Chess activities for kids 2nd grade and up

20150612_211247

Chess provides excellent learning opportunities for children. It teaches strategic thinking, logic and it’s downright fun too. Not only that, according to Wendi Fischer Scholastic Director of America’s Foundation for Chess and faculty contributor at John Hopkins University, it’s about “…quadrants and coordinates, thinking strategically and foreseeing consequences. It’s about lines and angles, weighing options and making decisions.” In addition, she adds, “Chess might just be the perfect teaching and learning tool.”

Large cereal boxes are great for storing chess crafts and activities.
Large cereal boxes are great for storing chess crafts and activities.

There are many great (and free) resources that you can create to involve students as young as six in the great game of chess. Our students made chess kits out of large cereal boxes. They covered their boxes with white construction paper and then cut the top flaps off to create a convenient opening.

IMG_20150612_213036
“My chess book” includes coloring pages, rules, and activities for students in 2nd grade and up.

Our students also made their own chess activity books complete with a coloring page for each chess piece, strategy boards, and rules of the game. The books, with covers made from a large sheet of construction paper folded in half, fit perfectly inside their activity kits.

IMG_20150612_200145
Flash cards describe the role of each chess piece.

Flash cards help introduce strategies (See above). Flash cards can also be used to teach vocabulary words such as: diagonal, equalize, fortress, horizontal, repetition, simplify, strategy, symmetry, tempo, triangulation, variation, vertical, and more.

Wooden chess board
Wooden chess board

Students also make their own practice boards and game pieces. They arrange 64 squares in alternating patterns of dark and light.

Want more? 

Activity Village has a kid-friendly PDF, titled, Chess for Kids, with rules and details about the game.  It’s a great resource to add to your arsenal of chess play activities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s