Chess is typically thought of as a calculated game of logic and reasoning, however it’s also a game that encourages creativity and creative thinking. When you play chess you start by learning the basics – how to set up the board, how each piece moves and captures, and how to checkmate. Eventually players learn more creative advanced strategies, and the more developed these creative skills become, the more of an advantage the player has.
In a physical sense, chess is just a board with 64 squares and a bunch of pieces, but with creativity and imagination, the game is brought to life!
So how does chess improve creativity? For one, chess encourages players to use their imagination. A player must have a vision in order to find a path to victory - actively imagining what the other player will do next, and creatively coming up with ways to beat them. Chess also helps players develop creativity by helping them see patterns. When a player spends time studying chess, they begin to see creative sequences for the many possibilities that exist on the board. This is when new and creative plays are learned, adapted, and discovered.
When a player is able to balance strategic thinking and reasoning, with creativity and imagination, their chess skills will undoubtedly grow. And just like the possibilities on the board are endless, so is art. What better way to help your child’s creativity grow then with a combination of the two? Chess art!
Check out some of these fun, chess themed art projects you can work on together at home.
DIY Chess Pieces
Supplies Needed: This can be done with Play Doh or air dry clay, or you can make pieces using dry pasta with glue and paint.
Step-by-Step: Use your supplies to make your own chess pieces. You can make standard shaped pieces with unique colors or patterns, or design an out-of-the-box chess set with shapes of your own creation.
Chess Piece Pop Art
Supplies Needed: White paper, pencil, black sharpie, and paint or markers.
- Fold your sheet of white paper in half horizontally, and then in half again vertically, making 4 equal sized rectangles.
- Using a pencil, draw the same chess piece in each rectangle. Try to make them as similar in size and look as possible.
- Choose 4 colors of paint or markers, and color each chess piece a different color. Using the same 4 colors, color the backgrounds of each rectangle a different color than the chess piece.
Chess Piece Optical Illusion Art
Supplies Needed: White paper, pencil, black sharpie, and a ruler.
- Use a pencil to sketch out your chess piece in the center of your paper.
- Use a ruler to draw straight lines from one side of the paper to the other, skipping over the image you drew in the center.
- Go back to your chess piece shape and make curved lines (like a rainbow) from one side of the image to the other, connecting to the straight lines on either side of the image.
- Go back with your sharpie and trace over your pencil lines.
- Step back, and check out your image “popping” off the paper.
Crystalized Chess Pieces
Supplies Needed: Borax powder, water, string, pipe cleaners, a pencil, and a jar.
- Bend the pipe cleaner into your desired chess piece shape.
- Tie a piece of string onto your pipe cleaner. Tie the other end of the string to the center of the pencil.
- Boil 2 cups of water.
- Stir 8 tablespoons of borax into the water until it dissolves.
- Fill your jar with the borax solution.
- Place your pipe cleaner into the jar. The pencil should stay on the top of the jar to keep the pipe cleaner suspended. Make sure the pipe cleaner isn’t touching the sides of the jar.
- Leave the jar for at least 24 hours so the crystals can grow. When you are ready to remove the crystal, gently tug the string out of the jar.
We would love to see the chess art your child creates. Tag us on Facebook with the image!