Have you ever realized that board games for 4 year olds are hard to find? So many of the perennial favorites are listed for ages 5+. But what about when you have a precocious preschooler who wants to play a board game like the big kids?
Good news! There are several really sweet board games just for the under-five set!
The Best Board Games For 4 Year Olds To Keep Them Entertained And Educated
The best games for 4 year olds are the ones that they can actually understand and play. They don’t have to “team” up with a parent or forever lose because the game just can’t be comprehended.
They can’t be too involved or have numerous rules to remember. And they need to be able to be played in a short period of time. The attention span of a 4 year old is pretty short!
Four year olds also need board games that don’t include reading. Although, there are some preschoolers who can read, most of them are still learning their ABC’s. If the game involves any kind of reading, even if it is just a little bit, it’s probably not a good game for your 4 year old.
Related: Best Board Games For Kids – How To Get Kids To Unplug This Year
What games are good for 4 year olds?
You don’t have to look super hard to find games that are good for 4 year olds. They don’t need much at this age. Keep their imagination and creativity flowing with games like pretend play, outside play, and water play.
Or, perhaps break out the LEGO’s, dolls, and/or cars and let your 4 year old decide what “game” to play. You may be surprised at what your little one can come up with.
Related: 10 Online Learning Tools For Children – Digital Academy For Kids
What are the best board games for preschoolers?
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There are some board games for preschoolers that are better than others. The simple, easy, brightly-colored, and fast-moving board games are the best. Check out 6 of my favorites.
- Hasbro Gaming Hungry Hungry Hippos. This is a fast-paced, action-packed game that combines hand-eye coordination and persistence. It is a sure way to induce giggling. Available on Amazon
- Sequence for Kids. This is a great game for those who don’t know how to read (or just don’t want to). It is low stress and works well for kids who like straightforward games. Available on Amazon
- Last Mouse Lost. If you want a simple game without any small pieces that can fit into your purse for when the kids’ electronics run out of batteries, this is the game. It is a small fast-moving board game that involves a bit of Tic Tac Toe type thinking. Available on Amazon
- Richard Scarry’s Busytown. This game comes with a six foot long game board that is assembled like a puzzle, which may seem to be a game in itself. The teamwork involved to reach the end of the board is perfect for cooperative play. Available on Amazon
- World of Disney. Like Richard Scarry’s Busytown, this board game for preschoolers comes with a six-foot board game put together like a puzzle. Players work to make it to the end of the board before Cinderella’s clock strikes midnight. The “search” cards can be a game in its own in a pinch. Kids work together for somewhat of a scavenger hunt. Need to keep the kids involved for more time? Use a longer timer when pulling a “search” card. Available on Amazon
- Picture Dominoes. I love how versatile the game of dominoes is for people of all ages. For kids who are still learning to count, regular dominoes might be stressful for them. Picture dominoes are the perfect remedy. They still get to play like adults but by matching animals instead of numbers. They can also use wooden dominoes as construction toys or just to set up and knock down. Available on Amazon
Related: 12 Easy Card Games For Your Next Family Game Night
How do you play with a 4 year old?
It may seem difficult at first, but the best way to play with a 4 year old is to let them lead. Let them tell you what they want to play, the rules involved and how they want to include you.
Playing doesn’t have to last hours. Even if you have 20 minutes, set a timer, put down your phone, and get involved with whatever your child is engaged with. Build a fort. Play hide-and-seek. Mold some Play-Doh. Draw a picture.
There are tons of things you can do if you just use the creativity you and your child both have.
What should I be teaching my 4 year old?
You should be preparing your child to have Kindergarten confidence. This means different things to different people but mostly it means that you want to help your 4 year old learn how to learn.
The skills required for kindergarten include social skills, communication skills and the ability to follow directions. Can your child sit still and listen to a book for 10 minutes?
Can he/she stand and walk in a straight line? Does your child understand how to share and adapt to others in a classroom? These things may be even more important than learning their ABC’s.
Children this age learn best through play. Incorporating a “game” of school with friends or siblings is a great way to start these lessons. Letting your 4 year old be the teacher is always a fun start.
Related: 10 Math Board Games To Play With The Kids To Help With Mental Math
Learning Skills Through Play
Encouraging your child’s confidence in academics and emotional management can help the transition to kindergarten be a lot smoother. For specific skills, most children should be able to do the following when they enter kindergarten. (Though all children are different and develop on different timetables, especially if their birthday falls later in the school year.)
- Stand on one foot for more than 9 seconds.
- Do a somersault.
- Hop on one foot.
- Walk up and down stairs without help.
- Walk forward and backwards easily.
- Pedal a tricycle.
- Draw a triangle, square, circle, and other shapes and be able to name them.
- Draw a person with a body.
- Speak clear enough to be understood by most people, using multiple-word sentences
- Count ten or more objects.
- Name at least four colors.
- Be able to recognize some letters.
- Understand the concept of time and the order of activities that happen each day.
- Be able to follow two or three-part directions.
- Recognize familiar word signs, such as “STOP”
Related: Top Ten Board Games For 3 Year Olds To Hold Their Attention
Top board games for 4 year olds
There are so many board games that are great for playing with friends or for siblings to play together…no parents needed. Preschoolers love this (and so do many parents).
Look for cooperative games for this age group. They work well because everyone can win and works together. These games are awesome teaching tools as well. They can learn problem-solving, good sportsmanship, sharing, and the ability to follow rules.
Older kids can learn how to be good role models, patience, and how to teach young children. Everyone learns something!
The best board games for 4 years old are like 4 year olds themselves: fun, simple, and sweet. Which of these games for preschoolers will you play next?
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