What Does Your 4 Year Old Boy and 14 Month Old Girl Play With???

Updated on July 01, 2010
T.A. asks from Toledo, OH
16 answers

My four year old son is obsessed with Thomas the train to the point that it consumes his every thought, breath, and conversation. I am trying to broaden his horizons but I do not know what to buy for him. I took him to the toy store and there was not one thing that sparked his interest. What do your kids play with?

Also, I have a 14 month old daughter that is bored to death with her toys and just follows me around the house whining. I am sure it's because she is sick of the same old toys day in and day out. We mostly play outside but when we are stuck in the house so that I can get housework done, she is bored. I need to freshen up her toys but nothing stuck out at the toy store.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I didn't mention that my son does have Asperger's and it makes me sad to think that he could potentially miss out on a whole other world because he is so obsessed with Thomas. I am hoping to find some kind of toy to "wow" him and make him forget about Thomas, atleast for a little bit. We do craft time alot but, once again, only if it revolves around Thomas activity books or games. We are outside all the time but, there are times when we need to be in the house so I can get housework done and I need something to occupy the little one. I am guessing the key to it is to have new toys to spark her interest because she is bored with her old ones. Thanks for all the suggestions!

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answers from Cleveland on

What about larger size Legos so that they can play and make things-and take them apart and remake them again and again.........



answers from South Bend on

Well, I'm a grandma now and this is what I use to do while raising my daughter on a very tight budget. I would only put some of her toys out at once. The rest would go into a closet. Then I would switch them out every other month or so. She didn't get bored with the toys she had because they did in fact change frequently. This also helped to extend the toy budget. Good luck! Grama Cherie

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answers from Sacramento on

I think it depends on the kid. My four year old boy is really into doing things he thinks of as "real work." He planted seeds in the garden this spring, so he spends some time every day tending his garden (weeding, picking ripe tomatoes etc).

A favorite activity on hot summer days is "carwash." (your son might have fun doing this with his trains if they're plastic). We pull all the bikes, scooters, ride on toys, wagons etc, onto the patio, I give him a bucket a couple of rags a towel and some dish soap and he goes to town. :-)

The other biggy is I got him one of those kids cameras and he loves to go around taking pictures of things. He actually never uploads them, but there are all these games he can play on the camera with the pictures he takes and he really likes that.

He also has a play kitchen he loves.

Since he was your daughter's age, he has liked to work along side me in the house. If I was working in the kitchen, I would put a few inches of water in the sink, throw in some plastic dishes and ask him to wash them for me. When I folded laundry I'd have him fold washcloths or underwear (stuff that the folding style doesn't matter).

Anyway, I don't have many ideas about "toys" but hopefully this helps.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

My son is four. He's a big Thomas the Train fan, too, but he loves the new trio blocks. You can find them at TARGET or Wal-Mart. They have all different kinds of sets similar to Lego's.



answers from College Station on

I have a 20 month old and she loves anything that plays with music, Lots and lots of noisy toys. Try a kitchen set or maybe something with music (guitars, kids piano ect) Also I took my 20 month old to the store and had her pick out a toy she picked a guitar!



answers from Cleveland on

My 3-year old is also obsessed with trains....and yes, Thomas the Train! That's all he talks about. Too funny. I am sure he will grow out of it in a year or two.

My daughter was the same way at that age. She would not really play with any of her toys. But one thing she loved was books and coloring. This may be your daughter too. Stack books on the coffee table for her to look at and change them every couple of days.



answers from Kansas City on

There is something called Bristle Blocks. They used to only be available at specialty stores, but just recently I saw them at Walmart, called Krinkles, now I think.

I've attached a link picture. http://www.liveandlearn.com/krinkles.html

My parents have these at their house. They have 8 grandchildren, who all can't get enough of this toy. I have 5 children, ages 10 to 3, and they have been playing with the same box of these since the oldest was under 1. The 10 yr old still finds them enjoyable. They are good for hours of fun. They last, and are easily sharable. I found the box my parents have at Marshalls once. As long as you don't have a puppy around to chew them, they will last forever.
They create so many things with the blocks.. you'll be amazed at the imagination your child has!
I forgot to add, they are the perfect size for young hands, and the are not swallow-able, for the most part.
Oh, and Lincoln logs and Legos can't compare by any means.

Also, for a 14 month old, stuffed animals are always a good choice.

