“The pin is mightier than the sword.” – Fred Reinfeld

Chess is a cerebral board game that requires quick thinking and sharp decision-making skills. If your child shows an aptitude for logic-based subjects like maths or science, or they show promise academically but struggle to channel their energy into a single subject, introducing them to the game of chess could be one of the best things you do for their cognitive development.

Whether you want your child to learn chess strategies for their own enjoyment, as a way to become involved with an after-school activity, or for potential opportunities in the future, giving them the option to pursue chess is a wonderful endeavor.

Playing chess for kids
Chess can be a fun way for your child to learn new ways of thinking.
The best Chess tutors available
Soumen
4.9
4.9 (51 reviews)
Soumen
₹700
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Ajith
5
5 (31 reviews)
Ajith
₹150
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Manikandan
5
5 (46 reviews)
Manikandan
₹300
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Aravindan
4.9
4.9 (28 reviews)
Aravindan
₹750
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Palak
4.9
4.9 (25 reviews)
Palak
₹700
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Srivarshan
4.9
4.9 (27 reviews)
Srivarshan
₹100
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Tejas
4.8
4.8 (8 reviews)
Tejas
₹1,500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Tanu
5
5 (17 reviews)
Tanu
₹500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Soumen
4.9
4.9 (51 reviews)
Soumen
₹700
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Ajith
5
5 (31 reviews)
Ajith
₹150
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Manikandan
5
5 (46 reviews)
Manikandan
₹300
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Aravindan
4.9
4.9 (28 reviews)
Aravindan
₹750
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Palak
4.9
4.9 (25 reviews)
Palak
₹700
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Srivarshan
4.9
4.9 (27 reviews)
Srivarshan
₹100
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Tejas
4.8
4.8 (8 reviews)
Tejas
₹1,500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Tanu
5
5 (17 reviews)
Tanu
₹500
/h
Gift icon
1st class free!
Let's go

Introducing Chess to Your Child

Teaching your child to play chess isn’t as easy as dusting off the old chess set and challenging them to a game in the hope that they improve. Given the great degree of challenge associated with the board game, chess can often cause frustration in children, especially when they are just starting out and struggling to get to grips with the rules.

As with any game with a complex set of rules, one of the best things you can do for your child is to practise patience and try not to force anything. Yet if your kid shows an interest in chess - even if only fleeting - this is a good sign that you should persist since they could stand to benefit a lot from playing the game in the long run.

With that said, here are a couple of  tips for staying composed and keeping your child motivated in the pursuit to learn chess:

Use Positive Reinforcement

Children respond to positive reinforcement such as praise, and in the context of learning a new skill or game, this will usually work much better than scolding or getting frustrated with them. Making “chess time” a fun, safe environment with gentle encouragement can help make your child comfortable enough to really put effort into playing. Correcting some mistakes, while allowing them to work through others on their own, is a really great way to build confidence.

The main thing to bear in mind is that you should try to ensure your child is able to learn from their mistakes and even from losing in a way that feels constructive and like they’re making solid progress.

Keep it Fun

If your kid is getting bogged down in the rules or confused about the pieces, you can try to move the emphasis towards the shapes of the pieces and talk about what they represent. Try creating a scene where the chessboard is a fun landscape, and the pieces are characters. Even playing the game wrong, but in an easy way, can get your child to be interested in the game. The most important thing is that it doesn’t feel forced, but instead memorable and safe.

Personalized Attention

In tandem with keeping practice fun, it’s important to also keep your child’s unique preferences in mind. If your kid learns better with hands-on practice, then traditional methods may work best. If they do best by observing, then having them watch videos of people playing chess might be really helpful. If they really prefer using a computer or tablet, you can set them up with an online program to teach them.

At what age can a child learn chess? This is also an important factor to take note of. Typically, it is not recommended to teach kids younger than 7 or 8, as a general rule. What really matters is your individual child’s level of problem-solving and willingness to play. Some concepts of chess are simply too complex for young minds. That’s okay! There is no rule that says the younger a person learns, the better they will be. If you try to teach your child chess and they don’t want anything to do with it, you can always try again later when they have more life experience.

learn chess moves
An interesting chess set can captivate your child's interest.

Keep it Simple

When introducing such a complex game to a young player, you need to start small. If you try to pile on all of the aspects of chess all at once, you will surely overwhelm your child. It would be overwhelming for anyone! Instead, focus on the core aspects and teach them in the simplest forms possible until your child is able to grasp a more intense understanding.

Try these simple lessons to start off with:

Get Familiar with the Board

Show them the board, and explain how it has eight rows that go across and eight columns that are vertical. Tell them how each square on the board corresponds to a letter and a number, perhaps even making a drawing of the board together and labeling the squares. You can place a pawn on a square and ask them what letter and number it is in.

Explain the Pieces

Give a general explanation for each piece, how you can tell which piece is which and what kinds of movements they can make.

