Activities for 4 Year Olds

Activities For 4 Year Olds

At four years of age, children are learning to express their thought and emotions in many ways. At this age, they also start to learn more about letters and numbers, and some even start to write their names. In short, they show tons of curiosity about everything around them. Therefore, indulging them in activities that can help them in their overall development is important. Below are a few 4 year old activities that support kids’ overall development.

Video: Fun Learning Activities for 4 Year Old Preschoolers

Developmental Milestones at Four Years of Age

Although kids grow and develop at their own pace, but most children are likely to achieve some common development milestones at this stage.

Here are those common developmental milestones that kids can have by the age of four.

  1. Speak sentences of five to six words
  2. Tell a story
  3. Answer simple questions
  4. Understand colours, shapes, and numbers
  5. Observe and identify certain objects
  6. Understand same, different, and size
  7. Run and walk up stairs
  8. Kick, catch, and throw a ball
  9. Dress and undress without help
  10. Copy shapes
  11. Turn handles and unscrew caps off bottles
  12. Handle small objects
  13. Imitate the people around
  14. Pretend and be more creative
  15. Complete puzzles according to the age
  16. Hop and stand on one leg for a few seconds
  17. Understand times of the day (morning, evening, night)
  18. Turn pages of a book
  19. Write capital letters
  20. Build a tower with blocks
  21. Understand the concepts of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’
  22. Show various emotions such as happy, sad, angry, etc.
  23. Say his name and age
  24. Follow short commands
  25. Climb and run more confidently

Why Activities Are Important for a 4 Year Old?

If you are wondering why activities are important for kids, then you will be astonished to learn that these activities and games for 4 year olds help them develop their cognitive and creative skills, foster their social skills and enhance their decision-making and critical thinking skills.

Art and Craft Activities

Here are five art and craft ideas for your four year old:

1. Foam Mosaics

Teach your child some essential abstract art.

Foam Mosaics

How to Do:

  • Get some colourful craft foam, recycled cardboard, glue, paintbrushes, and scissors.
  • Show your child how to cut the foam and stick them onto a piece of cardboard.

What Does It Teach?

  • Motor skills
  • Creativity

2. Printing Baskets

For this activity, all you need are some baskets, paint, a dish or a plate for holding the paint, and paper.

How to Do:

  • Fill the paint dishes with paints of the child’s choice.
  • Dip the baskets into the paint and then stamp them onto the paper.
  • Your child can then stamp some designs onto card paper.

What Does It Teach?

  • Creativity

3. Paper Weaving

All you need are two papers of different colours, scissors, a pencil, and a ruler to get this crafty piece of art done.

Paper Weaving

How to Do:

  • Take one of the sheets and draw straight lines across the page.
  • For the next sheet, fold it in half and then draw straight lines from the fold, leaving at least 3 centimetres space from the edge of the paper.
  • Make strips out of the first sheet of paper.
  • For the second, cut along the lines but do not cut all the way through. When you open the paper, it should still be intact, but with large slits in the paper.
  • Take the slits you made earlier and show your children how to weave the two papers by alternating them over and under.

What Does It Teach?

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Fine motor skills
  • Basic sewing and weaving techniques

4. Microwave Puffy Paint

Your kids will be entertained and learn something new.

How to Do:

  • Take half a cup of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, two teaspoons of salt, and some food colouring. You can make some paint by adding enough water to make a paste out of the ingredients. Add a cardboard or mat board as a base for the creations and get started.
  • Mix the ingredients into separate little bowls and add the colours. Once done, use some old squeeze bottles and let the kids go to town on the mats.
  • Microwave the creations for 30 – 40 seconds.

What Does It Teach?

  • Innovation
  • Creativity

5. Circle Painting

Put an emphasis on recycling!

Circle Painting

How to Do:

  • Take some items that can be used to make make an imprint of a circle, such as soda bottles, straws, jars etc.
  • Take a piece of paper, and allow your child to dip the circular bits into the paint to make circular imprints on the paper.

