Sunday, August 05, 2012

Book Review: Chess Is Child’s Play, by Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick

Many people have the misconception that chess is a game for “older kids” or for “super-smart kids.” But Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick, authors of Chess Is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work, will tell you that just isn’t true! Children can begin learning how to play chess as early as preschool, and they don’t have to be little prodigies to master it. In fact, chess just might make them smarter! The key, say the authors, is to make teaching the game age-appropriate and fun. You don’t sit a four-year-old down, for instance, and try to explain in one lesson how all of the chess pieces move. You take it a step at a time, with short lessons, so they don’t become overwhelmed. Most children are fascinated by the look of the chess pieces, and love to discover the unique characteristics of each one.

Chess Is Child’s Play is a book for parents. You don’t even have to know how to play chess to use it. It will teach you and your child together! Or if you already know how to play, it will show you how to explain and teach the game to your child in a way that he or she will understand, with minimum frustration and plenty of bonding time. I love how this book anticipates any problems you might have through its “Troubleshooting Tips.” Sidebars labeled “Coffee Talk” and “Coach’s Corner” focus on extra stories and techniques learned from the authors’ years of experience in teaching chess to children.

I had already started teaching chess to my eight-year-old twins before I had this book, but it has been an excellent resource for helping me to better explain chess concepts to my kids, brush up on my knowledge, minimize impatience, and more. One of my sons has even expressed an interest in joining the kids’ chess club at our local library! Oftentimes, we’ll look through the diagrams in the book together. My boys are very excited that they’re mastering the concepts in the book!

Studies have shown that playing chess builds children’s self-confidence, gives them problem-solving skills, helps them to think ahead and use strategy, improves concentration, and much more. Best of all, it’s a game that parents and kids can do together. I encourage you to pick up a chess board and a copy of Chess Is Child’s Play, and get started in learning a game that you’ll both enjoy for a lifetime! Learn more at


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. All comments are moderated and will go live after approval.