You might be wondering why this post, “Games for 4 year olds” is important and worth publishing.
Games are very important in the lives of young children and that is why we put together this post to help you know the importance of games and play in the lives of children and the best games you should expose your child to.
Parents who allow their kids to play games (any type of game, including card and board games) are indirectly teaching them success, disappointments, and aspiration.
Both winning and losing teach children experience.
Importance Of Games For 4 Year Olds
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Children psychologists and experts have made us know that children learn by having fun. This is why play is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. They teach children how to interact socially and think critically.
Children as young as 4 develop physically through play, they also come to understand different emotions. They learn how to process the world through play and games.
In short, play is how children learn and that is why it is pivotal to their development.
Games reduce stress in children and facilitate learning, and that is why they learn best during play.
The benefits of play and games for children are innumerable.
Parents and teachers are to make use of this unique time (game time) to teach kids important lessons which they won’t forget. During play, children emulate what they see and they practice skills.
Play or game time gives them the opportunity to release their creativity and perfect it.
What Happens When You Don’t Allow Your Children Play
Lack of play has a long-lasting and negative effect on the life of a child. According to studies, children who don’t have the opportunity to play outside have higher risks of behavioral and attention problems.
They will not have the opportunity to make use of their imagination, express their creativity, and build the skills they need to succeed in their workplace and life.
Lack of play and physical activities can also stop the social and emotional development of a child.
The absence of play also increases stress in children. So, don’t see play as frivolous, instead, it is brain-building and health-promoting activities. Toxic stress can affect the development of a child physically.
Interesting And Fun Games For 4 Year Olds
1. What’s hiding in the jelly?
Kids love jelly, apart from eating, you can also use it to have fun. To play this game with your 4 year old, you will need the following:
- Different colors of edible jelly crystals
- 1 or 2 large trays
- Different shapes of plastic containers or cups
- Small toys and wooden beads
- Plastic numbers
- And anything else you can put inside a cup of jelly.
How to play the game
You prepare the jelly cups first before starting the game. Arrange the plastic cups or bowls in a tray. On and in each plastic cup or container, put a plastic number and a toy, letter, or bead.
Give your child a few minutes to explore the jelly and guess what is inside the jelly without looking at it. If your young child can’t guess, let him/her look and say what they found.
Either way, they are still learning and developing their senses of touch and feel.
2. Drinking straws and pompoms
This is a fun indoor game the whole family can participate in. 4 year olds will enjoy this game the most. Materials needed for this game are:
- Drinking straws
- 5-6 1 inch pom poms
- Colorful scotch tape, make use of at least three colors
How to play this game
Create a path or maze using scotch tape by sticking it on the floor. Pick any design you want but it shouldn’t be straight lines. Mark the beginning and endpoint of the paths.
Give the kids each a drinking straw and put the pom poms in a basket. When you say the word “Go”, the child is to pick a pom pom from the basket and put it on the taped lines on the floor.
Then the child blows air using the straws to move the pompom along the lines. The child has to go from start to finish to complete the game. The child who finishes the race in the shortest time wins the game.
3. Rock, paper, scissors
This is a perfect game for any situation, whether a party, a family get-together or just to have fun when you have a lot of time at your disposal or you want to choose whose turn it is to first do something.
All you need to play this game is space and time.
How to play this game
Give the kids clear instructions about the game. Rock means “a fist”. Paper means to “place the hand palm down with the finger stretched out”, and scissors means to “use 2 fingers to look like a pair of scissors”.
Rock can break scissors, scissors can cut papers, and paper can cover rock. So, this means, rock is stronger than scissors, scissors is stronger than paper, and paper is stronger than rock.
Two people are needed to play this game. They stand facing each other with their left palm facing up and the right hand clenched like a fist.
The kids are to hit the fist on the palm twice and the third time, they can choose to keep it as they want, either as a rock, paper, or scissors.
The person with the stronger weapon wins the game.
4. ABC maze
Are you looking for an innovative way to teach your 4 year old alphabet? Then choose this game.
