Four is indeed a year full of change, as 4-year-olds develop numerous skills and many start school (reception). Here, we describe skills many children demonstrate at this age, these educational toys suitable for 4 year olds are the tools to help your child reach and develop these skills. However, remember every child is unique and achieves milestones at different rates.
Educational Toys for 4 year olds to develop Communication and Language
Milestones: The speech of 4 year olds is understood by strangers most of the time. Children can describe things they have done and talk about things they want to do. They can listen when others are speaking. They are very curious to learn and understand, and ask lots questions, especially “why” questions.
Tip: You can encourage your child by commenting on what they are doing and using descriptive language with new words rather than asking questions.
Resources: Educational toys for 4 year olds to help develop communication skills include toys that encourage speech, such as sound banks and toy phones, and toys that promote language such as small world toys and puppets. Educational books for 4 year olds are great to promote language. Children need to hear words often and repeating stories from picture books does just this. Words are also learnt when the meaning is made clear, and stories create the right context for word usage.
Educational Toys for 4 year olds for Physical Development
Milestones: Children aged 4 years old can confidently walk, run, jump and climb. They might hop but be slightly wobbly and unsteady.. They can pedal with more efficiency and some start to ride two-wheelers. Their fine motor skills are also becoming more refined, and this can be seen when children are lacing and threading beads. Four-year-olds also find it easier to get dressed independently.
Tips: Maximise the use of outdoor space and provide plenty of games that stimulate physical activity to help develop gross motor skills. Engage your 4 year old child with educational toys and activities to promote fine motor skills such as baking and playing with dough.
Resources: Threading and lacing sets and food-cutting toys help tune fine motor skills. Educational toys for 4 year olds to help develop gross physical motor skills include balls, skittles and balance boards, which also promote concentration and focus skills.
Educational Toys for 4 year olds for Personal, Social and Emotional development
Milestones: Four-year-olds are more aware of other people’s feelings. They also develop more moral reasoning such as fairness and kindness, and can understand right and wrong behaviour. Children at 4-years-old start develop friendships and enjoy pretend and imaginative play together, such us playing with pretend food, dressing up and shopping. They become better at sharing and taking turns, as well us understanding rules in games.
Tip: Games that can be played between two or more children can help with sharing and social development.
Resources: Some of the best educational toys for 4 year olds to promote social skills, like taking turns and joining in, include board games such as Brainbox and Orchard Toys games. Imaginative and pretend-play toys help promote sharing and encourage cooperative play. There are also fantastic educational books for 4 year olds to help manage feelings and understand feelings of others such as Pip and Posy books by Nosy Crow.
As your child approaches their 5th birthday, it is worth exploring educational toys for 5-year-old children.