Have you ever been intrigued by a book simply from it’s title? Before I ever saw this book I heard the title Chess is Child’s Play ($13.57) and I was caught. I’ve always believed that small children are capable of so much more then we expect. And the key to unlocking this potential is through play. A book that teaches chess through play was a captivating thought.
When the book arrived I was delighted to find a sturdy and thick hardcover book with wonderful illustrations on nearly every page. I read all about how the concept of the book came to be and how the authors actually used this book to teach chess to preschool students. But I was still skeptical. I pushed forward though, and started using the lessons one at a time with my four and six year olds.
At first, you simply play games to learn the names of each piece. That was an easy first step and something my boys enjoyed. Gradually, you move on to playing miniature games. These games are not chess, they are modified games that teach about chess and about the power of each piece. It really is a fun way to learn! We decided to use this book for chess with our children including the nine-year-old.
You can really set your own pace through the book, and sometimes we play the same game over and over until the concept is grasped. When a lesson is simple, like with learning the names of the pieces, we moved on really quickly. Eventually, your student is ready for full games of chess. We are not there yet, but I am confident we will get to that point.
My three year old was watching his Dad play chess over the holidays and he was intensely watching each move. I asked him what he was doing and he said “I am watching the fight.” His perspective on the game is adorable. My little guys aren’t going to beat Daddy at chess any time soon, but they are slowly developing a grasp of the game. They are learning chess as we work through the lessons in this book.
My Bottom Line: I love Chess is Child’s Play by Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick for our family and think it would also make a great book to use with a chess class or chess club to improve skills as a group. The book is simple enough that older children could even teach younger children using the lessons in this book. If you have been looking for a chess curriculum, I believe this is one of the best on the market.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Here you have my honest review.