A Guide to Development and Appropriate Toys for the 4 Year Old

When reaching the age of four, your child has a better understanding of the world around them, and they will continue their growth into independence. As your child develops both physical and mentally, you may also notice your child has a clearer image of what surrounds him or her, and they start to develop stronger likes and dislikes. Your child’s personality truly develops at this stage.

At this age your child is probably ready for preschool, which is a great way to get them acquainted with a school schedule, following directions, and socializing. Friendships will start to develop at this age with a noticeable improvement in social skills, which can excel in preschool or in play groups.

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Mental Skills: You may want to encourage more problem-solving scenarios for your child, as well as imaginative play and physical capabilities. In addition, your child’s cognitive skills of a longer attention span give you the opportunity to participate with your child in different activities as their attention is more focused.

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Physical Skills: Your child’s physical skills are now becoming more defined. This is the perfect age to start your child in swim classes or dance lessons. Your child will also be able to skate and jump safely on a trampoline for hours of fun. There are also sport activities that your child can participate in, such as basketball, softball, and volleyball.

Social Skills: Your child will now be able to understand the differences amongst people around them, to trigger certain feelings. As your child experiences different situations, he or she will be able to tie it in to a certain reactive emotion.

Detailed Toys

At this age, the best toys for your child are those that will stimulate his or her cognitive skills that include imagination and creativity, and thinking and problem solving. Fine motor skills will also continue to develop.

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Some toys that can stimulate both the cognitive and physical skills of your child include small dolls, dinosaurs, and other detailed action figures to encourage the use of imagination. To engage the creativity of your child, join them in this imaginative playtime and ask them about the storyline. This not only engages creativity, but thinking skills as well.

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These kinds of toys can also increase your child’s vocabulary. You might find it funny listening to them chat away as their imaginary characters interact, but this will help them improve their sentence structures and, ultimately, their communication!

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