The 10 Best 4 Year Old Girl Gifts
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in August of 2015. As the little women in your life transition out of their toddler years and into full-fledged childhood, they're going to require a whole new set of things to play with. Our list of the best 4-year-old girl gifts includes options for young ladies of every ilk, whether she loves to be active or solve a good puzzle. We've ranked them here by playtime potential, durability, and value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 14, 2019:
Shopping for a four-year girl old can be a tricky task, as her tastes are growing and evolving, and she's solidifying her fine and gross motor skills, as well as exploring her creative side. We ranked this list to suit myriad personality types and budgets, and factored in durability, space allowance, play value, and easy cleanup, among other things. We also wanted to ensure there were gifts for any occasion, from "just because" to Christmas.
We included toys for independent play and some that mom, dad, siblings, and other family members can jump in on. If the little lady in your life likes to keep to herself and work things out, then the Magna-Tiles Clear and Wokashaka Magnetic Building Blocks are great STEM toys that help hone important skills. Then, toys like the Ananbros Space Sand, KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen, and Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bella are equally well suited to solo and group play.
Four-year-olds are reaching a time in their lives when they begin to value privacy as much as social interaction, which is part of what makes Monobeach Large Playhouse such a great pick. It's big enough that she can bring her toys and books inside for some me-time, as well as invite friends and siblings in to play.
If you have physical activity in mind, then the OMWay Kids Camera, Vroom Rider Ponycycle, and My First Flybar are all excellent choices. Note that the Flybar has a bit of a learning curve for some children, and is not the most durable toy on the planet, but considering the price and potential for fun, the trade-off feels acceptable.
This update saw the removal of the Mega Bloks Splash N' Swim, which we feel pales in comparison to the recently added Magna-Tiles Clear. We also brought in the OMWay Kids Camera and Monobeach Large Playhouse to round the list out to an even ten.
Little Passports Early Explorers A subscription service that's perfect for introducing your little one to the big wide world, each month of Little Passports Early Explorers includes fun toys, souvenirs, activities, and collectibles tied to another country. The first month comes with a charming orange suitcase, wall-sized world map, luggage tag, stickers, photo and activity booklet, and a welcome letter to get your child started on her lifetime adventure. littlepassports.com
Mackenzie-Childs Tea Party Tea Set Festooned with cheery patterns of hearts, stripes, and checkers, this handmade tea party set elevates a playroom tradition with full-service whimsy, from tablecloth to teaspoon and every accoutrement in between. It comes with everything your sweet one needs to serve up afternoon tea, with dishwasher-safe, BPA-free melamine pieces and a 100% cotton tablecloth and napkins. mackenziechilds.com
La Petite Maison Playhouse If you're looking to go all out, both price and gift-wise, then the creations from award-winning La Petite Maison are worth considering. Their custom-built playhouses can be built on-site or shipped, and the company can fulfill any request, from a charming cottage to a magnificent Mediterranean villa or a replica of your own home. Each playhouse is fully finished, with dry-walled interiors and recessed lighting, and running water can be included by request. The handcrafted houses are designed to accommodate adults, but are made safe for and tailored to children. lapetitemaison.com
Great Gifts For Four-Year-Old Girls
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.
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 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.)
Play time is about much more than having fun; it is about complex cognitive, emotional, and social development.
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 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.
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.
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.