All the most fun activities for 4-6 year olds
I don’t want to look up one day and realize I missed out on the fun parts of parenting young children, but with the chaos that often is part of this time I also need our activities to be simple and I need them to work. This is why, with help from my readers, I made this list of the activities that are most fun for kids in about the four to six year age range – to let us focus on doing the things together that we’ll really love at this age.
The Must Do list for 4, 5 and 6 year olds is filled with simple ideas about how to make the most of your time with your young children.
The lovely part about reading all of these is it really does make you excited about the things that you can do with your kindergarten aged kid. This is exactly what we need sometimes – to be re-energized about the FUN parts.
Like the Toddler Years Must Do List, this is not meant to be a guilt list, just an inspiration list to help us remember what we love about this age. Don’t think you have to do everything in order to make great memories with your child, just do the activities that appeal to you. If you’d like even more activities for 4 – 6 year olds, don’t miss my friend Jamie’s site, Hands on as We Grow, where she’s got hundreds all planned out for you 🙂
The Little Kids Delight List
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- Make Believe – Act out a Storybook
- Cards – our favorite card games for young kids
- Board games – here are the games we love best
- Face Paint each other.
- Do a puppet show.
- Play Hide and Seek.
Creative Family Fun …I’ve got a 5-yr-old myself and am learning that this is a great age for experiencing things together instead of me just instructing and setting experiences up for them.
- Whoopee Cushion
- Teach them knock knock jokes…and listen to their nonsensical ones.
- Have impromptu dance parties in the kitchen.
- Learn Magic Tricks, Card Tricks
- Watch a funny movie on a rainy day – my dad introduced us to The Pink Panther when we were this age.
- Fly a kite.
- Point out the Big Dipper… Cassiopeia…Orion – watch for satellites together.
- Water balloons
- Plant a garden.
- Make a sandcastle.
- Dig for worms.
- Search for fairies in the garden.
- Build a snowman.
- Collect rocks.
- Watch bugs.
Josie – My kids have this great memory of playing in a giant mud hole in the garden. I let them get muddy from head to toe a couple times in their underwear. Had to throw them away because sometimes mud doesn’t come out but it was worth it.
Encourage Exploration – And show how to find out answers to those great questions.
Have an Adventure
- Go fishing – this smaller sized pole works well for preschoolers and kindergartners.
- Camp out – in your living room, in your back yard or in the middle of the woods.
- Go for tea and cake.
- Visit a beach.
- Try Letter boxing or Geocaching.
- Go hiking – look for a book on family hikes in your area for ideas.
- Play in the rain together.
- Have a picnic.
- Do a scavenger hunt.
Liz – Make a treasure map and discover what a long gone pirate left. Take heaps of photos together throughout the year, you could even have photo expeditions around town. Get lots printed and scrapbook them together to create a permanent visual memory. It’s also a great way to see the world through your child’s eyes.
Let them fall in love with books
- Try one of these creative ways to make reading interactive.
- Read classic chapter books to them.
- Read books about their body to help them understand it and keep them safe – open the door to conversation about it.
- Play sight word games.
- Listen to audio books together – the audio collections of Beverly Cleary books are wonderful.
- Enjoy the exciting moments of learning to read – joy in reading a book with your child on your lap, the thrill of them recognizing a word, the pride in this unfolding skill.
- Have a family quiet reading time during the day.
Debra …We are doing a lot of word scavenger hunts. One of my favorites was something we did last week – I made a list of foods/items at the grocery store, one for each letter of the alphabet. We took the list to the store and my son had to first read the word on his list, and then “hunt” for the item. He was so proud of himself every time he got to check off the item he found.
Learn about being a helper
- Give them family chores.
- Consider having a pet that you care for together.
- Volunteer or donate to the community in a way that’s meaningful to a child.
Barb – Sign up for a short volunteer shift where sorting by colors is involved (clothing drive); take fresh home grown veggies or flowers to a neighbor, take groceries to a pantry, bake goodies or cook a meal for the local firehouse & deliver; take along bags & help clean up the neighborhood when taking a walk, etc..
- Teach them to save up money for something they want.
- Help them delight someone with a gift or handmade card.
- Make s’mores.
- Cook from a kids recipe book.
- Teach them to flip a pancake…fry an egg…cut with a knife
- Let them help you bake or decorate their birthday cake
Make and Create
- Make a Nature Table.
- Color and draw – Make a basic craft kit so it’s easy for your child to be creative.
- Paint – water colors, acrylics, use unusual materials like cars or balls to roll in the paint.
- Get lost in building Legos or other building toys.
Rhonda – we spend hours building Lego and recording “commercials” about the sets we create! This is such a fun age!!
- Make Forts – anywhere and everywhere from boxes, trees, blankets and couch cushions.
- Make Fairy Houses in the back yard – We love this Fairy Houses book
Christine – Make a tinker box…. Broken items they could “fix” using real tools. Wood, nails, glue, etc.
Learn who they are
- Try using some conversation starters to empower your child to start a chat with you.
- Make time for one on one time – try a birthday date or taking only one child grocery shopping if possible.
- Have conversations at bed time about anything and everything.
- Visit the library, dollar store, or a museum together and see what interests your child.
- Record a conversation with your child.
Sarah – Record them telling you about what they like and who they (we are making a time capsule that he can open when he graduates from high school).
- Let your child take pictures.
- Tell each other lots of stories.
- Start a journal with them to draw or write their favorite part of the day, things that concern them and make them happy or sad.
Maretha – Keep a diary with photos, writing and drawings…Write what they want to do when they are older and why. Let them tell stories and record it just the way they tell it.
And perhaps the most important idea:
Mairi – So much you can do, follow your heart – talk with him, they have such good ideas. Get lost in play….away in adventures! Just BE with them, that’s what they LOVE x
I wish you the very best as you enjoy connecting with your young child. Let’s add to this list! What do you love to do together? Scroll down to leave a comment.
Games for 4 Year Olds
Kids in the 4 to 6 year old age range are getting old enough to sit down for a board game, but they still love to be active, so games with a shorter time for play work well. Games can be a helpful and fun way to connect, and learn patience and cooperation. Especially when that 4, 5 or 6 year old starts heading to longer days at preschool or kindergarten, I love to have a little selection of favorite games so that it’s easy to pull out something you’ll both enjoy playing and you can reconnect when you’ve had time apart.
- Our Favorite Card Games for Young Kids – Fun games for pre-readers
- Best Board Games for Preschoolers – highly recommended for kids about ages 4+
More activities for four, five and six year olds:
- Best Indoor Active Toys – for days when energy is overflowing 🙂
- Sensory Activities in the Kitchen
- Activity Plans for Toddlers and Preschoolers