Cool 4 year old birthday gifts are so much fun to buy, because at this age, kids are actually playing with toys and games for longer than a few seconds. They’re great at independent play, they’re past the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage (yay!), and they’re a lot more sure on their feet.
Kids might even be interested in the same activities, interests and games that adults are interested in now too — good news for those of us who were never that big on tummy time. That means so many gift ideas!
So here are some of our favorite birthday gifts for 4 year olds, carefully curated from the zillions of options out there.
All gifts have been editorially determined by our staff, there is no compensation in exchange for picks. We may get a small commission from affiliate link sales at no cost to you. This helps us remain independent and support our team.
All prices are accurate at time of publishing in 2021, but subject to change
The coolest gifts for 4 year olds this year
(Sets from $119 at Amazon)
Make their big-kid bed more fun to snuggle into every night with a new set of awesome bedding (duvet + matching pillow) featuring dinosaurs, princesses, firefighters, astronauts, rocket ship (at top), and new mermaid and pirate. We can’t guarantee the set will make them stay in their own beds all night long…but worth a shot.
($55 for 2 dolls and up, Scribble Bot Studio)
Whatever their family looks like, there are so many cool peg doll makers who can customize something just for you. A fave is Scribble Bot Studio, which does really affordable custom work. Perfect for a dollhouse — or a sweet comfort item for a child going off to preschool (or for a weekend with the grandparents) for the first time.
B.J. Novak’s delightful book is such an exciting way to let kids know that they can, in fact, read a book with no pictures. It may even be sillier and smarter than the ones with pictures. And it will give you some amazing adult-kid time each night too.
($42, Amazon, with more colors on 7AM Enfant)
We love it this funky, puffy bag in stylish-and-stain-hiding black, though all the colors are machine washable. And those wings are quite the symbol for all the growing they will do this year. Sniff.
You can also check out their cool new camo backpacks (shown at very top) in 2 great-looking color combos — so many styles!
($20, Tiny Expressions Store)
Four year olds are ready to start helping around the kitchen — making their own sandwiches perhaps? And these personalized dishes should provide some excellent inspiration whether they’ll love the unicorn, solar system, dinosaurs, basketball — lots to choose from.
One of our absolute favorite gifts hails from Osmo, one of the first companies who understood that STEM-loving kids could take what’s fun about on-screen tablet play, and bring all the learning into the real world. This starter set helps kids up to about 5 develop creativity, imagination, empathy, and measurable skills like phonics, letter recognition, spacial reasoning, and early drawing ability. If you don’t have an iPad, it’s available for Fire Tablet too.
($20, Free to Be Kids)
We adore this shop offering smart, thoughtful tee shirts for our smart, thoughtful kids. This shirt is one of our very favorites but search around for one that’s right for your birthday boy or girl.
A kid can’t have too many crafting kits and art supplies. This is such a cool way to set up a coloring station for a budding young artist, thanks to Melissa & Doug. Parents will cheer how easy clean-up is. And, the terrific price!
($7.95/month with first two months free through the link above)
Our own kids had great success with this reading app subscription that gives kids up to 8 years old educational screen time to practice reading skills. A subscription also comes with tons of free printable worksheets and activities to take the learning offline too. (Note that the above link gives you a discount because Homer was a previous podcast sponsor.)
($12.75 at Amazon)
($37, Vans — with frequent sales!)
How to make Vans’ cool checkerboard style even cooler? How about in in rainbow colors with black contrasting trim and quick-closing Velcro straps. Rad.
($47.75 at Amazon)
The highly-rated, durable Kidizoom digital camera is a way better idea than handing a four-year-old your expensive smartphone, and will hopefully get them excited to take more photos than just selfies.
($28 on sale and up, The Mini Classy)
We love these fierce and funky dino harem pants! They’re worn by all the cool kids these days, from Williamsburg to Silverlake, in lots of fun patterns and colors.
($39.99, Best Buy)
Check out Cool Mom Tech’s list of the best headphones for kids of all ages, which includes these excellent BuddyPhones that we’ve recommended for years. Whether they’re doing some remote schooling or just watching videos, maybe it’s time for their own set of volume-limiting kids’ headphones? Because we can only hear Baby Shark so many times on one plane ride.