10 Things That Entertain My 4 1/2 Year Old

I've always kept a mental list of Little P's interests as she grows up. For one reason, relevant to a budget blog, it reminds me that the things she's interested in aren't necessarily more toys or better toys or a bigger collection of toys.  It helps me, when I'm shopping for treats or gifts to think about what would get the most use and actually, a lot of the things featured here were gifts from friends and family (thanks guys! you know her well!) So, for those of you who want to know how a 4 year old spends her day, here's what P is currently in love with doing and playing:

1. Ponies, dinosaurs and zoo animals get together and throw a raging birthday party.  This is generally a game P plays with Tim or I and she instructs us on what to do.  It almost always goes like this:  we set up the party by putting a group of my little ponies together and then one by one a potential party guest comes up, usually via a Rescuebots boat and asks to join the party.  They then introduce themselves and show off their special skill.  T-rex roars and stomps around a bunch, flying ponies fly and flip, sometimes the guests get together and do a spontaneous obstacle course.  

While this game does requires toys, any existing toy can participate in this wonderous imaginary party world. 



2.  Drawing, coloring, painting, crafting

This is what P spends a large amount of her time doing.  If a world existed in which the only thing she owned to play with was arts and crafts supplies, she would be content.

She loves this book by Ed Emberly:


Here is P making pen holders for Father's day:



3.  Books

P has started to memorize some of her favorite books. I've been told this is a big step in pre-reading.  Her all time favorite book:

The Book with No Pictures
By B. J. Novak
Her favorite page from her favorite book

Her favorite page from her favorite book


4. Puzzles

Her favorite ballerina puzzle from her Aunt and Uncle:




5. Doing chores!

Did you know little kids love to do chores?!  P ASKED us to make her a chore chart.  I think possibly because it involves a prize once it's filled up but I was still so proud.  Her chores are to put away silverware, clean off the dining room table, clean her room and playroom, sweep, make her bed, feed the cat, fold towels, yard work, and clean up the living room.


6.  Legos!  What four year old doesn't like legos.  Here's P with allll the legos at the library lego club.  She ended up making a "Dinosaur Castle House" which I unfortunately didn't get a picture of.  



7. Hunting for fossils

A friend of ours got P this "dinosaur egg" where you can scrape and carve away at the (I think clay) egg to find tiny little plastic dinosaur bones....she was obsessed with this!


Here's some similar ones:

Additionally, P and Tim went to a local fossil bed and found some actual fossils embedded in rocks.  P likes scraping and scraping to free the little leaf fossils from the bigger rocks.  She'll sit there scraping for a good half hour which, in kid time is a very long time.



8. Cooking with Dad:


Pretty much the cutest thing on Earth.  P LOVES to cook with her Dad.  For Easter, we bought her these kids knives which I highly recommend:


9. Blanket Forts

Cozying up in a blanket fort?  Pretty much the best thing ever for all ages.  We take our forts seriously in this family.  Tim has a whole ropes and clothes pin system.



10, Bubbles

Bubbles bubbles bubbles.  Check out this dinosaur bubble gun.  It even roars.  Loudly. Our neighbors love us.



There's our top ten.  If you have a kid, would love to know in the comments how old they are and what their favorite thing to do/play is.