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What to buy a Four Year Old ---Gift Guide

posted on October 02 2018

Get to know what's going on in your child's development 

Bring out the best in your little one with our Four Year Old Gift Guide

Matching the right toys to the development stage of a four year old is no easy feat. In this blog series Sarah Sutcliffe, former childminder, mother of three and LCB staff member shares some recommendations. 

Children are naturally curious and at Little Citizens we are kind of obsessed with celebrating their natural curiosity with great ideas in play. Our biggest enemy is the repetition of time, how the formulas of everyday make it difficult to maintain the freedom of our thoughts. Long live our inner child.

How can we help our kid's to retain that spark? At four years of age, they are full of spark trying to understand the world we live in. It's not always easy, as we're busy and can be stressed with the upkeep of daily life so sometimes it's nice to take a step back and consider what is this little one going through. How are they developing and how can we help with toys or tools to bring out the best in them and keep that curiosity alive?

If they thrive we thrive, we love to watch children flourish physically, mentally and emotionally. Each at their own particular stage. The art of play is crucial to development and here we consider what's best to enable that growth within children age four to five. Please note that no two children are the same and that these are general guidelines only.

MATCH A TOY TO YOUR CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT

Four Year Old Birthday Gift Guide

1. One Man Band Toy Instrument by Vilac, £69 | 2. Sylvian the Rabbit by Moulin Roty, £39 | 3. Portraito Magnetic Play Toy by Djeco, £21 | 4. Red Accordion Instrument, £40.50 | 5. Rainbow Coloured House Puzzle and Toy - Grimm's, £28 | 6. Fourth Birthday Greetings Card from Little Citizens Boutique, £3 | 7. Cuddle Bots Freddy Fire Fly by Hexbug, £9.50

 

FOUR DEVELOPMENTAL PHASES TO NOTICE IN 4 YEAR OLDS
and toys to help bring out the best in them

 

1. Your child is full of beans, happily spending lots of time outside running, jumping, throwing and playing in the park. Motor skills have become more sophisticated whilst independence and physical confidences are developing at a rate of knots. 

 

Daily doses of fresh air are a must for a whole host of reasons, and we're recommending this traditional, simple, delightful kite from Moulin Roty to get a whole bunch of boxes ticked all in one fell swoop. Make the most of windy autumnal days and enjoy being a part of your child's energy and prosperity, whilst gently throwing in a little STEM coaching. Maybe prepare for questions like, what is wind mummy? Cheatsheet here.

 

2. Your child has more understanding of the world around them now and is familiar with every day experiences; shopping, eating, conversation, getting dressed. They make great company don't they? They are now much more able to share ideas, work as a team towards a common goal and will be properly interacting with one another rather than working or playing simply side by side. This is otherwise known as co-operative play. 

 

Introducing the fabulous
Lemonade Stand from Alex with it's stylish yellow and white awning. Great for indoor and outdoor use, this stand is 100% portable and comes with a little blackboard to promote your wares. We love the versatility of this toy, even if lemonade not your bag and summer definitely over? Get out and pick blackberries, apples, shells from the beach and sell those instead! Along with being a truly interactive and role play based toy, this stand also allows the every day to becomes something so much more.

 

3. Your child is inquisitive and full of thoughts, expressions and ideas. Their attention span is much greater now and their library of words and language skills have notably grown. Your child will now be able to recall parts of stories, and will be examining text with curiosity whilst still having a great devotion to picture books. 

 

Here are LCB we are delighted and proud to have in store 'Home' by Carson Ellis. This book is about comfort but also diversity. It takes the reader and listener on a wonderful journey of pluralism and discovery and the text and imagery support one another with clever yet understated charm. This is an absolute joy of a book to share and a 'glorious piece of book creation' as described by Children's Books Ireland.

 

4. Your child is enjoying singing, dancing and rhythm. They will be interested in creating music and listening carefully to the sounds that they produce. They will likely want to share their accomplishments with friends and family and will be more readily able to share, take turns and even help by explaining and / or demonstrating how something can be used. 

 

Our toy of choice here is the aesthetic yet robust Accordion by Vilac. This makes music but it requires the musician to use their finer motor and problem solving skills too. Much like learning to pat your head whilst rubbing your tummy, the accordion only works when you expand and contract it and press the buttons simultaneously. This takes a degree of patience and evolved maturity, although may see any adults in the room to close their off ears after a certain period of time!

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