DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. Know that I only promote products I personally use and stand behind. Additionally it should be noted that I freelance for one of the companies, Alex Brands, which is mentioned in this post. Any opinions expressed on these items are solely my own and not that of my employer. To learn more about my affiliates, please review my disclosure policy here.
The 4 year old preschooler is such a fun kid, don’t you think? They are more independent, they’re more active than ever and they’re learning like crazy! If you’ve previously been a fan of our Favorite Products series, get ready for our favorite products for a 4 year old list!
Just like past lists, I went ahead and grouped our favorite products into categories. Some are typical categories, like favorite toys and games, but some are new as a 4 year old starts getting into different things! Pin this post for your holiday shopping needs!
Toys and Games:
Always the most fun category, right?
- Zingo – Bingo With A Zing – This is probably our #1 favorite family game as both my 4 year old and 2 year old can easily play it. It’s a basic matching game with a fun device that holds the tiles that allows my girls to play independently, as well as, with us as a family. This version includes both drawings and the names of the drawings on each tile to introduce some basic new words to a 4 year old’s vocabulary.
- Trouble – We didn’t break this one out until she was 4.5 as I thought she wasn’t ready for the strategy aspect of this game but within a few attempts at playing, she totally got it. The rules are easy enough to follow and who doesn’t love the pop-a-matic?
- Rush Hour Jr – If you don’t already have this game in your collection, get it! It’s a great independent game that involves logic and problem solving. You set up the traffic scene on the grid with one of the challenge cards then have to move around the pieces to try to get the ice cream truck out of the traffic jam. The cards go from easy to super hard and I’m so impressed when Brielle is able to complete an easy one fast or eventually move up to complete a harder one with my help.
- Magic Tracks – This is one of the cooler train sets you’ll own! The tracks are flexible to allow for lots of movement when building your train’s course. Brielle likes to stack a few books on different parts of the track to make hills or open the books over it to make tunnels.
- Design & Drill Construction Set – We didn’t get this until she was 4 but I’m betting she would’ve loved it at a much younger age. Our 2 year old can easily use the tools to get the screws into the holes on the grid. I do have to recommend it for this 4 year old age though, as she was REALLY into learning how to repeat the pattern shown on the cards in the kit. It was a great STEM activity to understand patterns and counting.
- Guess Who – We have both the original Guess Who and this newer 2 player version of the classic guessing game and I’d recommend both for different reasons! The classic is just as fun to narrow down which card you have by using comparison skills. The questions get funny as they learn different characteristics and see things through their eyes. We say “red” for hair color but in the game it all shows as orange so that’s what a 4 year old will say. She also learned the difference between a beard and a mustache and what “bald” means due to this game! The newer version of Guess Who has four different card sides so you can build categorizing skills like learning the differences between vegetables vs fruits, animals with wings vs feet, and bugs vs mammals.
Pretend play is a big topic at any age but her imagination really seemed to flourish during year 4!
- Super Hero Capes – Brielle played with the boy version of this cape set at a friend’s house and after seeing the fun she had I added this girl set for her and her sister. Truth be told we are not really a superhero house but she’s aware of Spiderman from classmates so they literally run around in the capes yelling “Superhero!”
- Pretend Play Makeup – Santa bought this little set of play makeup and it was an instant hit with both my girls! Their favorite part was the roll on lip gloss (of which, of course, nothing came out) but they felt it was real!
- Kid Sized Dress Up Shoes – These cute little dress shoes are a beloved dress up item in our home, both for our girls, but also any girls who have come over to play! Just like regular shoes, I went ahead and added our favorite Name Bubbles shoe labels that form either a sun or a rainbow, so the girls are able to tell which goes on the left and right and they can clomp around the house add dressed up in their girly garb. (Get 15% off your NameBubbles order with code SPOT15 to personalize a set for your little one!)
- Garden set and gloves. Whenever I’m working on pulling weeds or Derek is digging something up in the yard, she runs over to grab her little kid sized garden gloves and a cushioned knee board.
- Hair Chalk and Sketch It Nail Pens – While I’m putting this in the pretend play category these are things my 4 year old loves but which are used by me ON her. I don’t let her use these on her own. The hair chalks are easy to rub onto their head for colorful “unicorn” or “mermaid” hair (as she calls it). The nail pens are cool as they include both a brush and a fine point pen so I’ve been able to do some simple designs, like polka dots, or things like Mickey Mouse designs!
Arts & Crafts:
As you can imagine, we do our fair share of crafts in this house, both from prepackaged kits and ones we’ve designed by ourselves. Here are a few of the new favorite kits my 4 year old loved this year, and yes while many are from a company who is a client, I must state again that I’m writing this as a mom, not an employee! I genuinely love these kits for kids!
- POPS Craft Kits– If you’re looking for gift ideas for Easter baskets, stockings or to fit in an airplane for travel, check out these POPS craft kits from Alex! This is a mini kit that a 4 year old can do herself with little directions needed and the price point is so worth it! We’ve done this Paper Chain one (pictured above left) and the 3 Happy Birds craft.
- Ready Set Count – (pictured top right) Brielle had all the alphabet down pat by the time she was 4 and we started focusing more on identifying numbers. This kit includes a few activities to build those skills, while still doing cutting, pasting and stickering type craft activities. Many of these Alex kits are our favorite as the activities are individually bagged inside so we don’t have to do them all at once and several times I’ve taken just one part of the kit on a trip or as a morning activity and it can be independently completed!
