Games For 4 Year Olds
Develop Speech & Language Skills

By 4 years of age, speech and language skills are becoming more and more complex. These language skills will be the building blocks for reading, writing, and math abilities. They also allow children to share ideas, make friendships, and solve problems. Therefore, it is crucial to foster these skills NOW through PLAY. 

Our functional games for 4 year olds will accomplish just that! These games are for 3-4 year old children and those children who haven't reached the milestones listed below.

There are simple ways to play with your child and model needed speech and language skills.

Speech/Language Milestones: 3-4 Years of Age

Understanding


  • Understands 900 words 
  • Knows colors 
  • Answers age appropriate yes/no questions 
  • Answers simple WH questions: what, where, what doing

Speaking


  • Uses about 500 words 
  • Speaks with 4+ word phrases 
  • Talks about events with a simple story structure 
  • Uses regular past tense verbs 
  • Uses possessive –s: mommy’s keys 
  • Recognizes songs and can sing them

Speech


  • NG (i.e., running) 
  • 80% intelligible to unfamiliar

Language Games for 4 Year Olds
Speaking & Listening

Unlike other pages, I am not going to break up games based on expressive (speaking) and receptive (listening) skills. At this point, the two are so intertwined, there really is no point.

Instead, the language games for 4 year olds listed here will target many speaking and listening skills. 

Honey, How Was Your Day?


How To Play 

Before bed, talk about the day using the past tense. In this activity, use of past tense verbs happen very naturally. However, be aware that open ended questions (i.e., How was your day?) can be difficult for some children, especially young children. There are more specific questions below to try at first.

After you ask a question, wait for your child to respond. If the response is correct using the regular past tense, praise him or her and ask another question. If your child doesn’t use correct grammar, say the correct response and ask for a repetition. Then, move on to a new question.

Example Questions

  • What was your favorite part of the day?
  • What TV show did you watch?
  • What did you like at dinner?
  • What did you do at the park?
  • Who today did you play with today?

Tip: 

  • Try to make this game fun and enjoyable.
  • Don’t turn it into a quiz!
  • Don’t over correct either or your child will start avoiding it. After a few nights of the same routine, your child will start to pick up on the correct answers! 
  • Take turns yourself so your child hears a lot of correct past tense grammar. 

What You Are You Working On:

  • Vocabulary development
  • Grammar Development
  • Taking Turns
  • Creating sentences

Color Laundry


Needed Materials

Dirty Clothes

How To Play

Have your child help during laundry and talk about colors.

Ideas To Try

  • Organize socks into colors.
  • Make a red pile, blue pile, green pile, etc… of clothes
  • Name colors as you fold clothes
  • Have your child name what color to find next to fold and vice versa

Language Skills Targeted

  • Colors
  • Categorization
  • Vocabulary

Playing Farm - Possessive S


Needed Materials

A house, farm, or any toy with little people, animals, or cars

How To Play

Get on the floor or sit at a table with your child. Start to play with the house or farm. While playing, have the little people or animals take or play with something. 

For example, you may give a bottle to a baby. Ask your child “whose bottle is it?” Hopefully, your child will respond with “the baby’s bottle.” 

If your child does not respond with the correct response, say the correct answer and ask your child to repeat it. Then, move on!

Tip 

  • Make playing as fun and natural as possible. Don’t turn it into a quiz 

Language Skills Targeted

  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Turn Taking

WH Questions During Playtime


Needed Materials

Any toy

How To Play

Play with your child and ask “what” and “what doing” questions while you play. This may already be happening naturally. Adults tend to ask “what” questions quite frequently. If not, be aware of them and make sure to ask them!

Make sure to ask both “what” and “what doing” questions.

Tip

  • If your child does not answer a “what” question correctly, model the correct response and ask your child to repeat it. Then, keep playing
  • Be careful not to make playtime into quiz time.

Language Skills Targeted

  • Asking/answering WH questions
  • Vocabulary
  • Turn taking
  • Simple story structure

Read, Read, Read!


Reading is one of the best language games for 4 year olds or any child of any age for that matter!

Ideas To Try

  • Ask some comprehension questions "who," "where," "what," "why," and "what doing" questions
  • Ask prediction questions (i.e. "What do you think will happen next?"). If your child doesn't know the answer, answer the question and talk through your reasoning. 
  • Talk about how characters feel and why
  • Retell the story and/or share your favorite funny/scary/silly part
  • Relate events from the story to real life

Don't forget your free eBook! There are lots of great tips in it to make the most out of your reading time.

What You Are You Working On:

  • Vocabulary development
  • Answering WH questions
  • Early narrative structures

Function Day


Needed Materials

Nothing

How To Play

Pick a day to focus on function of vocabulary words. Throughout the day, while in the car, shopping, playing, eating, etc…., ask your child about the function of different objects. 

  • What does ____(vocabulary word) do?

or 

  • What do you do with _____(vocabulary word)?

The great thing about this “game” is that your child is exposed to and challenged with a variety of different vocabulary words. Also, your child is thinking about what things do or what you can do with them in their natural environment. The goal is that he/she will start to think in this manner about all new vocabulary concepts...forever :)

Language Skills Targeted

  • Vocabulary development
  • Grammar

TV Show Fun


Needed Materials

Time to watch an episode of your child’s favorite show with your child

How To Play

With your child, watch an episode of one of your child’s favorite shows. 

While watching, pause the show if you can or wait for the commercial and ask your child to re-tell what is going on.  Make sure your child includes:

  • Person (who)
  • Place (where)
  • Event (what happened)

If your child misses a component, ask a needed question such as:

  • “Who is in the show”?
  • “Where are they?”
  • “What happened?”

Once all parts are identified, ask your child to say the story again. 

Language Skills Targeted

  • Story structure
  • Vocabulary
  • Prediction

Articulation Games For 4 Year Olds

For ideas on how to target specific speech sounds, click on the links below. These are the sounds a 4 year old should be able to say within conversation.

T

D

K

G

Want help with more speech sounds. We have extensive tutorials, flashcards, and functional games at Speech Talk Members Section. Check it out!

Want more language games for all areas of development?


All the games listed here are from our Preschool Talk 2.0 language guide. If you want more language games for 4 year olds like the ones listed here, this affordable resource might be just what you are looking for. 

What's Included:

This eBook is divided into the following chapters:

  • Introduction and review of developmental milestones
  • Learning Colors
  • Grammar Games
  • WH Questions
  • Simple Story Structure (SOOO Important!)
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Vocabulary Learning (Crucial!)

This eBook is for children who:

  • Aren't talking in full sentences
  • Having trouble answering questions correctly
  • Have a low vocabulary
  • Are in speech therapy
  • Have a speech language delay
  • Have delayed grammar skills
  • Uses only 20-100 words consistently
  • Is anywhere from 3-6 years old. Your child may be older than 4, and that is OKAY and NORMAL! 
  • Need to work on exanding vocabulary
  • Need to work on telling stories
  • Need to work on colors 
  • Who may have been a late talker and is still trying to catch up to peers

Where to Buy:

You can buy this language guide here! Easy!


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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series



› 4 Year Old Games