Apart from the fun, this game is also mentally and physically stimulating. You need the following to play this game:
- A small toy car or animal
- Space to play
- Ketch or pen
- A sheet of paper
How to play the game
Cut the paper or sheets into long strips and create a maze. The maze should be medium-sized and made in such a way that it is easy to navigate from the beginning to the end.
Write the letters of the alphabet in order on the maze in an easy way so that your child can easily move from one letter to another in the right order.
Then give your child a toy car or a toy animal and ask him to move the object from one letter to the under until he completes all the alphabets.
Free Online Games for 4 year Olds
1. Spot the difference
This free online game for 4 year olds helps to improve their comparison skills and visual attention.
You can play this game with your child by spotting the differences between simple images that look alike. Some of the images just have little differences in accessories or colors.
This game is educational for 4 year olds as it improves their attention development, analysis skill, and visual intelligence.
2. Missed ball
This is one of the best games on mentalup that improves visual attention and prevents short-term memory in young children. Click here to play this game.
3. Memory cards
These free online games help to improve memory skills, visualization, and comparison skills in 4 year olds.
This matching game for 4 year olds teaches children aural memory, comparison skills, visual attention, and also improves memory.
5. Face recognition
This awesome game teaches 4 year olds visual scanning, short-term memory, and even visual attention. It improves memory and focus.
For other interesting educational online games (free) for 4 year olds, click here.
Educational Games for 4 year Olds
1. Blending sound spelling
Your 4 year old will love this interesting game. He/she is to build bridges by building words in this game. It tests your young child’s knowledge of using blends in spellings.
Your child will have to spell a word using letter blocks as he/she comes across each broken bridge in this game. Each word has a colorful illustration to help them.
And a narrator says each letter as your child spells. This game lay emphasis on letter-sound relationships.
2. Counting pizza party
This awesome math game teaches children how to count by asking them to count the correct number of toppings and match them to the pizza in order to match the customer’s order.
When they are done, they will ring the bell and they will hear the toppings counted out loud.
What makes this math game interesting and engaging are the wacky toppings and the fun characters. Children in preschool and kindergarten will love this game.
3. Flipping pancakes fractions
This amazing fraction game teaches preschool children math while they are having fun. Your child plays this game by flipping the correct equivalent number of pancakes shown in the fraction form on the order.
They will learn about fractions while they play.
4. Dino crunch: 3D shape
In this interesting game for 4 year olds, the dinosaurs are hungry for 3D shapes but they need the help of your child in differentiating between shapes like pyramids, cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, and spheres.
Your child can choose to play solo or against another dinosaur. The aim of the game is to help his/her own dinosaur identify the correct shapes to eat.
This is a fun and interesting way to introduce shape to preschool and kindergarten children.
5. Stop the clock
The aim of this crazy clock game is to stop the clock when the hands match the time you hear. This game will teach your young child how to practice telling time to the nearest 5 minutes.
It also builds visual and auditory cues to help keep them on track as they do their tasks on time. This is an important math skill every child should have.
6. Less than or greater than: 1 to 20
In this awesome math game, young children will learn less than and greater than while they are having fun. Designed for young children in mind, it only stops at 20.
The alligator’s mouth represents less than and greater than signs. Your child will choose which mouth is pointing towards the larger of 2 numbers.
7. Sight words hopper
Do you want to introduce your preschool or kindergarten child to reading? Then let them play this awesome game.
This game makes use of high-frequency or sight words as an important reading building block for preschool children. This game requires your child to be a sight word hopper by helping cuz cuz jump over the mud puzzles.
Simple words like “can”, “have”, etc. are featured in each mud puzzle as a sight word. The young child must jump over the correct sight word the narrator reads out.
8. Bubble buster: Addition 1 to 10
Bubble buster will help your young child learn math and practice adding up to 10. Your child will be asked to touch 2 numbers to make 10 as quickly as possible.
As they play, the game increases to more challenging levels. This interesting game help children master math and gain fluency in adding numbers up to 10.
This will help kindergarten kids prepare for first grade because this is the main focus in first grade. And remember that the brain learns best during play.
