Preschoolers are bursting with curiosity and energy. With so many new skills and interests, you’ll want to arm them with toys and activities that will meet all those budding needs. We’ve rounded up a few of the best Christmas gifts for your four- and five-year-olds guaranteed to challenge them and keep them entertained all year long.

Fisher-Price Wonder Makers Soft Slumber Campground

This unique play set allows young tinkerers to create their own outdoor camping adventure. The set includes over 60 interchangeable pieces that can be used to build an endless variety of settings for open-ended play. Your tots will hone fine motor and engineering skills while having fun with creative play.

Available on Amazon, $29.99.

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Banana Panda Space Observation Puzzle

This unique puzzle challenges your preschoolers in two ways. First, they have to puzzle together 60 pieces to build a space scene, then they have to use their observation skills to find the images hidden within the picture.

Available on Amazon, $18.99.

photo: Elsewhere Adventures

Scratch-Off Map from Elsewhere Adventures

Kickstart your Pre-K kid's love of travel with a scratch-off map from Elsewhere Adventures. Not only is it a cheerful map of the United States, but it also comes with 140 special spots to discover, dry erase markers to make notes and travel stickers. If you don't have anywhere to keep it on display, simply roll it up and store it in the provided tube.

Available at Amazon, $19.99.

Great Pretenders Color-A-Cape

Your little heroes will love creating their own superhero characters and coloring their own unique designs on this cape perfect for pretend play. The cape comes packed with six markers that can be washed off so that kids can re-design their capes over and over again.

Available at Maisonette, $23.

Kid Made Modern My First Arts and Crafts Library

Packed with over 200 items, from beads and yarn to stickers and googly eyes, the possibilities for creativity are limitless for your mini artists with this expansive art kit from Kid Made Modern.

Available from Kid Made Modern, $29.99.

Remote Controlled Gear Bot

This ingenious STEM toy will provide years of creative and educational play. Young engineers can connect any combination of gears, claws, heads and more to the motorized base to build a robot that can then be controlled by a wireless remote from up to 50 feet away. With 149 pieces to build with, the possibilities are endless.

Available at Lakeshore, $49.99.

Loog Mini Guitar

This three-string acoustic guitar is not a toy, it's an actual instrument and comes equipped with flashcards with chord diagrams and an accompanying app that will have your little rockers learning to play real songs. Available in six colors including red, green, black, white, yellow and pink.

Available at Amazon, $79.

Hasbro’s Ultimate Arendelle Castle

With Frozen 2 hitting theaters just in time for the holiday season there are sure to be plenty of ice-magic gift requests, and none of those new toys are quite as magical as this five-foot-tall castle that comes packed with 14 accessories, like a piano and a throne. Pressing a button on the balcony provides a colorful light show for some dazzling pretend play.

Available at Target, $199.99.

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Downhill Race & Go Playset

What's better than one monster truck? A truckload of them. From racing cars down the trick-filled ramp to stacking them on and driving them around, your junior drivers will have hours of fun with this play set. The best part by far is that despite providing a massive racing ramp, the entire thing folds down so that it takes up very little space when it's clean up time. The set comes with one monster truck and one vehicle.

Available on Amazon, $39.99.

Yuckology! Slime Lab

Your little scientists can create their own slime concoctions with this easy to use kit that gives preschoolers their first lesson in early chemistry and making observations. The kit comes packed with all the tools you need to make slime from common household ingredients. The plastic tools can easily be washed to use again and again.

Available on Amazon, $19.99.

Yeti Forgetti

Your tykes will love playing hide and seek with these adorable Yetis in this simple but exciting game that tests your memory skills and how well you pay attention. Designed for two to four players, the whole family can get in on the fun.

Available on Amazon, $8.99.

OSMO Little Genius Kit

OSMO has a new kit designed just for preschoolers. The new OSMO Little Genius Kit lets kids get creative with physical objects that will then appear on a connected tablet, with which they can engage in a whole new way. The kit comes packed with four games that help teach letters, pre-reading skills, critical thinking, problem solving and so much more.

