Connect 5

Have players of different abilities play by different rules

Connect 5

It’s time to introduce Kubla to some thinking games. Chess, checkers, Connect Four.

I teach him the rules. We play a few games. I warn him what I’ll do next if he makes this move or that. I do my best not to crush him, but somehow my precocious 4 year old isn’t able to defeat someone ten times his age.

I’m not trying hard enough for it to be interesting to me. It’s not fun for him when he knows he’s going to lose.

I change the rules.

“OK,” I say. “New game. This time I’ll play Connect 5. I need to get 5 in a row to win. You still need to get 4 in a row to win.”

Now it’s interesting. I still warn him when he makes a dangerous move. I tell him, without giving too much away, when he has an opportunity to beat me in a move or two. I try as hard as I can. No one knows who will win. It’s fun for both of us.

What do you do to keep things interesting for yourself and older siblings when playing with the little ones? What do you do to level the playing field?

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