9. Converting fractions with germs
Your child will learn how to convert fractions with gems when he/she plays this game. This game aims to help Birdee discover the correct fraction of each gem to match the mixed number shown on the screen.
Your child will write the mixed number as an improper fraction, this will further deepen their understanding of fractions and whole numbers.
This interesting math game will prepare your young child for 4th grade.
10. 2D and 3D shape sort
An interesting way to introduce your 4 year old to shapes is to let them play this game. From a young age, your child will learn that 2 dimensional shapes are flat while 3 dimensional shapes are solid.
In playing this game, they are to help Muggo sort common 2D and 3D shapes like cylinders, triangles, cubes, circles, pyramids, and squares into the right boxes.
Apart from the fun, this game introduces children to geometry and prepares them for second grade.
Best Game Apps For 4 year Old
This is one of our best picks for app games for young children because of its many features. Also, it is easy to use either as an app or a website.
This game makes use of fun storyline videos, activities, and quizzes, and even a virtual map to keep your child engaged.
This app is so easy to use that even kids of 2 years old can use it. It is a paid app that comes with a 1-month free subscription. You can get it on iOS, Android, or the Amazon store app for $10/month.
Are you looking for a good reading app for your young child? Then get this one, we consider it the best reading app for 4 year olds. It has over 35,000 children’s books and has a “read-to-me” feature for little children who can’t read yet.
This is a great app to have when your kids want screen time but you don’t. It takes reading wherever your device goes and kids as young as 2 can make use of this amazing app.
3. Hungry caterpillar play school
Parents who are looking for an app to teach their young children all the skills they need to learn before starting school should get this app. It has 5 main areas of learning which are:
- Shapes and colors
- Arts and puzzles and
- Reading books
The design of this app is topnotch and it has beautiful realistic and 3D details. There are bright colors and styles that little children will love.
Even kids of 1 year old can make use of this app. It is not free also but it is one of the cheapest learning apps out there.
4. Quick math Jr.
Do your 4 year olds find math boring? Then introduce this app to them. It makes math interactive and transforms numbers into something more creative.
Math Jr. has 12 different math games that teach kids basic math skills in a fun and enjoyable way. It has buildable characters and unique graphics to keep children engaged.
All the answers are drawn on the screen or handwritten so that the kids can practice handwriting also.
Another amazing thing about this app is that it is free but available only on iOS.
5. Stack the states 2
This app is more than a game app, it is part game and part educational. It teaches children geography and general knowledge of states through games.
When you get the right answer, you win a state and add to your stack and the ultimate goal of this game is to stack your states to a certain height.
An amazing thing about this app is that it keeps itself fresh and more fun by offering other games that your kid can unlock by completing different rounds.
6. Toca hair salon 3
Are you looking for a dress-up app for kids? Then get this, it is the best on our list. If you have kids who love crafts or they are always wanting to play dress-up, then give them this app.
With this app, your child can imagine, explore, and even express their creativity. They can style the hair anyhow they want it on various characters.
An interesting feature about this game is that there are no instructions and kids are free to experiment, as wide as their imagination carries them.
7. Starfall ABCs
This is one of the best apps that teach young preschool kids the alphabet. The animated introduction helps young children learn letters, consonants, vowels, and words.
The paid version of this app has more features like lessons on math and even social skills. However, the free version is still impressive and kids will learn a lot.
8. Nick Jr.
This TV app gives parents the chance to allow their children to watch their favorite shows on the go without TV because it has videos from all of Nick Jr.’s shows.
It doesn’t stop there, it has a collection of games, both educational and not-so educational kids will love these because these games feature their favorite characters.
9. Youtube kids
A lot of kids are getting into social media these days, including videos, especially on Instagram and YouTube.
10. PBS kids games
With this app, your child can have access to the full collection of educational games all based on PBS shows. They can access these anywhere and anytime.
These educational games cover all types of subjects, including math and reading. The other free app, PBS video is a great companion to this app and they are both free apps.
We hope that from this post, you’ve seen why play and games are important for your children and some of the best games you can teach your children.