- Ready Set Sew – Brielle had watched me sew several cross stitch projects, Halloween costumes and even holes in clothes so she an interest in learned to sew. A little after turning 4 I pulled out this kit and it was a hit! The kit includes a plastic needle and activities to sew and then complete with stickers. We would do a little project each night so the kit latest a while!
- Tissue Paper Art – This is a super fun, virtually mess free craft. Simply feel the adhesive covering to expose the sticky area on your shape, crumble the tissue paper squares and place onto the sticky surface to create a pretty project. This is not specific to a 4 year old, as my 2 year old loved it this year as well, but at 4 they are now more aware of patterns and she worked to make their project more detailed and sometimes more true to real life.
- Paper Bag Monsters – Like many of the Alex Toys art kits, this one includes several projects which are individually bagged. The instructions are illustrated so once they understand the basic concepts of gluing them sticking on the stickers, they can pretty much do this on their own.
Parents are always looking for fun activities to keep kids entertained on long trips, whether it’s in a car seat or on an airplane. I shared what I had packed for her plane ride to Disney in this post, but here’s a follow up of a few others she’s enjoyed on the go.
- Peel and Stick Sticker Puzzles – This is another great mess free, quiet activity a 4 year old can do. They must take square stickers off a jumbled sheet and put them in order on a grid to complete the puzzle. Brielle’s great at these on long car rides as they’re compact enough to fit in a backpack. Consider them for Christmas stockings or Easter baskets!
- Melissa and Doug Tape Book – I packed this in Brielle’s backpack on our flight to Disney and it was a hit! She was able to understand the concept on each page and the tape was easy enough for her to rip on her own. It’s reusable so we can take the tape off to complete the tasks again. My only complaint is that once you open the tape rolls from the original packaging, you can’t put them back so you’ll need a baggie to hold them with the book.
- Hidden Pictures – a great book to entertain on the airplane to Disney!
- Magna Doodle – Both our girls have these magnet boards and even smaller versions in a bin in the car. They used to be used for basic scribbles but now, at 4, she’s writing words and drawing recognizable shapes.
I found that my 4 year old has really started to grasp the use of book reading for learning lessons but also to see the silliness in the story. This list is a collection of books she’s loved to “read” with me for fun or that I see how she takes away the lesson from the story.
- First Dictionary – We have an old version of one from the early 90s that is a bit outdated (both in graphics and content shown) but this newer one has a modern look and content. We go through just a few letters a night and try to get her to determine the words based on the photos and teach her some other verbs and items she might not know.
- 5 Minute Bedtime stories – There are many versions of this book series and we have about 4 of them. They truly are about 5 minutes long and they run between lots of favorite characters. Now that she’s starting to learn a few sight words, she will “read” along with me stating the words she knows when we go through each story. We have 5 Minute Snuggle Stories, Princess Stories and Paw Patrol, just to name a few.
- Pete the Cat Books – Her preschool classroom had some books from this series as I started to see her excitement for Pete when I first gave her some in her airplane bag to Disney. As she starts to read more words next year I know these “My First I Can Read” books will come even more in handy. They are super cheap and easy to fit into stockings, Easter baskets and travel bags so add them to your cart asap! We have Snow Daze, Tip Top Tree House, and Surprise Teacher, to name a few.
- I Spy Christmas – Yes this is a seasonal book, which I usually keep packed with the seasonal items, but it was so popular with both girls that I kept it out all year. No doubt we will plan to add more of this series to our library.
- Razor Jr. Lil’ Kick Scooter – Brielle received a 14″ bike for Christmas a year earlier but after seeing her and her sister scooting around on her cousins scooters, Santa brought them both a pink model.
This 4 year old preschooler is really into learning these days! At the beginning of the year she was obsessed with getting down all her capital and lowercase letters then numbers and these are some resources we used to help build those skills. Often she would do it on her own and other times I sat with her and helped guide her through.
- Kumon Educational Workbooks – We really started to introduce workbooks when she was 3.5 but she was practicing writing in preschool at age 4, she got more interested these workbooks at home. She would only do a few pages a day, if she seemed in the mood, as I never wanted to force her to do these just yet. She’s enjoyed Kumon My First Book of Tracing, My Book of Numbers 1 – 30, and My First Book of Mazes but we’ve also picked up a few smaller versions by different brands at the dollar store and dollar section at Target. She’s currently working through this Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills book my Father-in-law got her for a preschool graduation present and I love the content it has inside!
- Write and wipe books – A dry erase marker and board gave endless entertainment to practice her letters, numbers and play basic games. Writing the answer was fun but wiping it off was just as fun!
- Amazon Fire Tablet – Ugh I know. Can’t believe this is on here but yes at the Christmas after she turned 4,
weSanta got a tablet for her. I had (and still do) have strict intentions to only let her use it with special privileges with mostly educational apps or the occasional movie watching moments. This was especially great going to Disney as she has opportunity to use it on the plane and in the hotel room at night to watch some pre-downloaded Netflix shows and movies. We have yet to ever bring it out to a restaurant but I’m sure it will be useful down the road to entertain either girl while the other is at a practice, game or activity. I created this follow up post about our favorite apps for preschoolers on the Amazon Fire!
Want to see our other favorites at younger ages? Check out each of the posts below:
- Favorite Products for a 3 year old
- Favorite Products for a 2 year old
- Favorite Products for 12 – 18 months
- Favorite Baby Products for 5 months – 1 year
- Favorite Baby Products for Newborn – 4 Months