She’s independent but affectionate, eager for new experiences, and you’re no doubt amazed at how far your sweet four-year-old girl has come in only a year. She’s more creative, perceptive and physically able than ever, and she’s ready for toys that test her new abilities, satisfy her urge for unique learning experiences and help her continue to master her motor skills.

If you’re on the hunt for the best gifts for 4 year old girls, look no further – we’ve put together a list of some fantastic toy picks for your little one, plus a comprehensive guide to her developmental stage and how it determines which toys are ideal.

The Winners

#1

GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

Best Overall

Why wait until they hit science class to introduce them to this cool tool? GeoSafari Jr.’s brightly-colored, kid-friendly binocular microscope has extra large, comfortably-framed eyepieces and a focusing knob that’s large and reticulated, making it easy for little hands to turn. They can look at specimens at up to 8x magnification, and there’s even an LED light that illuminates the stage for a superior view.

The non-skid feet of this microscope help to keep the device in place while kids are viewing their specimen, giving them an accurate and consistent view. It’s a great early introduction to STEM skills that will give them a chance to take a closer look at their world – no slides or slips needed.

Developmental & Play Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#2

Melissa & Doug Wooden Grocery Mart

Upgrade Choice

Free-standing playsets that encourage kids to engage in creative play are excellent picks for four-year-olds, who thrive on mirroring recognizable roles and settings as a means of learning. This fresh mart grocery store features two shelving units, a cash register, a cabinet, and even a realistic credit card terminal. They can stock the shelves with their play food and play shopper or cashier – it’s perfect for social play with friends or siblings, who can fulfill the opposite role.

There’s a few standout realistic touches included in this set, including a beeping grocery scanner, a hand-cranking conveyor belt for groceries, and a cash register drawer that really opens.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Wooden Grocery Mart

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#3

Melissa & Doug Classic Play Money Set

Best Budget Buy

Learning about money isn’t just an essential life skill, it also offers cognitive boosts to kids who are beginning to understand simple mathematics. By four, your child is likely already able to count somewhat fluently. It’s a good time to introduce educational play money, which can help them learn more about denominations and identify currency in an easy, risk-free way.

It’s not strictly for learning, this 560+ piece set also makes a fun addition to creative play – we’d be remiss not to mention how well it’d fill the cash register of the market playset previously mentioned on our list. It also comes with a sturdy wooden storage box with a lid, plus a wallet with plastic credit cards and checks that’s great for pretend play.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Classic Play Money Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#4

Ageless Innovation Cat White Mitts

Stuffed animals are great companions during pretend play, which is something four-year-olds both love and need. This sweet feline companion from Ageless Innovation is so realistic, it might just get her to stop asking for a kitten. This long-haired silver kitty features unique vibrapurr technology which sounds just like a true cat’s purr.

The interactive pet can also lift her paw, open her mouth, and move her head, eyes and body. She responds to pets, touches and hugs, offering the companionship of a cat without the need for feeding or cleanup. Her soft synthetic fur feels just like a real cat, and she can even be brushed. She’s powered by 4 C batteries which last for months, another bonus in a world of quick-draining electronic toys.

Developmental & Play Insights Ageless Innovation Cat White Mitts

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#5

Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper

Pogo sticks are classic childhood toys that help kids practice balance, refine their gross motor skills and improve hand-eye coordination while having a hopping good time. Flybar’s foam pogo jumper updates the retro offering in a way that’s safe and kid-friendly, featuring a thick, wide base that’s great for toddlers. The base of the jumper is made of a soft, springy foam, so it won’t cause any damage to floors when kids play indoors.

Parents don’t have to worry about this pick being outgrown quickly, as the 250 lb weight limit is more than generous, and the adjustable bungee cord on this pogo stick makes it easy to adjust to your four-year-old’s comfort. A squeaking sound on impact makes bouncing even more fun, and the soft foam grips keep their hands comfortable as they play.

Developmental & Play Insights Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper for Kids

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#6

Melissa & Doug Play House! Play Set

We love Melissa & Doug’s straightforward approach to encouraging kids to play creatively, and this cleaning play set facilitates the natural urge four-year-olds have to play house. Beginning to mimic roles, especially those of parents as they engage in household tasks, is a major milestone kids hit during the three to four-year-old range – it means they’re beginning to understand and be curious about the experiences of others.

They’ll love playing house with the broom, mop, duster, dustpan and brush included in this set, all of which can be neatly hung on the set’s wide-based, stable wooden pole. They’re just the right height and size for younger kids to use comfortably, plus they really work on tiny messes, so they can learn simple tasks like brushing up paper scraps after arts and crafts.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Play House! Play Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#7

Osmo Creative Kit

By four, there’s no doubt that your girl has already discovered the joys of your phone, laptop, tablet and various other electronics; there’s lots of educational apps out there, but Osmo elevates the experience to include unique skill-building opportunities that are just right for your four-year-old. The Creative Kit encourages their cognitive and artistic abilities with five learning games packed with hands-on fun. It’s available for both iPads and Fire Tablets, and no WiFi is needed to play.

