What do you do/play with your 4 year old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ds1 is 3.75 and seems to be outgrowing a lot of toys and interests. This leads to him getting bored and asking to watch a show a lot more often. I'm not really sure where to go with toys and activities for him, though. It seems that many boys his age are into power rangers and such, but he is not and I don't really care to introduce him to them. He has a great imagination and often makes up stories about the imaginary baby animals that he finds and has to look after. He doesn't have much of an attention span for painting or playdoh and tends to want me to make or paint things for him. My mom recently brought out a bag of old hats and he loved trying them on. I'm thinking I should get some dress up clothes, but don't know where to start with that. It seems harder for boys when you don't want do any army, police or fighter type stuff. I plan to try and make him a cape for Christmas. Not sure what else to do, though. What do you do with your 4 year old?

Marie-Mom to two boys and a girl.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 03:15 PM
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My son turned 4 in July. He loves playing spaceship, school, rescue games. We don't need much for those - he builds his 'equipment' from sofa parts, chairs, blankets, etc. And I (or hubby) just follow his lead in whatever he wants to do.

Yesterday he discovered glitter glue. It is the best thing in the World right now and will be for a few days . Oh, he is also a Great Inventor . He makes amulets, bracelets, crowns and what not - uses paper, scotch tape, scissors, pencils, markers, pens, sponges or whatever for those. And is very proud of himself that he invented something .
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#3 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 03:44 PM
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I definitely get down and play WITH her. She will play alone sometimes but since I work full time, I feel I owe her that quality time to really get involved with a session of babies or whatever she wants. It's good for me to see how she is interacting with others and the social skills she is picking up. And it's good bonding time. I also recognize that when I'm not up to it or really need to do something else, she will ask to watch a show.

DD likes to play pretend ~ with her babies, vet to her stuffed animals or doctor to her babies, Little People, doll house. She also likes to paint so I put down a large paint tarp, take off her clothes, and let her just go to town. Then I plop her in the tub! That might appeal to him if it involves getting to make a mess.

Lisa mom to Gillian (7) : and three : :
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#4 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 05:02 PM
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Dressup with hats/silks/belts
Cardboard creations
Tangram set (mostly we make "scenes" with them, like a house with a tree and a playground with little rectangle "kids")
Books, either I read them or he pretends to read to me

DS 4/2002 REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif
DD 3/2009 toddler.gif
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#5 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 07:02 PM
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My 4 1/2 year old ds has been way into dressing up and role playing/pretend play for about a year now, and I see no end to it...he gets so wrapped up into it, it's amazing. He now gets his little sister ( 20 months) into the act with him. He has a dress up trunk ( it's actually one of those under the bed containers for sweaters) and it has a dozen different hats, construction outfit, fireman gear, doctor's kit, chef's gear, his old pirate costume, cowboy gear, cowboy boots, black rubber boots, etc. and he can play with the stuff for hours. Sometimes I get into the act, sometimes not. I personally like when we can play doctor and I am the patient who is just so sick she has to lie on the couch and close her eyes!!!! lol... Most of the stuff was gifts and stuff I found around the house.

He also likes making garages and houses with his wooden blocks for his hotwheel cars, legos, and art stuff. GIve him some safety sissors, a stick of glue, and some paper and he'll be entertained for hours creating things!

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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#6 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 07:24 PM
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I had so much fun with Lucia today.
She was sitting in front of the tv, so I asked her if she wanted to play with a bucket of water on her play rug.
I have a neat old wash tub type thing and I sat her on the rug with Ezra's outgrown baby clothes, some clothes pins and a small bar of Burt's Bee's soap. She spent two hours washing his clothes and I hung her a little clothes line to pin them up on when she was done. (I strung a little rope from one side of her playstand to the other like a clothesline.)
I ordered her a little old fashioned washboard today so next time she can scrub um clean.
While she played I taught her the song "this is the way we wash the clothes, all on a Monday morning......"
We had a fun day. I felt really happy cooking dinner and watching her play and she seemed very centered for the rest of the day.
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#7 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 07:35 PM
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My 4 yr old loves her sandbox (if weather permits).

