- The best way to introduce a young child to chess is to start with Chapter One of the Story Time Chess storybook. If your young chess player is three or four years old, it’s always best to start slow! Most families find the most success by reading 1-2 new stories per week, and reviewing the minigames and exercises they’ve already covered in between formal storytimes.
- The more fun you have while storytelling, the better! Do voices, act it out, and keep your kids engaged by asking questions they can react to like: “Can you believe how scared King Shaky is? I wonder how such a scared king might walk…”
- If you find your child wants to rush through the book and learn everything as fast as possible, don’t discourage their enthusiasm! Just bear in mind that their recall of the rules and game concepts will benefit from deliberate practice and review. If you can, try to pace yourselves as you move through the book.
- A child’s first win on the chessboard, even if it’s just a minigame, is a momentous occasion! Celebrate it, and make sure they know you’re proud. Similarly, their first loss might be surprisingly impactful. Always remember to shake hands, say “good game,” and remind your kids that losing is never the end of the world. Keep it light by setting up the pieces and asking them to play again!
- Patience is key. No one becomes a Grandmaster overnight, and it may take time for your child to move every piece according to the rules every time they play.
- When in doubt, refer to the pieces by their character names and remind your child of the stories. If a child moves a piece incorrectly, consider asking how that piece “likes to move,” rather than simply correcting the mistake. For instance, if your child sees the bishops as Bea and Bop, the characters, they’ll remember to keep those pieces on their “favorite” colored squares. Not only does this build a child’s confidence by revealing that they had the right answer all along, it helps their recall immeasurably.
- It’s always a great idea to pull out the board and pieces and play for fun any time you like!
Are you ready for more Story Time Chess? Check out our Level 2 Strategy Expansion.