The kit includes a creative board, markers and game pieces that can be used to interact with the app. Kids can work on their creative drawing skills, animate their drawings with Mo the Monster, solve story and physics problems, and track their progress using profiles. The kit’s educational level scales with their ability and is recommended up to age 10, making it an ideal learning investment.

Developmental & Play Insights Osmo Creative Kit

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#8

Jellycat Baggles Winston Woolly Mammoth

She’s already got lions, tigers and bears – why not add a woolly mammoth to her growing zoo? Though his predecessors did not fare as well, Winston the woolly mammoth is far from extinct as seen in 15 inch plush form. His red-brown body is made of a soft plush that kids will love, and his reticulated tummy adds fun detail to his design.

His fluffy mane is soft to pet, and his white tusks curve upward but are soft and bend easily when touched. He’s a good cuddle buddy who’s a fun addition to pretend play with her stuffed animals, but make sure he doesn’t go in the washing machine, as this prehistoric pal is spot clean only.

Developmental & Play Insights Jellycat Winston Woolly Mammoth

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#9

Melissa & Doug Wooden Cookie Play Set

Playing house is developmentally significant to four-year-olds, who are beginning to learn from and mimic the behavior of others around them. If you’re a culinary whiz, there’s no doubt your little one is often begging to be your sous chef, making this slice-and-bake wooden cookie baking set from Melissa & Doug an ideal addition to her kitchen playset.

It comes with 12 magnetic wooden cookies, which stack neatly in their cookie dough tube and can be “sliced” apart with the wooden knife. 12 toppings, a cookie sheet and a spatula are also included, so she can decorate her confections, bake them in her oven and then serve them up again and again. It’s a set that facilitates her need for creative play, plus it offers a unique play food option in a world of plastic apples and bananas.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Wooden Cookie Play Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#10

Fisher-Price DoodlePro

Magnetic drawing boards have been around for a few decades, but this updated version from the experts at Fisher-Price offers a slim frame and easy carrying handle that makes it a great on-the-go toy. The DoodlePro includes a wide magnetic drawing screen which can be drawn on using the pen, which is conveniently attached to the board by a cord, and the four stampers – a square, a triangle, a circle and a star. When she’s ready to make a new drawing, clearing the board is as simple as using the easy-slide eraser.

It magically erases her artwork, making room for her next masterpiece. The light purple frame is durable despite its light weight, and its portability makes it an ideal road trip and vacation toy. Developmentally speaking, this pick is great for encouraging small motor skill and hand-eye coordination improvements in addition to providing an opportunity for free creative expression, which can also have cognitive benefits.

Developmental & Play Insights Fisher-Price DoodlePro

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#11

Pericross Snowflake Princess Play Tent

Turning her bedroom or playroom into a princess castle is a little easier thanks to this snowflake veil tent from Pericross. The ice blue tent features sheer, draping panels adorned with a falling snowflake design that create a floating, three-dimensional appearance. It’s lit by 100 warm white LED lights, and the solid blue Polyester Oxford floor is thick and strong. The tent can be used both inside and outside, and it comes with a convenient carrying bag that makes transporting the unit easier. Parents, just a note – although this tent can be used outdoors, it isn’t waterproof, so save it for dry, sunny days.

Developmental & Play Insights Pericross Snowflake Princess Play Tent

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#12

Barbie Fairytale Dress Up

Barbie has been a fixture in the storytelling play of little girls for 60 years. The simple fashion doll has come a long way since 1959, but she’s still helping little girls engage in essential creative and social play while improving their small motor control and hand-eye coordination. The barbie fairytale dress up features Barbie with a series of fairy tale inspired outfits – a princess, a mermaid and a fairy – in bright pinks, purples and blues.

These costumes add new, fun elements to their storytelling, encouraging them to think and play in new and creative ways, so they’re a worthwhile addition to her Barbie collection.

Developmental & Play Insights Barbie Fairytale Dress Up

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#13

Barbie Dream House

Little girls who love their Barbies have long pined for the iconic, towering Barbie Dream House, and it’s a knockout with just about every girl who receives it. Her three story mansion – it has an elevator and a pool, so you’ll forgive us for being loose with the term – is 3′ tall and 4′ wide. It features a kitchen with a sizzling frying pan and a whistling kettle, a dining room with a table set for four, a carport, a living room that converts into a bunk-bed bedroom and a master bedroom adjacent to a water slide cascading right into the pool.

The elevator really works and can accommodate up to four dolls, and the pool can be filled with real water if desired. 70+ additional accessories are included with the Dream House, packing it to the brim with opportunities for her to play creatively.

Developmental & Play Insights HABA Kullerbu Windmill Playset

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#14

L.O.L. Inflatable Slide with Blower

The price tag on theme park tickets is no joke, but water slides are still one of the most fun ways to cool off outside during those sweltering summer months. The L.O.L. Surprise River Race slide is inflatable, and it comes with everything you need to get the slide up and running.

A total of four kids can use the water slide, which features two slides that connect in a wide splash pool at the bottom. If she loves trendy L.O.L. Surprise dolls, the theme is sure to be a hit, and parents can feel confident in the Little Tikes brand to deliver on a durable outdoor inflatable that’s both safe and lots of fun. She’ll be working on her gross motor skills as she climbs, splashes and swims, plus there’s plenty of room to host a mini water slide party for some exciting social play.

Developmental & Play Insights L.O.L. Inflatable Slide with Blower

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#15

Melissa & Doug Wooden Bead Set

Making jewelry is a tangible, results-oriented way for kids to express themselves creatively, but most kits are loaded with small pieces and geared toward older children. Not so with this charming purple and blue wooden bead kit from Melissa & Doug, which features over 45 chunky, easy-to-string beads as well as three cords and clasps to create finished products.

The iridescent beads have large openings that are easy for kids to thread, and they’ll be giving a significant boost to their small motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they work. It’s a pick she can do by herself, but because there’s enough cords and clasps to go around, making necklaces can also be a fun social activity for a small group.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Wooden Bead Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

How to Pick the Perfect Gift for A 4-YEAR-OLD Boy

Consider Their Developmental Stage

Four-year-old girls aren’t quite toddlers anymore. Physically, their balance and coordination are improving drastically with every passing year, and they’re now able to stand or hop on one foot for up to five seconds. They can kick balls forward with ease, and can usually catch a ball that’s bounced to them and throw overhand with some accuracy. This means trikes, balance bikes, balls and outside toys are big hits right now, especially because they’re still refining both gross and fine motor skills.

From a cognitive standpoint, they’re learning rapidly. Their color and number identification is improving, they understand the basics of counting, and they can read and understand the time on a digital clock. They can use safety scissors, copy capital letters and draw pictures of people with up to four body parts. They’re more able to take turns and stay focused, so they’re better at playing age-appropriate board and card games, which make great toys for 4 year old girls.

Entertainment vs. Education

At four years old, your girl’s primary educational focus is on their ever-expanding world. They’re learning about new people, places, things and experiences, and toys that stimulate that learning while offering long-term entertainment value are ideal. Gifts that encourage pretending and creative role play are best now, giving kids a chance to explore on their own terms and imagine life through the eyes of another person, an essential step in their social development.

Physical vs. Cognitive vs. Social

Four year olds are advancing physically, and their coordination, balance and improved ability to climb and run make outdoor physical toys excellent picks now. They’re still in the process of refining their gross motor skills, plus it’s a great age to start establishing a healthy lifelong love of playing outdoors. Balls and other sports toys make excellent additions to their collection – they offer boosts to hand-eye coordination, too.

Your four-year-old girl is also smarter than ever, which is part of the reason why this is an age at which many parents consider half-day school enrollment. She’s better able to tell and remember stories, and being read to on a regular basis can help boost her ability to read, so books are an evergreen favorite. Toys that make mastering writing, counting and telling time into a game are also great for turning basic skills education into fun.

Socially, your four-year-old girl is eager to fit in, make friends and have new experiences. She’s more cooperative with other kids and more likely to try to engage with them in play situations, so toys and games that encourage her to spend time with other children, communicate, share and take turns continue to foster positive social development and prepare her for a traditional scholastic environment. This can come in the form of board and card games, creative role play or outdoor physical play.

Digital vs. Manual

Your four year old girl is learning so much from the world around her. The best toys and gifts for her developmentally will encourage her to explore her world and teach her about colors, numbers, letters, shapes, time and the basic skills that will prepare her for school. These generally come in the form of manual toys, which offer opportunities for motor skill development and hand-eye coordination, but electronic learning toys can also occasionally be offered.

Wrapping Up

As she continues to develop physically, mentally, and socially, your four-year-old will be on the hunt for toys that help her practice new skills and express herself creatively. It’s a great time for pretending toys, age-appropriate logic puzzles, games that encourage socialization and sports toys like lightweight balls that will give her a reason to go outside. When you focus on her unique personality and the toys most likely to provide her with developmental boosts, you’re sure to choose a gift your four -year-old girl will love.toy.

Quick Decision

GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope – Best Overall
It’s a great early introduction to STEM skills that will give them a chance to take a closer look at their world – no slides or slips needed.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Grocery Mart – Upgrade Choice
Free-standing playsets that encourage kids to engage in creative play including a beeping grocery scanner, a hand-cranking conveyor belt for groceries, and a cash register drawer that really opens.

Melissa & Doug Classic Play Money Set – Best Budget Buy
Our budget friendly pick offers cognitive boosts to kids who are beginning to understand simple mathematics.

THE BEST PLAY KITCHEN FOR TODDLER

For your budding chef in the making, you might consider buying a kitchen of their own.! Check out our guide to play kitchens for toddlers .
Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

Scroll to Top