With Ethan and Megan’s recent interest in chess (thanks to Harry Potter), I welcome this guest post from Kaoori explaining the benefits of it to both children’s mental and social development (which is incredible!). I am no expert but hope you find this as interesting as I did and perhaps encourage your own kids to give it a go!
Chess is a fun and challenging game—but for kids, it’s more than a way to pass the time or something they can do after school. Chess is actually vital for a child’s mental and social development in more ways than one!
Chess encourages the strengthening of problem solving skills
Chess is a challenging game that requires players to think of solutions well ahead of time. For that reason, it encourages the strengthening of a child’s problem solving skills, which are essential for a growing brain.
Chess naturally encourages the development of patience
It can sometimes seem like forever while you’re waiting for your opponent to make their move—or while you’re waiting for your chess plan to come to fruition.
Chess improves creative thinking
Chess requires creative thinking that lets you explore a problem from multiple angles. Chess players need to approach problems with multiple solutions, such as trying to figure out how to get away from an opponent’s planned move or come up with a new plan on the spot when an opponent’s move changes their original plan.
Tips for Purchasing Chess Games for Kids
If you are interested in chess games for kids, you are in luck: there are a nearly endless amount of for children out there, ranging from simple and basic sets that get the job done every time all the way to unique and visually appealing sets that may be especially intriguing to younger players. The following are some essential tips to keep in mind while you search for chess games for kids.
Tip #1: Consider magnetic sets for younger children
If you are looking for a set for children on the younger side of the age spectrum, then you will want to consider magnetic sets. Magnetic sets come with magnets on the bottom of every piece; this magnets will stick to the game board during play, making it nearly impossible for the pieces to fall over or slide around.
Tip #2: Keep the boards as simple as possible for first-timers
If this will be the first chess set that a child receives, it’s best to keep it as simple as possible until they begin to develop their own personal hobby or interests in regards to chess. Simple wooden boards are ideal for younger players as well because the traditional style of the pieces makes for easier—and more tournament-friendly—learning than the stylized pieces available on other boards.
Tip #3: Avoid buying expensive sets until they are older
It can be tempting to buy an ultra-expensive set for a young chess player, but until they are a bit older it’s best to hold off on these types of luxury chess boards, especially if the expensive board includes material such as lacquer or delicate paints which may be ruined by overzealous young children.
There is no doubt that playing chess is beneficial to children; whether you sign them up for chess club, encourage them to join a youth tournament or simply play chess with them every night before bed time. Encouraging your children to play chess regularly is one of the best ways to improve their education.