The 10 Best Gifts For 4-Year-Old Boys

Updated October 06, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Gifts For 4-Year-Old Boys
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. The best gifts for 4-year-old boys are fun, of course, but they should also help develop skills ranging from balance to spatial reasoning to early academics, just like some of these in our selection. Now you don't need to spend hours traipsing around the mall. You're welcome. 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. WolVol Transport Car Carrier

The WolVol Transport Car Carrier comes with 6 semi-metal cars, construction signs, and cones. The front truck cab can also be detached from the carrier, making it a play toy in its own right. Plus it has room to store over twenty more toy cars.
  • truck has top handle for carrying
  • truck decals peel off easily
  • the plastic doors feel a bit flimsy
Brand WolVol
Model pending
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Learning Resources Gears Gears Gears

The Learning Resources Gears Gears Gears helps to pique a child's interest in construction and building. Its design helps to develop grouping and sorting skills, and boost 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 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 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 build an endless amount of structures.
  • compatible with all smartmax sets
  • includes a building guide
  • difficult to create tall structures
Brand SmartMax
Model SMX501US
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. 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 their riding skills. Its design eliminates the need for pedals or training wheels to improve a kid's balance quicker.
  • can be used both indoors and out
  • no tools are needed for assembly
  • the paint has a tendency to chip
Brand Strider
Model ST-S4BL
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 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 offers more than 50 customizable clock face designs, with both digital and analog options.
  • fast and easy micro-usb charging
  • splash and sweat-resistant
  • available in four color options
Brand VTech
Model 80-155700
Weight 15.5 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Kidkraft Fire Station

The Kidkraft Fire Station playset lets your little ones pretend to save the day for hours of imaginative play. The station's walls have been colorfully detailed, and the included furniture is also made from solid wood, so it will last for years.
  • includes helicopter and fire engine
  • garage door opens and closes
  • large size offers lots of play room
Brand KidKraft
Model 63236
Weight 18.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Merax Trampoline and Enclosure

Bring fun, health, and fitness together for your little bouncers with the Merax Trampoline and Enclosure set. Its frame is made from high quality steel and blow-molded plastic for ensuring the highest level of safety possible.
  • springs are fully covered and padded
  • made from heavy-duty mesh
  • supports up to 220 pounds
Brand Merax
Model pending
Weight 84 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Fisher-Price Triple Hit

The Fisher-Price Triple Hit has three ways for kids to play. They can hit from the tee, pop the ball straight up in the air, or pitch it out up to ten feet as their hand-eye coordination improves and they get better at hitting the ball.
  • includes a bat and 3 balls
  • helps improve a child's confidence
  • can purchase additional balls
Brand Fisher-Price
Model B6312
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. LeapFrog LeapStart

The LeapFrog LeapStart is an interactive learning system that is both educational and fun. It has a replaceable activity system that grows with kids as their skills and knowledge improve. This item comes with the preschool and pre-kindergarten sampler activity books.
  • stylus is easy for kids to hold
  • teaches 50 key skills per level
  • can be used with headphones
Brand LeapFrog Enterprises
Model 21600
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Valtech Magna-Tiles

The Valtech Magna-Tiles will unleash your child's creativity, and help him develop math, spatial, and tactile skills. All of the pieces easily connect together to create cubes, pyramids and other 3-dimensional shapes, and are the perfect 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 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 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 October 06, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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