The benefits of playing chess in childhood

September 17th 2021
Ealing Broadway

As adults, playing chess may seem a bit of a self-indulgent pastime with so much going on and having such busy and hectic lives. But when you consider the wealth of benefits that playing chess can have on a child’s development, it makes sense even as an adult to take some time out to rekindle the passion for it and support your child’s learning at the same time. You never know, you may even find yourself honing your skills against a next generation chess genius!

The Benefits

Learning and playing chess really does have a multitude of benefits. Some of the merits may not be immediately obvious but when given some thought, they really do make perfect sense.

  • Research has shown that playing chess can increase a child’s IQ - Between the ages of 5 and 14 is an extremely important period for a child’s mental growth. Chess may have a positive impact on this.
  • Excellent in helping brain development – Chess players often use both sides of the brain, resulting in the processing of information at a lot faster speed than a non chess player.
  • It helps children be able to see things from another person’s viewpoint - This is particularly important in childhood as it can help in the development of becoming an emphatic person.
  • Encourages decision making skills and logical thinking – Every move in chess requires careful thought and consideration. It also helps develop planning skills. Working out the consequences of making certain moves and planning a different move if the first idea is not suitable is a skill that will enrich any child in later life.
  • Improves memory – This is most likely due to having to memorise their own potential moves and those of their opponents. An excellent memory is often attributed to a higher level of intelligence too.
  • Increases creativity – Research has shown that individuals who play chess have a more developed ability to interpret patterns and come up with alternative uses for common items.
  • Naturally encourages contemplation - In today’s fast-moving world this can only have a positive impact on mental health.
  • It may help in treating ADHD - A 2016 study involving 100 school age children with ADHD found a 41% decrease in over activity and inattentiveness (source: scientific & academic publishing 2016).

There are so many reasons why it is beneficial for your child to learn how to play chess. All of the skills that chess inadvertently teaches are essential skills for everyday life. Why not introduce your child to the game and see how they get on?

If you have child who you think would benefit from learning how to play chess, we have our very own Chess Academy here at Kidz#1, making it even easier for you to support and encourage your child.

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