These fun games for 4 year olds will keep preschoolers busy and active! This list includes motor games as well as board and indoor games to play.
Motor skills and movement activities are essential to growth and development. We place a lot of focus on academics and pre-reading and writing, but the truth is, physical activity and motor skills really help children hone those academic skills.
Playing fun games for 4 year olds can be a great way to get moving, and when planning 4 year old activities, you’ll want to pick a few from this list!
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Fun Games for 4 Year Olds
When I think of games for kids, I think of a couple of things, outdoor (or indoor) gross motor games and indoor board games.
A game is a structured form of play that usually includes rules and an end goal. This can mean friendly competition or a collaborative effort, but teamwork, patience and turn-taking are all skills that 4 year olds can learn from playing games.
If you’re looking for other structured activities for 4 year olds, find some arts and crafts or sensory play that are great for this age too.
Some games for 4 year olds to try include
Gross and fine motor skills are essential to child development. They help with pre-handwriting, coordination, emotional regulation and so much more.
Hide and Seek: this is a classic game that can be played with any number of children, and can be played indoors or out!
Bean Bag Toss: make your own bean bags, or play with store-bought ones for this friendly competition.
Relay Race: relay race there are so many ways to do a . Pick a theme, line children up in multiple lines, and have them take turns running the race. The team that has all players complete first wins!
Tag: a classic playground game. Children can race around the yard tagging one another, taking turns to be ‘it’.
Hopscotch: get out the sidewalk chalk and draw a hopscotch game on the ground. Kids can take turns jumping their way through the grid.
Red Light Green Light: line up a group of children and begin calling Red Light, Yellow Light or Green Light, and see who makes it to the finish line.
Simon Says: this is a game where Simon asks the children to perform different tasks such as touching their toes or waving their arms, but only listen is Simon says “Simon Says” first!
Musical Chairs: crank up the tunes and set out some chairs for this fun game. Place one less chair than participants in a circle. When the music stops, everyone sits! Children are eliminated as they don’t find a chair to sit in (let the person who is ‘out’ help with the music for the next round to alleviate hurt feelings).
Water Balloon Toss: line children up across from each other in teams. Toss and catch water balloons back and forth, taking a step back with each catch. How far apart can they go from one another before the water balloon splats?
Sidewalk Chalk Board Game: take your board game outside, and in larger scale! Draw a game board out of sidewalk chalk and use your bodies as game pieces. This is a really fun one!
Indoor Board and Card Games:
These games focus more on fine motor rather than gross motor skills, but still emphasize many of the same developmental skills.
Go Fish: a game played with a regular deck of playing cards, and helps with number identification and matching.
Candyland: a classic board game and a great place to start if you haven’t yet tried board games with your child. Get Candyland here on Amazon!
Memory: this game encourages not only the memorization of where game pieces are when flipped over, but also matching picture to picture. Print our Spring-Themed Printable Games that includes Memory to see if your little ones like it, or purchase a Memory game in a theme your child will enjoy.
Bingo: this is such a fun way to work on pre-academics such as letter or number recognition in a fun way. We love Alphabet Bingo for pre-readers, and have a number of printable themed Bingo games here including Printable Beach Bingo, and Printable Thanksgiving Bingo Game
I Spy: this can be played with a game board or without! Look around the house, give clues to something that you spy, and see how many guesses the other player needs to get it right! (This is great in restaurants or while waiting too). For printable version, try this Valentine I Spy Printable for Kids
Hoot Owl Hoot: for this age group, cooperative games might be the way to go, and this is one of my favorites for preschoolers. Hoot Owl Hoot is a matching game in which all players work together to ‘win’, so for kids who aren’t ready to handle games with winner and ‘losers’ yet, this is a good alternative.
Charades: act out an object and see if the other players can guess what you are! We have printable for this one as well for a number of themes including, Camping Charades Printable Game, Fall Charades, and St. Patrick’s Day Charades.
Chutes and Ladders: a basic start to understanding the structure of board games, turn-taking, and waiting. Chutes and Ladders helps kids identify numbers, colors and more while working their way up the game board.
Yoga Spinner: if your kids like yoga, this one turns it into a game with Yoga Spinner! Challenge players to do some different yoga poses, collecting cards along the way. This is one that we keep in our calm down area, and like to play together once the child has achieved calm as a way to bond again and get out the negative energy.
Have so much fun playing together!
Related Activities for 4 Year Olds
Check out this list of activities to do with 4 year olds at home with what you likely have on hand!