Four year olds are adorable, energetic and curious little beings. Most children at this age develop independence, self-control, and creativity. Thus, it is essential to select development games for 4 year olds to support their physical, mental, and cognitive skills.
Usually, four year olds have a better attention span and can play with one toy for an extended period. However, an average four year old’s attention span is still 5-10 minutes, which is higher than it was when they were 2-3 years old (just three or four minutes).
Hence, it’s crucial to introduce some fun games to 4 year olds that can engage them for longer periods. This guide will walk you through the 25 best games to play with 4 year olds that parents we talked to have found to be the most effective.
Fun Games for 4 Year Olds’ Emotional and Physical Development
The first five years are crucial for a child’s development. Therefore, you must engage your toddler in various games that can stimulate their senses and educate them. Notably, games for a 4 year old has to be fun and exciting. So, after thorough consideration, we have created a list of the 25 best games for your 4 year olds:
Learning Games for 4 Year Olds
Skill Development: Math and reading
Price: Free for teachers and a 7-day free trial for parents. Subscription starts at $4.99 per month
Are you looking for engaging yet educational games for 4 year olds online? If so, SplashLearn is the best online game-based program for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5. Preschoolers learn math and reading skills through interactive and adaptive games that match their skill level. The program also has a Daily Learning Path to guide kids from one skill to the next, which means they can learn independently. In addition to this, parents and teachers get detailed progress reports on how they child/students are doing, which keeps them in the loop.
Related Reading: How to Know What is Taught to Kids in Preschool
Skill Development: Memory skills, spelling, and word recognition
Matching Letters is a learning game for four year olds that helps develop their memory skills and strategic mindset while also improving their word recognition ability. It is the perfect game to play with the entire family and develop your child’s alphabetical skills. It is simple to play since it only has 60 cubes that can only form 3-4 letter words.
Skill Development: Matching, fine motor skills, alphanumeric recognition
This educational game for 4 year olds is fun and engaging. The game board is designed with different alphabetic and numerical letters. Your children will use a magnetic fish rod to find the right letters based on your instructions. With this game, you can teach colors, numbers, letters, and matching skills.
Skill Development: Thinking, reading skills
Zingo is an Oppenheim Gold Award and Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner game for 4 year olds. It is a simple bingo game for toddlers that helps develop their critical thinking and reading skills. Your kids have to follow the instructions mentioned on Zingo cards and match different connectors on their slips. It is fun and easy to play a game that the entire family can enjoy together.
Skill Development: STEM skills
This is a unique talking microscope for your children that can teach them about animals, plants, and other household things. This talking microscope has five different slides to teach different things to 4 year olds. For example, it has a fact mode that tells facts about the image your child has selected. There’s also your four year olds an interactive quiz mode to test your child’s scientific knowledge. It is a perfect game for four year olds to develop their interest in science.
Related Reading: Teaching Preschoolers? Helpful Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Group Games for 4 Year Olds
6. Scavenger Hunt
Skill Development: Leadership, instructions, understanding, and processing skills
Requirements: Random items to hunt
Whether it is your 4 year old’s birthday party or you simply want to tire out energetic preschoolers, you can organize a scavenger hunt. You can create doodles or drawings to create a treasure map, as some four year olds might struggle to read written instructions. In addition to this, you can make scavenger hunt more fun by dividing your children into groups of two and organizing a small competition among them.
Skill Development: Counting, physical strength
Requirements: A chalk and pebble
Hopscotch is a classic and fun game for four year olds. To play this game, using chalk, create a grid of nine blocks and mark numbers in each block like 1, 2, 3, etc. Now, give a stone or pebble to your preschooler and ask them to throw it on any number in this first row. They have to then hop down the grid and then back and pick up their pebble while standing on one foot. It’s going to be fun watching kids hopping, falling, and laughing.
8. Jump Rope
Skill Development: Balance, coordination
Requirements: Jumping rope
Jumping rope is a fun and entertaining game for four year olds. All it requires is a jumping rope, and your preschoolers can have a blast playing with it. They can even do group jumping to develop coordination and body balance. It is a perfect outdoor activity for kids to improve their body strength.
Related Reading: Best Math Activities for Preschoolers
Skill Development: Motor skills
Requirements: Open space to run around in
Tag is a game that four year olds and adults can play and have fun with their friends. There are several versions of this game. So, you and your child can play freeze tag, simple tag, or any other version of tag that your family plays. It is a perfect game to improve motor and sensory skills among young children as they have to respond quickly while playing this game.
10. Red Rover
Skill Development: Speed and strength
Requirements: Open space
Red Rover is the best group game for four year olds parties. Simply divide your group of kids into two and make them stand in two opposite lines holding their hands. Make sure that both lines have at least a 20 feet gap. Then, a player from each team will say, “red rover, red rover, let … come over”, and march toward another team to break their bond. If a player can break the bond, they will come back to their line with one member from the other team. Eventually, the team with the most members wins the game.
Board Games for 4 year olds
Skill Development: Matching skills
Is your child a Marvel fan? Then, get them a Yahtzee Jr. Marvel Edition board game to play with their favorite Marvel characters like Spidey, Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, and more. There is no reading involved in this game. Kids simply have to roll the dice and match characters on the board.
Skill Development: Matching skills
Snug as a bug in a rug is an award-winning game for preschoolers. It has an exciting storyline in which kids have to put as many bugs as they can under the rug before three bugs stink and destroy everything. The game is available in three interactive modes to keep your kids interested. The game contains 1 game board with a built-in spinner, 24 colorful bugs, 3 stink bugs, 1 die, and instructions.
