4 Years: Gift Ideas

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At age 4, kids are starting to become capable builders and learning the workings of small world play.  All of the wooden toys i’ve reccomended for 0-2 and 3 would also be good now, but here are a few more along with some other age-4-specific ideas.  Because Grimms and Grapat are so hard to come by–I’ve included a few recommendations below, but here are some other easier to find choices as well.  Grimms and Grapat are geofenced, so  these items are not directly linked on this page, but instead have buttons below.

Grapat Nins come in a range of sizes and colors.  Building families is so much fun–either matching colors, or mixing.  We love that they are generally featureless allowing them also to function as loose parts in play.

grapat lola peg dolls

The Lola set from Grapat is wonderful–it comes with 12 solid cylindars, 12 hollow tubes, 12 “vases” and 36 peg people, 12 in each of 3 sizes.  The colors are beautiful, the building FUN–this one is great for years to come!

4 is a good time to introduce the large Grimms rainbow if you haven’t yet.  Good for tunnels and bridges and houses and stacks, this is years of fun.

grimm's semi circles

The semi-circles are made to pair with the Grimms Arches to make a stack, design a birthday cake or build apartments or marble runs.

The Grimms Complimentary Color Star Puzzle is both a fun challenge and an intriguing set of shapes to add to builds.  Its fun to mix the colors, match the colors and stack the pieces.

grimm's color mats toy reccomendation

Grimms Color Matts are often overlooked–but out of the box, they’re rugs in a dollhouse, beds, roofs, cards for a card house, ready for matching, math and simply adding color. It took us a while to get them, but now use them daily.

Gluckskafer slats come both in a 64 pack and a 32 pack.  Either is enough to have fun, but 64 is no where close to too much.  The lengths are the same as the Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid pieces, and the build well either with that set or independantly

These wooden muhsrooms from Moon Picnic are pretty enough to be art, fun in a play kitchen, and so much fun in small world play.  They come in a basket perfect for storing them and for play.

The Mini Chari bag from Olli Ella can be carried as a satchel, attached to the handlebars of a bike or scooter, or worn as a backpack.  perfect for adventures! 

Connetix Magnet tiles are a great introduction to open-ended toys, and a great addition  to them as well. They’re incredibly strong, and the design allows for maximum transparency

My kids love these scratch art pages.  I love this set because i can pass out sheets one at a time.  note: the scratcher is pointy, this is a good supervised activity

Brio Trains are well made, play smoothly and are so much fun for building small worlds.

Holztiger animals are ever-present on our lists because they factor so big into small world play, learning vocabulary and learning about different climates.

No doubt about it–the Bauspsipel Gem blocks are magic.  They sparkle, they build well, and because the gems are fully embedded, you can turn them any direction and they still stack flat.  another “daily use” set around here!

Wonderfully curious about the world around them, How Does My Garden Grow has been a hit with 4 year-olds at our house (and older).  With enough story that it doesn’t feel like a lesson, but plenty of learning snuck in too, I’d happily recommend the whole series.

Did you know crayons are better for muscle development than markers because the kid must regulate the pressure differently?  Stockmar crayons are a little pricey, but the color is so good and they last so well, its a good investment

 Fagus vehicles are still strong on the list at age 4-and the two smaller sizes of Lola peg people fit perfectly inside! These trucks

The Globber 3-wheeled Scooter has been a game-changer for keeping up with big-brother.  it glides as smoothly as his 2-wheeler, but with increased stability. 

Gonge River Stones great for those days when the keeds need to keep moving, but “inside” is the name of the game step and reach between them, OR in small world play they are excellent hills and mountains

wobbel xl outside

Wobbel boards are magic.  A ramp, a slide, a tunnel, for climbing for Rocking  (and they support adults too).  Click here for links:  USA  Canada

Duns Sweden is some of our favorite kid clothes.  Responsibly made, beautiful colorful patterns, and soft fabrics.  It’s hard to go wrong with Scandi style!

The Tea Collection clothing company is known for drawing inspiration from different regions of the world.  Each season they visit a new local.  A fun way to incorporate art and culture into your kid’s wardrobe

building with rainbows line
building with rainbows line

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building with rainbows line
Bauspiel Giant Ranbow, cropped, photo by building with rainbows

At first glance, the Bauspiel Giant Rainbow looks familiar and perhaps similar to other sets, but on closer inspection, the size and proportions reveal that really it plays more like a remarkable set of blocks than the typical rainbow stacker.

loose parts display of grimms and grapat and myers natrual toys

Each year as earth day rolls around the kids and I talk about changes we can make to live more responsibly. Sometimes it means using less of things, sometimes using different things, sometimes it means looking for ways to use things longer, and other times it means making new choices next time you shop. Here are a few of our favorites.

wooden rainbows made by Grimm's, Myer's Natural, Ocamora, Naef, Bauspiel

Isn’t it funny–you may start out with a single Rainbow Stacker–but they just seem to multiply! Since first writing the first post about picking a rainbow stacker, a few more have joined our ranks!

building with rainbows line