Some of the best gifts for 4-year-olds engage kids’ boundless curiosity, rapidly developing physical skills, and desire to understand everything around them. Early STEM toys—those that help kids develop skills related to science, technology, engineering, and math—allow preschoolers to experiment with the strength, size, and shape of objects, and to explore cause and effect, hopefully without anything getting broken. Along with classic wooden blocks, building toys that feature magnets, gears, curves, and wheels often let 4-year-olds experiment and problem-solve independently. Jena Olson, president of Kid Spark Education, a nonprofit that promotes STEM education, emphasizes other, lesser-known skills that STEM toys can help preschoolers develop: “Children learn language and cooperation,” she says. “They refine their physical skills, including fine motor skills, as they push and pull pieces apart.” Gifts that encourage art and creativity, as well as games and movement toys that allow for silly and energetic play, are also great choices for this age group.
We relied on the advice of Olson and Ann Kienzle of Play toys in Chicago, as well as that of parents and other caregivers on our staff, to identify memorable and engaging gifts for 4-year-olds. Many gifts for kids are appropriate for a range of ages. If you’re looking for more kids gift ideas, check out our guides to the best gifts for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, 9-year-olds, and 10-year-olds, as well as wonderful stocking stuffers for kids. And please share your own best ideas in the comments below.
source: NY Times – Wirecutter