Kids are so aware and observant at this age and want to know about everything, for better or worse! These brilliant learning activities for 4 year olds will help them answer those questions!
Gather as many fun and educational resources within reason as a girl can find. As tempting as it is just to let a screen be the answer, it’s not as beneficial as hands-on first-hand experiences.
Your kids will benefit from the list of activities because it puts into practice many critical and important skills that prepare young children for the classroom and the world.
The list of fun activities helps work on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, problem-solving, and patience–just to name a few!
I hope you find something fun on the list of best activities that you and your children can grow from, and good luck with the kiddos’ learning!
1. Textured Names
This fun activity never gets old! Try this great activity seasonally, and use them as a present for mothers, fathers, etc. days.
You’ll need construction paper, glue, a writing utensil, maybe scissors, and your small glueable material of choice for this simple activity.
On the sheet, you’ll need to write the name getting practiced, and then the child can finish with anything from sprinkles to scrap pieces of paper and have so much fun.
Any material you have on hand that is glueable and your 4 year olds can handle.
This is also a great large group activity for preschoolers!
2. Word Puzzle Printables
These free puzzle sets are endless hours of entertainment–a bit of assembly is required, FYI but these puzzle pieces are great educational activities for problem-solving skills.
I like to glue them to cardstock so they hold up a little longer against little hands, and if I’m really on my stuff, I’ll laminate them with these self-laminating sheets!
Once the letters of the alphabet are printed and assembled, you’ll cut along the dark lines to divide the letters and image. The goal of these cards is for the student to think critically to solve a problem.
3. Butterfly Life Cycle Craft
I still remember learning about the life cycle of butterflies and loving everything about it! A hands-on experience helps teach little ones to grasp an idea better.
This craft is an excellent introduction to a more complex idea, like a butterfly’s life, and you probably have all the materials already.
The materials are a paper plate, construction paper, Play-Doh, scissors, and a bit of glue.
First, cut a circle of paper that will act as the background on the plate, a leaf shape, and two long skinny strips to divide your plate into four sections.
Glue everything in place together, adding the leaf to one of the sections.
After, grab the Play-Doh and walk through each stage of the cycle while making each part. Start with the larvae on the leaf, then the caterpillar, after the chrysalis, and then, of course, the butterfly!
4. Printable Letter Craft
These printable letters are great for any eager learner to work on letter recognition and language development in a fun way!
You will have to make an account to download them, but it’s free; teacher’s Pay Teachers is an amazing resource for anyone working with kids looking for simple activities!
The animal associated with the letter helps reinforce recognizing the letter in the future. Bonus, your kid gets to color them in making them double as craft activities!
5. Oil Spill Sensory Activity
The pollution of the oceans is an essential conversation for anyone alive today to think about and discuss critically.
It seems like a lot for a four-year-old to understand, but a perfect way to introduce them to this is through a sensory activity.
Grab a bin, and fill it with toy boats, sea creatures, and water. Once that’s filled up, let the little one sensory play with it for a few, and ask about how things feel, look, etc.
After you’ve discussed that bit, add some oil to the sensory bins – feel free to add some cocoa powder to the oil to replicate the real oil leaks.
Ask the same sensory activities driven questions and have an honest and appropriate conversation during these fun learning activities.
This is a wonderful hands-on kindergarten activity.
6. Cloud in a Jar
Continuing on with the science-y activities, creating a cloud in a jar is another experiment that fascinates children.
Add the water first, then shaving cream, and then carefully, both of you can pipe in the food coloring or watercolor.
Talk about your experience and answer any questions that may arise during your conversation.
7. Planet Suncatcher Craft
There are many ways to accomplish this craft, but today we’re using tissue paper. Cut the specific colors you’ll need for each planet, organize them, and set them aside.
You’ll also need wax paper, a glue stick, and electrical tape. You can do one a day or knock them all out in one day, but you’ll need two circles for each planet–roughly representative of the size.
Once prepared, have your kiddo paste the colors onto the wax paper, and when ready, put the matching circle on top and tape shut.
Looking for more things to do outside? Check out these free outdoor activities for kids.
8. Fullbody Self Portrait
A classically fun art project for our little ones! You’ll need this roll of paper–a great deal, a pencil, and a kid to trace.
Have them lie flat on the paper and trace them entirely. After, let them draw the details and any activities important to them!
9. Slime Sensory Activity
A win-win in the world of slime! Kids get to play, but parents are pleased because it’s inside a bag–a bonus, throw some alphabet beads in there to practice sight words together and learn new things!
To make your slime for the bag, you’ll need this clear glue, (optional) glitter glue, baking soda, (optional) food dye, buffered saline solution, and of course, both a bag and letter beads.
10. DIY Upcycled Toilet Paper Seedling Pots
Teaching children the importance of being upcyclers is excellent for the future and teaches them how to grow food from seeds and other important life skills.
