5 Reasons to Play Chess For Kids This Summer

photo courtesy Giant Chess

1. Combat Summer Slide

According to educational research, the average student falls one month behind during the summer months. But chess for kids keeps active the areas of the brain responsible for problem solving and critical thinking.

2. Family Bonding and Eye Contact

It’s ironic that a “war game” is an outstanding tool for parent & child bonding. Even preschool aged children enjoy communicating over the chess board with their parents. Communicating face-to-face with your child is essential to their development. Research supports this, which is why there is a heavy push toward family meal times. Chess is as good or better than having dinner together as a family. Incorporate humor and fun in your chess play, and I promise you, the memories from family chess play will be among your most cherished.

3. The Luxury of Time = new passions

Summer is the time of year when kids have time on their side. That is, leisure time. Chess is best learned in a relaxed, pressure-free environment. Where there is a spark of interest, summer affords kids the freedom to dive deep into chess.

4. It’s Portable
Family road trip? Day at the park? Pack a chess board. Kids especially love playing impromptu chess with other kids they meet on family excursions. You can encourage them to engage in this type of socializing by having a set ready to go.

My favorite magnetic traveling chess board is this one, because the kids love the shiny silver and gold pieces.

5. Downtime Redefined

After a physically active day, everyone needs a quiet activity. Add chess to your regular repertoire of reading, drawing, and TV watching. Parents are often surprised that if given the opportunity, kids will gravitate to the chess board instead of other indoor activities. But for them, it’s natural; chess is a game after all. Having a board out, with pieces already set up will encourage casual pick-up play.

Not sure where to start? Learn the rules of chess for FREE on

About Jill

Jill Keto is the co-founder of, published author, and engineer chick. You can find her on and Twitter. Jill has provided over 1000 chess kids after-school programs and tournaments.
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