Best toys for 4 year olds in 2022

Toys for 4 year olds

We've rounded up the best toys for 4 year olds that will not only encourage their development but will also be a lot of fun to play with.

At the age of four, most children begin to develop a stronger sense of self. You may notice that little ones of this age need more privacy or time to themselves to play without adult supervision or help.

The best toys for 4 year olds are designed so that they can be played with independently or with friends. The best birthday presents and top Christmas toys (opens in new tab) will also encourage imaginative and 'open-ended' play.

At the age of four your child may also be starting pre-school. They will have started to work out the link between letters and sounds and words and pictures – the foundation of learning to read and write. This big milestone changes the types of toys four years will engage with.

‘Early Years foundation skills like fine motor skills, balance and coordination will be vastly improved in a preschool setting’ notes Heather Welch, International Brand Manager for Edx Education (opens in new tab). So the toys your children play with at home should reflect this.

Heather also suggests that the best toys for children of this age will help continue: ‘to teach children to share and communicate’. Plus, they will help your child practice, ‘quiet as well as active play’.

The best gifts and toys for 4 year olds

1. LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box

LEGO 10696 Classic Medium Creative Brick Box, Easy Toy Storage, Lego Masters Fan Gift

You can't go wrong with a box of LEGO as a toy like this is a true classic that will get played with again and again. Making it onto our list for best toys for 4 year olds, this set is a step up from Duplo, which they may have been used to playing with.

LEGO develops skills in constructions and engineering as well as encouraging creative and imaginative play. It's great for fine motor skills too. A timeless toy that just doesn’t seem to age, LEGO is an educational toy that has been inspiring children for generations. Dig your old box of LEGO out of the attic to pass down to your kids or get them started with this epic set of coloured blocks that come in a handy storage box.

'While there are a lot of LEGO sets that come with instructions on how to make certain scenes - be it an ice rink, a castle or a house - this set of LEGO lets kids use their own imagination to make something from scratch,' says Joanna, mum to Caitlin. 'I almost prefer this style of LEGO as it doesn't spoonfeed kids, but lets them experiment and use their own imagination to create.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £24.99 (opens in new tab)

2. Globber Junior Foldable Lights Kids Scooter

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

A 3-wheel scooter with large wheels such as this design from Globber is great for under 5s. The large wheels gives them stability and makes it easy to scoot. And as they develop their scooting skills and become more confident they'll learn to whizz along with ease.

With adjustable handlebars, the Globber scooter comes in a range of colours including purple, pink and blue. But the best feature of this scooter is the disco light-up wheels. Not only does it make scooting even more fun, but it makes it easy to spot your child on the road when its foggy, early morning or dusk. 'I really like the way this scooter can be neatly folded after use as it makes it much easier to fit into the boot of the car,' says mum Karleen.

VIEW AT HALFORDS | £50 (opens in new tab)

3. Ryan's World Sir Ryan Mystery Chest

Ryans World

Ryan's World Sir Ryan Mystery Chest

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

We challenge you to take find a 4-year-old who isn't mesmerised by the YouTube sensation that is Ryan of Ryan's World. With his whacky experiments, cheeky smile and toy reveals in every episode, we can see why little boys and girls look up to Ryan and his fun-filled world of adventure.

This Mystery Chest makes for a breathtaking present as it comes filled with an array of Ryan's World Toys. These include squishy figures of Gus, Ryan and the crew, a car, a build-a-Ryan figure and lots of small, little collectibles in the Ryan series. Once a child has gone through all the excitement of revealing what’s inside, they can stack it all up again and use it as a storage trunk to house all their Ryan’s World toys. They'll have fun opening and closing it too.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £52.95 (opens in new tab)

4. LOL Colour Change Surprise Dolls

LOL Colour Change Surprise

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: No |Price: £9.99

Another surprise toy - as kids seem to love surprises - comes the hugely popular LOL range of toys and the Color Change Surprise. As one of the brand’s latest additions to its rapidly growing selection of dolls, it makes for a fun stocking filler or birthday gift.

This particular series brings you the choice of up to 7 unboxed surprises to collect. Each of the dolls changes colour when dipped in cold water, while the box also goes from pink to purple in water – adding an extra element of fun to the whole unravelling experience. 'My daughters love to collect LOL dolls and the color changing element of these dolls makes them that much more enticing to play with,' says  Karleen, mum to Devon and Vivienne.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £9.99 (opens in new tab)

5. Tomy Jurassic World Pop Up T Rex

Pop Up T Rex

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

If you’re ever had the pleasure of playing Pop Up Pirate, you’ll know exactly how this game plays out. Only instead of pirates, here you’re dealing with dinosaurs. The dinosaur is trying to escape his crate and the players have to take in turns to slide one of the coloured dinosaur bones into one of the slots around the crate. The player who places it in the wrong slot will find themselves surprised by the dinosaur and out of the game. Great fun!

