These 12 kid-friendly chess sets (from just £9.99) are the perfect way to introduce kids to the nation's favourite board game

Want to teach your child how to play the most popular board game of all time? Then you'll need one of these kid-friendly chess sets

(Image credit: Future)

Dating back to the fifteenth century, chess is a board game with real staying power. But while it might seem like a complicated and serious game for adults only, it's actually a great one for kids, especially with a whole host of kid-friendly chess sets available.

While chess has been revealed as the nation's favourite board game, it's also widely regarded as the most popular board game of all time, there are benefits to board games in general, especially as an alternative to computer games, as game show host Stephen Mulhern told us.

Whether you want to learn how to play chess as a family, or want to teach your children to play in the same way you were taught when you were younger, then you'll need to get your little humans on board too. But if they're not instantly thrilled by the idea, then choosing a chess set that appeals to them, with recognisable characters or fun designs is a great way to engage them.

We've found a selection of chess sets that go beyond the norm, to excite tiny minds into learning this classic game of strategy.

Best chess sets for kids

Why chess is a great game to help with your child's development

Chess is a great board game to boost your child's development and teach them valuable life lessons. According to a study into the role of chess in the development of children, 'chess helps children develop their cognitive abilities, their character and their competitive spirit'. The study also found that, according to parents, ' chess helped their children develop positive emotions and helped them overcome negative emotions.'

The study goes on to say 'The game of chess, in particular, creates imaginary contexts because the game is governed by certain rules (for example, each piece can only move in a specific way) and a large number of possibilities for action are excluded. Imaginative play generates learning opportunities that could contribute to the child’s further development.'

'Aside from developing cognitive skills, chess also develops children’s social skills. A benefit for children of playing games with rules consists in developing social aspects, such as taking turns, learning fair play, self-respect and respect for others, understanding others’ perspectives, and developing empathy.'

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Sarah Handley
Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor and is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around childcare costs, child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language.