Grab a container you are okay with starting seeds in, a small collection of toilet paper tubes, and a packet of seeds.
You and your kids can set it up together, put the tp rolls in first, and then cover most of them with dirt, followed by burying the directed amount of seed per tube.
Water them together, and keep a written journal or photo journal of the journey to aid with observational skills and enjoy your quality time with your younger children!
11. Pollock Inspired Art
Don’t be afraid to get a little messy for this one, and make sure the paint you’re using is washable!
Get your paper ready, and let the kids squirt, dribble, fling (contained to the area!), or do anything their heart desires.
Pollock was a little more precise in his execution, but we want our kiddos to be able to let the creative juices fly.
12. Q-Tip Tree Painting
One of the best fine motor activities, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. Print out a tree, or draw the outline of one and let your little one dip a Q-tip into paint and dot in the leaves.
Provide a few different colors besides green and make it one of the most fun seasonal hands-on activities. What does a tree look like in the other parts of the year, and what happens to the leaves?
This great learning activity will help you teach your children just that!
13. Heart Crayons
Got a bunch of broken crayons waiting on standby in hopes of a better life? Grab this fun mold pack, your sad crayon collection, and a cookie tray.
Peel all your crayons and sort them into the molds however you’d all like, making sure to overfill them because they’ll melt down.
Put your oven on for 250 F (or 121 C) and place the molds onto cookie trays before putting them in the oven.
As soon as the oven has melted all the crayon bits, pull them out! This time frame shouldn’t be any more than 10 minutes, but it’s best to keep an eye to avoid any troubles.
14. Simple STEM Challenge
A very simple introduction to STEM is this challenge! Gather some plastic cups, popsicle sticks, and a fun toy to place on top.
Have them interlace the cups and the rods to build, trying what works, doesn’t work, etc.
Essentially, they are trying to build a structure as tall as they can with the sticks and cups and, when ready, place that fun item at the top.
15. Printable Gumball Machine
Once it’s all together, give them to your kid counter for a fun matching game.
A fun thing to try alongside this game is to pull up a randomizer online and enter all the numbers into the program so it becomes more game-like.
16. Alphabet Star Matchup
If your kiddo is working on letters instead of numbers, this download is just right! The stickers mentioned above will get the job after labeling them A-Z.
Again to make it more fun, throw the alphabet into the randomizer program to keep your little one engaged in the work.
17. Butter Science
Real-world contextual science projects are the best, and this butter one is no different! Heavy whipping cream, salt, a strainer, and a jar with a lid are needed.
Add the cream and shake for several minutes–pass it around and make it a whole family activity. Once you no longer hear a sloshing sound, open the jar, and voila, butter!
Strain the butter from the excess liquid (buttermilk which can be saved and used in other recipes), rinse lightly with water, and sprinkle salt into the butter.
Feel free to ask about what they hear, see, smell, taste, and feel throughout the experiment.
18. Homemade Playdough
A real lifesaver when you’ve realized all the other Play-doh has gone stiff or weird. This recipe has been a staple for us, and it does a beautiful job explaining all the ins and outs of achieving homemade playdough!
You can leave it a plain color or add dyes to the dough to brighten them up. Divide up your playdough if you want to make a handful of different colours.
19. Interactive Alphabet Book
A bit more complex, but it can be such a cool project to do with someone learning the alphabet. Or, there are options out there, but all cost money.
If taking on the project, you can decide with your child what each letter will be and then plan accordingly on how the page will interact.
20. Alphabet Flashcards
There’s no better way to learn anything than with good old-fashioned flashcards. Whether just working on letter recognition to phonetics, they are an essential tool to help your kiddo grow!
These from Etsy are so cute if you’re looking for buyable ones. Bring them anywhere, practice for a minute, or make a lesson plan.
21. Printable Ice Cream Template
To access these fun ice cream templates, you’ll have to subscribe, but if you’d instead make your own, here’s a mini tutorial.
You’ll need to find a simple black-and-white image of a cone and scoops, respectively, and print them all out, reserving a copy of each if you’d like to make copies.
To the originals, draw a column of dots to place stickers for your little one to count and replicate in scoop form.
22. 1-10 Dot to Dot Worksheet
These worksheets are great for children to practice counting without making it too much of a chore.
There are endless free options online that you can print, but here’s a nice spring flower one to try out–is it bad I’m already dreaming of flowers?
23. Insect Flashcards
As you know, I love teaching children about the natural world, and these insect flashcards are no different!
This download is free; you can cater the words to a different language or opt for the bilingual option.
24. Alphabet Bingo
Make your own cards, or find some online–alphabet bingo is fun for the whole family! Make sure to add some cardstock to the homemade or printed cards for a longer lifespan on them.
Also, there are a lot of great randomizers online; enter A-Z as the options and enjoy. I guarantee any kid loves the thrill of a randomizing tool.
