5 Reasons Why Your Child Should Play Chess
There are some very common hobbies and sport activities many children share. They play soccer, go to gymnastic classes or play a musical instrument. In general, it’s highly important that kids try out as many activities as possible from a very young age to find the ones that suit them best. One of the lesser-known activities many parents forget to consider is chess. In the following article, we’re going to present 5 reasons why your child should play chess.
For a long time, chess didn’t have the best image. It was considered to be a game played by old men with big thick glasses, having cigarettes in their mouths and sitting in small dark chambers. Today, however, this picture has changed. More and more young people with various hobbies like to play chess. Many schools offer chess classes and there are plenty of chess tournaments for people of all ages.
Chess is awesome! It promotes skills that can be applied to a huge variety of real-life situations. Moreover, the rules are easy to teach to children and chess can be played nearly everywhere. Not only can chess be great fun but it can also be extremely beneficial to children. When they are young and see adults playing chess, they are curious to learn more about the game of kings and queens.
The best part of all the benefits of playing chess as a hobby is that they flow to you naturally. You don’t have to study the game exhaustively to reap the benefits, like you might do for a test in school or university. Your kids simply play a game of chess (like they play other games) and have fun.
1) Chess Pumps up Brain Power
Just as a soccer player has to train the leg muscles to become faster and to be in good shape, a chess player needs to train their most important “tool” which enables them to achieve great results – the brain. We can think of our brain as a muscle. If we don’t use our biceps that often, it won’t be too strong. Consequently, if you don’t regularly use your brain to solve challenging tasks, you won’t be mentally fit. Top chess grandmasters recognize the need to keep their brain in peak condition. We see the first reason why your child should play chess is that it’s a mental workout.
One great benefit is that brain power helps your children to perform well in the classroom at school. If your kids play chess, they will be used to sitting for a longer period of time and think about a problem, skills that can prove very beneficial at school. As there aren’t endless games that are not only fun but also help the thinking skills, chess is a great choice. On top of that, chess improves the ability to memorize things. Children have to remember how the pieces move, which strategies are good, which opening moves make sense, which don’t, and so on.
2) Chess Improves Social Skills
The chess rules dictate that chess players ought to shake hands before the game, treat their opponent respectfully by not overtly distracting them, and the losing player shouldn’t tip the board upside down and storm off in disgust (however strong the urge). This shows that there are many social attributes to the game, too. Children learn to respect others, and to be disciplined in terms of being reasonably silent.
3) Chess Improves Strategical Thinking
In order to fulfil larger tasks in life, it is always a good idea to have a plan outlining how to achieve your goal step by step. It’s important to take a deep breath and look for a sensible strategy. Chess helps a lot in that respect. Playing chess makes it easier to calm down in challenging situations. During a chess game, you have to figure out many different plans, give up on some of your ideas and look for new ones, being flexible.
In chess, your children learn that if they plan well, they get rewarded and, if they don’t play well they get punished by losing the game. This applies to real life as well. Moreover, chess increases your child’s creativity. In chess, you need to come up with original and creative ideas in order to surprise your opponent with a plan they don’t expect. As kids always want to win the games they play, they’ll think of creative ways to outplay their opponents.
4) Chess is a Sport
One of the reasons why your child should play chess is that chess is a sport. It is a good compensation for sports where children exhaust their body much more. There is no doubt that physical exertion in chess is there (though not easily seen), but at the same time, chess players need to sit calmly at their chair and use their brain. It can be a welcome change for your children to go to a soccer club on Monday and to play chess at home, at school or in the local chess club the next day.
5) Chess Helps you Concentrate
Many children have very short attention spans. They watch plenty of short videos on YouTube or use apps on their parents mobile devices or tablets. This, however, leads to the problem that they soon get bored and switch their activities at rapid pace. When you see chess masters playing, a chess game can take more than six hours! It requires enormous skills to stay focused for such a long period of time, although it’s clear that your the games your children play won’t last that long! Even if they have to concentrate for an hour, it’ll improve their attention span.
Conclusion – Why Your Child Should Play Chess
In essence, there are lots of reasons why chess has a positive impact on children and why your child should play chess. If you agree with our list and think your child could benefit from playing chess, what are you waiting for? You could check out your local area for any chess clubs, for example. As there are a few chess clubs with only adults as members, it’s worth checking out whether your local club has other children at a similar age to yours. You might even enjoy bonding with your children over the board yourself!
Moreover, chess is featured in the school system more and more. You can have a look if your child’s school offers an opportunity to learn chess in the afternoons. There are two strong advantages to playing chess at school. Firstly, your kids will definitely meet a lot of other kids their age and on the same level. Secondly, chess groups at school are usually free which saves you a lot of money.