Teaching Toddlers Chess

I’ve just started teaching my kids, Cece (just turned 5) and Daniel (almost 3), to play chess. I decided to teach them after seeing how much Cece enjoyed an impromptu game of chess with her grandfather, (“Bito”).

I didn’t expect Daniel to take to anything that required sitting and following instructions, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Mommy’s attention is at a premium these days, and apparently it’s worth sitting for.

To keep things simple, we’re starting with just the pawns.



After about 6 games, I’ve set these goals:

Cece (5yrs):


  1. Learn that losing at chess is good (and not something to get upset about), because you learn more when you lose than when you win
  2. Learn to see all the available moves
  3. Learn to think one move ahead

Daniel (almost 3):


  1. Learn to only touch his own pieces, and not to purposely make illegal moves (yes, he does that)
  2. Learn how the pawns move and capture (Very hard to evaluate since he likes to pretend not to know things, just to be able to do the  opposite of what you want him to do)
  3. Learn to love chess, even if it requires following directions

Me (just barely 21–my license has a typo)

  1. Make it fun for everyone, including me

Cece just looked over my shoulder and asked,

“Why are you writing about ‘Teaching Toddlers Chess’? Oooh, look! My name! What are you writing about me?”

I should not have taught that child to read.


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