Fun Games for a 4-Year-Old

Four-year-olds can play simple board games with an adult or with another child 2. They like imaginative play, and enjoy dressing up and pretending to be adults. Word games, creative dramatics and finger plays help them develop vocabulary and number sequencing. Educational games and computer games can help with hand/eye coordination and with a variety of learning concepts. They are developing a sense of humor, and love to hear and to tell stories about many things.

Tabletop Games

Four-year-olds can play board games such as Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders with minimal supervision 2. These games rely on chance, dictated by a spinning or by drawing a card and matching the colors. They can also enjoy card games such as Old Maid or Animal Rummy. The rules are simple, and play is primarily by drawing cards and matching them. They might need some coaching on taking turns, how to hold the cards and losing gracefully.

Playing Pretend

A box of old clothing, a toy kitchen, some doll dishes and plastic food, along with dolls or stuffed animals can provide hours of fun. At age 4, kids like to pretend to be mommy or daddy, act as though they are going to work, going shopping or even pretending to be the baby if another child is pretending to be the adult. They also enjoy sock puppets or hobby horses as part of their play.

Electronic Learning Games

Round out rainy day or quiet time supplies with stand-alone electronic games created for preschoolers. Although adults might find it annoying, kids love toys that do something back in response to a selection. Jumpstart and Nick Jr. are two reliable sources for learning games for the preschool crowd 2. Pajama Sam, although designed for 5- to 6-year-olds, can be played with adult assistance. It teaches a variety of concepts, including helping combat fear of the dark.

Active Outdoor Games

By age 4, your child can play racing games with others. This can be on foot or on a tricycle or a bike with training wheels. They can play a variety of circle and call-and-response games such as:

  • drop the hanky
  • duck
  • duck
  • goose
  • London bridge
  • red light
  • green light
  • Mother
  • may I? They can also learn to pump up a swing for themselves, climb on monkey bars, or slide down a short slide