Fun, Educational and Creative Activities for 4 Year Olds
Are you looking for things to do and activities for your 4 year old girl or boy. I have a 4 year old son and a 4 year old neice and I am forever looking for new and interesting activities to do. This article gives a wide range and variety of activities to try out with 4 year olds. They include physical and outdoor things to do, crafts, learning, games and lots more.
Outdoor Activities for 4 Year Olds
Outdoor activities are great for burning off excess energy. If my 4 year old is in the house for too long, he ends up getting a bit loud and I know it's time to get outside. Here are some ideas:
- Scooter - My 4 year old son loves his scooter. If you haven't got one it's worth investing in one. You can get scooters for as little as £16 in some shops.They are great to use when I want to walk somewhere as he will go much faster. I will scoot up and down the street when I'm outside in the front garden in the Summer. Great for going to the park too.
- Outdoor treasure hunt - An outdoor treasure hunt can be really easy to prepare and do, or more complicated if you choose. You can create a treasure hunt in your garden. Hide some household objects around the garden, give him/her a sheet with the pictures of what he has to find, then you could give an optional prize at the end (a chocolate or small toy). You could also prepare something more complicated with clues and cards to get them to the treasure at the end. Or if you have a few children hide lots of sweets around the garden and they have to find as many as they can.
- Nature walk - Nature walks can take all kinds of forms. A good thing to do is to print out a sheet with pictures of the things the 4 year old has to spot on the nature walk. It could have different insects such as a ladybirds and ants, birds, leaves, flowers and trees. You can print sheets of the internet or make up your own. Another idea is for the child to draw pictures of the different things that they see. You can have a short nature walk near where you live or a longer walk. Or even just seeing what you can see in the garden is a nice activity for the afternoon.
Arts and Crafts for 4 Year Olds
- Drawing - Good old fashioned drawing and colouring. My 4 year old loves to just sit, draw and colour. If they are not that keen a good tip is to sit and colour with them. I find it strangely relaxing!
- Magazines - You can get arts and crafts magazines for this age group and they quite often come with ready make arts and craft activities. Cbeebies make a good magazine. It's fairly expensive but there's lots to do and it keeps my preschooler entertained for hours.
- Paper plate masks. - I buy a pack of paper plates from the pound shop. We use them for all kinds of things. One ideas is to make masks. Draw faces on the plates and cut out holes for the eyes. 4 year olds will love making all kinds of faces such as monsters and aliens (two of my 4 year olds favourties). You can make themed masks for the time of year,. For example, a pumpkin mask for Halloween or a Father Christmas mask in December. You can do lots of other things with paper plates such as making a clock. One day my son decided he was going to draw letters on all the paper plates, then he hung them all to the washing line (his idea but it kept him occupied for ages).
- Lollipop stick puppets. This is another easy craft activity. Get some white or coloured paper or card and cut out a shape for your puppet. For example, we have just cut out a bat shape for halloween. You could cut out a princess, monster, ghost etc. 4 year olds will love colouring them in and maybe decorating them with stickers. Once finished stick the paper or card shape to a lollipop stick and you have your finished puppet. Again you can make themed puppets for the time of year.
Educational Activities for 4 Year Olds
- Storytelling - My 4 year old has a great imagination and loves it when we make up stories to tell him. You can also encouage them to tell you a story. Sometimes I make them up from scratch or take a well known fairy tale and add some twists and people that my son knows from his own life. You can also adapt stories such as Robin Hood or historical stories about Kings and Queen.
- Reading books - Reading is very important to help improve vocabulary and most importantly 4 year olds love it when you spend time reading stories to them. Choose books that you both enjoy. There's nothing worse then reading a story you find boring again and again. I like to keep it varied and read all kinds of different books.
- Practice writing - Chalking, bath crayons, drawing can all help 4 year olds practice writing. Make it fun! Chalk outside on the pavement or write on the tiles of the bath with some bath crayons,
Rainy Day Activities for 4 Year Olds
- Play board games - there is nothing my 4 year old son and niece like more than playing board games. Simple card games such as snap and pairs are easy to play and great fun too. Make it fun by getting the whole family involved. Have a games night where you turn off the TV and computer and have some fun as a family. Other good games include preschooler games by Orchard toys such as the shopping list game as well as fun games such as gator golf and Elefun. Classic including Hungry Hippos also make good preschooler games,
- Other indoor games. There are lots of simple, fun games that 4 year olds will love that don't need much equipment. Ideas include Simon Says or an indoor obstacle course. Alternative create a treasure hunt around the house and the prize could be a piece of chocolate.
- Bowling - Bowling is great fun and four year olds love it.
- Libraries - Libraries are great. Read books in the library and then take some home to read some more.
- Soft play - Soft play is great for rainy days and it wears them out too.
- Cooking - Cook some simple cakes. You can get great cake making kits at the supermarket where you don't even have to know how to cook. My 4 year old loves decorating the cakes the best. Or why not get them to help you cook their food. Can their stir or mix? Butter the bread for sandwiches? Crack an egg? Obviously make sure they are safe and supervised.
- Swimming - swimming is another activity that wears them out and is great for all ages.
- Movie afternoons - If it's a wet day, I'll quite often take my boys swimming in the morning, wear them out and in the afternoon we will have popcorn and a movie to watch.
- Walk in the rain - don't let a few rain showers put you off going outside. There is no such thing as bad weather - only bad clothing. Put on your waterproofs and go outside for a walk. It's great to look for the different insects that come out when it rains as well as listen for the different sounds and notice the different smells. When you've exhausted your 4 year old, come back inside and warm up with a hot chocolate treat.