What does your 4-year old love? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
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My DD will be turning 4 in September. :

Want to know from experienced Moms what you're really glad you have for your 4-year old. Could be toys, games, books, projects/crafts, furniture, whatever... I'm open to any ideas for birthday gifts (and will pass these along to family)! She's reading, loves crafts (painting especially), building with duplos, and puzzles. She's become a much more independent player recently. Never been into dolls, not so far anyhow.

Thanks in advance!!
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#2 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 01:10 AM
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#3 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 01:25 AM
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Sounds a bit like our DD. Books, books and more books are always a hit around here. She's also been enjoying the Brio trains lately and has very little interest in dolls, if any. DDs birthday is in August and she'll be 4 as well. She's getting caterpillars for her birthday. She got them last year and loved them so much that she asked for them this year as well. I love that we have them for a few weeks and then release them as butterflies. She also asked for a "blue Brio engine with a face" for her birthday.

For books, our DD loves the Rainbow Magic Fairy series by Daisy Meadows. The stories are pretty simple, but she gets so excited by them. Even though they are chapter books, they're pretty quick reads.
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#4 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 02:05 AM
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Ok, so in general I would say that gifts that support the imagination, creativity, and the ability to run off all the energy would be winners in the long run. I'm guessing that you're looking for specifics...

Of course, it depends on the kiddo... I nanny a boy who has gone through 4 while I have been with him and he's a dinosaur nut. So anything to do with dinosaurs was a huge hit for him. So my suggestion is to just think about any big interest and support it in as many ways you can. From books to activities to outings. I think that's one philosophy behind "unschooling" is to follow the child's interests. And I think it's pretty great as a parent to foster that love of learning and have fun at the same time.

Imagination: we liked to use cardboard boxes to make all kinds of things... airplanes, trains, buses, etc. We would decorate them with crayons and markers. We also made a lot of forts, tents and general hide-outs with sheets and binder clips and furniture. These things we would play with for days. There is one thing I'm considering getting my son who also turns 4 in September, is the Cranium Superfort... anyways, check it out. We also did a LOT of dress up and costumes.

Creativity: honestly anytime we did a craft this boy has been extremely excited and happy. Even just letting him loose with markers or paint or crayons or glue was a big hit. So consider getting a bunch of art supplies or an art easel if you don't have one. Also, for yourself consider checking out books by Susan Striker... She's written one called the Anti-Coloring Book, and another one that I like called Young at Art. I think she's written others, and the one has reinforced in my mind the importance of my son being able to explore with art as an end to itself--the creativity being the goal... rather than creating something we can recognize.

Ok, back on track...

A close second with 4yo stuff would be musical instruments. They aren't something that they play with everyday, but when I remember to pull them out (harmonica, drum, accordion, maracas, etc) they go crazy for over an hour.

And I also know that anything that would let them run around, like a bike or outdoor activity is essential. I've considered getting the mini-fold up trampoline. They also sell a bouncy house at toys r us or other places that is around $100. My nieces and nephews have one and spend hours in it.


I forgot to add that the boy I nanny, well his parents read to him a lot. And as the stories have progressed, they have started reading chapter books to him... Like winnie the pooh, or stuart little. I've even thought about getting the magic treehouse for my son's birthday.

Oh, and I should add Board Games! There are lots of unique and different board games... Check out Walking Stick toys or Rosie Hippo or Magic Cabin... they have some intriguing games for younger kids. I know we just started playing hi ho cheerio (bought it at target), anyways, we also started playing dominos and go fish.

How could I forget Marble Ramps!!!!!! Days of fun right there
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#5 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 02:33 AM
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Does she have an easel or an art table? Those have always been a hit over here.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 08:24 AM
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My 4 year old loves books by Jan Brett. The illustrations are so detailed and fantastic and they are great stories. The Three Snow Bears is a particular favorite.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 09:00 AM
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My son is 5 now, but when he was four he was big on puzzles and building sets (Blocks, Magnatiles, Tinkertoys, Wedgits) I don't recommend Lincoln logs at this age. I think they are better for 6 and up. As for puzzles, he loved those Melissa and Doug floor puzzles.

Also dress up, a scooter, CD's and a kids CD player. My son as never into trains. My mom got him a Thomas setup (very expensive) since all of her friends grandkids were obsessed with trains and it sat unplayed with.

What is he interested in?
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#8 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 09:24 AM
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Art, art & more art.

Building toys. We have tinker toys, lincoln logs, duplo (most popular at the moment) and megablox.

Pretend play stuff: dollhouse, kitchen, playmobile, dolls (esp. ones they can dress, I give them the baby's outgrown clothes I don't want to save), stroller, etc.

Their little brother : but I"m guessing you don't want to go that route for a b-day present

Lurking for more ideas.

Mom to:

Three big girls  twins.gif (10) + joy.gif (almost 9!); 

One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

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#9 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 10:40 AM
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Our DD, now 5, really got into pretend play when she was 3 going on 4. Any pretend play set where she can set up her own little world. She will still spend long periods playing with her dollhouse and pony house and the associated people, animals, etc.
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#10 of 11 Old 07-24-2008, 10:54 AM
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My boys are just 4 and almost 6. They both love the Usborne Puzzle books, and have been 'reading' them for almost 2 years. We read them together for the first time or two, and then they can read them independently. They have different puzzles on each two page spread. Things like mazes, or what is different on the left and ride page, or find certain objects hidden on the page. All within the context of a story. Many of the stories have female lead characters. We have about 7 of the books, and they are all great.

Puzzle Castle
Puzzle Mountain
Puzzle Ocean
Puzzle Town

To name a few.

Does your DD like Playmobil? Great for imagination, and my boys actually like all the little pieces, although I know some parents are annoyed by the tiny, tiny pieces. We just keep them in a large basket.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-25-2008, 11:54 PM
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DS Loves Thomas trains, hot wheels cars, crayons and coloring books or plain paper, watching movies (we don't have cartoons on our TV), and playing with playdoh.
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