Why We Love: Connect 4 Launchers!

Getting a new game at POTS is just as exciting for the therapists as it is for the children. It allows us to explore new, exciting ways to address our therapeutic goals. Connect 4 Launchers fits the profile perfectly. Here’s why:

  • This game is a great way to work on pressure modulation, or the degree of force applied to an object. Controlling the amount of pressure exerted is an important pre-writing skill. If a child does not use enough pressure when writing/coloring, it can appear too light. Conversely, when too much pressure is applied, a child’s hand is likely to fatigue and the pencil point might break.
  • For maximum effect, the index finger should be used to launch the pieces.  This provides a child with the opportunity to practice isolating an individual finger, another pre-writing skill since refined fine motor control is the product of isolating joints and movements rather than using the whole hand as a single unit. When writing/coloring, the thumb side of the hand controls the movement while the pinky side of the hand provides balance and stability.
  • Another benefit of Connect 4 Launchers is that is offers different levels of play, which allows for the “just right challenge” for the child.
  • Purchase the “original” version of Connect 4 Launchers for 2 players, or upgrade to the deluxe version, which can accommodate up to 4 players at a time.

While this game is a great deal of fun, we would be remiss if we did not mention a few cons to the game:

  • Connect 4 Launchers requires less strategic planning than the original version we remember playing as kids.
  • While the rules of the game can always be modified, according to the instructions, there is no turn taking in this game and players launch pieces as fast as they can until they get 4 in a row. Therefore, it might not be a great match for a child who fatigues easily or has difficulty following the constant movement and action without the lull offered by turn taking.

Blog written by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR/L, Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, Director of POTS

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