In the early stages of children's cognitive development it is ideal that we stimulate them in the development of qualities that will be fundamental to them in life. Such as the capacity for analysis, concentration, critical thinking, logical thinking, problem solving, and even handling defeat as a natural event to which we are always exposed and from which valuable lessons and learning are drawn.
Chess, without a doubt, is a game that is capable of instructing children in these skills, but best of all, you can achieve it through a game, it also allows you to share pleasant, fun and quality.
But what is the ideal age to introduce your children to this game?
A splendid age to start encouraging your little ones to play chess is between 4 and 7 years old, since children generally highlight their imaginary and intuitive thinking at this age. Your young children have an enormous capacity for learning during these first years of their lives, which allows them to easily acquire many skills and abilities.
Some experts say it's ideal to teach them before children start school.
An advantage in the early stage is that to learn the game board, the pieces and the basic rules are not difficult and do not require skills such as reading or math.
How can you teach them to play chess?
One way to start motivating them is through creativity, it can be through the project of building their own chessboard and their pieces, in this way they will not only be able to become familiar with the structure of the board, but also they will also be able to know each of the pieces that make up the game.
But if they don't want to build it, you can also choose to buy a board that is ready to start playing, in this case it is ideal that you select one that has large, well-defined, differentiable and resistant pieces, in this way you can show all the nuances of the board and the pieces,
Let them draw on a piece of paper the movements that each tile can perform, illustrating it will allow your child to identify it more easily.
If you are a player of this game, remember that children usually learn at their own pace, therefore, do not try to pressure their learning, it should flow in a natural and fun way, and of course like any learning area with children requires patience and dedication.
You could structure the game like this:
- Let them know and explore the chessboard, the board is an 8x8 grid in which light and dark colors alternate, you could create by marking the horizontal squares at the top from 1 to 8 and the vertical squares that go down down from there.
- Let them identify each piece, learning their names may be a slow process (although you can never underestimate the retention of your little ones), however, you can teach them the pieces by comparing them with figures familiar to them, for example, towers are usually be shaped like castles.
- That they associate each piece with a specific movement, for this they can come up with drawing each piece with the type of movement that it can perform.
- Practice, a lot of practice, the more times you practice with your little one the better, in this way your child will be able to become familiar with the movements of each piece. You can make it easier for him to practice by making special games. For example, build a game of pawns, with the aim of taking the pawns to the other side of the board, so that when your child identifies this piece and his movements, you can incorporate other pieces until the board is completed.
Some advantages you get from teaching your child to play chess
- Chess increases your children's IQ, scientific studies have shown that children can significantly increase their IQ by incorporating the game of chess into their activities
- This game is a universal language that you can share even without the need to communicate verbally.
- Chess improves spatial skills as it develops the ability to mentally make moves to design moves.
- Allows you to exercise both sides of the brain, a German scientific study managed to identify that during a game of chess both hemispheres of the brain enhance their activity and interconnection.
- Helps increase your child's creativity, logic, critical thinking, as this game invites your child to design possible scenarios for each type of play in his mind.
- Improves your child's ability to concentrate and memory.
- It favors the growth and capacity of memory, since it requires the development of the ability to remember the moves of your opponent to predict their movements, even some scientific evidence has shown that chess helps in the prevention of degenerative diseases of the memory as is the case with Alzheimer's in older adults.
- Helps develop children's problem-solving skills.
- It favors the growth of dendrites, (tree-shaped branches that conduct signals from other neuronal cells to the neurons to which they are attached).
- Improves math and reading, some scientific studies have shown the need for children to use cognitive processes such as decoding, analysis, thinking and understanding, which are skills necessary for reading, so that your playing chess helps children greatly improve their reading skills.
- Helps develop the ability to solve complex problems through the need to improvise in the face of obstacles that may arise during a game.
Encouraging your little ones to play chess is a way to stimulate their intellectual development process.There is much evidence to support the benefits of incorporating activities into children's routines. Our mind and body need exercise and recreation as a way to stay in top condition, and chess is one of the best ways for children and even adults to achieve this.