Five Creative & Educational Gifts For Four Year Olds

Last year I wrote this post all about the educational toys Caterpillar and I were loving, so I thought I’d come back this year and cover a host of new toys and games that feature on this year’s Christmas list, now that my little man is a year older and a term into full time school.

We’re nothing if not loyal customers so you’ll notice that many items on this list are new versions of previous products we’ve loved but I figure if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Play Doh Touch Shape To Life Studio

Play Doh has featured on almost every favourites list I’ve ever written since Caterpillar got his first touch of it when he was around 18 months.  I love that it’s so versatile and covers every age, gender or interest you can think of.  It’s still one of the few things that holds Caterpillar’s attention for more than ten minutes and, of course, it’s the ultimate tool for creative exploration.

Caterpillar has several Play Doh products on this year’s Christmas list but this is the most interesting to me.  It seems Play Doh have decided to move into the digital age and are combining their classic compound and moulds with a platform which allows you to photograph your creations on your smart phone or tablet and then bring the characters to life!

Play Doh Touch

I’m so curious to see how this works and I know that Caterpillar will be so excited as it combines two of his favourite things.  What’s strange is I’ve hardly seen it in any of the usual toy stores.  I first spotted it in Selfridges and you can buy online from John Lewis here but otherwise it seems to be completely under the radar so if you fancy trying it I’d suggest buying it asap.

Hama Beads – Space

It’s taken a while but Caterpillar is finally beginning to develop enough patience for Hama Beads.  Since we bought him his first set last year he’s always been really interested and excited by them but was usually more keen on asking me to make the item for him (often under his studious supervision!).  But lately he’s shown more interest in following the patterns himself and, since he’s very excited by all things space-related, we thought this set would be a good next step.

Hama Beads Space

What I love about it is that once all the patterns are created you can turn the whole thing into a mobile for your child’s bedroom – which gives them added motivation to keep going and something practical to use the results for.

Kinetic Rock

Kinetic Rock

We love Kinetic Sand – it’s fun and easy to play with, faster to clean up than normal sand or some other compounds and it feels amazing.  When Caterpillar was given his first set I actually sat up playing with it myself after he went to bed and the feeling and appearance of it is so strangely soothing.  We’ve since tried Kinetic Sand Float which, although still fun, isn’t as practical as the original but now Caterpillar wants to give Kinetic Rock a try.  This rock crushing set looks right up Caterpillar’s street when it comes to construction and imaginative play and I think he’ll really enjoy the rock crusher tool.

Bunchems Bunchbot

Bunchems Bunchbot

Again we’re expanding on an existing much-loved toy.  Bunchems are a really unique construction toy, and pretty reasonably priced compared to some others.  The new Bunchbot combines the Bunchems product with a robot design and makes creating your models that much easier (and more fun).  Caterpillar’s cousin already has one so we’ve had a chance to try it out and it’s a really simple but effective idea.

Guess Who

Guess Who

No modern day Christmas list is complete without a classic game and I’m really excited to try playing this one with Caterpillar.  He’s a pretty observant little dude so I have high hopes that he’ll be old enough to play this classic process of elimination game and I think he’ll find it amusing too.  And if he’s not quite old enough yet then I think the adults will enjoy it in the meantime.

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