10 Independent Activities for 4 Year Olds

A four year old is old enough to have independent activities and play time. While I LOVE to encourage just good ole’ play time, we all have those moments that need structure. That is why I always have activities on hand for my four year old daughter. These are activities she can get out all on her own, play with on her own, and clean up on her own.

Before I jump in to some of our favorite activities, I think it is important to emphasize that these are supposed to be INDEPENDENT. That means that you, as the parent, need to step back and let your child be in control of how they want to play and how long they want to play with that specific activity. Of course, you will probably have to model how to go about threading a pipe cleaner with beads if your child has never done that. I’m not saying you should not help them figure out what they are doing. What I’m saying is that and independent activity is supposed to encourage INDEPENDENCE!

Enough of the rambling, here we go…

**Most items are linked bellow.**

Bead Threading on Pipe Cleaners

This is a great activity for fine motor skill practice, and I PROMISE it will keep your four year old busy for a good 20-30 minutes! All you need are these beads and these pipe cleaners.

*Make sure little beads are kept away from baby hands (you know they will stick them straight in their little mouths)!*

Lacing Cards

Lacing cards are also a great activity that four year olds should be able to do on their own. It might not be perfect, but you are encouraging an independent activity. You can get all kinds of lacing cards on Amazon, but this is my personal favorite (these might make it on our Christmas List)!

Wiki Sticks

Wiki Stick are great for your little creative one. There are endless possibilities.

Pipe Cleaners and Wiffle Balls

Pipe Cleaners and Wiffle Balls are a great alternative for a creative building activity. Tell your kiddos to thread, connect, and build!

No Mess Markers

These Crayola Wonder Sets are amazing! You don’t have to worry about finding marker stains or cleaning up a mess. Someone recently gifted us the Melissa and Doug version of these, and we love them as well. These are perfect for traveling also.

Magna Doodle

My four year old loves the freedom of a magna doodle. There are no rules about where she can use it…she can even use it in her bed! This one is also great for travel.

Magnetic Play Set

So I normally pick these up in the dollar isle at Target, but here is a link to one on Amazon. It is still a good price, and I think would hold the attention of a silly four year old for a while.

Boogie Board

This is a lot like the Magna Doodle but less bulky! For the longest time, every time I sat down to meal plan and make a grocery list, my daughter would grab her boogie board to make her own grocery list. She would draw pictures of things she wanted to get at the store.

Grab & Go Play Packs

I normally pick these up in the Target dollar section also. But here is a link to a set of 15 (5 of 3 different books). This would be great for party favors or to add into Birthday gifts. And I’m sure your special four year old would not mind repeating some of the packs either.

Art Sets (Color By Number)

My four year old loves any type of princess coloring set, but she especially loves color by number sets. She will go back to the same set time after time for months.

Sticker Books

We get these from my Mother-In-Law’s gift shop in MS. You can order from Amazon, find at Target, or any local store with gifts.

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