Do you know how to pay chess? I don’t. I never had the opportunity to play it when I was growing up, which is odd considering my father knows how to play chess. Even my very young nephews know how to play chess.
Where I work we have a chess set. Many times my “work kids” have asked me to play chess with them. I regrettably have to tell them “no” because I don’t understand how to play the game at all. I’ve watched them play it, but I’m simply not understanding it.
Believe it or not, there are benefits to playing chess as a child (and as an adult). Chess helps children learn concentration, planning and foresight, improves spatial skills, and helps with problem solving skills, to name a few.
As a parent, I would have loved it if my kids learned chess. I think chess is a better game to play than shooting aliens and running away from zombies (today’s video games don’t look too “kid friendly” to me). Plus it can be a great bonding experience with parents.
What if I told you that there was a fun and easy way to teach a child how to play chess? There is! It’s called Story Time Chess: The Game.
Story Time Chess: The Game has already won numerous awards including;
WOW! That’s a lot of awards.
Even celebrities like Hugh Jackman and David Burka give rave reviews about this game.
Check out this brief video about the game.
So what exactly is Story Time Chess: The Game. Believe it or not, it’s actually been around for many years, and taught in classrooms across the country.
Story Time Chess: The Game is a complete chess set (and more!) that comes with colorful “people” that you can place on the chess piece. Each person represents a character in the game’s book, including King Chomper (white pieces) and King Shaky (the black pieces).
Below is a picture I took of how the cardboard character pieces slide into the plastic chess piece. I took this picture the first time I opened the box. They are the wrong pieces and the wrong colors. I have since learned from my mistake, but I included the photo so you can see how easily the cardboard character pieces slide into the plastic piece.
King Shaky never ventured out of his silly pillow castle because he was so fearful, but when forced to, he took tentative steps and only one at a time. Bea and Bop Bishop became trapeze artists with the circus, and were known for their amazing act, The Great Diagonal.
The story helps players understand each piece/character, and how they move about the board.
The story it’s self is engaging and fun to read and listen to. It also makes learning how to move the pieces around the board so easy because inside the book it shows the directions each piece/character can move. It also provides exercises to try out to help players learn and understand the available moves a piece/character can make.
Inside the box you’ll find the following;
Introduction booklet – This introduces you to the game and provides you with information about what you’ll find in the box.
Story book – This adorable story book teachers players about the characters/pieces and their moves in a delightful story about two kings, their families and others in their kingdoms. The book is illustrated and provides detailed diagrams of how the pieces/characters move.
The book is also an easy read so older children can read and understand it on their own.
Chess instruction booklet – This booklet helps teach you about regular games of chess.
Double sided playing board – The playing board features the board for the story on one side, and a standard chess board on the other side. This way the game can grow with your child as they learn to master the game of chess.
Card game board and cards – There is an additional game that comes with the chess game. It’s a card game that is great for new learners, as well as very young children (ages 3+). It’s a fun game that is wonderful for short attention spans (little ones). It also helps children learn the characters.
The game board also has images of the characters on it so that you and your child know where to place the corresponding game pieces when setting up the game board.
Playing pieces – I am impressed by the quality of the chess pieces. I even like how each piece has a special place on a plastic tray so when you put the game away your pieces are not just tossed in a box and easily lost. Of course if I bring this game to work with me, I have no doubt that the kids will just toss the playing pieces in the game box loosely. I’ll need to insist they put the pieces away properly, or they can’t play the game.
Cardboard character pieces and playing pieces – Each character in the story has a cardboard punch out that can be placed on the corresponding playing piece. There is a small groove on each playing piece where you slide the cardboard character piece into. The other pieces (gem/pizza) are for the card game.
The character pieces have the character on one side, and an illustration of the corresponding game piece on the back to help you and your child identify which playing piece the character goes to.
These popped out of the cardboard very easily. I also like that they are smooth around the edges and don’t have any “bumps” on them where they were attached to the cardboard.
Game cards – there is a set of crown cards that go with the card board game.
I think the characters are super cute. I’m an adult and I didn’t feel silly learning to play chess this way. I think I learned it better this way. It was so much easier than someone trying to show me a traditional way. I’m also a tactile learner. I learn better by doing things. This game is perfect for tactile learners, as well as visual learners.
All these years of watching others play chess, and never understanding any of it. Since reading the book and trying out the game for myself, I totally get it now. It did take a few times reading the book and playing with my husband (a non-chess player as well) before we understood the game fully. But that is OK.
Now when I am finally able to return to work again (hopefully in September) I’ll be confident in my chess skills. That way when one of my “work kids” asks me to play chess with them I can finally say “yes.”
The ONLY “downside” I can think of is that I wish there was something to put the cardboard playing piece in once you are done playing a game, that way they don’t bounce around inside the box or get lost. This is easily remedied by using a sandwich bag or two. The game makers put so much thought and effort into this game that I am surprised they didn’t come up with a place to store the cardboard pieces.
To learn more about Story Time Chess, and how to get your own copy, visit StoryTimeChess.com. You can also find the game on social media. Those links are found on the bottom right of their website.
Do you know how to play chess? Have you ever wanted to learn how to play? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I received a free copy of the game to review. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.