Your child just turned four, and all of the sudden you have nothing to entertain them with. Here are some activities that you can do with your child that will not only entertain the child, but have them learning as well.
Four years old is a great age to start all sorts of activities. Swimming lessons are a healthy activity, and if the child does not already know how to swim, it is a good age to start because the body has the strength to begin to learn easily.
Some other great things to involve the child in that encourage social activity along with physical activity are dance classes (for both boys and girls), gymnastics, horseback riding, martial arts, and sports. Some toys that are good to have around at this age are:
Role-Playing Toys: Costumes, props, etc. that allow the child to step into a variety of professions and places. Playing with toys like these will allow the child to engage their imaginations and work on problem solving skills. Any play set that allows the child to step into a make believe world, such as a pirate ship, dinosaurs, or anything else you can think up, will encourage imagination development. To help the child learn more, you can take pictures of the make believe worlds the child sets up and have them tell you stories about it.
For Girls: Dollhouses and Accessories: Because children at this age have more refined motor skills, they can easily move parts of the toy world around to fit anything their vivid imaginations can cook up. Make sure the child has enough room to spread all the play sets out. Play with the child on a play mat that you can make yourself. You can ask the child how to design the mat, mimicking a neighborhood environment like your own. Encourage the child to tell you about what she is playing, so that she may fine-tune her vocalization.
For Boys: Cars and Remote Control toys: Children will enjoy these kinds of toys because they have so much energy they love to make things go, constantly. Racing cars gives them the thrill of competition and helps them to learn all about sportsmanship. To help the child learn more, you can create race tracks of your own, or watch a segment of a NASCAR race on mute so that you and the child can take turns announcing the action. Another good activity would be to take the child out on a walk, pointing out signs and signals to teach the child what each of them mean.
Ride on Toys: Toys like these help to build a sense of independence because they can “drive” themselves around, and they combine physical play with imaginative play. These toys are great opportunities to teach the child safety topics.
Preschool Electronics: Real digital cameras, mp3 players and other kid versions of electronics are wonderful because they allow the child to feel grown up. Having a camera they can use allows them to take pictures of things they like so they can express themselves in a different manner. To help the child learn more, let them take photographs of their favorite things and make a scrapbook of the pictures together. Record the child singing and let them listen to themselves. Encourage play of all sorts of toy instruments so they can explore with musical talent.
Creative Toys: These toys allow your child to express himself creatively with art in many forms, and they have interest in toys like this because now that they have a longer attention span, they can focus more of their attention to details.
All of these toys and activities should keep your child busy for hours, and encourage all sorts of things to make a well-rounded child.