Available from OSMO, $79.

Magical Castle Bed Tent

Transform your bed into a magical place to ride with dragons and become a brave knight with this castle tent that has plenty of room for pretend play. It can be used as a bed tent with a twin mattress or as a standalone fort.

Available at Lakeshore, $89.99.

LEGO Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 Carnival Thrill Ride

If your master builder is outgrowing DUPLO sets, but still needs help with LEGO bricks, the 4+ sets, like this Toy Story-themed one, offer the perfect compromise. The 98-piece set features easy-start bricks that make building simpler for tiny hands. The completed coaster offers plenty of exciting pretend play as well.

Available on Amazon, $15.99.

Ecokins

This brand new line of sustainable plush animals from Wild Republic will have you feeling joyful about helping the planet, while your kids cuddle up with their favorite new furry buddy. Each plush animal in the collection is made using 100% recycled fill and fabric. Even the packaging is eco friendly, from the biodegradable poly bag to the soy ink printing. You can choose from 14 different animals in 12 or eight inches, including a three-toed sloth, a polar bear, a snow leopard, an alligator, a dolphin, a red panda and more.

Available from Wild Republic, starting at $10.

Let's Pretend Shopkeeper Stand

The pretend play possibilities are endless with this new Shopkeeper Stand from KidKraft. Will it be an ice cream shop or a grocery store? It's all up to your young entrepreneurs who will spend hours in open-ended play; this set comes packed with all kinds of fun accessories including play food, a tablet register, hanging sign with magnetic menu and so much more.

Available at KidKraft, $129.99.

Carrie’s Castle Sidewalk Chalk

Why be limited to simply coloring with your chalk when you can build with it too? This adorable sidewalk chalk set features a rainbow of colorful chalk pieces in geometric shapes including triangles, blocks and doors.

Available at Maisonette, $34.

Build-A-Bear Subscription Box

For your tots who just can't get enough of their cuddly stuffed animals, Build-A-Bear offers the perfect subscription box gift. The Cubscription Box delivers a new stuffed animal every season (four times a year) and each shipment also contains six to eight exclusive Build-A-Bear items that you can’t get anywhere else.

Available at Build-A-Bear Workshop, starting at $29.99.

Croquet Set with Trolley

In the words of the Queen of Hearts, "Do you play croquet?" You definitely will with this gorgeous set featuring wooden mallets and balls that come packed in an adorable trolley. Your tykes will love whiling away an afternoon in the yard with a round or two.

Available on Maisonette, $149.95.

When Are You? A Journey Through Time

Instead of finding Waldo, your kids will be challenged to find themselves among a myriad of illustrated historical scenes in this clever personalized book, When Are You? A Journey Through Time. Each book features your kiddo's name and an illustrated character that most resembles them. The story takes readers on a journey from prehistoric times to the future as they search to find their character among the colorful and highly detailed images. Books ship worldwide within 48 hours.

Available from Wonderbly, $24.99.

Mobo Explorer Balance Bike

The new Mobo Explorer Balance Bike is the perfect way to bridge your preschoolers from those tricycles to the two-wheeler. Balance bikes can help young riders work on balance and agility and fine tune their motor skills. The adjustable seat accommodates kids ages two to six, giving your little racers plenty of time to learn at their own pace. It is also equipped with an integrated foot rest and never-flat tires making it easier and safer for your tykes to cruise around in style.

Available at Mobo, $89.

Radio Flyer Tesla

If you're looking for the ultimate splurge, then hand over the keys to this incredible kids' vehicle. Designed to recreate the real Tesla experience, it's even equipped with a rechargeable battery that's accessible through the tail light port. It also features LED headlights, a working horn and a connected music player.

Available on Amazon, $599.99.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.

All images courtesy retailers.