25. Internal Organs Learning Binder
Kids love to ask questions about the body in general, and sometimes we have a hard time answering if we don’t have visuals or an appropriate way to present it.
This Etsy shop has printable information to change this conversation in your household.
26. Number Bingo
Just like alphabet bingo, there are many resources to find online or make your own! Again, add cardstock onto the more delicate cards and maybe even laminate them.
Pull up that online randomizer, enter the numbers your child is working on, and make a night of it.
27. Letter Fishing
This idea takes a bit of planning but can be done outside (weather dependent) or in the tub!
You’ll need magnetic letters, a magnetic fishing pole or net–whatever is easier to find, a kiddie pool (if outside), and a plastic scoop.
Let them identify letters as they pull them out of the water, or ask them to find one. It brings a lot of fun while also being fully engaged in the educational aspect of the game.
28. Sequencing Cards
Sequencing cards are endlessly customizable and found all across the internet. One of the easiest and most import to try out is their name!
On a sheet of paper, write their name and on post-its, put a letter on each and then let the kiddo unscramble and sequence them correctly.
As a more complex sequence, you could have them order how a plant grows or how to put clothes on. There are plenty of options across the web and on sites like Teacher’s Pay Teachers.
29. Alphabet Sensory Bin
In a similar spirit to the fishing for letters, add any space-taking material (water, beans, sand), letters, and any other bits you’d enjoy in the mix.
Have an oversized matching board at the ready, have them identify as they play, or anything else that may come to mind–exploration through education is key.
You can cater to what your child needs. Do they need help with dexterity–add grabbers to pull the letters out.
30. Fridge Magnet Letter Matching
Matching is genuinely one of the best ways for kids to learn. Grab a set of magnetic letters, trace them onto a sheet of paper, cut the paper version out and attach them to the fridge.
Let them match casually play while you work in the kitchen, or get down there with them and do an impromptu lesson.
31. Name Writing Activity
Teaching a kid to write their name is a huge and exciting milestone. A way to help them get there–expose them to multiple outlets to recognize and try writing their name.
Start doing some tracing activities or puzzle-based ones–recognizing the order. A dry-erase board is a great asset during this time to explore continually.
32. Alphabet Colouring Activity
A way to implement learning without having to teach outright is through colouring sheets! Every theme imaginable has millions of options–from Peppa Pig alphabet pages to Holiday ones.
Grab what your little one would be thrilled to colour!
33. Baking Soda and Vinegar Art
Sometimes some projects yield no end product, and that’s an okay thing for, frankly, everyone to learn! You’ll need an easily cleanable space, a tray or dish, baking soda, vinegar, droppers, and a bit of food dye.
Mix the vinegar and food dyes, and then have them drop the mixture onto the baking soda. Ask some sensory or scientific questions as they proceed (or after, depending on their excitement).
34. Alphabet Arc Mat
These mats are powerhouses in helping children develop and learn–it helps with everything from letter recognition to long-term memory!
The activities are endless, and there are a few options in the pdf shared for learners anywhere in their journey.
35. Busy Bee Activity Pack
If you’d like this busy bee pack, you’ll have to subscribe, but there are countless activity packs targeted at any child.
Activity packs usually can include matching sheets, letter recognition, or any other educational-based worksheet.
36. Rainbow Colour Matching
A super simple colour matching option is to grab some paint samples and these clothespins if you don’t have some already! Get duplicates of the samples and simply cut one up by the dividing lines.
Have your child match the correct colour square to each strip. So simple, easy, and cheap!
37. Sprinkle Writing Sensory Bag
One of the cutest and sweetest ways to practice writing is to make a sprinkle bag! Fill a bag up with sprinkles and secure the top shut with tape, and then have them get writing.
38. Shark Letter Recognition Activity
“Feeding the sharks” has never been more educational! This activity requires you to add your email, but it’s worth downloading.
If you’re not into that idea, try looking around for free letter recognition activities.
39. Rainbow Cereal Necklace
A classic from my childhood–making our cereal necklaces! It’s a great fine motor and patience practice with a very sweet payoff in the end.
Gather string, a colorful cereal of choice, a child-friendly needle like this one, and any other treats you want to string on.
Your kids will love these indoor activities for kids at home!
40. Printing with Nature
Make a day of this idea! Go on a nature walk with your kiddos collecting things you find on the path but still being respectful to nature.
When home, bring your collection to the table and break out paper and some washable paint. Squirt paint onto paper plates and have them dip their findings onto the paint and then onto the paper.
Ask them what they thought their stamps might look like versus what came out on the page; you can even introduce other nature subjects while working on this project.
This activity is the perfect fall craft idea!
An alternative to the sprinkle sensory writing bag, the salt writing tray is a lowkey and textural way to get your practice in.
Grab a cookie tray, pour salt onto it, and have your kiddo work on letters, numbers, names, or even sight words.