Artwork by the talented Mike Magnan

Lessons from Chess
Jody Kerzman

NBC TV – Bismarck, ND

Sorry, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders are some of the most popular board games for kids. But while those might be the most popular, don`t think your preschooler can`t handle something a little more complex. Many four and five year olds are able to understand games like checkers. Jody Kerzman`s son, Jacob, is one of those kids. So recently, Jody got Jacob a new game, one she doesn`t even know how to play.

Jody says Jake has always loved puzzles and board games. When he mastered the game of checkers earlier this year, grandpa decided his fifth birthday was the perfect time to introduce the game of chess.

Now, just three weeks later, he`s already mastered that game, too. Playing chess is helping Jake develop some very important life skills. On this day, Jake explains the rules of chess to child development expert Bridget Martel. Bridget explains why learning chess is so good for kids Jake`s age.

“It has children practice their logic and reasoning skills and their problem solving skills. Chess does that. It`s all about logic and reason and making a plan, a decision and developing a strategy,” says Bridget.

Skills that Jake will need for the rest of his life, because life is full of decisions and problems.

“When you have a problem you have a variety of solutions. You could give up, pass it onto someone or solve the problem in a variety of ways. Each solution has a reaction, whether it`s a consequence or the right answer to solve your problem,” explains Bridget.

And remember, winning isn`t everything. Kids can learn a lot from losing. Bridget says parents shouldn`t let kids win all the time. Kids need to know what it feels like to not be successful. It`s a feeling Jake experienced in this game. Jake realized he was trapped, even before his opponent did.

“If I move here, you`ll get me like this. If I move here, you`ll get me like this,” says Jake.

So while he lost the game, he`s already a winner in a much bigger game: the game of life.

The entire article can be read here.
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