image retrieved from: amazon.com
Connect Four is a game that I used to love playing as a kid! However, now that I am working with kids I realize how much more it can be than just a game (while your kids think they are just playing a game). Here are four things that playing Connect Four can work on:
- Pincer Grasp – Holding the chips can help to promote pincer grasp which is a mature grasp pattern. It is possible to use other grasp patterns to pick up the chips as well as to hold it and put it in the slots but it is more efficient to use a pincer grasp and this is a game that can encourage that pattern.
- Visual Perception – Not only is this a game that requires planning but it requires being able to line up four chips of the same color in a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) but you can make it into a game that requires creating patterns. You can do black and red patterns or use pictures of patterns and have the kiddos try to recreate the patterns.
- Fine Motor Control – In order to use this game it requires putting the chips into slots of a pretty specific size. In order to do this the kiddos need to line up the chips and be able to purposefully release their grasp. In order to encourage this for kids that are having trouble lining the chip up you could always create a funnel (flattened) that has a bigger opening to give the kiddos more leeway with accuracy. You can decrease the size of the opening as they get more efficient until they are able to get it into the correct slots.
- Strategy – When playing the game the way it is meant to be played it requires kiddos to work on strategizing and using problem solving to come up with what move they want to make. You can work on their thought process by asking them why as well as by letting them make moves and come up with what moves you might make. It will allow them to work on thinking about what they want to do as well as what their opponent might do.
What things do you use Connect Four for?