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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.
Please note that we’ve included links to both big and small shops for convenience and price. But we always encourage you to shop your own local independent toy stores, book stores, and boutiques!
Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age
The best gifts for kids by age 2023
The coolest first birthday gifts
The coolest birthday gifts for 2-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 3-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 4-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 5-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 6-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 7-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 8-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for tweens and big kids 9-12
The coolest birthday gifts for teens
The coolest gifts for 4 year olds this year
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.
This post is new for 2023.
Fun bedding for their big-kid bed
($119-$149 at Maisonette)
They’ll dream of being the next Serena or Roger in their big-kid bed with a new set of awesome bedding from SNURK Living, now in both lighter and darker skin tones (duvet + matching pillow). Or maybe they’d rather fall asleep as a fierce dinosaur, elegant princess, brave firefighter, or daring astronaut. Anything as long as they stay in bed until morning. . .right?
Osmo Little Genius Starter Set
($41.99 on sale at Amazon)
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.
A book that celebrates what makes them special
($14.49 at Amazon or your favorite local bookstore)
As kids get a bit older, they start to notice how they’re different from their friends and siblings. A thoughtful picture book that helps them understand that these differences are what make us special can go a long way in starting important conversations. Also our post, 8 wonderful children’s books about neurodiversity that we—and our special needs kids—love, as well as our book archives, is filled with age-appropriate books covering a wide range of topics.
Preschool-sized soccer balls
($16.99-$17.99 at Amazon)
Score! For a cool gift for a 4 year old, you can’t go wrong with a colorful, preschooler sized soccer ball like one of these from Daball. They can kick, throw, catch, and roll all over these balls, and because the designs are so adorable, they may even remember to bring them inside once playtime is over.
Super-soft Star Wars sweatshirts
($40.80 on sale at Hanna Andersson)
Start them young with these comfy sweatshirts that will have them looking like Grogu, Darth Vader, The Mandalorian, or Boba Fett. Great for dress up or for an extra-cozy layer as they head out to preschool.
Ikuzi mermaid dolls
($39 for all three; $13 each on sale at Ikuzi dolls; also check Target)
A special gift for a 4 year old as they wait for The Little Mermaid Live Action to be released. Terrific price for such detailed dolls in three BIPOC skin tones. Plus, they are the perfect size for little arms to hold, though maybe not in the tub.
Mini winged preschool backpack
($45 at Amazon)
We love this funky, puffy bag in stylish-and-stain-hiding black, though all the colors, like this “Mirage” hue, are machine washable. And those wings are quite the symbol for all the growing they will do this year. Sniff.
Custom Chucks for Kids
($50 at Converse)
Great price for one-of-a-kind “big kid” shoes you can design in all their favorite colors (or all the colors, as seen above). Every single thing is customizable, from the canvas to the eyelets to the stitching to the soles, and you can even add their embroidered name for extra personalization.
Mail Call Play Set
($89 at Crate and Barrel)
Way more fun than playing with email. Ha.
Good Trouble tee shirt
($20.69 at First Amendment Merch on Etsy)
It’s never too early teach kids the best lessons.
Tonies Monster Travel Bag
($39.99 at Pottery Barn Kids)
We’ve long loved Toniebox’s screen-free entertainment center for music and story time, but keeping track of all those adorable figurines can be a challenge. With this not-so-scary monster travel bag, they’ll be able to keep their Toniebox, six figurines, and even Tonies’ foldable headphones neatly stored together and ready to go.
Tabletop Drawing Roll and Dispenser
($20.99 at Amazon)
A cool gift for a 4-year-old? Preschoolers 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, it’s at a terrific price!
Rainbow Sparkle Watercolor Gel Crayons from OOLY
($14.99 at Amazon)
Don’t forget new art supplies like these sparkly gel crayons in the colors of the rainbow make an awesome (and inexpensive) gift for 4-year-olds. Plus, they “magically” change when water is added with a paintbrush.
($15 at Smithsonian)
Keep their feet warm with these adorable animal slippers which also will help them figure out the correct foot on which to place them. At a great price, 100% of proceeds support the Smithsonian Institution’s programs and exhibits.
Hearthsong indoor climbing dome
($259 at Target; also available direct from Hearthsong)
A sort of supersized Tinkertoy climbing set, this large dome can support up to 175 pounds of active, climbing kids. And will maybe keep them from hanging off your furniture.
Kid-safe chef’s knife for help in the kitchen
($19.95 at Sur La Table)
Don’t panic! Little kids want to be big helpers, and you can teach them how to be a safe sous chefs with this high-quality chef’s knife from Zwilling made just for smaller hands. The Twinny even comes nicely boxed and is a great gift for a four-year-old growing to be a top chef.
Kidizoom Camera Pix Plus
($34.99 at Amazon)
The best preschool camera, if we do say so ourselves, is VTech’s updated version of their original Kidizoom. It takes a licking, but keeps on clicking. (Just made that up ourselves.)
LEGO Disney Fairground Fun
($34.97 at Amazon)
We love a LEGO set that encourages lots and lots of playtime after the build is complete, and this one includes some of their favorite classic Disney characters.
Color changing umbrellas
($15-$22 at Maisonette)
Rainy days will seem brighter with these “magical” color-changing umbrellas from Floss & Rock that make a cool, affordable gift for a 4-year-old. In bunches of styles to brighten a 4 year old’s day.
An unbelievable, one-of-a-kind helicopter bed
(Price upon request at Dragons of Walton Street)
Whoa. If the sky’s the limit, this incredible helicopter bed can be custom made in the UK before touching down in one lucky four-year-old’s room.