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What Should 4 Year Olds Be Learning?

Having a 4-year-old is both so much fun and equally demanding.

After all, they really start to know their own minds at this age and can need a lot of stimulation to keep them interested and occupied.

What Should 4 Year Olds Be Learning

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However, while it is a fun age, there are also some things they should be learning to help them get the best possible start for when they begin more formal education, either homeschooling or at school.

It’s usually at this stage that you can also see their preferred learning styles begin develop.

So with that in mind, here’s what 4-year-olds should be learning. 

4 Year Olds Should Be Learning

Social Environments and Emotions 

You may have started to realize that your 4-year-old certainly know what they want, and that is because they tend to learn and develop so much in this year.

They still need help with social environments and their emotions.

Here are a few things that you might notice or can focus on:

  • Are they showing a wider range of emotions and also expressing them in different ways? This means using words, actions, facial expressions, etc. 
  • Learning to share, co-operate with others, and actions like taking turns to do something or use equipment. 
  • Play imaginary games and even have an imaginary friend.
  • Be more independent in terms of play. Such as being able to go off and play with others without needing a parent. 
  • Finding things funny and sharing silly jokes or things that have made them laugh. 

If you are noticing any of these things or want to try and encourage a better understanding then here are some of the things to try:

  • You will still want to encourage playdates. This is a great way to help work on some of these things such as sharing, playing with others, and taking things in turn. 
  • Roleplay can help them to understand different behavior and what is expected of them. 
What Should 4 Year Olds Be Learning

Learning, Thinking and Problem-Solving

You will also notice a big change in what they are learning and this will be the year where you really see dramatic changes.

It might be that they have a knack for learning and remembering things or feel confident with learning new things.

Here are a few things you might notice or will want to focus on:

  • Recognize shapes in the real world.
  • Being able to sort items by size, color, and shape. 
  • Understand that pictures equate to real things 
  • Count to 20 and perhaps beyond if they feel confident to do so.
  • Start exploring ideas that they may see, learn or read with you about. Such as if I go outside I might be cold because it is raining, for example. 
  • Can stick with activities for around 10-15 minutes. 
  • Be able to get dressed with certain clothing items.
  • Put together and complete simple puzzles 
  • Write some letters and feel confident holding a pencil

If you are noticing any of these things or want to try and encourage them a little more at home, then here are some of the things to try:

  • Learning through play will still be your best approach at this age. 
  • Puzzles, blocks, coloring, sensory tables can all help to take a different approach to learn at this age. 
  • Read plenty of books as this can help with letter recognition and sight words
  • Legos can help to encourage fine motor skills and strengthen their fingers and hands. 
What Should 4 Year Olds Be Learning

Physical Development

At this stage, your 4-year-old is developing at a rapid rate, and they may be able to do a variety of things physically.

This might include being confident on a tricycle, using alternate feet on the stairs, jumping over objects, skipping, and climbing trickier objects like playground ladders. 

Let them climb, explore, and play to grow those gross motor skills that they need!

Hopefully, this will help you understand what your 4-year-old should be learning and give you a starting point for homeschooling preschool for PreK.


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