Between the ages of 4 and 5, my son extended his make-believe play to include the small scale (i.e. doll-house type play with him supplying lots of animated dialogue in addition to him acting out the roles in his fantasy world). He also became a lot more interested in playing games and in doing puzzles (primarily 48 piece, though he also likes to work on more challenging puzzles with help). With the extra dexterity that an added year afforded him, he was also able to start playing with toys and educational tools that required a bit of hand-eye coordination.
Below are a few suggestions that my four year old likes now and also are interesting and fun for the 4 year olds that play at our house as well.
Click each item below for a detailed review of each recommended item:
Snap Circuits Kits by Snap Circuits (Elenco) ($20-$125)
Robot Turtles by Think Fun (~$20)
Automoblox by The Automoblox Co. (~$30)
Zingo! by Thinkfun ($17-$20)
Q & A a Day for Kids by Betsy Franco (~$15)
Blu Track 18′ Starter Set by Blu Track ($35-$40)
Folding Medieval Castle by Melissa & Doug ($50-$100)
Busytown: Eye Found It! Game by Wonder Forge ($18-$25)
Magnetic Dress-Up Playsets by Melissa & Doug ($12-$20)
Cash Register by Learning Resources ($30-$40)
48 to 100 piece puzzles by Melissa & Doug ($30-$40) (affiliate link — review to come)
Click here for more Best Gifts for Kids ideas.