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The best birthday gifts of 2017: happy fourth birthday!

Age four is an exciting year: kids at this age are on the runway to kindergarten, and they’re bursting with energy and creativity. They’re refining their social skills, learning to play games and share, and using their imagination to play out realistic and fanciful scenarios. If you’re shopping for your own four-year-old’s birthday, you probably already know what birthday gifts they want because they’ve told you, but if you’re shopping for another kid you don’t know as well, hopefully this guide will help!

 

GAMES

Blue Orange Spot It! Jr. Animals, $9.99
A beginner variation on one of our best-beloved games. Every card has exactly one picture that matches exactly one picture on every other card. Match up the cute critters and collect cards to win!

Mindware E-I-E-I-Go, $19.99
It’s barnyard bedlam at the farm as players race to match their animals to the dice. Shake the silo to see which animal is chosen, then it’s time to E-I-E-I-GO! Roll your dice until they all match, then declare your victory by making that animal’s sound and collecting a token. Be the first to collect four tokens.

Smart Games Smartcar 5×5 Puzzle Game, $27.99
From SmartGames, the worldwide leader in single player puzzle games, comes Smart Car. Construct a car, block by block, flexing your logic muscles with this beautifully crafted 3-D wooden puzzle.

 

IMAGINATIVE AND CREATIVE

Calico Critters Cloverleaf Townhome, $129.95
In the homey and spacious Calico Critters Cloverleaf Townhome, there’s plenty of room and plenty of accessories for all manner of critter activities, from the realistic to the fanciful! Calico Critters are the perfect pals for immersive pretend-play, and this gift set has everything kids need to get started!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Steep & Serve Tea Set, $29.99
This wooden tea set has everything your little one needs to host the perfect tea party: teapot with lid, two cups, two spoons, a sugar bowl, a milk pitcher, six tea varieties, and two cookies. Tea bags with brightly colored tags store in a handy tea caddy and the wipe-off order card makes tea selection a snap!

Playmobil Take-Along Fire Station, $44.99
Red alert at the Take Along Fire Station! The firefighters are on the move and ready to race to the rescue. In a convenient take-along case, this set is perfect for on-the-go fun.

Age 4 is really the sweet spot for Playmobil; while I have trouble imagining a kid this age who wouldn’t think this set is incredibly cool, this is only one of many, many sets that could make a great gift. If the child you’re shopping for loves unicorns, hockey, police, pirates, or pop stars, we’ve got Playmobil playsets for them!

 

BUILDING

Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks, $69.99
Every home with children should have a set of Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks. The creative and educational benefits are almost as enormous as the towers you’ll build together. This solid wood set comes with 60 pieces, including basic arches, columns, squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles, and a heavy-duty wooden storage crate.

Tegu Magnetic Blocks – 42 Piece set, $109.99
Tegu Blocks have safely enclosed magnets that add a new dimension to traditional building toys: kids can create more complex designs that defy gravity. Plus, the click of two Tegu Blocks coming together sounds and feels great – just sticking and unsticking two wooden blocks is really satisfying.

Magna-Tiles Clear 100-Piece Set, $120.00
An all-time-favorite super deluxe gift: these beautiful magnetic building tiles are a gift that kids will keep playing with for years to come, and because this is such a large set, it’s great for social playtime as well, with siblings or playmates. The building possibilities are endless, and so are the learning opportunities.

 

ACTIVE

Hog Wild Penguin Popper, $9.99
This super-silly active toy will have kids giggling and chasing each other all over the house or the back yard: squeeze the penguin’s belly to launch soft foam balls! (It’s a good idea to make sure every kid in a household gets their own.)

Micro Kickboard Deluxe Mini Scooter, $89.99
Your child will love “surfing the sidewalk” and you will love the years of fun and exercise it provides. The smooth gliding wheels, low-to-the-ground deck and safe steering all contribute to stability that makes the Deluxe Mini perfect for pre-schoolers and kindergartners.

 

VEHICLES

Bruder Jeep Police Car with Policeman, $59.99
Bruder is one of today’s top manufacturers of toy vehicles in Europe due to their high-quality products and attention to detail. Their philosophy is that playing with toys is a great way to help children learn, grow, and experience the world around them. As a result, Bruder products are crafted to be incredibly lifelike and durable, just like their real-life counterparts!

Automoblox Mini Emergency Response – 3 Pack, $39.99
Automoblox is a high-quality line of buildable and mixable vehicles which are an innovative reinvention of the classic wooden toy car, and they are a popular favorite because of their unlimited potential for imaginative play, creativity, and collectability. Each vehicle includes multiple interchangeable components, and sports a body made of European beech wood.

 

buying guide - toys ages and stages

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