What Does It Teach?

  • Curiosity
  • Creativity

6. Pom-pom Ice Pops

Fuzzy and fun pom-pom ice pops for a colourful play-pretend treat!

Pom-pom Ice Pops

How to Do:

  • Ask your child cut an ice-pop shape out of cardboard.
  • Tape the cut out of cardboard ice-pop to a craft stick.
  • Add glue to the ice-pop and encourage your child to add pom-poms to it.

What Does It Teach?

  • Creativity
  • Fine-motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination

7. Shoebox Guitar

All your need for this fun activity is a shoebox, three rubber bands, and two pencils.

How to Do:

  • Take a shoebox and cut a circle out of the top of it.
  • Stretch the rubber bands and place them along the length of the shoebox, positioned over the hole.
  • Insert the pencils horizontally under the rubber bands on each side of the circle.
  • Pluck the rubber bands to make some music.

What Does It Teach?

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Creativity

Sensory Developmental Activities

Here are some sensory developmental activities:

1. Play Dough

This is a fun way for your child’s sensory skills to be improved.

Play Dough

How to Do:

  • Your child can use rolling pins, cookie cutters, and play scissors to manipulate and decorate play dough.

What Does It Teach?

  • Vocabulary
  • Hand-eye coordination

2. Snowballs and Marbles

A sorting activity to keep your child occupied.

Ice Finds

How to Do:

  • Fill a bin with cotton balls and marbles
  • Have your child sort them into two separate containers only using his sense of touch.

What Does It Teach?

  • Focus
  • The sensation of touch.

3. Ice Finds

A fun game on a hot summer’s day.

How to Do:

  • Freeze a lot of ice cubes, some with toys and some without toys.
  • The aim is for your child to find the toys inside by breaking through the barrier.

What Does It Teach?

  • Analytical skills

4. McDonald’s Sandbox Farm

If your kids love Old McDonald, they are surely going to love this activity!

How to Do:

  • Hide some plastic animals in a tub of sand and have your child find them as you sing the rhyme.
  • For example during the line “And on his farm, he had some cows”, ask your child to find the cow.

What Does It Teach?

  • Sense of touch
  • Word association

5. Shaving Cream Tray

This is messy play at its best.

Shaving Cream Trey

How to Do:

  • Fill three trays with shaving cream, with a pot of paint near each.
  • Let your child take turns experimenting with the paint and the cream.
  • The mix of the paint colours as he dips his hands from one tray to the next is what will amaze him the most.

What Does It Teach?

  • Curiosity

6. Frozen Peas

A perfect summer game to indulge your little one.

How to Do:

  • Take a bag of peas from a freezer and pour the peas into a bowl.
  • In the same bowl, add some chickpeas and mix.
  • Give your child another bowl and ask them to pick out the frozen peas and place them in the second bowl.

What Does It Teach?

  • Sense of touch
  • Hand-eye coordination

7. Smell and Tell

An activity in which children have to smell different objects and identify them.

Smell and Tell

How to Do:

  • Blindfold your kid with a soft cloth and keep different objects before them, like fruits, perfumes, etc,
  • Ask them to pick one at a time and smell it, and tell the name of the object.
  • Praise them for every correct answer and keep aside the incorrectly guessed objects.
  • After they remove the blindfold, show them what objects they missed.

What Does It Teach?

  • Sense of smell

Educational and Learning Activities

Here are some educational activities to consider:

1. Weather Clothing Tags

Kids who like dressing themselves will like this.

How to Do:

  • Cut some poster boards into circles of three colours, and write “hot”, “cool”, and “wet” on them.
  • Make a hole through them and slide the twist tie through.
  • Attach them to the hanger, and make sure to explain to your child why certain clothes are needed during certain types of weather.

What Does It Teach?

  • Vocabulary.
  • Self-care.

2. Alphabet Tree

Learning alphabets the fun way!

