Spark your kids’ imaginations by finding them the best chess set for kids that piques their interest, combining games, fantasy, and fun with practical learning.
Playing chess is one of the few board games that come with proven benefits for children. It’s been shown to improve memory, stimulate practical thinking, encourage thoughtful strategy planning, and boost mathematical skills. All things that help to build important life skills.
We’ve hunted down some of the most fun, educational, and interactive chess sets that you and your youngster will love.
3 Best Chess Sets For Younger Kids
Story Time Chess Set (Best For Teaching)
- CHESS IS EDUCATIONAL - The game of chess has been found time and time again to be immensely beneficial to developing young minds. Chess has been shown to increase test scores, improve critical thinking, and help children problem solve and plan ahead. Teaching the game of chess to younger children has always been challenging. STORY TIME CHESS™ makes the game of chess come alive, and the rules and strategy of the game are woven through fun and engaging stories.
- FUN STORIES & CHARACTERS - STORY TIME CHESS™ centers around custom chess pieces and a beautifully crafted storybook, drawn by the award winning former Disney illustrator Ryan Terry. Each chess piece has a unique story and purpose and is quirky character that becomes a part of the game. Learn about King Chomper and how he moves about his kingdom. See how Queen Bella rules her subjects and makes friends with the other characters. Children learn the concepts of chess in a fun way!
- DUAL-SIDED & DUAL PURPOSED - Our custom chess pieces and chess board are also dual-sided, meaning they can also be used for regular chess or tournament play. The chess pieces are well crafted and the STORY TIME CHESS™ character pieces slide in and out of the regulation chess pieces to enable quick conversion to a regulation chess set. As your child grows and learns the concepts of chess through STORY TIME CHESS™ you will be able to allow regulation play at their current level.
- OVER 30 MINI GAMES FOR FURTHER LEARNING - STORY TIME CHESS™ includes over 30 mini games that enhance the journey as your child learns the various moves and strategies of chess, and they are all designed in a fun an engaging way. Learn how King Chomper moves the way he does, the places he can go, and the fun he can have there. There is also an included card game that explains the use of every piece and how they all contribute to the strategy of how to win at chess.
Chess Armory has been making wooden chess sets for everyone, from beginners to more seasoned players, for decades.
This traditional set is made of smooth inlaid walnut and comes with standard Staunton-style chessmen.
Each piece is handcrafted and polished with a felted bottom to stop the pieces from scratching on the board.
The board itself is one of the biggest highlights of this set. It folds in half for easy storage of the chessmen.
The set also comes in a bigger 17-inch alternative, and a 15-inch set with magnetic pieces. The magnetic set coupled with the folding board and in-board storage make for a great option if you don’t want to buy an extra set just for travel.
- Suitable for all players
- Staunton-style pieces
- Felt-bottomed chess pieces
- Easy in-board storage
- Fold-in board can make for awkward play
USAOPOLY Super Mario Brothers Chess Set (Best For Travel)
Mario, Luigi, and the other Mario Bro’s characters duck and jump in this colorful and interactive version of the timeless video game.
The high-quality pieces are easy for them to grip, with a smooth board that allows for easy movement. It’s ideal for kids 7 and up. We love this set because the folding board makes it easy to bring along on your travels. Help them level up their positive competitiveness, wherever they are.
- Foldable board
- Reasonably priced
- Great way to limit screen-time
- Pieces are non-magnetic
Megachess Light-up Plastic Giant Chess Set (Best Novelty)
Looking for the wow factor? This will surely get your guests talking. This giant light-up chess game is fun for the whole family.
Oversized chess pieces that glow in the dark? We’re sold.
This rugged outdoor Megachess set has giant plastic pieces that range in height from 16-inch pawns to 25-inch kings. It’s made from durable high-density polyethylene and is able to withstand all types of weather.
The pieces have powerful 3-watt LED lights powered by 9-volt batteries that can glow continuously for 3 days. You can choose between red, blue, green or white light.
Kids feel part of the game with the big pieces, and it gets them out of the house (willingly) while learning this brain-stimulating game at the same time.
- High durability in all weather conditions
- Heaviest piece is 2.75 pounds
- Doubles as garden decor
- Only the white side glows
- Board is sold separately
3 Best Chess Sets For Older Kids
Noble Collection Final Challenge Chess Set (Best For Bookworms)
- The 32 chess pieces are made to exact detail and measure from 2 1/2" to 5 1/2" in height
- Authentic movie replica crafted by The Noble Collection
- As seen in the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hogwarts comes to life on this beautifully crafted Harry Potter wizard chess set, with detailed figurines based on the movie characters. This set allows your kids’ imaginations to go wild while firing up critical thinking and strategy to outmaneuver the bad guys and be the hero.
A popular choice amongst Sorcerer’s Stone fans, this chess set from The Noble Collection is made up of 2 by 4-inch plastic figurines, with an 18.5-inch square chessboard. It’s officially licensed by the Warner Brothers (so you know it’s the real deal) and includes 32 chess pieces, the board, and two drawstring pouches.
Get anyone 12 years and older away from the TV or computer screen and still enjoy the fantasy world’s favorite form of entertainment: wizard chess.
- Realistic game pieces
- Pouches keep opposing chess sets separate
- Sturdy chessboard
- Small parts are a choking hazard
- Chess pieces are top-heavy
Wood Expressions Basketball Chess Set (Best For Sporty Kids)
Bring that basketball court strategy to the board, turning ball fakes, back door cuts, and clearouts into en passant, gambits, and forks.
This Wood Expressions Basketball chess set is a fantastic game for youngsters who love basketball and the planning skills that go into each match. Hand-painted polystone chess pieces on a wooden chess set create the game vibe with their cool retro feel, and basketball court markings really help to “get your head in the game.”
Adding to the basketball theme are rooks shaped like basketballs, with felt-bottomed bases that resemble a portion of the basketball net. There are also basketball court markings on the board, as well as painted basketballs in the corners.
All the pieces are red and blue and are all crafted to look like basketball players. The finishing touch has to be the cheerleading queen. The king is 4 inches tall with a 1.5-inch base.
Challenge your youngster to a game and relive your glory days.
- Colorful and fun chess pieces
- Felt bottoms for better grip
- Weighted pieces don’t fall over
- No chess bags
ThinkFun Brain Fitness Solitaire Chess (Best For Solo Play)
- Features an 80 challenge booklet with solutions and solid Ten Chess Pieces
- Four levels of play; from beginner to expert
- Improves logical deduction, spatial reasoning and critical thinking
- Play 15 minutes a day for a healthier brain
- English (Publication Language)
There aren’t always adults around to play chess with, so Brain Fitness Solitaire Chess allows kids to still enjoy the game, solo.
A booklet with 80 challenges gives players hours of fun and a robust brain workout. The rules of traditional chess are combined with peg solitaire (one player moving “pegs” on a game board).
Instructions and solutions in the book help them navigate their way through the world’s deepest-thinking game.
- Allows for solo play
- Enhances logical thinking
- For beginners and more seasoned players
- Low replay value
Chess is an incredible game to help kids with problem-solving, creative thinking, and concentration. Even mathematical skills are honed through notation and strategic planning.
There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing a chess set for your child. But do consider choosing a chess set that aligns with something that interests them and brings fun and imagination into the game.
Even better if it’s a game that you can play with your kids. Because quality time, including over chessboards, is the best investment you can make.