The 8 Best 4 Year Old Girl Gifts
8. Mega Bloks Splash N' Swim
7. Wokashaka Magnetic Building Blocks
6. My First Flybar
5. Ananbros Space Sand
4. Gund Slouchers
3. KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
2. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bella
1. Vroom Rider Ponycycle
Great Gifts For Four-Year-Old Girls
Choosing a good gift for a four-year-old girl isn't that hard to do: the market is flooded with toys, dolls, movies, and more that many young ladies will generally find appealing. But to choose a truly great gift for a four-year-old child takes a bit more effort on the part of the gift giver.
Young girls and boys alike love to build and create; choosing an age-appropriate kit using building blocks or bricks can provide hours of fun. Encourage the young lady to build a structure following the directions included with the kit and/or to create whatever she wants out of the parts and pieces. While a four-year-old child might see a LEGO kit, for example, as nothing more than lots of fun, she might also start to develop a knack for certain STEM skills that can help her to later excel in school and even in a career.
If you have an energetic young athlete on your hands, then consider a piece of play/sporting equipment that encourages plenty of activity, such as a junior pogo stick or a ride-on toy with the motive power provided by the youngster, not by a motor. Toys such as these help build muscle and balance, and most can be enjoyed indoors or out, a plus during the winter or when it's raining or dark outside.
For the budding artist, consider toys that allow a child to create works of art via structured activity, such as using paints or pencils with stencils or modeling clay with molds. These guided activities help a child produce art of which she can be proud and minimize the chance for frustration caused by a perceived lack of accomplishment.
The imagination of most four-year-old girls runs delightfully wild. The more you can foster her creative play, the more she'll enjoy her play time and the more her thinking will develop the sort of dynamic, resourceful edge so prized in the adult mind. A little girl's tea party might seem like child's play to an adult, but it is actually an opportunity for the youngster to create a rich imaginary world, complete with characters, relationships, and stories, and of which she is the author.
And don't forget to consider the cognitive and physical development milestones of a four-year-old child as you consider how appropriate a certain gift may or may not be.
Why Play Is Imperative For The Young Child
Play time is about much more than having fun; it is about complex cognitive, emotional, and social development. Playing is the best way for a child's mind to grow and expand, adapting to the challenges presented by working with others, problem solving on one's own, and confronting and overcoming new challenges and experiences. (Solving a simple puzzle can give a four-year-old the same sense of accomplishment and motivation that finally mastering the quadratic equation might give a student in a precalculus class.)
By providing the right toys and activities, a parent or caregiver can help to maximize not only the fun a little girl has while playing, but also the benefits she derives from her play activities in terms of fruitful development. As mentioned above, a given toy or activity should never challenge a child so much that she grows frustrated and gives up on the endeavor, but a surmountable challenge is always welcome. The better you know the interests and the concerns your child (or the child for whom you are shopping), the better a gift you can buy. Remember, toys and play time are not always about fun and games, and not just about honing skills like memory or hand-eye coordination, but can also be about helping a child deal with issues troubling her.
It's no wonder that so many therapists, psychologists, social workers, and other health and wellness professionals turn to play therapy as a means of helping young children cope with difficult situations, work through emotional issues, or overcome past traumas. When engaged in a play activity, a young child can take ownership of the emotions she is feeling by expressing them through the conduit of a stuffed animal or doll, or by assuming the role of a doctor, teacher, or parent with whom she might normally be reticent to communicate about difficult topics. This type of role play helps a child more freely express thoughts and emotions she might otherwise find it difficult to relay. Just as an adult can productively talk through issues with a mental health professional, a child can effectively "play" her way through issues when subtly guided.
Developmental Milestones Of The Four Year Old Girl
No two children are exactly alike–that much any parent, pediatrician, or teacher can tell you. But taken as a population, there are enough traits shared by a majority of four-year-old girls that a review of the standard benchmarks of emotional and physical development can help one unfamiliar with kids of the age to know what to expect from them.
One of the most notable changes an observer sees in children of four years is a definitive shift from solitary play to social play. Toddlers tend to want to be watched and encouraged as they play, but want to play on their own terms and often without direct interaction, or at least not with peers. Four-year-olds on the other hand are often quite social, wanting to play with other kids and learning to cooperate well in the process. (Of course tantrums and selfishness will still crop up regularly.)
A four-year-old can also usually make her wants and needs (or her dislikes) plainly understood using language. As for language development, expect a four-year-old child to use basic grammar properly, including correct use of most pronouns most of the time.
Physically, a four-year-old girl should be able to briefly balance on one leg, kick, throw, and even catch a ball (most of the time), and run, jump, and climb with ease. As for fine motor skills, she should use utensils, crayons, pens, and pencils though perhaps not adroitly.