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If Your Kid Plays Chess Or Wants To, Check These Gifts Out

Game on with gifts to introduce your kid to the Gambit with games of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck.

Megan Baldwin and Sarah Burns

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Blame it on Netflix, but chess is coming out of the game closet and having a moment. And if The Queen’s Gambit has taught us anything, it’s that boredom plus lots of free time to practice can equal a kid prodigy. It might also help if you have a coach in your basement. Whether your kid is already hooked on the rook or just learning the basics, we’ve put together a shortlist of gifts for your little chess lover. From fresh sets to books and accessories, here’s a few gifts that will introduce your kid to the gambit.

1. Clack Board Game

Clack Board Game


Spoiler alert: This is not chess. But for your youngest players, this board game is a great way to start building simple gameplay skills like matching, memorizing, and stacking up points.

2. Ridley's Backgammon

Ridely's Backgammon


Roll the dice, and try your luck with one of the world’s oldest board games! Boasting a 5,000 year history, Backgammon has delighted strategists and chance takers for hundreds of generations. Set includes a snazzy, retro design, instructions, and everything you need to start playing your new game-night go-to.

3. Animal Mah-jong

Animal Mah-Jong 2

Laurence King Publishing

Brilliant games of strategy aren’t all black and white. Mah-jong is a classic Chinese tile game, and this unique set features a stylish update; each of the suits are beautifully illustrated with Asian animals of the land, air, and sea. Channel the fierce tiger, and wait to pounce on the tile you’re looking for when the moment is right – then go ahead and strut your tail feathers when you win!

4. Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game


Credit: Ravensburger

Princes and princesses are okay, but things only start getting good the moment the villain makes the scene! Choose your token, and play as one of six classic bad guys from the incomparable House of the Mouse. Strategy and Fate will lead you around the board  to ruin lives, and commit the most dastardly of Disney deeds!

5. Make Your Own Mondrian

Make Your Own Mondrian

Henry Carroll

Playing engaging, creative, mind-exercising games can create a feeling of what’s commonly referred to as “getting in the flow”. It’s a state in which a person is so involved in the task at hand, it can feel almost like the task is effortless, or that the person performing the task is doing so in the most optimal way. Perception of time becomes distorted, background sounds seem to fade away, and we just kind of… go with it. Creative and meditative, use these tiles to get in the flow by practicing your sense of spatial awareness, and color balance – and maybe even a little balance of your own.

6. Tenzi Dice Assorted Colors


Fans of games, strategy, and chance will flock to this simple to learn, fun to play dice game. Choose your color, and get to rolling! The objective is to get all your dice to the same number. Two of the same? Set ’em aside, and keep rolling till you get all ten. Keep your cool, count well, and roll as fast as you can!