Four-year-olds are creative, inquisitive, thoughtful little people. They often love imaginative play and have turned into quite the chatterboxes. Their fine and gross motor skills seem to become more refined by the day. Although they may seem much more mature than their three-year-old selves, they may still have bouts of big feelings as they develop personal opinions and beliefs about the world in which they live.
There are many things you can do as a parent to help your four-year-old learn and grow as they explore their fascinating world. Engage in regular conversation with them about a variety of topics, read to them, offer them opportunities to engage with peers to build and explore social relationships, and support their interests by offering toys aligned with their fascinations.
This is where Montessori toys and activities designed especially for young children come into play!
The Hundred Board is a classic Montessori material designed for the child who loves numbers and counting. This fascinating hands-on material will help your child learn the sequence of numbers and help them in understanding number patterning such as odd and even numbers and counting by 2s/3s/5s/10s.
The Movable Alphabet is a classic Montessori material that makes a perfect gift for a four-year-old. It can be used for a variety of games and activities to help provide children with a more concrete way to improve their reading, writing, and spelling.
Young children often love listening to and exploring music, especially when they get to play along with their own instruments! In fact, many children experience a sensitive period for music within which they have a heightened interest in and ability for melody, pitch, and rhythm. Glockenspiels make a great first instrument for your four-year-old, teaching them about melody and hand-eye coordination, as they begin to explore music independently.
There are so many different versions of peg boards and so many amazing ways for your little one to use them. From sorting and stacking by color to refining their fine motor skills while creating geometric objects with rubber bands, peg boards offer so many fun ways for your four-year-old to explore, making them a perfect Montessori toy.
Push Pinning / Pin Poking
We know what you’re thinking… I’m supposed to give my four-year-old a sharp push pin? The short answer is, yes. Push Pinning (also known as Pin Poking) is a favorite Montessori activity for four-year-olds in classrooms and homes all around the world. It helps a child develop their concentration, refine their fine motor skills, and strengthens the hand and the development of the pincer grasp for writing. Your four-year-old will love being able to push pin their favorite shapes or outlines of objects ranging from plants and animals to continents.
Puzzles continue to be a popular Montessori activity with 4-year-olds. Your child is likely to be looking for an added challenge in this area and composition puzzles are a great way to offer them just that! Composition puzzles allow young children to continue developing their cognitive and fine motor skills as they explore various plants, animals, and places around the world through their love of puzzles.
A child-friendly take on a classic game that is fun for the whole family! From species of birds, to breeds of dogs, to ocean life, four-year-olds are sure to love this Montessori game that helps them identify various types of plants and animals around the world.
Sequencing Cards are a favorite Montessori pre-reading activity for four-year-olds. This popular activity helps children to understand vocabulary and prepares them for reading by developing a sense of order and critical thinking skills (comprehension). By sequencing cards for events ranging from the life cycle of a plant to the steps needed to bake a pie, your four-year-old will learn skills that are crucial to their recognition of story lines.
Letter Tracing Board
Letter Tracing Boards are a great sequential material for children who loved the Sandpaper Letters and are showing an interest in reading and writing. A staple in many Montessori homes, Letter Tracing Boards are great for supporting four-year-olds in developing fine motor and pre-writing skills. Children can follow the shapes of each letter – upper and lowercase – using their fingers or the wooden stylus.
The Geometric Solids are another traditional Montessori material perfect for four-year-olds. They are perhaps one of the most fun and fascinating Montessori sensorial activities. Their three-dimensional shape just beckons for young children to explore them as they learn about the relationship between two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures, understand foundational geometric principles and concepts, and develop stereognostic senses.
Young children often have a refined sense of order and love helping with practical life activities such as washing the dishes and sweeping the floors, making a gardening set the perfect Montessori gift for a four-year-old. Providing your little one with child-sized gardening supplies including a rake, hoe, shovel, watering can, and gloves can allow them to connect with nature as they assist in planting and harvesting various plants that may later even be used for cooking.
Lock & Key Board or Box
It seems all children are fascinated with opening and closing everything, including locked cabinets and doors. A lock & key board or box is aligned with this interest, making it the perfect Montessori toy for your lock and key obsessed four-year-old. These fun activities not only allow your child to explore cause and effect, but also to continue refining their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Melissa & Doug bring the goods as always with their locks and latches board.
Young children often love learning about colors. Your little one has probably matched and sorted various household objects by color for quite a while now, but as they enter their fourth year of life, they may be looking for a new challenge related to color learning — color grading offers just that. Whether you use the traditional Montessori color tablets or DIY your own version of this project with paint samples, your 4-year-old is sure to love organizing colors from darkest to lightest!
Screwdriver & Screws
Four-year-olds are often fascinated by things that spin and enjoy joining things together. Previously, your child might have practiced screwing nuts and bolts by hand, but as they’re ready for a new challenge, you can introduce a child-sized screwdriver for their exploration. This exciting Montessori toy will allow your 4-year-old to develop an understanding of cause and effect as they continue refining their fine motor skills.
These 14 fantastic Montessori toys for four-year-olds are sure to be a hit! With so many fabulous options of traditional Montessori materials and Montessori-inspired toys specially designed for 4-year-olds, we’re sure your child will find some that are perfectly aligned with their interests to further support their learning and development.