Arts & Crafts for Four Year Olds

Updated April 17, 2017

The average 4-year-old generally gets excited about learning new things and enjoys participating in many arts and craft projects. Adding new crafts keeps 4-year-old kids, with their short attention spans, interested and enthusiastic. Make sure to display their works of art for all family members and friends to admire.

Pen and Pencil Holders

Materials for this project include milk cartons, safety scissors, magazine photos, coloured construction paper, family pictures and non-toxic paste. An adult should cut the top off the milk carton with a sharp knife, creating a straight edge. Set out photos, coloured paper and pictures, and let the children cut and paste their selections around the sides of the milk carton. This project teaches kids colours and designs, and helps them develop more dexterity with their hands. It also teaches recycling old things to create new items. The finished product hold pens, pencils, scissors and rulers, which he can proudly use and display.

Painting Projects

Most 4-year-old kids love to paint, and tempera paint is an excellent medium as it is water-based, non-toxic, inexpensive and easy to clean up. Place a large cover on a table or the floor, and protect the child from splashing paint on herself with an old, large T-shirt. Inexpensive paper such as newsprint, butcher paper or watercolour pads work for painting projects. Kids paint different boxes, tin cans and plastic plates. Large brushes, sponges, Popsicle sticks and even kids' own fingers make suitable applicators. Start out with two out of the three primary colours -- red, blue and yellow -- that children mix together or use alone. Add new colours after several painting sessions.


Let the kids make their own playdough. The recipe includes simple ingredients: 1 cup white flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and food colouring in different colours -- the added amount depends on the desired colour. Kids help measure, add and stir the ingredients while an adult cooks the mixture until it all sticks together. Preparation takes only minutes, yet the product provides hours of fun for children. Kids sculpt animals, flowers and fruit using different colours of playdough. Cookie cutters work for making imaginary cookies in all shapes and colours. Wrap up left over playdough in cling film for another day of fun.

Holiday Cards

Young kids can join in holiday celebrations by making their own greeting cards. Materials include coloured construction paper, child-safe scissors, paste, photos, water-based marking pens and magazine pictures. The basic card is made using construction paper, with colour depending on the holiday or occasion. Kids paste photos and magazine pictures onto the card and add holiday touches with marking pens. A 4-year-old can paste beads, buttons, fringe and ribbons on the card for a decorative look. Family members enjoy receiving these works of art.

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About the Author

Carol Stanley has been a writer and speaker for over 30 years. She has written for several Arizona publications including the "Arizona Republic." She attended the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Arizona. She authored the book "For Kids 59.99 & Over," among other publications.