Do you have a 4-year-old full of energy? I know what it’s like to have one who literally is jumping up and down for no reason (ahem, time to use up that energy!). Sports are a great way to get their mind and body moving and developing and did you know that kids this age need three hours of physical activity a day!
I know I didn’t do “traditional” exercises when I was a 4-year-old, but it’s actually never too young to start. By starting early (in a fun way) kids start building a love for exercise that lasts a lifetime!
When it comes to exercises 4-year-olds, it’s important to remember two things:
- Give them a variety of movement
- Keep it fun!
A 4-year-old attempting planks will only last you a few seconds, but asking them to pose like a lizard can take you much farther. In our exercises for 4-year old kids, we try to hit some of these key areas for kids as they are still developing so quickly:
- Motor control
- Ball control
Here are some exercises for your 4-year-old kids loving movement, improving, and loving exercise!
1. Keep it up (balloon)
This simple game builds coordination and is one of the fun exercises for 4-year old kids. Just grab a balloon and keep hitting it up in the air without letting it touch the ground.
Skills developed: Coordination, volleying, catching, striking
2. Balance Beam
Whether it’s the curbside or a plank you happen to have laying around (doesn’t everyone?), or just a line on the floor, balancing is a key skill and the best exercise for 4-year old that helps in many activities. Encourage your child to walk forwards, backwards or sideways. When they’ve mastered a straight line, add zig zags or semicircles.
Skills developed: Balancing
3. Lily-Pad Jumps
It’s time to jump like a frog! Using colored dots or take some old rags or towels, set up “lily-pads” around the room. You and your child have to jump from one one to the other and say “ribbit.” First try standing jumps, then move on to frog jumps (squat jump)
Skills developed: Jumping, Strength
4. Red Light/Green Light
This is a fun exercise for 4-year old that your kid should play. Grownup positions him/herself about 20 feet away from the child. When you call green light, child has to go, red light means stop. Yellow light means slow down and if you really want to change it up add a Purple light which means jump! Keep switching it up and keep going!
Skills developed: Running, Jumping, Concentration
5. Monkey Tails
Building on the “tag, you’re it!” theme, Monkey Tails is a silly version. Simply tuck tails (socks) into your waistband and pretend you’re a monkey. Then everyone runs off in the wild trying to grab the other’s tail! The last player with a tail wins.
Skills developed: Running, Coordination
6. Climb a Tree
Climbing a tree is one of the best exercises for 4-year old kids. Pick a tree with low branches and let your child climb. Be close by for help but let your kids see how far they can get on their own.
Skills developed: Strength, Balancing
7. Tennis Hockey
Whether you have a tennis racket, baseball bat, hockey stick or just a broken tree branch nearby, anything can work! Use your hitting sticks and a ball and play some hockey! Set up some goal lines and defend while your child tries to strike it in.
Skills developed: Striking, Coordination
8. Dribble Dribble
If you haven’t already started, it’s great to start teaching your child how to dribble a ball, that is the best exercise for 4-year old. Use a size 3 basketball and tell them to push the ball down rather than slapping it. Once they mastered dribbling with one hand, try the other hand. Try mastering dribbling while standing first, then move around.
Skills developed: Dribbling
9. Sit up with mom (or dad)
Let’s make it a little tough on you too, mom! Sit on the floor and hook your feet with your child while facing each other in sit up position. See how many times you can both sit up and give each other high fives.
Skills developed: Strength
10. Boodie Up!
This is a fun game and an exercise for 4-year old child! Have your child use a soft ball. You are the target that he/she has to hit. Stand about 20 feet away and turn around. The kid has to hit your boodie! Once they do, you have to chase them and tag them!
Skills developed: Throwing, Running
Exercises for 4-year-old kids can be silly, curious, imaginative and so much fun! Keeping them excited about what they are doing is the key to success for them. Giving them the proper amount of exercise every day can help with their immunity, brain development and nutrition.
So keep on playing!
What's your child's favorite exercise for 4-year old? Comment below and let us know!