This game is a gambit we’re betting you’ll like! | Source: Story Time Chess/The Toy Insider

Once a pawn a time, there was a game that taught kids how to play chess through stories.

That game is Story Time Chess from Thinking Cup Games. Story Time Chess introduces children ages 3 and up to the rules and strategies behind playing chess. But rather than reading a how-to manual, this award-winning game gets kids to learn chess through stories that feature beautiful illustrations and silly characters, like King Shaky from Chesslandia, who moves “one slow step at a time” because he is afraid of everything.

And the game is built to advance with kids as they sharpen their chess skills. The set comes with a double-sided chessboard, which features a story side, and a standard side. The story side features custom character chess pieces and thirty minigames that let kids practice how each piece moves in a fun, memorable way; the standard side is for traditional play when your family no longer needs the character reminders.

Expansion packs check all the boxes! | Source: Story Time Chess/The Toy Insider

But as any good chess player will tell you, there are always ways to further your strategy. For kids who are ready to take their game to the next level, there are new Story Time Chess expansion packs to teach kids additional chess skills. The Level Two expansion pack shares strategies, and the Level Three expansion set teaches tactics through additional mini-games, characters, puzzles, activities, and coloring workbooks. Just note that you do need the original Story Time Chess set to use the expansion packs.

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Chess is a tough game — plenty of grownups have trouble mastering the art, but Story Time Chess simultaneously makes chess fun and understandable. Since chess teaches kids critical thinking, problem-solving, social skills, and good sportsmanship, it is a great game to introduce at a young age, and Story Time Chess is the perfect, accessible tool to do so. And while these sets are meant for kids ages 3 and up, it’s never too late to learn.

Rook no further! Make Story Time Chess your next game knight activity!

About the author

Bill Reese

Bill Reese

Bill Reese is Business Operations Manager at Adventure Media & Events, where he's worked since 2014. A former editor at Playbill and graduate of SUNY–Purchase, he spends most weekends rooting for the New York Red Bulls pro soccer team and making subway systems out of Brio trains with his little boy Jonah.