Children from the age of 4 are already much more independent than younger children - this is also noticeable when dealing with toys. However, "more independent" also goes hand in hand with "more stubborn" - the rules of the parents are now more questioned and explored. On the one hand, this is part of normal child development, but it also involves dangers, because children now act and try things out more autonomously when playing. That's why it's important to offer 4-year-olds only toys that are safe and appropriate for their age.
What experts recommend, how to recognize safe toys and which toys correspond to the cognitive and mental developmental stage of 4-year-old children: Here's the compact overview to help you make the right choice. Also, following, a selection of toys recommended for 4-year-old children.
Checklist: Toys for 4-year-olds
- Mental and cognitive developmental stage: At the age of about 4 years, children can (on average) grasp quantities up to 3, follow simple rules in board games or even solve a puzzle of about 15 pieces.
Apart from the average abilities, however, the individual developmental stage and the interests of the own child should always be taken into account.
- Motor skills: throwing and catching a ball, climbing and jumping or riding a wheel/bicycle now becomes increasingly interesting. First musical instruments can also support the development.
- Material and workmanship: Whether toys are made of plastic/plastic or wood is not necessarily the deciding factor. What is important, on the other hand, is robust and stable workmanship: seams and fasteners in particular must really hold and must not come off. Sharp corners or edges also indicate "cheap" workmanship.
- Safety and harmful substances: According to the European standard EN 71 ("Safety of toys"), small parts that can be swallowed are only an issue for children up to the age of 3. However, some older children still like to explore their toys with their mouths - so the risk of choking is not eliminated even for 4-year-olds. Construction defects, low-quality materials and harmful substances are also sources of danger. That's why it's important to choose toys with a seal of approval such as the GS mark ("Tested Safety"), TÜV or from Stiftung Warentest and Ökotest. Parents can also use the Scan4Chem app from the German Federal Environment Agency to obtain information about "substances of very high concern" from the manufacturer/retailer themselves. The mandatory CE mark, on the other hand, offers no safety; it is merely a manufacturer's declaration.
Important: The CE mark alone is not a guarantee of safe toys; it is merely a mark that must be affixed by the manufacturer.
Unsuitable toys for 4-year-old children are all those that over- or underchallenge. Therefore, the age recommendation of the manufacturer is an important guideline in many cases. Example: A bicycle can still be (too) big a step for a 4-year-old child. Better: A running bike provides security in terms of balance and is ideal preparation for the transition to a bicycle. Quality seals for toys provide additional assurance that the toys are of high quality.
Have a look at some examples of our collection:
The perfect climbing frame that will bring years of fun from when you can walk to school age.
- Half of one side is occupied by a net - an unstable dynamic surface which highly contributes to the development of motor coordination, agility, vestibular apparatus. Climbing the nets is a natural of massaging feet and preventing flat feet.
- Sailor is the model with the monkey bars comfortable for kids to hang by. An opening in the bars is constructed for the kids older than 3 to jump into it.
Swing and Double-sided board
For exciting, imaginative and joyful play there is no toy better than our handmade wooden rocker board. Designed specifically for our interactive toys, it fits perfectly and guarantees safe play.
The 5-in-1 swing set, complete with double-sided board, makes a great gift for a child. The board can be used as a table, climbing wall and slide.
The perfect toy set for little story-tellers! The Expressway and Rainbow Forest - a great toy for your child to begin creating their very own circuits and road maps for their favourite toys and vehicles. Build your own world and tell your stories with our Set!
Geoboard Rainbow Necklace is an educational toy that consists of a board with pins and a set of cards. Absolutely a good choice as a gift for boys and girls. Skimming the beads develops the child's fine motor skills, the child masters the first counting.
Now you can create a playground at your kids' home! Our entertainment foam blocks not only stimulate children's imagination but also teach creative thinking.