The Best Toys for 4-Year-Old Boys – 2020 Gift Ideas
You’ll face a dizzying array of choices going down the toy aisle in any department store. The toy industry topped $20 billion in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing. That’s part of the reason you may find it hard to settle on the best toys for 4 year old boys when there are so many products. We did a deep dive and found some good picks to help your search.
We also included some advice and answers to your questions about making suitable choices. After all, toys vary widely in quality and benefits that they will provide. We’ll point out what you should know before buying to make your task easier.
- Play22 Toy Truck Transport Car Carrier
- LeapFrog Scribble and Write
- ETI Toys 101-Piece Building Blocks Set
- ToyVelt Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit
- VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set
- Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up Book
- 68-Piece Workbench with Realistic Tools by ToyVelt
- Dancing Robot Toy from CifToys
- Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship
- VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
- Auney Handheld Bubble Machine
- IQ BUILDER Educational Art Play Sand
- Think Gizmos Interactive Whack A Frog
- Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent Set
- Kidtastic Dinosaur Construct and Play
- CoolToys Monkey Balance Math Game
- WisToyz Hover Soccer Ball Set
- LEGO Juniors Demolition Site
- What Are Some Features I Should Look for in Toys?
- What Should I Avoid When Buying a Toy for a Four-Year-Old?
- What Mental and Physical Changes Are Going On in a Four-Year-Old?
- How Can Toys Help My Child’s Development?
- Should I Give My Child Electronics?
- What Are Some Good Toys for My Child?
- Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Play22 Toy Truck Transport Car Carrier
The truck is a realistic-looking toy with a fun set of cars and parts for hours of play.
- It’s easy for kids to take their collection along with the handle on the top.
- The toy scores big points as a durable product.
- It includes six racing cars.
- It’ll hold both Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars.
- The shipping time is long.
- The attachment of the cab to the trailer could be better.
The Play22 Toy Truck Transport Car Carrier is a realistic vehicle with a cool look that will certainly catch your child’s eye. The main part is durable and can handle the punishment that a four-year-old can throw at it. It includes a set of six racing cars to get him started in his collection. They are brightly-colored plastic pieces that look as great as the carrier.
Even without the cars, the truck is an excellent toy on its own. It provides storage for up to 28 cars. It has a handle for easy carrying around the house. It also has construction props for role-playing games. We liked the fact that it can hold Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars. Overall, it’s a good value for the price considering everything that comes with it.
LeapFrog Scribble and Write
This toy provides an entertaining way to teach your child both letters and numbers.
- It teaches your child letters and numbers with a light that they can follow easily.
- It provides feedback on how well your child wrote.
- It will engage the child with music and positive reinforcement.
- The length of the cord from the stylus to the device is a bit short.
- The drawings on the screen fade too quickly.
The LeapFrog Scribble and Write is an excellent example of a toy that makes learning fun. It teaches them with an interactive interface with feedback to encourage them to try again. The stylus is easy for little hands to hold to improve their accuracy and dexterity. The cord could be a bit longer.
Combining the visual and audio cues is an excellent way to engage children in this activity. We liked the fact that it praised them for a job well done to give them that positive association with learning. We also appreciated the interactive play with numbers and other activities. The best thing about it is that it will encourage your child to practice.
ETI Toys 101-Piece Building Blocks Set
This set offers endless opportunities to create new things while stimulating your child’s imagination.
- The manufacturer takes quality assurance seriously with third-party testing of its products.
- It includes a carrying case.
- It has a wide range of pieces to build several types of projects.
- The selection of pieces could be better.
- The set isn’t compatible with other products.
The ETI Toys 101-Piece Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set offers an excellent way to foster creativity in your child. It includes a vast collection of colorful pieces that are large enough for small hands to manipulate easily. We liked the fact that there’s a carrying case too to keep it all together.
The set is challenging enough to give it a longer lifespan as your child gets older. It includes instructions to help parents guide their children with different designs to begin. It’s the kind of toy that teaches kids without them knowing that they’re learning something such as problem-solving. And it makes it fun in the process.
ToyVelt Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit
The kit will provide hours of enjoyment with plenty of options for creating the perfect car.
- The kids will love the engine sounds.
