Four is the age when your preschooler feels, acts, and talks like a big kid who's ready for anything. If you don't have that little one's wish list on hand, here's what to keep in mind, whether you're looking for a gift that's more educational, creative, or just plain fun.
Support the little artist
Four is the age where kids play independently, and art supplies never get old. And kids get better at holding a pencil at this age, so a rainbow set of colored pencils or thin markers make great gifts.
Give gifts that burn energy
Even in the age of the iPad and cool-kid apps, old-school games still make incredible gifts for 4-year-olds, who have oodles of energy to burn. They'll be happy to run and watch a colorful kite soar high. Four is also a good age to start developing a bike-balancing skills.
Enter the world of make believe
This is the magic age of dress up and make believe - with fairy wings, unicorns, superhero capes, and tutus taking center stage. Scout out costumes, masks, face paint, a doctor's kit, or a dollhouse to add wonder to pretend play.
Give materials for building
This age group loves to build complex castles, towers, and structures with their hands. Blocks, Legos, or Magna tiles are all slam-dunk gifts for 4-year-olds.
Encourage a love of reading
Preschoolers can follow along with favorite chapter books (like Peter Pan or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Or choose picture books that include humor, exaggeration, and general silliness, and you'll have a happy, giggly 4-year-old on your hands.
Give the gift of independence
Next stop is kindergarten, and 4-year-olds are certainly proud of what they can already do. Gifts that build on that can-do attitude are winners - think a backpack to carry his things around all by himself.
Inspire young makers
With longer attention spans and better coordination, 4-year-olds love to make and create projects. Look for all-in-one-kits that let kids design or build something from scratch. Gifts related to science and experiments are a sure hit (check the recommended age range first).
Sit down and play
Let family game nights commence! At age 4, kids can follow rules and play many sit-down games, like a memory matching game. Simple games make learning gifts for 4-year-olds, including learning to wait their turn and handle losing sometimes. Chances are, the game also reinforces numbers, letters, colors, and shapes.