21 of the best toys for 4 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 4 to 5

best toys for 4 year olds

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Your 4-year-old is developing greater self-control and ingenuity, and that means his or her pretend play is getting more complex and imaginative – and can go on and on and on…

Your child’s ever-improving finger dexterity means he or she can pencils and colouring pens with a more mature grip and better hand-eye coordination means he or she can do more complex puzzles, and play with toys that have smaller parts or slightly fiddlier buttons to press.

Here is our pick of some of the best toys to choose for your 4-year-old:

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1. Cry Babies, £29.99

GOLD winner, Best Doll, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 3 to 5

What it is: A baby doll that’s 31cm in height and comes in 6 different characters. She wears a onesie – and you’ll need to get replacement batteries at some point but, to start with, they are included. Yay!

Why we love it: We did think at first these dolls were a bit, shall we say, unusual looking, but our toy awards child testers LOVED them. They cry real tears when you put water in the top of their head, and lots of our parents said they like the fact the dolls encourage your child to show their nurturing side.

Available from: Amazon, Argos and Smyths Toys

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2. Ozbozz My First Scooter, £19.99

GOLD winner, Best Scooter, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 2 to 5 (ish)

What it is: This 65cm trainer scooter adjusts from 4 to 3 to 2 wheels, to give them balance when they start off scootering. The handlebar is adjustable in height too. It comes in a variety of colours and you get a toolkit with it as well.

Why we love it: Judges at our Toy Awards loved the fact this scooter starts with 4 wheels to help young kids get used to using it. They also found it was really light – a good bonus if you end up carrying it for some distance (as we know happens). They were really impressed with the price point too.

Available from: Argos and Amazon


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3. Magformers Creator Set, £79.99

SILVER winner, Best Educational/Learning Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 3+

What it is: Click together 60 magnetic pieces to create 3D structures. Comes with 6 large laminate mats and step by step instructions.

Why we love it: Well, it’s great for developing fine-motor skills but our child toy testers found this to be seriously fun, too. The pieces click together really easily too, so even some of our younger testers found it simple to make towers, trains, rollercoasters and more.

Available from: Amazon

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4. KidKraft Abbey Manor Dolls House, £99.95

Age: 4+

What it is: A sturdy, 58cm x 33cm  x 72cm 3-floor wooden dolls house that comes with a removable wraparound porch, opening roof and side and 16 accessories. Requires some assembly.

Why we love it: The rooms and the accessories are beautifully detailed: there’s a piano, bunk beds, a chandelier and even a loo. And it’s a great size: not too small but not room-swampingly ginormous, either.

Available from: KidKraft

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5. Buzz Lightyear Toy Story 4 Ultimate Walking Buzz, £29.99

Age: 3 +

What it is: An 18cm walking talking Buzz: press the button under his arm to switch him on, then press the red button his left side to spread out his wings, hear him say phrases from the movie and make him walk and swivel his hips. Requires 3 button cell batteries (not always included).

Why we love it: This Buzz has great sound effects – and we love the surprise you have to unlock to make himdo the moonwalk.

Available from: Argos and Asda

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6. Glow Tracks Super Set, £14.99

Age: 3 +

What it is: A flexible 216-piece race track with a light-up car. Includes a lift piece, 4 green conjoined railway pieces, a stone track piece, a bridge, 3 crossgirders, 2 solid bridges, 24 bridge columns, 6 pier pieces, and a fork. Requires 6 AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: We love how long and versatile this 3.4m track is: it can be made into lots of shapes and can fit in and around furniture. And, of course, the glow-in-the-dark effect of the car’s headlights is magic!

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

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7. Imaginext DC Super Friends The Joker and Harley Quinn Battle Vehicle, £18.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 24cm x 16cm x 34cm rolling tank with spinning claws. You can turn the ‘Power Pad’ to open the cockpit and launch a projectile from the fire launcher on the tank’s scorpion-like tail. Comes with Joker and Harley Quinn figures, a projectile and a hammer. No batteries required.

Why we love it: It definitely does what it says on the Gotham City tin: the spinning claws on the front are excellent. Not bad value, either – for a movie tie-in toy.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

le toy van dolly ice cream van

8. Push Along Dolly Ice Cream Van, £35

Age: 3 +

What it is: A wooden 29cm x 13cm x 19cm pink van that comes with stickers you can personalise it with. It has a lift-up roof with ice cream options painted on, and a serving window.

Why we love it: It’s beautifully made (with proper working wheels) and its pastel colours and sweet decorations might just have melted our hearts a little bit…

Available from: Kidly, Amazon and Le Toy Van

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9. VTech Kidizoom Flix playset, £59.99

Age: 4+

What it is: A detachable 29cm alien camera on a tripod that also has facial recognition, plays games and repeats words and phrases back to you in his cute alien voice. Features a 2 mega pixel camera, a twistable lens and a built-in rechargeable battery. Comes bundled with a flexible tripod and USB cable for photo uploading– in either blue or pink.

Why we love it: You can change Flix’s eyes and skin colour, which is cool, and our child testers absolutely loved Flix’s ‘Guard mode’, in which he takes ‘secret’ motion-activated photos and videos.

Available from: Amazon

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10. Cheeky Monkeys board game, £10.25

Age: 4+

What it is: A game of chance, where you try to collect the most bananas. Includes a 3D tree, 32 monkey cards, 1 pool board, 1 spinner board and 1 two-part plastic spinner arrow. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: This fun game won Gold in our 2017 Toy Awards for its clever combination of fun and strategy – and the thrill of being allowed to steal each other’s bananas. The cardboard pieces are pleasingly thick and long-lasting (and wipe-clean), too.