- The batteries for the engine are included which we always like to see.
- The product comes with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee.
- The batteries for the drill are not included in the kit.
- The toy has a relatively short lifespan.
The ToyVelt Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit is a great toy with just the right number of tools and parts for building different cars. It includes a drill for taking things apart and putting them back together again. The lights and sounds add a welcome fun element too. It comes with a good selection of pieces that’ll keep your child entertained.
The window for this toy is limited. The parts are too small for a younger child, and it may lack the challenge for an older one. That said, it is a well-made product that is affordably priced. You’ll get your money’s worth out of it. The sounds and lights are a cool feature that will amuse the kids.
VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set
The set provides an educational and fun introduction to the world of music.
- The set stands out as both a musical instrument and a teaching tool.
- There is a volume control switch.
- It has a battery-saver function.
- The limited selection of melodies may get old after a while.
- It’s a bit on the small side.
The VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set succeeds on several fronts. First, it’s a great way to introduce your child to music. We liked that it teaches children to follow a beat with LED lights on the drums. Second, it’s also a learning tool for numbers and letters which puts it on our list of the best toys for 4 year old boys. That adds a lot to its value.
It has four play modes and nine melodies from which to choose. It includes batteries meant for demo use, a trend we’ve seen in many toys. The set has a volume control switch which we consider a must-have feature in any noise-making toy. Overall, it’s a cute instrument with the added functionality that makes it a good value for the price.
Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up Book
- Elaborate, detailed pop-up illustrations
- Filled with information and entertaining info
- Engages kids with humor
- Pop-ups can be fragile
A pop-up book over 65 million years in the making. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs features elaborate pop-up pages related to dinosaur facts. Each page displays a large pop-up dinosaur along with short paragraphs of dino facts.
The quality here is remarkable. Each 3D dino extends its body and moves around the page. Plus, smaller foldout sections provide kid-sized information on what the dino ate, where it lived and more. Each page includes a healthy dose of lighthearted humor to help kids stay engaged.
68-Piece Workbench with Realistic Tools by ToyVelt
- Safe, kid-friendly set of realistic-looking tools
- All pieces fit into carrying case for easy storage
- Helps kids learn tool basics
- Multiple small parts can be easy for kids to lose
While toddlers should stay far away from real power tools, they can still learn the basics with this safe toy tool set. It includes a huge variety of 68 realistic-looking tools and parts such as a hammer, saw, electronic drill and more. All pieces are made from heavy-duty plastic with no sharp edges.
The tool case is 16 inches by 29 inches. It doubles as a portable carrying case. Each tool has a specific space in the case. Kids will learn how to match each tool to its storage outline properly. Play also helps kids develop fine motor skills.
Dancing Robot Toy from CifToys
- Dancing robot plays music and flashes lights
- One-button activation
- Encourages kids to get up and move
- Fun and funny for all ages
- No volume controls
- Dances the same way every time
Watch this funky robot bust a move! With just the push of a button, the robot plays music and then moves its legs and hands in time with the rhythm. Its body spins 360 degrees. Even the propeller on its head twirls.
Kids will jump up and dance along. It encourages physical activity and fun. The robot flashes colorful lights as it moves. Aside from promoting physical motion, the robot also engages kids with lights, colors, and sounds.
It’s a great gift for kids who are interested in robotics or love playing with their stuffed animal friends. The motion and sounds give the robot a lifelike quality which kids will connect with on a personal level.
Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship
- Detailed, colorful pirate ship with action figures and moving parts
- Wheels allow the ship to roll across most flat surfaces
- Durable, high-quality construction built to last
- Requires no batteries or electricity
- Ship doesn’t float in water
Set sail on the Shark Bite Pirate Ship from Fisher-Price. The set includes a detailed pirate ship, two pirate figures, spyglass, cannon ball, treasure and more. Pushing the ship along the ground makes the side fins move up and down to replicate swimming.
Three Power Pads help bring the ship to life. The first Power Pad opens the shark’s mouth. The second aims and fires the cannon. The third reveals the hidden treasure. Kids have tons of play options.
Note that this is a land-based toy which won’t float in water. While it has no electronic parts, you’ll still want to keep this ship dry. Regular exposure to water can potentially rust the metal wheels.
VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
- A fun, lively introduction to basketball and soccer
- Features over 50 sounds and songs
- Includes kid-sized basketball and soccer ball
- Automated scoreboard helps kids learn numbers
- The hoop isn’t very secure
- Volume is loud and can’t be lowered
Around the age of four, many boys start to develop an interest in organized sports. This Smart Shots Sports Center from VTech helps kids understand the basics of both basketball and soccer. It features a soccer goal, basketball hoop, LED scoreboard and more.
It also includes a kid-sized basketball and soccer ball. When a ball goes through the basket or hits the soccer netting, the LED scoreboard lights up and plays celebratory noises. It keeps score up to 10.
Kids will learn the basics about shooting a basketball or kicking a soccer ball. The sports center also plays over 50 songs, phrases and sounds. Electronic components require three AA batteries.
Auney Handheld Bubble Machine
Never fear! Bubble Man is here and he’s brought his Auney Handheld Bubble Machine to battle the bad guys!
- Oodles of bubbles
- Quantity of bubbles depends on bubble soap used
- Requires 3 AA batteries
- Sound cannot be turned off
Your bubble master can create up to 2000 bubbles per minute with the Auney Handheld Bubble Machine on his hand. The actual number of bubbles depends on the type of bubble soap you use.
When you squeeze the handle, bubbles appear, sounds are made and lights flash. The sounds and lights can not be turned off apart from the bubble maker. The Bubble Machine is made with red and yellow non-toxic ABS plastic and requires three AA batteries which are not included.
IQ BUILDER Educational Art Play Sand
Enjoy sensory fun at its best with the IQ BUILDER Educational Art Play Sand.
- Develops creative expression
- Perfect for kinesthetic learners
- Nylon mat for easy cleanup
- Residue can make floors slippery
- Colors may transfer to hands and clothes
IQ BUILDER Educational Art Play Sand has been recommended by educational professionals to develop fine motor skills and improve artistic creativity. Kinesthetic learners will have a blast creating worlds with this sand set.
There are enough molds and sand for four children to play together at once. It includes five pounds of smart sand, five crafting tools, 24 shaping molds, one sand scooper and a nylon mat for easy clean-up.
Be sure to use the nylon mat because any residue left on floors or tables can make them slick. The sand comes in three different bright colors which may stain hands and clothes.
Think Gizmos Interactive Whack A Frog
The whole family will have a blast with Think Gizmos Interactive Whack A Frog.
- Two difficulty levels
- Four language options
- Can be overwhelming
- Comes with only one hammer
Think Gizmos Interactive Whack A Frog has two different difficulty levels and 38 speeds for the ultimate challenge. Sounds and lights add to the intensity. Phrases are chirped out by these whirling frogs in English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese, depending on which language option you choose.
The gameboard and hammer are made from durable non-toxic ABS plastic. It requires three AAA batteries to run. The flashing lights and sounds may be overwhelming to some sensitive little boys. The set comes with only one hammer, so players will need to take turns and be patient.
Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent Set
The Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent Set has everything you need for backyard camping adventures, including a lantern, tent, and cookstove!
- 18 accessories including pop up tent
- An excellent camping adventure set
- The gas stove and oil lamp each require two AA batteries
- No storage bag
- Plastic food is not high quality construction
The Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent Set has eighteen pieces for your little guy’s next camping trip. The gas stove and lantern are battery operated. Each requires two AA batteries. The cooker has an adjustable “flame.”
The 4-in-1 emergency survival whistle has a flashlight, compass, and Celsius thermometer. Also included are a pair of binoculars, two utility knives, two plates, shovel, cooking pan, plastic food, a wristwatch, and fabric pop up tent. The tent measures 30.7 x 35.5 inches and is durable but not waterproof.
The set does not have a carrying case, so moving camp can be cumbersome. The plastic food accessories are not of the highest quality in comparison to the rest of the accessories.
Kidtastic Dinosaur Construct and Play
If your little builder is into dinosaurs, then the Kidtastic Dinosaur Construct and Play is the perfect set for him!
