The 10 Best Gifts For 4-Year-Old Boys

Updated December 02, 2017 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Gifts For 4-Year-Old Boys
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We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're looking for the perfect gift for the 4-year-old boy in your life, you'll want to pick something that encourages learning and development while also providing enough fun to keep him entertained (and quiet) for hours. The selections on this list do everything from promoting STEM skills to teaching balance, all in an enjoyable manner. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gifts for 4-year-old boy on Amazon.

10. Learning Resources' Gears! Gears! Gears!

Learning Resources' Gears! Gears! Gears! helps to pique a child's interest in construction and building, as its design develops grouping and sorting abilities while simultaneously boosting fine motor skills. However, it may be too complex for some children.
  • includes cranks and connectors
  • gears connect in countless ways
  • doesn't include a storage bag
Brand Learning Resources
Model LER9162
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Fisher-Price Triple Hit

The Fisher-Price Triple Hit has three fun ways for kids to play: they can hit from the tee, pop it straight up in the air, or pitch it from up to ten feet away once their hand-eye coordination improves and they get better at making contact with a moving ball.
  • includes a bat and 3 balls
  • balls made of non-painful foam
  • pitching mechanism is unreliable
Brand Fisher-Price
Model B6312
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Smartmax Start XL

Safe for children as young as 1, but fun for those as old as 5, the Smartmax Start XL building set includes 42 oversized pieces that are specifically designed to teach your kids about the effects of magnetism as they produce a seemingly endless amount of structures.
  • compatible with all smartmax sets
  • comes with a building guide
  • difficult to create tall formations
Brand SmartMax
Model SMX501US
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Kidkraft Fire Station

The Kidkraft Fire Station lets your little one pretend to save the day for hours of imaginative fun. The station's walls are colorfully detailed, and the large size ensures that multiple kids can enjoy it simultaneously, giving you some peace and quiet on play dates.
  • includes helicopter and fire engine
  • garage door opens and closes
  • paint tends to peel
Brand KidKraft
Model 63236
Weight 17.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch features a bright, interactive touchscreen with a 0.3-megapixel camera that is ideal for taking photos and videos. It also includes more than 50 customizable watch face designs, with both digital and analog options.
  • fast and easy micro-usb charging
  • teaches kids to tell the time
  • not waterproof or resistant
Brand VTech
Model 80-155700
Weight 15.5 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Kidwinz Binoculars

These Kidwinz Binoculars will help introduce your boy to the wonders of nature, as they're great for bird-watching, star gazing, or even just snooping on the neighbors. The shockproof construction ensures you won't have a heart attack every time he drops them, either.
  • easy-to-use focus mechanism
  • carrying strap for portability
  • image can be grainy
Brand Kidwinz
Model pending
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Matchbox Jurassic World

This Matchbox Jurassic World set is a 5-pack of vehicles that any boy will enjoy racing around his living room, regardless of whether he's seen the movie or not. They're especially good for tykes who get rough with their toys, as these things can take a pounding.
  • great for dinosaur lovers
  • multiple sets encourage collecting
  • can be rinsed off for easy cleaning
Brand Matchbox
Model DFW19
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Strider 12-Sport Balance Bike

The Strider 12-Sport Balance Bike has lightweight tires, toddler-sized grips, and a comfortable padded seat to help your child develop his riding skills. Its design eliminates the need for pedals or training wheels to quickly improve a kid's balance.
  • can be used both indoors and out
  • no tools needed for assembly
  • sturdy enough for older kids as well
Brand Strider
Model ST-S4BL
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Valtech Magna-Tiles

Valtech Magna-Tiles will unleash your child's creativity while helping him develop math, spatial, and tactile skills. All of the pieces connect together easily to create cubes, pyramids and other 3-dimensional shapes, and are the ideal size for little hands.
  • can be used for guided activities
  • promotes pattern recognition
  • perfect for classrooms or play dates
Brand Valtech Company
Model 1517888
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Melissa & Doug Building Blocks

The little builder in your life is sure to love these Melissa & Doug Building Blocks, as the 60-piece wooden set allows for effortless construction and simple shape-matching. Meanwhile, parents will love how easy it is to put them away, thanks to the handy storage crate.
  • smooth and splinter-free finish
  • can last for generations
  • can be personalized with kid's name
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 200503
Weight 20.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Take Care Of Your Kids, Not Just Yourself

My best friend from childhood just had a baby, and I was talking to him the other day about how much stuff you accumulate in the blink of any eye when you have kids.

