Story Time Chess Review

Timberdoodle is offering Story Time Chess as part of its new 2020-2021 curriculum rollout. The game promises that children as young as 3 will learn how to play the classic game – no experience required from either adults or children. I received the game in exchange for an honest review.

About Story Time Chess

Story Time Chess includes instructions for playing the Story Time Chess version, Standard Chess instructions, a storybook to play through, a double-sided chessboard, 32 character cutouts, 1 set of custom chess pieces, 30 crown tokens, 1 crown card game mat, and 30 crown cards. The game retails for $60, but is available currently for $54.95 on the Timberdoodle website.

With a beginner – I played a little with my 2, almost 3-year-old, you begin with chapter one of the storybook. Read the story of King Chomper, and play through the exercises where you move him. This teaches children how the individual piece moves and prepares them for the next step. We had fun reading the story and practicing with the three exercises to gather all the pizza tokens. Once you finish playing through each exercise, the book reminds you to shake hands with each other – encouraging good sportspersonship from the beginning.

Once you’ve played through chapter 1, you can play through each of the other chapters – learning how each piece moves as you go, and learning the different rules of chess. It’s a lot of fun – and makes for a great curriculum. I could see this not only being useful for a homeschooling family looking for a way to use chess to help with critical thinking skills, but this would be a great resource for co-ops wanting to put together a chess club.

What shocked me the most in reviewing Story Time Chess was how easily my 2-year-old picked up the rules. Granted, she enjoys playing other games like Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, and Don’t Break the Ice, and she also will be 3 in a month, but she loved the characters, the colors, and the storytelling. The only reason I don’t have photos of her with the game in session is that she’s decided that while we’re all hanging out at home she’s completely abandoning the social convention of wearing clothing!

I can’t wait to play Story Time Chess more with her and introduce my 4-year-old and 6-year-old to the game. I’ve always enjoyed playing chess – my older brother taught me how to play and it quickly became a favorite – and my oldest was in the chess club at his junior high and high school. It’s definitely a fun way to learn to play chess and sharpen those critical thinking skills.

Gameschooling – the practice of playing board games as part of a well-rounded homeschooling curriculum has been picking up momentum. I personally prefer this practice to the practice of using apps to gamify concepts, and I would strongly recommend that this product make its way into your game cabinet.