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I thought the game Connect 4 would be a complicated one, but I hadn’t considered the emotional impact when playing for the first time.

We were sent a brilliant small person sized Jumbo 4 Connect game from Garden Games, and being a good mother I dutifully assembled it and got the game ready – a five-minute job, and most of that was removing the packaging from the ‘coins’.

Jumbo 4 Connect coins

So, first of all you try to explain the rules to your three-year old. All she wants to do is put her coins into the game – but she needs to learn to take turns. All good; we’re set.

Jumbo 4 Connect - ready!

I’m yellow and H is red. The game commences…. and H gets three in a line. In order to explain the rules of the game I then place my yellow to block hers – cue floods of tears, heartbroken, distraught, I’ve never seen that many tears come out of her in such a short time – I’ve made her extremely unhappy by this. Oh dear. I now know I have to lose and she has to win within the next two minutes or she’ll hate the game – BUT – she needs to understand how to play it – more that the fun is blocking the other player than actually winning. That and she needs some reassuring cuddles so she realises mummy isn’t a big meanie who spoils all the fun.

So I place a yellow and do a really obvious cough while pointing at the place I could win. H spots the danger and immediately blocks me with a red, looking a bit worried in the process. I look at her with a sad face and then add an “oh maaa-yaaaannn!” a bit like Swiper from Dora the Explorer does, and H cracks up.

PHEW.

We continue the game for a little bit longer, and I help point out somewhere she can win, and that’s it! She’s won! Hurrah! But she looks really sad and those tears start to look like they might come back. I ask why.

Jumbo 4 Connect - H wins!

(n.b. H doesn’t look sad on this picture as she was bored of me taking her photo)

“Mummy, we haven’t put all the coins in the game yet so I can’t win” she tells me.
We then spend the next however long taking it in turns, getting connect 4s, 5s, whatever we damn well please until the game is complete and we’ve run out of turns.

H looks at me happily “I WON!!!!” with a sense of jubilation and achievement, and a “let’s play again!!!”

Jumbo 4 Connect from Garden Games

Daddy came home from work, started a game with me and H kicked up quite the stink and slid the wooden bottom part to let the tiles out, to have another go – her competitive nature doesn’t seem to be letting up on this one!

It’s safe to say the game is already a big hit in our house. Jumbo 4 Connect is suitable for outdoor play, though not to leave outdoors at this time of year – mainly due to the rain. It’s also fine for indoors and not too big or heavy (H 73.4cm W 84cm D 20cm and Weight 8.75kg) and packs down quite flat – there’s also a little bag to keep the coins in when it’s not in use. You can buy it for £94.99 over at Garden Games.

We received one for the purpose of review – and all opinions are our own.