Moms and dads have often wondered whether or not the chess sets they see for sale would make a great gift for their child–but the wondering is over. Studies and plenty of research has shown that there are numerous developmental benefits of learning chess, ranging from social benefits to cognitive benefits that can help children in school and in real life for years to come. In fact, childhood is the best age to learn chess, since developing minds will be able to grasp the rules and nuances of the game easier and faster than older players. The following are the most notable developmental benefits of chess.
Chess improves problem solving skills
Problem solving skills are an essential skill for children to learn. Excellent problem solving skills will help children in school as well as real life, extending all the way through adulthood. Chess requires the use of problem solving to understand and follow strategies, as well as to play with opponents and react to their own moves and strategies in real time.
Chess improves memory
Children’s brains are always rapidly developing and growing, and one of the best cognitive benefits of chess during this crucial developmental stage is an improved memory. Children who regularly play with chess sets will have improved long and short term memory; studies have even shown that regularly playing chess decreases the risk for memory problems later on in life!
Chess improves concentration and patience
In terms of developmental abilities, patience concentration are two of the most difficult to foster in children–especially in today’s fast-paced, instant gratification filled world. Chess, however, encourages children to focus on the chess game at hand. Over time, this improves their overall ability to concentrate, which will benefit them both in and outside of school. It will also improve their cognitive ability to be patient as they wait for opponents to make their move and as they wait for the fruits of their labor (or rather, their strategy) to pay off.
Chess helps social skills
Social skills are crucial during a child’s developmental phase, and any activities which improve socialization are definitely something children should be participating in. Regularly playing with chess sets with other players–both for fun and in a tournament setting–will help children interact with others in a more positive way. Children who play chess with others will learn how to win or lose gracefully, which is an essential developmental skill that will help them navigate interacting with others at an early age.
There are many developmental benefits to playing with chess sets. The best age to learn chess is early on, when children’s minds are rapidly developing and absorbing as much as they can from the world around them. Children who play chess are more likely to have a successful developmental stage with a host of benefits–ranging from improved concentration to better social skills and more–when compared to children who don’t regularly play chess with others.