Chess is all about strategy, and as advanced as this game may seem, individuals of all ages can have fun learning how to play and competing against each other. In fact, chess is so popular that an estimated 70% of the adult population has played at some point in their lives. And most of them had their introduction to the game as children.
Whether your child loves to play chess, is interested in the game, or wants to learn a new skill this summer, chess camp can be the perfect place for them. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other benefits kids can experience from learning chess.
Benefits of Chess for Youth Development
Chess, more so than other games, can positively affect a child’s development by challenging their mind and helping teach them new, transferable skills. Here are just a few of the benefits of chess your child may experience after a summer at chess camp.
Improve Problem-Solving Skills
The game of chess is ultimately about problem-solving and foresight. As kids learn the rules of the game and apply them during matches, they enhance what Healthline describes as fluid intelligence. This is the ability to consider new kinds of problems and use reasoning to solve them as they arise.
Kids can also utilize these problem-solving skills in the classroom as they work to tackle changing variables in different subjects.
Enhances Reading and Math Abilities
Time and time again, chess has also been proven to help kids improve their reading and math comprehension. The Parents Network highlighted a 1996 study as a prime example of this, explaining that students who played chess scored approximately 10 percentage points higher on reading than their peers who didn’t. A similar study a year later also found that students who played chess scored 6.4 points higher on math tests than students who did not play chess.
These abilities translate directly into the classroom where improved reading and math skills can directly benefit a child’s grades.
Boosts Concentration and Memory
Chess requires children to be mentally sharp as they watch the game unfold and plot their next moves. Concentration and memory go hand in hand, and in order to become strategic players, kids must learn how to focus on the game completely. This naturally improves their concentration and memorization abilities. Just as they may visualize the board during a match, kids can also visualize complex math problems at school. Similarly, the improved concentration that is required to remember past games and strategies can help kids better retain information taught in the classroom.
A chess match typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes, but they have been known to span upwards of six hours or more among professionals. All of this is to say that, while speed chess does exist, it doesn’t have a reputation for being a quick game. When playing chess, kids learn the value of being patient as they take their time to make important moves. This skill can also help them in their daily lives, whether it’s waiting in line for their turn or having to sit patiently in class as others finish up a test.
Fosters Creativity and Critical Thinking
You may not consider chess to be the most creative game, but it does help foster originality. Whitby explained that to defeat an opponent, a chess player must become a creative thinker. Since each match is different, they will need to imagine what will happen with each possible move on the board and come up with new, creative strategies in the moment. This requires the perfect combination of creativity and critical thinking that can also help kids in real-world scenarios.
Consider Chess Camp For Your Child
Summer at Buckingham Browne & Nichols Schools offers students of all ages an opportunity to explore academic pursuits and passions, including chess, through specialized summer camp programs.
Our Chess Camp is offered for students in grades 4 through 7 who are interested in learning how to play this strategic game or hone their existing skills. Three-week sessions are broken down by skill level, and each is taught by an experienced Chess Master and United States Chess League member. This camp is sure to help your child improve their chess knowledge and capabilities along with sharpening these other transferable skills all while making new friends! Contact our team today to learn more about our chess summer camp programs for children of all ages.