There are the necessities, to be sure, but people in your life seem terribly eager to dump bags and boxes of stuff on your doorstep that their own children abandoned long ago.

Among these sometimes very useful, sometimes very strange hand-me-downs, he told me that the ones he likes the least are the big, plastic noise and light machines that don't appear to serve any purpose beyond distracting your child from the world long enough to get you a few moment's respite from the grind.

That's not what makes a good toy. What makes a good toy is some integration of your child's body, mind, and spirit into the engagement. A really good toy can hit all three.

Now, before I get sued, let me say that by spirit I mean his mental health, his sense of peace and of wonder, not anything specifically religious. You might argue that those experiences would fall under mind, but I like to separate the conventionally educational from the spiritual when I'm evaluating toys, just to make sure our picks cover all the bases.

Take a look at our list to get a sense of these traits. All five toys land on all three bases, though the balance is different for each.

The trampoline at number one takes care of the body as a cardiovascular workout, as does the bike at number four. They each also build macro-level spatial awareness and coordination, all while facilitating a sense of wonder from the feeling of movement beyond the normal bounds of the human body. These are great toys with a balance toward physical health.

The building sets at numbers two and five are a little headier. They engage the mind first, teaching your boy about micro-level spatial relationships, gravity, and magnetism. On a spiritual level, they offer the feeling of accomplishment at having created an original work of architectural art, and physically they train the hands at nuanced movement and delicacy.

Finally, we get to the firehouse at number two. I'll admit that this toy probably has the least to offer in the physical health department, but on a mental and spiritual level it's a powerhouse in that it activates the imagination more than anything else on our list. Given specific shapes and the beginnings of character, your kids can take this toy and tell elaborate stories with its pieces.

Way Too Many Toys

Even as a boy, I sometimes wondered whether it was a bad thing to have too many toys. From about the age of ten, I started asking for fewer, though admittedly more expensive, things for holidays and my birthday.

There certainly are very well-articulated arguments against inundating your children with unregulated foreign plastics.

And now, after discussing above the ways in which you can evaluate a toy's impact on your child, it seems like it might be a good idea to focus on quality over quantity.

Looking at our top five, you should ask yourself what aspects of your child you'd like to work on with him the most. By four years of age, you should be getting a pretty clear idea of how his personality is developing, but it's also plenty early to steer him in another direction, if need be.

Say, for example, that your kid's been packing on some of those post-baby-fat pounds. Maybe he's been spending too much time at his friend's house where the parents let the kids eat exorbitant amounts of ice cream. Well, then, you'll want to grab a toy that hits that physical base first.

Perhaps the boy's in good shape, but he's a bit of a klutz. A toy that focuses on spacial relationships on a small scale, like the building sets, would be ideal.

Maybe he's a scowler. My sister was a scowler, angry in every picture. She laughed about as often as I slept (I didn't sleep very much as a baby). You could get your boy–as we should have gotten my sister–a set that could ignite his imagination and invite him into a world of characters and exploration.

You know what? Forget all that. Just get him an iPad.

Toys Before Toys Were Toys

As long as there have been children, there has been play. Hindu mythology and the eastern religions that sprung forth therefrom believe that play is the very nature of the universe, its reason for existence.

Today, people of older generations look at children's toys with a complicated sense of wonder, envy, and disdain.

Sure, there are some toys I see on the market today that would have been fun when I was a kid, but I also went outside and played in the woods and in the street. I'm surprised when children can tell the difference between a tree and a river without using Google.

It's a newer phenomenon that each generation sees a total evolution in the toy market, even though toys have been around for so long.

At least as far back as ancient Egyptian times, children played with dolls woven from straw, cloth, leather, and other goods. They had spinning tops, inflated animal bladders sealed with mud, and also the knuckle bones of certain animals, which were thrown like dice.

From then, up until very recently, that was about it. Kids worked on farms and played with a few simple toys the origins of which stretched back millennia.

It wasn't until the industrial revolution that toys began to be produced on more massive scales, and the industry that grew up around it has only gotten stronger, and perhaps stranger, since those days.

With advancements in virtual and augmented realities, video gaming, and portable, even wearable technology, it won't be long before the kids and their toys are one in the same.

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Last updated on December 02, 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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