Chess is THE game of choice with the youngest giggly girl. She has played for years and loves it. She was excited to participate in the review of Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox. The game of chess is exciting and strategic and challenging. All of this is still found in Fun Family Chess, even though they make it simple to learn.
Fun Family Chess is the brain child of the family owned company Brain Blox. They are a small company that creates and sells ingenious educational toys for families. With the mission of helping families become more intentional and more conscientious, their product bring families together. Meaningful play strengthens family bonds and strengthens children’s brains and thinking processes. A Win-Win mission.
Fun Family Chess is a beautiful chess set for students. It is designed to be played in two different ways. You can use this set to play traditional chess but you can also use it with the Fun Family rules which help teach even very young children how to play chess.
The set includes a beautiful black and white board that folds in half and has claps on the outside to lock it closed for safe and easy storage.
When it is opened, the undersides are lined with black velvety cloth and have cavities for storing the other pieces of the game. There are some cards, instructions, a die, and two black, drawstring bags for storing the pieces. The black and white pieces, each in their own bag, are made of painted wood and the bottoms are covered with cloth to keep them from scratching the playing board.
Fun Family Chess begins with setting up the board. The instruction booklet gets you set up and started. There are two cards printed on thick cardstock that have examples of how each piece can move. There is also a die with shapes on it to indicate each of the pieces. To play Fun Family Chess, you roll the die. You then move whatever chess piece is indicated by the roll, referencing the card as needed. Take a look at this video by Brain Blox to learn more.
This simplified version of chess really helps novice players learn the moves for each of the different chess pieces. As the player learns, they also pick up on strategies for how to move those pieces to their best advantage. Move by move and piece by piece, the game of chess is learned without the stress of having to know it all right now, right away. That is brilliant!
Chess can be very intimidating because the smartest people play the game, right? Fun Family Chess has definitely taken away that intimidation factor and proven that anyone can learn the game.
Once a player feels pretty comfortable with playing the game using the die, that can just be set aside and the traditional style of chess playing can commence. There is little difference in the actual use of the pieces for moving from the Fun Family Chess to traditional chess. The main difference is that the players have to now decide which piece to move each time. However, moving into traditional chess means that check and check-mate are now in play for the game. This is where students get excited. After all, they have now learned how to play the game of chess, the game so many people are intimidated by. But the students know how. They are no longer intimidated.
The YouTube channel for Brain Blox includes several other videos to help you play Fun Family Chess and advance on to standard chess play.
While Miss J knew how to play chess before receiving this game, her skills have greatly increased in the weeks we have used this. She insisted on learning to play using the die and played with it that way quite a bit. She even was able to play herself using the die since she didn’t have to make nearly the number of strategic decisions. It really strengthened her knowledge of each of the pieces and gave her confidence in her move choices. So while she did not need the Fun Family Chess version to start learning with, it has been a great advantage for her to learn and strengthen her knowledge. A definite recommend!
And check out our review of another of this company’s great products – the Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks.
Lori, At Home.
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