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When is a Good Time to Teach My Kid to Play Chess?

A few questions you may be asking yourself…

What are benefits to teaching my child to play chess?

When is a good time to teach my kid to play chess?

Your situation could be…

  • You are a parent who wants to see their kids unplugged from a device and having conversations over a chess board. 
  • You home-school and are looking for a game that offers fun but tons of educational benefits with a lifetime of value.
  • You want to find an activity that will engage your children for 1-2 hours so you can get some work or chores accomplished.
People in chess school learning the game

Regardless of why you are ready to teach your child chess, the question still remains – at what age should you introduce the game of chess to your kid?  When is the best time for them to start to learn.  The answer is now!  

Chess Made Fun recommends the following activities for these age groups:

0-1 year:

Read a chess book to them.  Your child may not understand but they will be learning the words of chess

1-2 years:  

Purchase a chess set (we recommend a silicone set) with soft but sturdy pieces.  Do not leave your child unattended with the pieces.  Use the chess set for 15 minutes per day, and let them play with the pieces.  Your child may set them on the board.  Teach your child how to say the names of the pieces.  It’s okay if your child doesn’t know which name belongs to which piece. 

2-4 years of age:

Introduce mini games from “Chess is Child’s Play”.  This book will teach any parent how to teach their child chess even if they do not know how to play.  Play these mini-games 10-15 minutes per day until your child conquers the lesson.  

5-10 years: 

Introduce the pawns game.  Once your child is winning – move on.  Introduce the knights game. Once your child is able to collect more than 50 beads – move on.  Introduce checkmate so your child will understand the object of chess. 

Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for instructional videos on how to play these games. 

Once your child can consistently win 3 games, introduce the rest of pieces that comprise a full chess game.  The book ”Chess is Child’s Play” has awesome mini games that engage your child with a fun and easy way to win. 

Two boys playing chess laying on the floor and thinking hard

If you live in an urban area you already know chess is making a huge reemergence in the US. There are chess clubs popping up all over the US.  If you are teaching your child how to play chess visit your local chess club to find other players in the area.  The age difference will not matter because chess will give your child something to talk about.

The benefits of playing chess have been researched by top scientists all over the world. The game of chess is proven to raise Math and English scores while teaching good sportsmanship to all players.  There are many more benefits that will impress you.  If you introduce chess in the right manner your child will be having fun, and not even realize they are learning.  

6 Reasons to Teach Your Child to Play Chess. . .

There are countless benefits to teaching your child the game of chess.  The excitement alone on their faces as they learn will be rewarding.  If that’s not enough, Chess Made Fun has selected the top 6 reasons for you.

#6 – Great History

Chess is the oldest board game still in existence going back almost 1,500 years.  The game has been handed down through the generations. 

#5 – Simple Rules

Although chess is thought of as a complex game it is very easy to learn and begin playing. 

#4 – Building Relationships

Chess bridges the gap between different age groups where conversation can flourish.

#3 – Low cost fun

With proper piece storage a chess set is all you need for a lifetime of play.

#2 – Technology-Off Approach

Playing chess over the board offers hours of fun while being plugged into the game versus a device. 

#1 – Improves Math and English Scores

Chess teaches patience, problem solving, planning ahead, and most importantly, good sportsmanship.

If you are ready to introduce your child to chess check out this article, When is a good time to teach my child chess, for tips on teaching chess to children 0-10 years of age. Through this unique time of social distancing plan for some technology-off, hands-on chess fun.

If you do not own a chess set yet we recommend a tournament travel chess set with bag. This chess set is the perfect size for young players. The board and pieces make visualizing the board a breeze.

Let us know your favorite reason why chess should be taught to children.

6 Reasons To Teach Your Child Chess

Although brain researchers have many things to say about the benefits of chess, this video takes an uncomplicated stance by showing the viewer more practical reasons for learning chess. Chess has out-survived virtually every board game ever known. The mysterious nature of chess will be revealed to those who venture to learn its secrets, and valued for all time.

5 Things You Need to Start an Online Chess Club

Thinking of starting and online chess club for your community? Chess Made Fun recommends the top 5 things you need:

  1. Chess Players – I know it sounds simple, but you have to find chess players who are willing to play online. If your county or school already has a chess club find players there first.
  2. Location – Determine what website you want to play chess on as a group. We recommend chess.com. You may add members to your club, or send a link for them to join. Once in the online club you may see which members are online, and ready for a game, or currently playing.
  3. Calendar with notifications – In today’s world it is easy to forget when your chess club’s next event is. We recommend creating a Facebook group for your members. You may set events that will send a reminder to your players. Members may also post puzzles, or share fun chess information.
  4. Computer – We recommend playing online chess as a group on a computer. You can play from the web browser on your phone, but it’s kind of clunky. Chess.com does have an mobile app, but it doesn’t allow you to access the club from the app currently.
  5. Coaches – Find and recruit chess coaches in your area to join the club. They may offer a good game of chess for your top players, or might be willing to teach an online chess lesson for your new players.

Once you have members consider raffling off a chess board or t-shirt to raise excitement for your events.

chess-club-shirts


Don’t get discouraged if there is a low turnout at first, and remember to be consistent and show up to play!


What has helped your chess club grow in your area?

EP 6 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess…

Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

EP 5 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess… Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

EP 4 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess… Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

EP 3 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess… Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

How to Play Chess Through Social Distancing

Has your local chess club stopped hosting chess play or tournaments?

Do you feel lost playing chess online with random opponents?

Do you miss playing chess with your family and friends?

There are lots of websites and mobile apps to play chess online. Playing random opponents does take away from the personal interaction over the board play offers.