'I really enjoyed playing this game with my kids,' says Joanna, mum to Caitlin. 'It's funny how much the pop up T Rex can surprise you - even after playing it 10 times!'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £19 (opens in new tab)

6. Tomy Motorised Megasketcher 

Megasketcher

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

A classic toy that will never date – even in these tablet-crazed times - the Motorised Megasketcher is a kids favourite. Great for use in the car and on long journeys, it makes drawing and creative doodling a breeze. No pens or ink needed, this timeless toy will provide bags of fun every time they use it and experiment with new images.

There are four stamps included on board to spark kid's imagination on what to draw – choose from a paw, star, house and a spiral, on top of the pen. No ink, batteries or paper needed, there is beauty in the simplicity of this gift. It's great to have in the back of the car for long journeys too.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £10 (opens in new tab)

7. John Lewis Animals Of World Floor Jigsaw Puzzle

Animals of World

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

A popular present and bestselling jigsaw, this puzzle is a fun way for kids to get to grips with the world map and recognise animals from different countries. Jigsaws in general are great for developing hand-eye coordination and problem-solving logic in children and parents love this puzzle as its educational as well as fun.

'Sometimes I find that puzzles aimed at 4 year olds take very little time to put together and my child often feels a little unchallenged,' says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. 'This Animals of the World Floor jigsaw puzzle, however, is a little tricker to put together and engages my kids for longer.'

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £10 (opens in new tab)

8. John Lewis & Partners Marble Run

Marble Run

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

This adaptable and expandable marble run track is great for encouraging turn taking and understanding cause and effect, as well as developing motor skills such as hand-to-eye coordination. Kids can configure it in various ways and race the marbles down the tubes, adding to it and extending it at a later date as they become more adventurous.

'We always have fun when we get the marble track out,' says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. 'The kids love to see race their marbles down the track and see who's comes out the end quicker. The kids have ended up collecting marbles too and never tire of using them to play with - both inside the house and out on the garden patio.'

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £15 (opens in new tab)

9. Learning Resources Coding Critters Bopper

Coding Critters

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: Yes

The Learning Resources Coding Critters Bopper introduces young children to early coding and STEM. It will make them think about problem-solving and help to understand cause and effect.

Young kids can learn coding concepts with cute bunny Coding Critters Bopper and the cheeky Hip & Hop. Children can code along with Bopper’s storybook adventure, taking part in coding challenges involving the fun pet play set.

'What I like most about this toy set is the fact that it introduces kids to the idea of coding without a screen in site,' says Karleen, mum to Devon and Vivienne.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £34 (opens in new tab)

10. Dessineo Learn to Paint Easel

Dessineo

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

This easel teaches children to paint in a fun and simple step-by-step way. By the age of 4 kids should be able to hold pencils and paint brushes easily, so this toy is a great way to encourage them to paint and use different mediums to create art.

'The box includes quite a bit of kit to produce a decent amount of creative content,' says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. 'While you can simply get out a paint brush and paints and piece of paper, I like the way this kit includes templates and an easel, which helps to engage the kids more.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £30.76 (opens in new tab)

11. Orchard Toys Match and Spell Game

Match and Spell

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No | Price: £7.50

This toy is great for letter recognition, phonetic word building and matching pictures to words. A best selling, first reading and spelling activity game where children take turns to find letters and spell words, this fun game has two levels of difficulty. You can choose from single-player or multiplayer activities.

'I'm a big fan of the Orchard Toys range and I love how they manage to making learning fun,' says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £7.50 (opens in new tab)

12. Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Stamp Set

Melissa & Doug

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

This craft kit consists of 8 detailed dino stamps and 2 colour inkpads. Beautifully presented in a wooden box, it makes a great gift and at £9.99 is very reasonably priced. Any 4 year old fascinated by dinosaurs will love stamping the ink and creating a picture. If you've got a child who prefers princesses however, Melissa & Doug also sells a Princess Stamp Set.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £9.99 (opens in new tab)

13. Orchard Toys Loopy Llamas Game

Loopy Lamas

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

Loopy Llamas is a kids board game suitable for children from ages 4 and up. It sees players race their pieces around the board to get pool rings for their 3D llama. Interactive and engaging, this is another great game from the Orchard Toys team.