How to Do:

  • Using a brown sheet, guide your child in cutting out the trunk and branches of a tree.
  • Then, cut out 26 green leaves and write down an alphabet on each of them.
  • Then, get your child to stick them all together, reading out the name of the letter as he sticks it onto the tree.

What Does It Teach?

  • Motor skills
  • Reading skills
  • Letter recognition skills.

3. A Story Game

This is one of the more fun reading activities for four-year-olds.

A Story Game

How to Do:

  • Ask your child to describe an event, like a trip to the park, in three sentences.
  • Write one sentence on each card and then place them randomly in front of your child.
  • Help him read the cards, and then ask him to put the cards in the correct sequence.

What Does It Teach?

  • Vocabulary

4. Scavenger Hunt

A fun activity that will keep your child occupied for hours.

How to Do:

  • Get your child a new puzzle and hide the pieces around the house. On some sticky notes, write down instructions such as “take three steps to the right, one step to the back, and turn around. Look under the table.”
  • Give him a little bag to collect the pieces in, and then you can solve the puzzle together once all the pieces are found.

What Does It Teach?

  • Problem-solving

5. Number Dosa

This one encourages your child to learn numbers as well as pleases the tummy.

How to Do:

  • When making dosa, put some of the batter into a squeeze bottle and ask your child to write down a number for you on a piece of paper.
  • He should show it to you and read it aloud.
  • Go ahead and squeeze the batter onto the pan in the shape of that number.

What Does It Teach?

  • Number recognition

6. Sunflower Word Family

A fun learning game that involves a little art-craft.

How to Do:

  • Write all the alphabets all around the edge of a paper plate.
  • Attach a popsicle stick to another paper plate.
  • Cut 16 small petals and write a word family on each petal, like ad, ag, an, ap, at, eg, en, et, ig, in ,it, og, ot, ug, un, ut.
  • Attach all of them around the second paper plate.
  • Put the first paper plate on the second paper plate.
  • Poke a hole in the centre and attach the two paper plates together.
  • Now pick a word family together, say “an”, and turn the inner paper plate with the 26 alphabets to form 26 CVC words. Encourage your child to sound out all 26 words, regardless of whether the words are valid or not.

What Does It Teach?

  • Vocabulary
  • Three-letter word formation

7. Side Walk Chalk Game

A fun and easy outdoor game that allows children to practice gross motor skills.

How to Do:

  • Use chalk to create a 6×6 grid on the floor.
  • Write each letter of the alphabet onto the grid, placing one letter in each box. Make sure you put the letters scattered throughout the grid. Do leave blank boxes as well.
  • Ask your child to stand on the letter A and then try to jump to the letter B. If the next letter is far, ask them to jump on a blank box first and then to the next letter.
  • Let your child cover all the alphabet while jumping.

What Does It Teach?

  • Letter recognition

Montessori Activities

Try some daily life activities that will help your child improve his concentration.

1. Pet Care

A good activity for kids who love animals.

Pet Care

How to Do:

  • Get your child to help you feed it using the correct food, amount, etc. at the same time each day.
  • Your child can also help in bathing your pet if your pet is the type to remain calm during a bath.
  • Brushing down fur is another great activity your child can do.

What Does It Teach?

  • Empathy
  • Responsibility
  • Concentration
  • Good memory

2. Dishwashing

If your child likes to play in the water, then he will love this one.

How to Do:

  • Allow your child to try washing a few plastic cups and plates so that he can learn how it’s done.
  • Make sure that there aren’t any knives or any other utensils you do not feel comfortable with him handling just yet.

What Does It Teach?

  • Hygiene
  • Concentration skills

3. Sous Chef

Kids who take pleasure in their meals are bound to take more interest in their preparation.

Sous Chef

How to Do:

  • Ask your child to assist you in the kitchen with simple chores.
  • Start by making him help you measure ingredients, roll out chapattis, and pass you some of the other things you may need. You can also help him work on his reading skills by reading out the steps in a recipe.

What Does It Teach?

  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Reading skills

4. Folding Laundry

It may sound tedious, but folding laundry can teach a child a lot.