Skill Development: Motor skills, matching skills
Cootie is a classic preschoolers game that you must have also played in your childhood. The game is pretty simple. Your child has to spin the wheel and hope to get the part they need to build their plastic bug. The person who makes the bug first will win this game. However, all the colorful parts and mechanism to create a bug is excellent educational training for four year olds.
Skill Development: Counting, strategy
This is another classic game you can find everywhere. Several versions of the game are available, so you can purchase the game with your child’s favorite cartoon characters. The game board has 100 squares your child must cross while moving through different ladders and chutes. It will be fun when ladders lift your child’s pawn closer to the winning square and chutes bring them down again. It is a great family game to enjoy and learn numbers.
15. Candy Land
Skill Development: Color recognition, counting
Candy Land is a great board game for 4 year olds at home. It is a classic game with gingerbread players, colorful cards, and several sweet adventures to explore. Your children will use cards to find their way through the chocolate mountain, candy cane garden, etc. No reading is involved in this game, so it is perfect for young minds.
Physical Games for 4 year olds
Skill Development: Motor skills, analytical thinking
Requirements: A safe space with places to hide
We don’t think hide and seek requires any explanation. Every person has played this game in their childhood and had a blast. So, if you are a preschool teacher or parent, you can play hide and seek with your four year olds to improve their reflexes and analytical skills while also getting some physical exercise.
17. Animal Walk
Skill Development: Hopping, galloping
Requirements: Animal picture chart
The animal walk is the perfect game for preschoolers to teach them the characteristics of different animals and do some physical work. All you need is an animal picture chart to show to your toddlers. And ask them to imitate the walk of the animal mentioned on the chart. With this game, your child will move, hop, and gallop to build physical strength.
18. Keep the Balloon Up
Skill Development: Balance, coordination
Requirements: Balloons and an open play area
It is a two-player game. To play this game, you have to give a balloon to the two players and ask them to balance the balloon in the air using their bodies except for their hands or feet. And they have to move from one point to another while balancing the balloon. It is excellent team coordination and balance-building game for 4 year olds.
19. Wet Sponge Designs
Skill Development: Throwing
Requirements: Lots of old sponges
During the summer break, you can play this fun game with your four year olds. First, gather some waste kitchen sponges and put them in a tub of water. Then, ask your preschooler to throw wet sponges on a hard surface like a concrete wall or floor. This is not only a fun game for a 4 year old but also helps to strengthen their arm muscles.
20. Simon/Simone Says
Skill Development: Jumping, hopping, crawling, and more
Requirements: No equipment needed
It is a fun game for four year olds without any complicated rules. The player simply has to say “Simon says” and instruct other players to do any physical action like jump like a duck, hop like a bunny, etc. It is a rule-less and joy-packed physical game for preschoolers.
Related Reading: Best Math Games for Kids to Make Learning Fun
Indoor Games to Play With 4 Year Olds
21. Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button
Skill Development: Guessing, social skills
Requirements: A button
It is a quiet game for preschoolers to play indoors. Simply get your preschoolers to sit in a circle and ask them to close their eyes. One person will have a button in their hand and pretend to pass it on to everyone. Once the button is passed on, everyone will try to guess who’s got the button.
22. Broken Telephone
Skill Development: Listening skills
Another simple game to play with a group of four year olds. Simply make the group sit in a circle; one person will whisper a sentence into the ear of the person sitting next to them. That person will pass the message to the next person and so on. The cycle keeps moving until it reaches the last person in the circle, and they will say the message out loud. The game’s main motive is to improve students’ listening and information processing skills.
23. Story Time Clap
Skill Development: Language development
This is an excellent game for 4 year olds to improve their reading skills. You can pick one child and give them a book to read aloud to the rest of the group. You will then assign the listeners a specific word or phrase. When they hear that word or phrase being mentioned in the story, they have to clap. It is a great way to improve young students’ reading, language and listening skills.
24. Touch and Feel Box
Skill Development: Sensory development
Requirements: A box and different textured objects
This game is perfect for students suffering from sensory disorders. To play this game, you must put some unique textured items in a box. After that, ask the children to touch and feel one of the items. Without seeing it, they have to guess the item’s name based on their feel and touch senses.
25. Musical chairs
Skill Development: Motor skills
Requirements: Lots of chairs
Musical chairs is an excellent party game for preschoolers. You simply have to arrange chairs in a circle facing outwards. However, there should always be one less chair than the number of players. Once the music starts, everyone walks around the chairs, and when the music stops, they have to grab a seat. The person who is left standing will lose the game. Keep on playing until you have a winner.
Games are an essential part of child development. With games, children learn to socialize, become team leaders, and learn new things. Their physical and mental strength also improves.
Play all the suggested games to improve your child’s physical and mental development. Choose from a vast number of games you can buy, as well as free games for 4 year olds, and get started!
Related Reading: Fun Free Games for Kids to Play Online
What impact do games have on children?
Games are a great way to enhance your four year old’s physical development. Games like tag or ‘Simon Says’ will improve your child’s muscular strength and body balance. In addition to this, games also help stimulate your child’s brain and develop their mental strength. Besides this, playing games also ensure your child is active and tired enough that they sleep well at night.
What are the benefits of board games?
Playing board games increases brain function and strategic skills among young children. Board games also help to improve social skills and strengthen relationships. Board games are the perfect way to have some family time and reduce stress. In addition to this, these games teach life lessons and patience.