The fabulous fours! Four-year-olds are continuing to develop their confidence and independence while being curious and creative.
Most four-year-olds can skip and hop on one foot, catch a large ball, throw a ball, move backwards and forwards, walk downstairs alone, somersault, kick a ball, climb and skip. Your kids are sharing and taking turns (most of the time) and chatting!
Want to keep them moving indoors? We’ve got some fun activities they’ll love!
Rhyming bean bag toss
Play this game with one or more kids. Using one bean bag, have a player throw it to another and say a word. The person who catches the ball has to come up with a word that rhymes with that word before they toss it back or on to the next player.
Avoid the sharks!
While shark attacks are a rare occurrence, who wants to take the chance? It’s best to avoid them altogether in this game of jumping and laughter. Set up safe spaces around the “water” (your floor). These could include pillows, hula hoops, or blankets. Have your kids jump from one safe spot to another without falling in.
Have two people hold a stick or pool noodle at your child’s shoulder height and see if your child can lean backwards and dance under the limbo stick. If they aren’t able to master the classic under-the-stick dance, come up with different ways to get from one side of the stick to the other. Can they crawl like bears under the stick? Slither like a snake? Move the stick lower each time your child makes it through and start the game again.
Watch some videos of kids doing floor routines or other gymnastics and let your child do their own. Prepare for their routines to be different each time but for them to increase their creativity and their love of rolling and dancing. Play some music to pump up their fun!
Bring the outdoors in—or at least the idea of the outdoors. Have a much drier snowball fight indoors by scrunching up paper into balls and throwing them (gently) at friends and family.
Be the weather
There’s a storm a-brewin’ and it’s moving in a whole lot of different directions. Teach your child about all different types of weather from rain to snow to hurricanes to fog and have them act them out. Have your child spin like a tornado, crash like lightning, get wide like fog, or fall like rain.
There are so many clapping games you can play with your kids. Pull up some videos and watch with your kids to learn the moves. There are videos to help you learn classics such as Patty Cake, Miss Mary Mack, Say Say Oh Playmate, and more.
Spider web obstacle
Your kids may not have eight legs but this activity will have them climbing, crawling, and stretching. Hang strips of painter’s tape in various directions to make a web for your kids to weave through. Can they climb over, crawl under, or stretch themselves through without touching the web?
Raise your hand if you’ve never enjoyed a good Chicken Dance. Okay, maybe “enjoyed” is a strong word, but if it’s the dance of choice at so many weddings, some people must love it. There are so many fun dances you can teach—or learn with—your kids. Do you remember how to do the Macarena? Can you do the Running Man? The YMCA? Dance party anyone?
Can you kick a ball off a…?
Place a soft ball on top of an upside-down paper cup, a plastic pail, or stool. Have your child wear shoes so it won’t hurt if they miss the ball, and then have them practice kicking the ball with one foot then the other.
There are many yoga poses that your child will be able to do at four years old. Show your child a pose and have them imitate. Some examples of poses your kids could do include:
- Happy Baby
Lie on your back, hug your knees into your chest, grab the bottom of your feet, and rock from side to side.
- Butterfly Pose
Sit with your back straight, fold your legs, and press the bottom of your feet so that they’re touching each other. Hold your feet and slowly move your thighs and knees up and down like a butterfly flapping its wings.
- Tree Pose
Stand straight with your legs slightly apart. Bend one leg slightly and slowly bring the inside of one foot to the ankle or thigh of the other. It might take a few tries to get your balance. Once you’ve found your balance, raise your hands over your head. If you feel well balanced, bring your hands together.
Recycling towers and forts
Rummage through your recycling bin for items which your child can use to build with (or stash items like cereal boxes away before you break them down). Yogurt tubs, oatmeal cans, and other items that are safe (no glass or jagged edged cans) can be used to create fun creations.
Nursery rhyme action time
Choose a few of your child’s favourite nursery rhymes such as “Humpty Dumpty,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” or “Jack and Jill” and have your child act them out as you or they say the words. Your kids will love pretending to fall off a wall, run back and forwards like a mouse, or roll like Jack and Jill.
Send your kids on a mission to find items around your home. Can they find five things that are blue? Or two items that are round? Print out Googled images of items such as a spoon, a pillow, a book, etc., and have your kids check off the list as they find each one.
Or, try one of these great printables:
- Outdoor sensory scavenger hunt
- Spring activities scavenger hunt for kids
- Winter activities scavenger hunt + free printable
- Fall activities scavenger hunt + free printable
Teach your kids about different coins (the animals or boats on the back of each help differentiate them!). Ask your child to find a quarter and have them toss it towards an object such as a hula hoop. Can they throw it inside the hoop? They might find it hilarious to see moose or boats flying!
Have your child stand at one side of a room or one end of a hall. Call out a number of forward jumps your child may take. They can only jump as many times as you instruct. If they jump too many times, they have to go back to where they were before. How many jumps will it take to get to the other side of the room or to the end of the hall?
There are many ways to make a paper plane and many games to play once you’ve made them. Can you throw a plane through a hoop hung from a door frame? How high or far can you get it to fly?
You don’t need to have specially bought dress-up clothes to come up with a fantastic outfit. Let your child mix and match their own clothes or add some items from your closet. An oversized shirt, a tie, a piece of costume jewellery or a hat can all be combined into the outfit of your kid’s dreams. And what’s a fantastic outfit without a catwalk to strut it on? Have your child shimmy, swirl, and dance to show off their new design.
Your kids will have happy feet and probably a whole lot of giggles in store when they play the penguin waddle game. Take a balloon or mostly deflated ball and place it between your child’s knees. How far can they walk with the ball in place?
Bubbles are a great activity indoors or out. You and your child can take turns blowing bubbles while the other person runs to pop them. Make your own indoor bubble solution (your child will love helping with the mixing!) and use a straw or traditional bubble wands to blow excellent bubbles.
Homemade bubble solution:
- 3 cups water, one cup dish soap, and ½ cup corn syrup
- 4 cups warm water, ½ cup Dawn dish soap, and ½ cup of sugar