How to Do:

  • Show your child how to fold a few simple things, and you can also teach him about different kinds of clothes and what they are used for.

What Does It Teach?

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Motor skills

5. Kids and Cutlery

Help kids to learn this skill at an early age.

Kids and Cutlery

How to Do:

  • Get your little one to help you organise the cutlery drawer by organising the spoons, forks and other cutlery into their correct places.

What Does It Teach?

  • Organisational skills

6. Self Care

A great activity to teach your child some basic hygiene habits.

Self Care

How to Do:

  • Ask your child to turn the warm water on the sink and wet their hands.
  • After lathering with soap, slowly and methodically wash their hands.
  • After they are done, ask them use a hand towel to wipe the hands.

What Does It Teach?

  • Life skills
  • Basic hygiene practice

7. Care of Home Environment

Teach your child to care for and respect their home environment.

Care of Home Environment

How to Do:

  • If your child spills something while drinking or eating, ask them to clean the spill properly.
  • Show them how to clean, and them encourage them to copy you.

What Does It Teach?

  • Care and respect for the home environment

Indoor Activities

Here are some indoor activities for four-year-olds at home:

1. Board Games

An interactive experience for the whole family.

Board Games

How to Do:

  • Get some board games for your children, such as Snakes and Ladders or Pictionary. Pick one, go through the rules together, and start playing.

What Does It Teach?

  • Problem-solving
  • Artistic skills

2. Do Some Baking

Baking is a fun activity that ends in delicious treats for the family.

How to Do:

  • Pick your children’s favourite recipe and get them to help out with measuring ingredients, reading the recipe, and anything else that is required. Decorating muffins can be a very fun project, as well.

What Does It Teach?

  • Ability to listen to instructions

3. Play Card Games

This is a good activity to do while travelling.

Play Card

How to Do:

  • Teach your kids your favourite card game, perhaps a simple one such as donkey, where everyone each gets a card and must follow the pattern on the card left open in the deck.
  • If it is a 3 of hearts, everyone will need to play hearts and whoever plays the highest number wins the hand.
  • Uno is another fun game where your children follow colours or numbers.

What Does It Teach?

  • Playing by the rules
  • Math skills

4. Story Time

Gather together and do some fun reading with your children.

How to Do:

  • Grab some pillows, blankets, hot chocolate, and your child’s favourite storybook, and read together.

What Does It Teach?

  • Vocabulary
  • Analytical skills

5. Dance

Get ready to boogie with this activity!


How to Do:

  • Play some music and dance.
  • You can either do spontaneous dance moves; or you can teach your child a dance that you may have learned, such as the jive.
  • You can also make up steps together to his favourite song.

What Does It Teach?

  • Good memory

6. Paper and Pencil Game

Simple but fun pencil and paper game that will keep kids occupied at home.

How to Do:

  • Draw a grid of dots on a paper.
  • Take turns drawing a line connecting any of the two dots.
  • The goal is to make a square by drawing, connecting two dots at a time and writing your initials inside the square.
  • The player with the most squares will be the winner.

What Does It Teach?

  • Fine motor skills
  • Introduction to shapes

7. Indoor Bowling

Create a bowling alley in your hallway for your child to play!

Indoor Bowling

How to Do:

  • Use coloured tape to create a bowling lane.
  • Take a bowling set and arrange the bottles in order at the end of the lane.
  • Let your child use a plastic ball to strike all the bottles.

What Does It Teach?

  • Gross motor skills
  • Coordination

Outdoor Activities

Some outdoor activities that your children will love are:

1. Go For A Walk

Here is how you can help your child learn while out on a walk.

How to Do:

  • When you go out for a stroll, you can point things out to your child and teach him the names of different things.
  • Walking in nature is especially rewarding, but even a simple walk down the street can be very exciting for your pre-schooler.

What Does It Teach?

  • Creativity
  • Observational powers

2. Create An Obstacle Course

Creative and exciting, your children will get a kick out of this one.

