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Story Time Chess - Board Game Review

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by BecSorby (subscribe)
I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group
Published November 23rd 2022
Meet some silly characters and learn chess the easy way
In the course of my life, I have become many things to many people. Wife. Sister. Friend. Mother. Taxi driver. Conflict negotiator. Personal chef and housekeeper. Tooth Fairy. Santa. One thing I am not is a chess player.

When the opportunity to learn chess - albeit via my two young children - came along, I said yes. Why not learn the art of this 1500 year old game that continues to be popular among young and old to this day?

Story Time Chess is a learning approach to chess using storytelling and games to teach the basics of the game to children as young as 3 years old. Based on a chess tutoring service located in New York, Story Time Chess was created as a way to teach chess in the wider community.

I have two children aged 7 and 5, who were very excited to learn the game they had seen in motion several times, but couldn't understand (much like myself.) I was curious to know how I could learn chess by reading a story with my kids.

But learn we did. After opening the beautifully packaged chess pieces from their velvet storage bags and setting up the double-sided board - one side is for storytelling and the other is for the traditional game - we were ready to meet the families of Chesslandia.

We read each story about the characters, then played a series of short games designed to help children (and me) associate their quirks with moves on the board. So for example, King Chomper, the white king, stuffs his pockets full of food and moves so slowly as a result that he can only move one square at a time.

Each of the characters has a silly story to share and a quirk that relates directly to their movements in a game of chess. The games, in which children speak out loud, will help children put these moves into practice.

It's easy to set up each of the pieces and the games and the instructions in the book are so simple to follow. The characters and stories are memorable so that children will remember the moves and associate moves they learn in the mini games to an actual game of chess, or 'Capture the King' as the book calls it, which is a title that pretty much sums up the game!

Story Time Chess has since become the most awarded board game in history, even taking up a spot in Time Magazine's Best Inventions List of 2021 - the first ever board game to do so - and winning Toy of the Year Award 2021.

According to Story Time Chess president and lead operator Andrew Kashian, the reason for its success is pure and simple: learning through storytelling.

If you can tell a story about a silly funny character, children will remember that character, then you can correlate their quirks to the board, so for the knights…(it's) 'gallop gallop step to the side'.

The storytelling premise was a result of sheer desperation, when one of Andrew's colleagues was recruited to teach chess to a group of children aged 3-5 years.

For the first couple of weeks the tutor tried teaching the children using traditional methods such as dictating what each player does, before he created an impromptu name and story for the king and, having the kids' attention, the idea spiralled from there.

It really is a simple idea that is unique, with no other game like it in the world. Other chess learning programs are typically aimed at children aged 6 and over, whereas Story Time Chess is aimed at children as young as 3.

When you have mastered Story Time Chess, you can move on to the newly launched Story Time Chess 2 and 3. Story Time Chess 2 is based on teaching children different forms of strategy in the game, while Story Time Chess 3 goes into those all-important tactics.

'What we always tell parents is that let's say your 4 year old can get (Story Time Chess) 1,2 and 3 they are going to be a better chess player than 99.9% of the world including adults because the things that we teach - the average adult knows how the pieces move but they don't know any strategic planning. 2 and 3 guarantees to teach children that,' Andrew says.

I can safely say Story Time Chess is a easy way to learn chess, even for someone with absolutely no experience with the game. Plus it's been a great way to spend time with the kids and learn together through stories and games.

You can buy Story Time Chess online here.
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Why? The easy way to learn chess for children aged 3 and over
When: It only takes a few minutes a day to read, play and learn
Where: Home, Away and Holidays
Cost: 69.95
Your Comment
Oh this is good game for my daughter. She is fascinated with chess since "knowing it" from one of episode of Bluey. Thanks for the review
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|646) 63 days ago
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