handle and stow under a bed.


Swings have always been a big hit with my kids — no matter their age, and this Snuggle Swing is the perfect addition to a four-year-old's backyard. Made with water-resistant fabric that also stays cool in hot temperatures, the swing is designed to hug your child, creating comfort and security as he swings back and forth.

Indoors or out, this rubber bowling set is sure to be a strike. The included setup template shows kids how to lay the pins out, and then they get to practice for their future bowling league. The natural rubber construction is soft and durable for safe, long-lasting play.

Best Gifts for Getting Creative

Let those creative minds run wild with gifts that give them the opportunity to use color, chalk, markers, paint and even water to make art. Working on art projects also helps develop their fine motor skills as they master coloring in the lines of their drawings or holding a paintbrush to create a playful design.

Every home needs a classic art easel to allow kids to showcase their inner Monet or Jackson Pollock. With a chalkboard side, a whiteboard side and a paper roll holder, this sturdy easel is a literal blank slate for your child's next creation.


This doodle mat was such a big hit when my kids were small for both them and me. I loved that it was mess-free — no crayons, markers or paint, just water. And they loved that I could give them absolute freedom to draw and create. Once they filled up the mat, we simply had to let it dry, and they would start all over again.

$24.98 $16.99

Bring out kids' colorful side with this playful kit, which has everything they need to paint their own creatures. A combination of bright and pastel paint colors allows kids to show off their artistic skills when they decorate the six sweet little resin ladybugs and dragonflies.

Next Up

The Best Toys and Gifts for 10-Year-Olds

We've curated the perfect gift guide for our decade-making tweens to have fun with friends, bring out their creativity and embrace their personal style.

The Best Toys for 9-Year-Olds

It's their last year of single digits! Make the most of it with these creative and entertaining gifts chosen specifically for our active, fun-loving tweenagers.

The Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds

Support your one-year-old's natural curiosity with toys that build new skills (and are ready for destruction).

The Best Toys and Gifts for 5-Year-Olds

With their bodies and minds constantly going, catching a 5-year-old to ask them what they want is a task unto itself. No worries, though. We've found the perfect gifts for your active and creative kiddo.

The Best Toys and Gifts for 11-Year-Olds

Love on your tweenagers with these incredible gift ideas to express their creativity, give them adventures and keep them playing.

The Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

For littles who are smack in the middle of toddlerhood, we've gathered a list of no-fail gift ideas they'll love and that will keep them entertained for more than 15 minutes.

The Best Gifts for 3-Year-Olds

Find the perfect gift for an active, imaginative, creative preschooler with our curated toy buying guide.

STEM Gift Ideas for Building Kids' Ingenuity and Creativity

Spark curiosity and inventiveness this holiday season with these mind-boosting gifts for kids.

The Best Gifts for Babies, Kids and Tweens This Year

We've rounded up the top games, toys and gifts that are guaranteed to deliver lots of smiles.

36 Best Gift Ideas for Every Kind of Camper

From backcountry breakfasts to alpine treks, we've got all the essentials for stocking stuffers and wishlist gifts for your favorite campers.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.