When they get to the age of four, kids are coming into their own, especially regarding to their emotions. Dr. George Sachs, who is a clinical child psychologist with a private medical practice in New York, explains that children come to understanding identifying emotions in themselves, and in other people as well. Once he has even written a book about this period in kids’ life. The book is called The Mad Sad Happy Book: Emotional Literacy for Preschoolers. His colleague, Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, professor of psychology at the University of Delaware, recommends all the parents, who have 4-year-olds to think about so-called “6 C”s, when they are searching for some gifts for their children: communication, collaboration, creative innovation, content, confidence, and critical thinking. All of these are essential in getting a kid ready for his successful future life. Therefore, you would definitely want toys that will stimulate and help to develop each of these characteristics. Below is the list of 14 gifts, recommended by our experts that will help you and your kids to get to this future. Also, check out our gift suggestions for kids of different age groups, including 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, 9-year-olds, 10-year-olds, and 11-year-olds.
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According to Sachs, at the age of four children begin to really use their motor skills in ways they could earlier in their life. And if something you buy for your kid is challenging him and requires a little bit more advanced fine motor skills – this toy would be a great choice for your little children. Sachs really likes the Squigz. These flexible pieces can stick together due to their suction cups. This toy encourages children to use their growing motor skill, and, at that same time does not bring too much frustration to them.
Check out Lincoln Logs. While inducing children to apply their developing fine motor skills, this toy encourages kids to use their imagination to create whatever they want. Sachs recommends this set as well.
Here is another recommended toy for encouraging free building and imagination. These colorful tiles with magnets are stackable and can be combined in an infinite number of varieties. Since most kids like to assemble and disassemble stuff, Dr. Golinkoff advises buying things that can be taken apart and remade, if you are willing to develop your child’s imagination. As experts say, kids love forming figures and building different structures from these tiles, which can firmly stand together to make a little house or anything else they want.
Dr. Sachs believes, that four years is also the age when kids, especially little girls, are playing lots of pretend games. Therefore, he likes this wonderful picnic playset and recommends it, as well as any other activity, which assumes that kids can pretend using various props.
You can also try this master workbench. It comes with the set of different magnetic tools, as well as a chalkboard for novice carpenters. Your children will play with this toy for hours, creating various imaginary game scenarios. As Dr. Golinkoff says, while playing together kids will talk to each other, therefore, this toy will encourage them to communicate and collaborate constantly.
And, without a doubt, this Maurice Sendak classic is a reliable choice for your 4-year-old kid, Dr. Sachs says.
The book that we suggest tells us the story of a brilliant and talented young inventor. It begins with the words “this is the story of Rosie Revere, who dreamed of becoming a great engineer”. If you want to get more feminist books for kids – tap here.
On the other hand, you can try this bestseller book, written by the actor D. J. Novak. Despite the fact that this book does not have any illustrations, little kids will definitely enjoy this outrageous story, especially when it is ideally read by their enthusiastic parent.
The Cat in the Hat, written by Dr. Seuss, will remain the real classics forever and ever. Moreover, children of this age group already begin enjoying and appreciating the wordplay.
Another great thing you can do for your 4-year-old child is creating his own private nook for reading, which will motivate him to read and imagine the new worlds. As Dr. Sachs says, such a nook is very similar to back-to-the womb experience for kids, which gives them the feeling of comfort and security; therefore, he likes this idea a lot.
Concerning the next item we recommend, Dr. Golinkoff states that it is the most fun for children, and moreover, it costs almost nothing to their parents. You can take a long roll of paper and outline your kid on it. Your children will spend hours putting in their body whatever they think they want to be inside of it. Can you imagine having a full sized you that you can play with and color it any way you want? That’s a lot of fun.
Take the roll of butcher paper and this set of markers that smell like fruits, and the endless fun is guaranteed. Since their fine motor skills are pretty much developed, they will control the lines and shapes they draw. Being preliterate, they will definitely be fascinated and amused with writing their own name and coloring it. As Dr. Golinkoff says, to keep the content in the memory, she will always recommend books. But when it comes to toys – it should inspire them and require to do things, to participate in different activities, and to be more active.
Look at this funny scissors set. Each of these six scissors cuts the paper in its own pattern, starting from traditional squiggles to zigzag. As Dr. Golinkoff says parents should search for toys that assume art and creativity. Cutting, drawing and all other types of craft kits are perfect for imagination and for the development of fine motor skills. Moreover, kids simply enjoy making different creations.
This game was designed by the artist Blanca Gomez. It comes with beanbags that look like little birds, and you can hang it up in any of your doorways. You don’t want to be so-called “snowplow parents”, the ones that smooth any obstacles in front of their children and actually not allowing them to learn from their failure. Dr. Golinkoff says that playing this kind of games, as well as having to work to get better at it, will greatly benefit to building up and strengthening your kid’s self-confidence. Children have to learn and understand that things require efforts.