If you are using a non-standard chess set, try calling each piece King Mickey Mouse, Queen Minnie Mouse, Knight Goofy, etc, for example. This way your child will understand the traditional names away from their home chess set.

Basic Strategy

Practice a few moves at a time to demonstrate basic strategy, and ask your child to repeat them. You can make up a storyline to help them remember the move and why it is being made.

After you’ve gone over the board, pieces, and some basic strategies, you can put their newfound knowledge to the test by playing a practice game and seeing how they get on. One of the best ways to pick up a game or skill, after all, is to make mistakes and learn from them.

Find chess classes online
There are many online resources to choose from for learning chess. | Source: zugzwang.in

Where to Find Educational Resources

There are so many places to find resources to help your child learn chess. No matter your or your child’s preferences, there is a way to make learning such a game accessible and easy!

In Person

You may be able to find chess clubs and societies through your child’s school. Ask if there are any after-school clubs that are hosted at the school or maybe at a local youth center. If not, it could be worth trying to create a Chess Club at the school yourself!

You may also be able to find in-person chess players at a games or hobby shop. Often, these types of shops will hold game nights for all different kinds of games, and maybe even tournaments. Once again, if they don’t already have a chess league, you might be able to get one started!

No matter where you find a chess community in person, you have the opportunity to learn from many different players at once. You and your child will also reap the benefits of making friends who share the same interests! And, if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a player who can be a private tutor.

Online

Of course, there are thousands of different resources online for learning about chess. In addition to the blogs, videos, and articles, you can learn using more direct methods as well.

Superprof

Superprof is a private tutoring service you can enroll your child in from the safety and convenience of home. You can be sure they will receive individualized coaching with the tutor of your choice in their chess classes for beginners. This is a great option to guarantee that a real person will be able to teach your child chess white catering to their individual needs and monitoring their progress.

Websites and Apps

Sites like ChessKid.com, ChessMatec.com, and ChessKinds.org.uk are trusted and effective for teaching kids chess. Each offers a different variation of educational resources as well as interactive chess games against the computer which are designed to teach players how to understand the pieces and the moves available.

Apps are great for learning anywhere at any time, even if you’ve only got a few minutes to spare. Some of the best-rated apps are Chess Academy for Kids, Dinosaur Chess, and tChess Lite. Like websites, they have myriad ways to convey the information to the learner and to help them practice.

young chess player
Chess is an exciting, satisfying game for all ages! | Image source: Michal Vrba on Unsplash

Fun Chess Sets for Kids

Whether your child shows interest in chess or not, the experience can be enhanced with a really fun chess set that inspires their imagination. Depending on your child’s preferences and learning styles, a fun chess set might be a must for their learning!

Best Chess Sets for Young Kids

For the littlest learners, big pieces and fun colors can be the best bet to increase interest in the game. As an added bonus, these chess sets also give interactive instruction and intuitive usage.

Check out Story Time Chess and Chess Junior for these helpful teaching chess sets!

Best Sets for Older Learners

For kids who are a little older, there are chess sets that offer some more intricacies. No Stress Chess offers step-by-step help for players but requires a fair amount of reading, so be aware! Talking Chess is a great option because it’s truly an electronic chess game! You can play against a friend or against the computer, all the while learning about the movements of the pieces as well as how to look out for risks!

Best Novelty Sets

For a truly exciting visual experience, try these novelty chess sets. Be aware that they do not offer instruction or tutorials, so they won’t be able to help teach your child on their own. However, they can increase attention to the game making it easier for them to listen to instructions. And remember to keep small pieces away from kids who are too young!

  • The set that had the most positive reviews for the weight quality of the pieces was Batman (Dark Knight vs The Joker). Many players, some of whom didn’t even like Batman, enjoyed the feel of the set.
  • The Super Mario chess set was also highly rated for the way it feels while playing, and the characters are so fun to look at that it is often used to teach chess to children!
  • Harry Potter Wizard Chess is a hands-down winner for obvious reasons. For slightly older kids, they might like to be transported to the world of Harry Potter and pretend their pieces really are fighting each other with swords.
  • Lastly, the Jurassic Park chess set can encourage many kids to give chess a chance, if only so that they can play with the dinosaur pieces. Dinosaurs are one of the most fail-safe animal groups you can choose when you want to keep kids interested in something.

Try using one of these chess sets to keep your child enamored with chess, making it easier and more fun for them to learn!

There are a few crucial points in getting your child involved with chess. Finding the right learning environment, the right board, and making the experience fun will all help your child excel. It is a worthwhile pursuit to teach your child chess, as there are so many cognitive, social, practical, and academic benefits. Of course, ensure that chess is the right game for your child. If not, there are many others out there that you can explore!

>

The platform that connects tutors and students

First Lesson Free

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating.

5.00 (1 rating(s))
Loading...

Bryanna

As a writer, I believe words can express emotions. When you write the right words, you can connect with people. My hobbies are yoga, writing and listening to music.