Starfish Therapies

June 5, 2012

What are 4 things playing Connect Four can help?

Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

image retrieved from:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?


  1. my little guy doesn’t understand the purpose of the game yet but we use it for pincer grip and fine-motor control too. As he is improving we now make a race out of who can get their chips in first. Letting them all crash out the bottom is always the best part 🙂

    Comment by Kate - An Everyday Story — June 5, 2012 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  2. Great post, my son has visual perception problems and this is a fun way to do “therapy”!

    Comment by Wendi — June 6, 2012 @ 4:24 am | Reply

  3. I make it a gross motor game by putting the pieces on one side of the room and the board on the other. I then have them walk over to get them in tall kneeling, hop/jump/skip back and forth with the pieces, stand on one foot while putting the pieces in, etc.

    Comment by Kelly — June 6, 2012 @ 9:56 am | Reply

  4. I “hide” the chips in therapy putty and we dig them out and race to the top. Adds a nice strengthening and proprioceptive aspect to the fun.

    Comment by Kit Cook — June 15, 2012 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  5. […] Connect Four […]

    Pingback by Toys, Toys, Toys « Starfish Therapies — November 8, 2012 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  6. […] to Starfish Therapies, playing Connect 4 enhances the following valuable skills for little […]

    Pingback by Connect 4 ! - Great gift idea for children of all ages — March 22, 2019 @ 5:44 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: