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Story Time Chess Game Review by Lisa Tanner

Story Time Chess

Do you think your child is too young to start learning how to play chess? With Story Time Chess, you just may be surprised. It is designed for children age three and up and is very age-appropriate for young learners.

Since it can be used for years to come, this $64.99 game is a wonderful investment for your homeschool. It is remarkably high quality, and the pieces hold up well, even when played with by rambunctious children.

In the game box, you will find several different components that allow you to play both Story Time Chess and regular chess. There is a thick reversible board. On one side, you will find a traditional chessboard marked with letters and numbers. The other side features a special storyboard. These squares are all covered in grass, and there are character images to help younger children remember where to put each piece.

Also included are the chess pieces you need. They are large and sturdy, so little hands can successfully move them. On each piece, there is a little holder. This is meant to turn your standard chess pieces into fun characters.

The character cutouts are thick and durable. They are colorful and engaging for children to look at. As you slide one into each holder, your children will be able to distinguish between each piece more easily.

There is also a storybook. This is the heart of the teaching portion. Each chapter focuses on one piece of the game. It is very silly, and if you use voices when reading it, your children are sure to enjoy the experience even more. As you read, you will teach your children about the game of chess and help them remember how the pieces move.

For instance, in chapter one of the story, you learn that one of the kings moves very slowly because he loves to eat. Since he is so slow, he can only go one step at a time. The other king fears everything, but he must face his fears when he accidentally drops his precious jewels out of the castle window. But, since he is so scared, he goes super slow to retrieve them. One step at a time.

There are fun stories like this for each piece of the game. Because it is so memorable, it is easier for children to remember.

After reading each chapter, you will discover exercises and mini-games to help your child make the connection between the storybook and the game. The easy to follow directions for each of these makes them simple to learn and complete.

When you finish the first eight chapters, you and your child will know all about the pieces. The last chapter allows you to put all this knowledge together in a different kind of game. It encourages your children to use all the pieces and try to remember how they each move.

This game is called the Crown Card Game. It uses a combination of the story side of the chessboard and an additional, smaller board. There are cards and tokens. To win, your child needs to collect five tokens. To earn a token, your child must draw a card and complete the objective printed on it. My younger children had a lot of fun with this extra game.

They also thought it was a fun story. They often would talk about the characters on their own, and even did some free playing. It was fun to watch them learn more about chess in the process.

While my older children did not appreciate the extra components as much as my younger children did, they still sat down and played regular chess with this set multiple times. They liked the shape and feel of the pieces.

If you are looking for a unique chess set that can be used by your entire family, and help your younger children learn how to play, I highly recommend Story Time Chess.  

-Product review by Lisa Tanner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2020