Chess Made Fun recommends playing chess over the board with your family at home. Intergenerational play is important to help foster mentorship. If kids are only playing with other kids online they sometimes miss out on valuable lessons. 

We recommend the below mobile apps and websites to play on with your family, friends or players in your community online.

Chess.com is a loved website and mobile app in the chess community. Some of the benefits include

  • Free account or Paid Subscription Plan
  • Online learning through lessons, puzzles and puzzle rush
  • Chat and message other players
  • Setup a Club for your local club members
  • You may also choose random opponents from around the world to play chess with
  • Allows you to play timed games or gives up to 14 days to make a move

ChessKid.com is run by chess.com but only for coaches, parents and younger players. Some of the benefits include

  • Free account or Paid Subscription Plan
  • An app designed for kids to safely play kids from around the world
  • Solve puzzles to improve your game (paid subscription)
  • Watch video lessons from chess masters (paid subscription)
  • Battle bots to become a champ
  • Parents have full control over kids account
  • Parents/Coaches can setup a club for local members to play each other (You can have matches, a leaderboard, and send messages to your students within ChessKid.)

Chess with Friends is a mobile app that can be downloaded and linked to your Facebook account. Some of the benefits include

  • Free mobile app (Paid ad free version)
  • Find friends and family on Facebook to play chess with
  • You may also choose random opponents from around the world to play chess with
  • Play multiple games at the same time
  • Chat with your friends or opponents
  • Must be 13+ to play

Chess Made Fun recommends these mobile apps by age group.  These apps are made for kids to learn how to play chess.

0-4 years:

We do not recommend children this young to play chess through a mobile app. Invest in the book, Chess is Child’s Play, for mini games to play at home with your kids. This age range is perfect for chess-themed toys, books and cartoons. Checkout this YouTube playlist for some cartoons we hope your kids will enjoy.

5-10 years:

Dinosaur Chess (Paid App)

  • Is a fun way to learn and play chess
  • 11 lessons
  • 20 mini games and puzzles

Fritz and Chesster (Paid App)

  • Join Prince Fritz and his cousin Bianca learn how to play chess, then test and increase your knowledge in a whole range of exciting games and situations.
  • Promotion of memory, math, verbal reasoning as well as the development of critical thinking, creative thinking and socialization are among the many benefits of playing the sport of kings.
  • 18 Standalone mini-games
  • Multiple players can log in with different names and play independently

10-15 years:

Chess+ (Really great for older kids and adults as well)

  • The most advanced chess training mobile app. Improve your skills, learn tactics and strategies
  • Hundreds of levels
  • Thousands of exercises
  • Is free to play but you can purchase some optional in-game items
  • Can also connect to Facebook

We hope during this unique time for us all with Social Distancing chess can become a fun family activity for everyone to play at home. If you don’t know how to play chess check out our YouTube channel for some mini-games you may start with. Look to see if your kids may join their local chess club online, reach out to their coach for help.

Let us know in the comments what websites and mobile apps you like to play and learn chess?

EP 2 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess… Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

EP 1 About Chess – Did You Know?

Chess Made Fun is introducing a new video series with episodes coming to you each week. The series is called Did You Know in Chess… Each episode covers relevant facts that are helpful to beginning chess players. These topics are easy for the viewer to digest and use for regular play. We hope you find each episode informative! We will create a separate playlist, so that viewers may watch all episodes in one sitting if they wish. Sit back and relax, and…let’s talk about chess!

What Games Help Kids Learn to Play Chess Faster?

Chess is a lot for kids to learn how to play.  If your child is learning chess at a rate slower than anticipated there are a few things you can do that will not only motivate them to learn quicker, but will also build learning fundamentals known as meta-cognition (learning to learn).

  1. Begin with chess mini-games to help your child learn piece movement first, and build their confidence with chess
  2. Introduce a chess clock and play timed games, the clock will add excitement for your child
  3. Play checkmate puzzles, so your child will understand checkmate better
  4. Invest in chess books, so your child will study the game on their own to improve 

Whatever you do, do not get frustrated!  This could discourage your child from wanting to play.

What you do not hear talked about are games outside of chess that will support meta-cognition to help improve your child’s ability to think creatively for solutions.  Check out some options below for your child’s age.  These are independent thinking games that your child can play alone, or work with you to solve. 

Chess Made Fun recommends these games for the following ages:

2-4 years:

Bunny Boo – Not only will this game teach primary colors to your toddler, but your child will learn directions while working on motor skills.

4-6 years:

Camelot Jr – Chess-themed, and a fun, unique twist on puzzle games that will help develop logic and spatial reasoning.

6-8 years:

Laser Maze – Strategically place satellites throughout the maze game to guide the laser’s path, but watch out for space rocks that might get in the way.

8-10 years:

Walls & Warriors – Brain power is needed to protect your castle in this exciting game with 80 increasingly difficult challenges.

10-12 years:

Cube Puzzler PRO – Playing Cube Puzzler PRO stimulates the following cognitive abilities: planning, problem solving and spatial insight.

12+ years:

Solitaire Chess – Solitaire Chess combines the rules of traditional chess and peg solitaire to bring you a delightful and vigorous brain workout.

Remember, every child will learn chess at their own pace. These tools that we are discussing are meant to stimulate your child, so he or she does not grow impatient with learning. We hope this information will help chart a course for continued learning. Comment below to let us know what tools have worked for your children.

Playing Chess Online

As beginning chess players, how serious about improving are we when we sit down to play chess? What are the real benefits to playing chess online? In this video, we try to educate our viewers about this controversial topic. Chess Made Fun takes a “technology off” approach to make a case for playing chess over the board, and why the benefits to new chess players are found there rather than online.