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Chess and Early Years Skills

One of the presentations at the recent Chess: A Game to be Spread in Schools, conference focused on Chess and Early Years Skills.  FIDE in association with Alfiere Bianco and the Erasmus+ CASTLE project developed an early version of this methodology. The Erasmus+ presentation offered insights into the next stage of the program’s development which includes teachers who can train other teachers.

A brief description of this methodology highlights its uniqueness. “EYS uses psychomotor development classes on a giant chessboard. Children are the central figures in developmental game playing, developing their sensory-motor capacity by requiring the use of active intelligence in a social setting.”

“The lessons take place in an exclusive and protected space: the GIANT chessboard. Experience shows that this becomes a magical experience for kids – a bridge between reality and imagination. Carefully structured game activities heighten children’s self-esteem as well as providing a unique opportunity to build relationships with companions based on loyalty, responsibility and partnership.”

Consider this program a form of “pre-chess” preparation while developing important developmental skills. Rather than playing chess, students learn important psychomotor, language, and social skills at the pre-school and primary school level. Finally, the hands-on activities engage students which is crucial to the program’s success.

Goals of the instruction include:

  • gain command of lateral space and movement to improve time-space organization.
  • learn and experiment with single directions – vertical (forward and backwards); horizontal (right and left); diagonal and directions in combination.
  • learn letters and numbers through psychomotor experience.
  • acquisition of an innate understanding of the alphanumeric coordinates of the chessboard.
  • learn and experiment with different rhythms.
  • improve the capacity to concentrate and react to given stimuli.

Watch videos illustrating chess and Early Years Skills’ activities and discover a more detailed description of the program’s objectives here.

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