- Develops coordination and fine motor skills
- Bonus downloadable coloring book
- Lead, BPA and Phthalates-free
- Dinosaur pieces are not interchangeable
- Children with motor skills delays will find it challenging
Your child can take apart and reassemble a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Alamosaurus, and a Triceratops from the 106 pieces included in the Kidtastic Dinosaur Construct and Play. The three dinosaurs come fully assembled for right-from-the-box imaginative play.
There are three screwdrivers included, so more than one child can use the set at a time. The screws are interchangeable between the three dinosaurs to reduce frustration. This beginner engineering set develops fine motor and problem-solving skills, along with improving hand-eye coordination.
Each dinosaur is between four and seven inches tall and is lead, BPA, and Phthalates-free. The Kidtastic Dinosaur Construct and Playset has been safety tested and comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. A free downloadable coloring book is included as well.
The dinosaur pieces are not interchangeable like the screws. Each dinosaur has its own parts. Children that have motor skills disorders or delays will find breaking down and assembling the dinosaurs challenging.
CoolToys Monkey Balance Math Game
Practice math skills and have fun with the CoolToys Monkey Balance Math Game! Work with numbers from one to nineteen with this exciting yet educating activity.
- 65 piece set
- Teaches counting and essential math skills
- Monkeys and numbers are small enough to pose a choking hazard
- Can only be used with numbers up to 19
The CoolToys Monkey Balance Math Game has nineteen monkeys, plastic numbers from one to ten, thirty eye-catching double-sided cards, and a monkey scale. It is easy to assemble and makes learning simple. Each card tells you how many monkeys to put on the weighted scale.
The Monkey Balance Math Game helps your child develop sorting and problem-solving skills, number and color recognition, counting as well as basic addition and subtraction. The monkeys and numbers are small enough to pose a choking hazard. Unfortunately, the number sets can only be used for counting up to 19.
WisToyz Hover Soccer Ball Set
The WisToyz Hover Soccer Ball Set ensures active fun indoors and out!
- Hover and inflatable soccer balls
- Two goals
- Three-year warranty
- Lights can not be turned off
- Goals slide around
The WisToyz Hover Soccer Ball Set comes both with a hover soccer ball for indoor games and an inflatable soccer ball for outside matches. The hover ball is powered by four AA batteries and has multi-colored LED lights. It can be used on any smooth floor, including hardwood, unfinished basement, tile, and low-pile carpets. The foam bumper protects both little ankles and furniture.
The hover ball is 7.1 inches and makes a low volume humming sound when activated. The flashing lights can not be turned off separately from the hover motor. The inflatable ball is about six inches in diameter. The pump to inflate the other soccer ball is also included in the set.
The set has two easily assembled goals with nets that measure 23 x 12.6 x 12.6 inches each. The goals slide around during play because suction cups do not attach them to the floor. For the best result, place the goals against a wall. WisToyz provides a three-year warranty on its product.
LEGO Juniors Demolition Site
Make the transition to Legos with the LEGO Juniors Demolition Site. This set has moving pieces and mini-figures to go from building fun to interactive play in a jiffy.
- Compatible with all Lego sets
- Moving pieces
- Construction guide
- 175 pieces
- No storage container
With the LEGO Juniors Demolition Site, your child can build his own construction site. The 175-piece set comes with a digger, dump truck, demolition crane with a wrecking ball, partially constructed building, and three construction crew mini-figures.
The LEGO Juniors Demolition Site is compatible with all Lego sets, junior and regular. It includes a guide to help your little guy construct the vehicles and buildings.
The building measures 3 x 1 x 1 inches. The roof and wall can be knocked over by the crane. The dump truck is 3 x 5 x 2 inches. It has a cab for the mini-figures, and the open-box bed tilts to unload the building material.
The digger’s dimensions are 5 x 7 x 2 inches when the arm is raised. The front bucket of the digger and its back arm lift. A mini-figures can fit inside the cab to drive. The demolition crane is 5 x 3 x 1 inches when the wrecking ball is retracted. It has a stand with a rear ladder, rotating seat, and arm.
Additional accessories include two roadblock signs, building bricks, workmen’s tools, road closure cones, and a walkie-talkie. Because this set does not have a storage container, it’s more than likely pieces will be lost over time.