She likes to play under big blankets and I have an old comforter I'll hang across chairs to give her a little cave to crawl up in to. She will take her toys up inside with her to play.

46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, mommy to:

19 y-o
12 y-o (private school)
5 y-o (home schooled)
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#8 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 07:42 PM
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My oldest just turned 4. Even though my husband and I are total geeks, this kid LOVES sports! So we enrolled him in a fun soccer & basketball class at the Y once a week and he just can't wait to go each time.
At home he likes doing more intricate crafts, cooking with me, cleaning and being given "jobs" to do, learning to read and write, playing video games, board games, and card games (he just can't get enough of playing games of any type right now!). He also loves water play, small cars, and rough "boy" play with dada and cousins.
But his days of quietly sitting playing playdough or trains is over!!

- Krista

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
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#9 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 09:16 PM
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My ds1 will be 5 in January, but:

Video games :
Board games (Cranium, CandyLand, Chutes and Ladders) or card games like Go Fish
Drawing, writing letters/numbers, coloring
Real cooking in the kitchen
Train track building
Computer games

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#10 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 09:45 PM
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My ds went through a period like that too. He didn't want to play by himself anymore, and he was good for 2 hours sometimes by himself playing before that! Now it's "I'm bored", "Can you play with me"?

He is really into helping cook lately. Also playing with water or dry beans with measuring spoons and cups. He also is more interested in his art easel and is very into painting at the moment.
He got some of the older kid legos (with the small pieces) plus TinkerToys for his birthday, and he is loving those. And Magnetix, anything he can build with. We have some I SPY computer software for preschoolers and he loves those, loves using the mouse.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 12:31 AM
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Painting and puzzles are always huge hits here. I found some books that have cut and paste veggies and animals and such (I'm still doing the cutting, she's on the pasting). Also, if I cut out shapes and let her paste them on construction paper, she digs it. Hmmm... for outside, yesterday we played hide and go seek and redlight, greenlight which kept us busy for a long time... and laughing!

When my ds was four, we lived in Florida, and he was only happy if we were at the beach, in the yard. Dirt, sand, and water were all he needed. Anytime we were inside he immediately wanted to watch tv. No doubt, I let him for a break from the heat and the cool of the AC.
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#12 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 01:18 AM
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We play a lot of board games, read books, do art projects, go for walks, and he 'helps' with gardening and cooking. My 4yo would like it if I would get down on the floor with him and 'play trucks' but I really can't stand it, so I usually suggest the other things which he also likes. Yesterday we played a motorized 'go fishing' game and then our discussion about how the toy worked led us to take the whole thing apart to find how the battery connects to the motor and how the gears turn the apparatus. We had a lot of fun just checking out how the thing worked.

When he is with his big sister they get a lot of mileage out of dress up clothes and putting on shows.
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#13 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 01:29 AM
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Since he likes animals, how about some Schleich animals. My son, who turned four in may, really likes castles and knights and medieval stuff. He seems to like figures a lot - knights (Schleich is great), pirates, rescue workers - things he can make up scenes and stories about. Dress up is a big hit too. He also like art. We set up an art room for him that his sister can't get into and he glues just about anything to paper. He also likes building things, like k'nex, this kit where he can make different kinds of dinosaurs by connecting different heads and legs, etc. He also likes his marble run. We got him a nice wooden one but I actually think a plastic one would have been easier and less frustrating for him. Cash register and grocery store. And, he really likes his Rescue Heroes: I didn't realize they were a TV show when we bought the first one (he just found out because someone gave us a DVD). They let him get "figures" but they aren't violent or overly commercialized (but have enormous feet ). They're a nice alternative to power rangers, transformers, etc (all of which he covets).
Hopefully this gave you some ideas.
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