How your 4-year-old might play now

    • With a longer attention span, a new activity can keep him engaged for extended periods
    • She can learn to swim, skate, dance, ski and bounce on a trampoline
    • He can explain something that happened when you weren't there
    • She begins to grasp that people have different experiences and feelings than she does
    • As coordination improves, he can use the monkey bars at the playground, walk along a curb, and dodge when he's chased
    • She is starting to add details to her drawings
    • He may print his name on his artwork
    • Her gait is more grown-up

Box Car

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A simple box can turn a child into a creative genius who can learn to do wonderful things with his mind and body!


  • Large box about half the size of your child
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Duct tape
  • Washable markers, crayons, paint, stickers, decals, fringe, and other decorative materials
  • Book about cars and trucks


  • Read a book about cars and trucks together and study the pictures.
  • Cut the top and bottom off a large box, leaving the sides intact.
  • Use duct tape to cover any rough edges and to reinforce corners, if needed.
  • Help your child decorate the outside of the box to look like a car or truck using felt-tip pens, paint, stickers, and so on.
  • When the car is finished, let your child take a drive around the house or yard.
  • For added fun, set up roads by laying down rope as a guide, and set up stop signs along the route.


Make an airplane or boat instead of a car, and let your child fly away or set sail!


Use caution with the scissors or X-acto knife with your child close by.

Learning skills

  • Body awareness
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Fine and gross motor development
  • Spatial relationships
Your child can learn

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