Top 35 Activities for 4 Year Old Preschoolers

At four years of age, children are learning to express their emotions in many ways. Below, are a few activities that will help in the overall development of your child.

Video: Fun Learning Activities for 4 Year Old Preschoolers

Developmental Milestones at Four Years of Age

At the age of four, your child can:

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

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.

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

Foam Mosaics

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.

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

Paper Weaving

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!

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

Circle Painting

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.

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

Play Dough

2. Snowballs and Marbles

A sorting activity to keep your child occupied.

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

Ice Finds

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.

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

Shaving Cream Trey

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.

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

A Story Game

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

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.

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

Pet Care

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.

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

Sous Chef

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.

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

Kids and Cutlery

Indoor Activities

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

1. Board Games

An interactive experience for the whole family.

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

Board Games

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.

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

Play Card

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


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.

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

Create An Obstacle Course

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.

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

Ride A Bike

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.

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.

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

Number Game

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.

How to Do:

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

What Does it Teach?

  • Problem-solving

Jigsaw Puzzles

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

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

Also Read: Creative Activities for Children

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