Available from: Orchard Toys and Amazon

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11. Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck, £69.99

GOLD winner, Best Play Set, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 3+

What it is: A 35cm x 65cm x 18cm firetruck with an extendable 2ft (yep, 2ft!) ladder, a mini fire car, and flashing lights and sounds. It comes with a Marshall figure, water ‘plumes’ to fire from the water cannon, a hose, grabbing claw and stickers for a spot of decoration. Requires 2 x AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: It’s a great, sturdy truck but what sets it apart (aside from the Paw Patrol branding) is the length of that ladder: we were really impressed by it! Our Toy Awards child judges loved the ladder too and used it to rescue toys from all over the house.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Argos

Take a look out more of our Toy Awards playset winners 

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12. Tidlo Paragon Pirate Ship, £45.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 59cm x 18cm x 48cm wooden pirate ship with recessed wheels, so it can ‘sail’ across the floor. Comes with 6 posable pirate figures.

Why we love it: It’s sturdy and easy to assemble, and there are lots of nice touches that really add value to make-believe play, like the cannons, the barrels, the treasure chest and the anchor that goes up and down. Oh, and we particularly like that there are girls, as well as boys, in this pirate crew.

Available from: Amazon

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13. Soggy Doggy’s Friends, £14.99

SILVER winner, Best Interactive Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 4+

What it is: A 16cm pup you can take for a walk on its (detachable) lead, and who barks, make happy sounds when you cuddle him, and snores when he’s asleep. Choose from Dizzy (pictured) or Daisy (who’s pink). Requires 3 x AAA batteries.

Why we love it: If you’re at the stage where your child really wants a puppy but you’re not sure you can plump for the real thing, Soggy Doggy is a great option. Our child toy testers really loved looking after him – feeding and petting him. And he’s good value for money.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

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14. Galt Velvet Picture Animals, £2.99

Age: 4+

What it is: 10 animal pictures, set on a velvet background, to colour in. The way the images are set on the velvet means that, if your child goes over the lines, it won’t show, so, however wobbly the pen-holding, the finished picture is really lovely.

Why we love it: It’s a great way to boost colouring-in confidence, and it’s great value for money. The pictures are backed on nice thick card, too, so the pics your child finishes look great displayed on a wall or given as a gift to grandparents.

Available from: Galt Toys and Amazon

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15. Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Railway Race Set, £34.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 180cm-long double track along which you can race, head to head, a motorised Thomas and his friend Percy. Features a bridge and trackside flags. Requires 4 x AAA batteries (not included).

Why we love it: It’s a nice big track. And we really like how the bridge bursts apart to make way for the trains and how the chequered flag – and (plastic) fireworks! – appear to signal the winner.

Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys

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16. Le Toy Van Le Grand Garage, £89.95

Age: 3+

What it is: An easy-to-assemble 55cm x 42cm x 12cm wooden garage with 4 levels including the helicopter pad. Comes with a little green car and blue helicopter.

Why we love it: We’re suckers for wooden toys (they’re just that bit more retro) and we love the fact that, unlike many toy garages, this comes complete with a car and ‘copter. Nice vintage colours, too.

Available from: Hello Baby and Amazon

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17. Casdon Morphy Richards Kitchen Set, £16

Age: 3+

What it is: A bright red mini kitchen set, including coffee maker, kettle, toaster, cutlery, crockery and play food.

Why we love it: Nothing’s missing from this neat little set: the toaster actually pops up and you can fill the coffee maker (with water) and pour out from the pot. It’s almost better than our own grown-up kitchens… The only downside might be that it comes with 2 plates but only 1 bacon, sausage and egg: looks like Mum or Dad may have to go hungry, eh?

Available from: Dunelm and Amazon

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18. Orchard Toys Big Fire Engine Puzzle, £11

Age: 4+

What it is: A big, bright 53cm x 42cm floor puzzle with 20 sturdy pieces.

Why we love it: It’s super-colourful, with good, thick pieces. The fire crew are nicely diverse and the ‘learning guide’ on the back of the box has some nice (but not too worthy) suggestions for fire-engine-themed chat with your child after the puzzle’s complete.

Available from: John Lewis and Orchard Toys


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19. Little Tikes STEM Jr Wonder Lab, £95.55

SILVER winner, Best ScienceToy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 3+

What it is: This 40cm x 71cm x 85cm pretend science lab has 20 experiments, and more than 50 accessories as well as sounds and phrases.

Why we love it: There is so much to this toy – our Toy Awards child judges were blown away by how many bits and pieces they are to play with. The experiments obviously need a little adult help but we defy any grown-up not to want to assist a small scientist making snow and bubbles and vampire blood…

Available from: Little Tikes and Amazon

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20. Hape Checkout Register, £24.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 19.3cm x 21.1cm x 15cm wooden till with an abacus (old school), scanner and card reader (new world). Comes with a pretend credit card, and play notes and coins.

Why we love it: This till is beautifully finished, super sturdy and not overly plasticky.

Available from: Amazon and Wooden Toy Store

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21. Little Brian Paint Sticks, £6

Age: 4+

What it is: A pack of 12 mess-free paint sticks in a bold range of colours.

Why we love it: The finish is paint but they’re as easy to use as crayons and you’ll be free from messy splurges on the carpet. Artsy fun for wet weekends when you find yourself inside.

Available from: Baker Ross and Great Little Trading Company

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