Create An Obstacle Course

How to Do:

  • Gather some hula hoops, place them on the ground, and keep a tennis ball and a bucket at the end.
  • Get your little one to hop through the hoops and then throw the ball into the bucket.
  • Keep changing the position of the hoops.

What Does It Teach?

  • Motor skills
  • Concentration

3. Gardening

This is something that can be quite enjoyable for children of this age.

How to Do:

  • Whether it is gardening in pots or the earth, gardening gives your child a reason to explore the ground.
  • Teach your child how to plant seeds and re-pot plants.
  • Give him the responsibility of watering them each day.

What Does It Teach?

  • Responsibility

4. Ride A Bike

When mastered, it can be a very simple task.

Ride A Bike

How to Do:

  • Removing the training wheels to help your child learn how to balance without it.
  • Stay with your child and do not just leave him alone.

What Does It Teach?

  • Motor skills

5. Play Catch

A fun game loved by many.

How to Do:

  • Take a ball or a beanie and keep throwing it for your kid to catch until he gets the hang of it.

What Does It Teach?

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Motor skills.

6. Plant a Seed

A great outdoor activity to make your child learn about the plant life cycle.

Plant a Seed

How to Do:

  • Give your child an easy-to-hold seed, like green beans.
  • Help them to sow it in the ground and water it.
  • Make sure to visit the site every 2-3 days to check on and water the plant.

What Does it Teach?

  • Responsibility
  • Causes and effect

7. Blow Bubbles

One of those fun activities that kids of every age enjoy.

Blow Bubbles

How to Do:

  • Take the soap formula and show your child how to blow bubbles.
  • Ask them to blow small and big bubbles.

What Does It Teach?

  • Coordinate limb movements
  • Oral motor skills

Cognitive Activities

A child’s thinking and reasoning skills get a good workout with these simple activities:

1. I Spy

This one is good for when you need to wait somewhere.

How to Do:

  • The game goes like this. You say “I spy with my little eye, something in colour blue” and your child will need to guess which blue object you’re talking about.

What Does It Teach?

  • Reasoning ability
  • Observation

2. Numbers

Teach your child to keep track of numbers with this activity.

Number Game

How to Do:

  • If you look around the house, you will find that you have a lot of things to practice counting and words with.
  • For example, have your child count the candlesticks, the lamps or even the number of buttons on the remote. You can even line up his toys and teach him to add and subtract.

What Does It Teach?

  • Math

3. Matching

A fun way of teaching your children that some things come in pairs.

How to Do:

  • Take one item from something that is a pair, such as a shoe, a sock etc.
  • Ask your child to bring you the other one.
  • If you choose something like a pen or a pencil, make sure that your child knows where to find another one.

What Does It Teach?

  • Object Association

4. Jigsaw Puzzles

A fun activity to keep your child occupied for a while.

Jigsaw Puzzles

How to Do:

  • Get a new puzzle that your child has not solved before and get cracking together.

What Does It Teach?

  • Problem-solving

5. Building Blocks

Games that involve building puts your child’s mind to great use.

How to Do:

  • Building blocks or Jenga are two fun games that require your child to figure out how to keep something stable and not let it topple over.

What Does It Teach?

  • Problem-solving skills

6. Role Play

A great activity that kids will love playing.

Role Play

How to Do:

  • Ask your child to pretend to be someone imaginary, like a superhero or a princess.
  • Tell them that they must act out and say a famous dialogue about the person they are dressed up as.

What Does It Teach?

  • Language development
  • Communication skills

7. Tape Maze

Kids will love racing their cars on the track they will make.

How to Do:

  • Cut out tape strips into different sizes and let the kids create a maze on the floor to race their cars by.

What Does It Teach?

  • Fine motor skills

Put your child’s natural need for learning and experimentation to use with some good activities and things to do with 4 year olds, that not only keep them busy, but you happy, knowing that your child is involved in something productive.

Also Read: Creative Activities for Children

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