Fourth Birthday Gift Ideas
In less than two weeks, D will be four. Unlike previous birthdays, D really grasps the concept of her birthday this year. As she has been witness to a number of beautiful birthday celebrations in her Montessori classroom, she has been eagerly awaiting her special day for months. This is also the first year she has very clear wishes for her day, from what kind of cake she wants (watermelon) to the decorations (also watermelon) to gifts. The following list is extensive and I expect to pick just a few of them for D. This list is a combination of ideas I’ve gotten from D as well as ones I’ve researched and seen enjoyed among friends and family. I hope your soon-to-be 4-year-olds love one or a few of these too!
Cooperative Board Games - In the past few months, board games have been one of D’s top requests when she and I have a little solo time together. Although she loves some of the classic games like Go Fish and Chutes and Ladders, I am a big fan of the cooperative games where we share a common goal. Peaceful Kingdom makes quite a few. D loves Stone Soup and I plan to gift her Race to the Treasure this year.
Arts and Crafts - D, like many children her age, loves to create. Sometimes the most joy and focus comes from using simple arts and crafts supplies to come up with something completely imaginative and new. These types of craft boxes are great for that. Other times, a more purposeful craft can be fun. I’m excited to introduce perler beads (template, beads, tongs) and this DIY chimes kit.
Jumbo Puzzles - This is an age where puzzling can really take off. A favorite for preschoolers is the giant floor puzzles as these provide both an extra challenge and an active component! This search and find 48-piece ocean floor puzzle looks fun and I love the Little Likes Kids floor puzzles, which come in a variety of sizes depending on your child’s puzzling skill level.
Musical Instruments - Musical instruments are a great gift for all ages, but at this age, children can actually begin to follow a tune and put notes together to make simple songs. One way for children to create songs is by following color patterns using these hand bells. A kid-size guitar with only 3 strings is a great instrument to start playing for fun, or even a small ukelele!
Blocks and Gears - With vivid imaginations and capable little hands, four is a really fun age to get into more complex building sets. From legos to gears to marble runs to forts, there are endless possibilities and kits for building. The best toys are the ones that can be used and enjoyed independently and creatively! Magnetic blocks such as Magnatiles and Tegu blocks are also a favorite!
Magazine Subscription - Receiving her Highlights High Five magazine in the mail is one of D’s highlights each month. The magazine is packed full of stories, games, and activity ideas. This year, I’m adding the National Geographic Little Kids magazine to our wish list as well!
Show/Event Tickets - Often what our children want more than anything is special time with us. One exciting birthday surprise could be a date to a special local event or show happening near you. Examples include a temporary exhibit at the zoo, a play at the local children’s theater, a kids concert, or a ballet performance. Another non-physical gift idea is a membership to a local zoo, aquarium, or kids museum!
Real Tools - While pretend play is big at this age, nothing beats the real deal. Whenever possible, we can give our kids real, functional tools to engage with and learn from. Favorites include binoculars, a two-way microscope, a real knife for meal prep, or a toolbox.
Pedal Bike - D has the Woom 2 and we love it. It’s great because the pedals can be removed to make this into a balance bike first. Once your child has the hang of a balance bike, it’s a seamless transition to riding with pedals! Most kids I know have made this transition between 3.5 and 5 years old. Be sure to get on the wait list for this bike!
Ask your child! Every child has their own interests and at this age, is more than capable of letting us know what their interests and wants are. The older our children get, the more unique and tailored their interests become, and it’s our job to support those interests rather than our own!
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