What Are Some Features I Should Look for in Toys?
Realism is an important part of toys for boys in this age group. As their role model, your child will want to replicate the things you do with the tools and objects that you use. Anything that resembles them is sure to please, especially if it lights up or makes sounds. These features will engage children more, making them appropriate choices.
Some children can graduate to playthings with smaller parts as long as they’re not routinely putting objects into the mouths. You should stick with toys that are unbreakable with nothing that can break off easily and become a hazard.
What Should I Avoid When Buying a Toy for a Four-Year-Old?
Stay away from anything with fragile or brittle materials. The same precaution exists with electrical mechanisms unless supervised by an adult. Look for the phrase “UL Approved” on these toys. Opt for well-made products even if they’re more expensive over cheaper, less sturdy ones. Also, you should read the label on everything to make sure that they are nontoxic.
House rules will dictate which toys are inappropriate. Anything with projectiles, for example, is a better choice for outdoor play than indoors. If you pick one that makes sounds, make sure there is a volume control on it and preferably an OFF switch too. If in doubt, check with Mom and Dad first.
What Mental and Physical Changes Are Going On in a Four-Year-Old?
A lot is going on inside the body of your child at this age. They’ll take a greater interest in the world around them including animals and nature in general. Their curiosity will rev up too. They’ll start to see patterns and designs. You may see those first hand drawings of houses, trees, and cars. Sharing and cooperation are part of play as well.
You’ll see a spike in their imagination as building things becomes more entertaining to them. Make-believe games are important too. That may even spread over into group play. These things all coincide with greater cognitive functioning.
Physically, their dexterity is improving with a better ability to grasp and manipulate objects. You’ll notice more activity and increasing boldness in the things they do. They’re more likely to jump and play acrobats at this age. They’ll begin to understand the concept of time and even goal setting, at least for the short term.
How Can Toys Help My Child’s Development?
The essential to remember is that the brain of your growing child is forming the neural pathways that will serve him later in life. Toys are an important way that you can influence this development. Realistic playthings set the stage for skills they may use as adults. That’s one reason why they prefer realistic-looking toys.
Some of the best toys for 4 year old boys encourage learning in a fun way. It’s probably one of the most valuable gifts that you can give your child. A positive association with acquiring new knowledge is priceless. You’ll see many products that embrace STEM which make excellent choices when deciding what to buy.
Should I Give My Child Electronics?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents take an active role in their child’s usage of any digital media. First and foremost, limits are crucial whether it’s TV, a smartphone, or tablet. Remember that children need to be able to navigate their own world before immersing themselves in an electronic version. One hour a day tops is best.
Second, the AAP urges families to have a media plan with goals and restrictions. Parents should vet all content for quality. It offers a great opportunity to set boundaries and media-free areas and times that will fit in with your child’s current mental development. It’s critical to ensure that your child remains active to set healthy lifelong habits.
What Are Some Good Toys for My Child?
Several types will support your growing four-year-old in positive ways. Some suitable choices include:
- Push & Pull Toys: Lawnmowers, wagons, and wheelbarrows
- Construction Toys: Blocks, interlocking systems, and simple models
- Ride-On Toys: Tricycles, low-slung trikes, and trucks
- Sports Equipment: Climbing sets, seesaws, and gym sets
- Manipulative Toys: Puzzles, matching games, and sorting toys
- Creative Play: Musical instruments, painting/drawing materials, and crafts
- Make-Believe Play: Costumes, props, and puppets
These kinds of toys will help children build on the skills from the increase in cognitive functioning. They’ll help them see patterns in things and make associations between cause-and-effect. A wide variety of playthings will foster more rounded mental development. Exposure to a variety of tasks is an excellent way to prepare them for the challenges of school.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Always read the label on all toys before giving them to your four-year-old. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassles—and tears—if you do. Make it a point to explain how a plaything works too. Show your child what he should and shouldn’t do with it. If you need to set ground rules, it’s an excellent time for it.
The best toys for 4 year old boys in 2020 will help them gain the skills they’ll need for school and their adult life. Realistic-looking ones are a fine way to bridge that gap as they get older. We prefer products that encourage physical activity and mental stimulation to meet those goals. It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of these early years.