Link Four to Win
- What: Connect 4 Game
- When: 4 years and up
- Why: Fun. easy to learn, hard to master
- Where: Amazon
If you want a classic game that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, make sure to grab Connect 4.
This easy to learn but hard to master game comes with red and yellow checkers (for a total of 42), a board to drop pieces into, and two supports to hold up the playing board. Two players take turns placing pieces in their color into the board, where gravity causes them to drop to the lowest open spot. The first person to connect four pieces of their color horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, wins.
Kids don’t need any literacy skills to understand the concept behind this simple game of strategy. Younger kids may get stymied by more advanced moves, but can still enjoy the game (especially with kids around their age with equal skills). Kids not only get to practice dropping in the chips, which they love, but planning more than one move ahead, reacting to changing circumstances, and predicting other players’ actions. Older kids enjoy trying to best their siblings and parents as they practice their advanced planning and secret strategy skills.
The pieces all fit easily inside the box once kids finish playing. Each game takes about 15 minutes to complete, depending entirely on how fast players decide to place their pieces. You can get a jumbo outdoor version of this game as well. Once someone wins, a plastic lever at the bottom of the board moves, causing all the pieces to fall out onto the playing surface. (Toddlers love this, and will fill the game on their own just to bring all the pieces crashing down over and over again.)
No matter which part of the game your kids enjoy the most, make sure you have a copy in your repertoire of family games.