Smelly Wellies and Shopping List are just a couple of other Orchard Toys games that a 4 year old may also enjoy.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £9.99 (opens in new tab)

14. Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

This charming toy comes with 72 colourful wooden letters that fit into 8 double-sided cut-out boards and spell 3- and 4-letter words. Kids will love playing with the letters, completing the puzzle and using the pieces as stencils.

'This is one of those toys that kids can really engage with,' says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. 'I found it really helped my 4 year old to develop his phonetic skills and he really enjoyed looking at all the pictures too.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.99 (opens in new tab)

15. Aldi Little Town Wooden Pirates Ship

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: No

Ahoy there! Swashbuckling kids of all ages who are fascinated by pirates will love this wooden pirate ship. It comes complete with fabric sails, a lookout platform, cannon, barrel, treasure chest, a mini sail boat and a rear opening stern for many a pirate adventure on the ‘open seas’. It wouldn't;t be complete, of course - without a couple of pirates.

Online reviewers have praised it as one of the best toys for 4 year olds and great value for money,  ''Brilliant and very solid easy to build, and bigger than you think,' said one shopper. Another added, "I love this. Being a wooden toy (opens in new tab) it's so much better than plastic. My grandson will love this.

VIEW AT ALDI | £19.99 (opens in new tab)

16. Orangutwang Board Game

Orangutwang

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

The trick of this game is to hang as much as you can before the orangutan goes 'twang'. Players take turns to hang fruit and other jungle animals on the orang-utan until whoops - the loads get too heavy and he bounces off the line. It reminds us a little bit of Buckaroo, as you're anticipating the worst every time you put a piece on the orangutan.

'My kids love board games and we always get them out on rainy weekends and love to buy a new one each Christmas and on birthdays,' says Joanna, mum to Caitlin. 'This Orangutwang board game has been a particular favorite that we go back to time and time again.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £12 (opens in new tab)

17. Fuzzikins Craft Bedtime Bunnies

Fuzzikins

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

Perfect for inspiring creativity and imagination, this craft set comes with three soft bunnies that can be coloured in. There are also three sleeping bags for the bunnies that can be customised. What we found our testers liked most about this set was that the bunnies can be washed and then coloured in again.

'I like the reusability of this toy,' says Gemma, mum to Sienna and Oliver. 'As it can be washed, each time we get it out it feels like new.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £7.99 (opens in new tab)

18. Personalised Tenderleaf Wooden Tool Bench Toy

Tender Leaf Toys Wooden Tool Bench

Tender Leaf Toys Wooden Tool Bench

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

This wooden tool bench is designed to allow little ones to play independently, provide them with the opportunity to role-play and ‘fix’ things themselves. Complete with nuts, bolts and tool, this wooden toy bench can be personalised, making it one of the best toys for 4 year olds.

It's a great way to get kids used to the idea of fixing things and learning practical skills. While it's a simple toy, it's really quite realistic in design and kids can have fun pretend sawing, hammering and using the spanner to unscrew the bolts.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £79.95 (opens in new tab)

19. Learning Resources Playfoam

Learning Resources Playfoam Go

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No | Price: £14.17

This mess free, non-toxic play foam is great because it doesn’t dry out, stick to your furnishings or clothes and kids absolutely love squishing it, shaping it and stretching it. The handy travel case means you can take the foam with you when you're on the go.

'I had never heard of Playfoam before, but the kids seem to love playing with it,' says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. 'Sometimes we mix things up and I let my kids enjoy a completely sensory experience by getting out the Play Doh, Slime and the Playfoam. They make some wild and wonderful creations and it really seems to keep them engaged for quite a while - even if it is a little messy to clear up afterwards!'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £14.17 (opens in new tab)

20. Learning Resources Build & Bloom Flower Garden

Learning Resources Build & Bloom Flower Garden

Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: No

Kids will love building this flower garden with a difference. This toy allows for open-ended play, encourages creativity and imaginative thinking and also helps build problem solving and fine motor skills. It comes with 116 plastic pieces including colorful gears, flowers, butterflies, bees, ladybirds, wiggly stems and more.

'My children love anything to do with building - be it Duplo blocks or Lego - and this Learning Resouces Build & Bloom Flower Garden makes a nice change from the norm,' says Joanna, mum to Caitlin. 'I like the way you can use the pieces to make a range of configurations and can be mixed up each time the toy is played with.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £37.38 (opens in new tab)

21. Chad Valley Lights and Sounds Construction Playset