Good Luck,
Mom of 5



answers from Columbus on

People have responded with various suggestions for toys for your son, however, he is going to decide what he wants to play with. We have tried several times to get my son (3 1/2 yrs) to watch a movie other than Thomas. He doesn't watch movies often but when he is given the opportunity he only ever wants to watch Thomas. We just got back from vacation which consisted of very long car rides. I didn't give him a choice and he actually watched a few disney movies and liked them!

As for your daughter, I have a 19 mo. daughter as well. I struggle with specific toys for her as well. She plays with some of my son's toys (NOT his trains though!). I would say that her favorite toy is her baby doll umbrella stroller. She puts anything and everything in it and pushes it around. She also still plays with the stacking rings but wears them as bracelets. Other toys are balls, small cars and bigger cars/vehicles that she can open the doors/trunk and put things into them.



answers from Cleveland on

Please don't everyone get upset, but I would like to make sure this mom knows that a boy obsessed with transportation toys, especially trains and Thomas, may be showing a sign of an autism spectrum disorder. This mom really makes it sound as if he is truly obsessed, otherwise I wouldn't say anything.

I am speaking from experience and as someone who would have always wanted to know things sooner than later.

If the four year old has any other concerning behaviors, please do a little investigation to see if he needs to be evaluated.


answers from Dallas on

Depends on the boy or girl, but generally........

Thomas is awesome! But boys also like little toy cars, action figures like superman, spiderman, batman, trucks, leggos, blocks, playdough, painting, drawing, balls, .......they even have inside plastic basketball hoops.

Sorry, didn't have a girl.....but I would think she might like many of the same things (age appropriate).



answers from Cleveland on

legos for boy. they are a great investment and they play with them into middle school. girls: mine liked creative play, dolls, coloring, cars, picture books, things that she could push buttons and talk to her



answers from Cleveland on

They both would probably enjoy a large under the bed type box of dried beans and macaroni as long as the little one is not eating every toy anymore, Be prepared with a broom and give them your measuring cups, small tupperwear and a few shovels. Do not use small red lentils as they static cling to everything and are a big problem to clean up. When you are done you can always use the beans and suck with a bottle of glue and disposable plates for art projects.

I find what movies change what my kids want to play with. Lego and playmobil have cool movies out now and might get him excited to play with the toys which are great investments to the toy collection. Lego also has some great new beginning reader books.

Love the Imaginex line. Castles and super heros. There are some great beginner reader books for super hero's too.

Sorry, I have two boys aged 3 and 6 so the little girl is a bit more of a stretch for me.


answers from Columbus on

To be honest, I think he'll go out of his obsession on his own, when his ready. At that age, all my son could talk about was Batman, his bycicle became a "batcycle" his electric John Deer tracktor was his "Battracktor", etc. About a year later it was all Starwars, he would talk about it to everyone that would listen, play pretend about it, watch the movies, it took about another year (maybe a little less) to get over that and now we're on our Indiana Jones phase (hat, whip and all); so you're son will grow out of on his own time.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My 4 yr. old loves cars & is very into board games now. I think a child who just turned 4 or is an older 4 would love board games. My son feels older & likes the challenge & competition of the game (even though it's the fun that matters!). My 20mo. old girl plays with anything my son plays with. She is easily entertained w/ anything. Some suggestions for her are: blocks to build, kitchen toys (this can be a kitchen set or just plastic bowls, spoons & paper cups in your real kitchen), books (my daughter LOVES books now).



answers from Cincinnati on

I would suggest that during the summer you get them out of the house and away from most of their toys. Go to the park - take their bikes/trikes/wagon so you can also go for a walk around the park. Put together a little scavenger hunt for the walk (find a round rock, a smooth rock, a green leaf, a red leaf, etc.). You can also do this on a walk through the neighborhood. Get some sidewalk chalk and send them outside. Play in the sprinkler. They may only do these things for 10 minutes or so, but keep encouraging them to go outside. Go to the pool.



answers from Phoenix on

My 3 1/2 yr old son (wiil be 4 in Aug) LOVES construction equipment. Just the simple trucks, bulldozer, backhoe, steamrollers etc. We just have the small simple ones with a moving part or two. He loves to "build roads". My mom got him a set of 5 from walmart for around $12.
He also really likes his play tool set. Just a little plastic tool belt with hammer, saw, wrench, tape measure etc. Again, another cheep one from walmart.
Good luck!

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