Best Chess Set for Kids 8-12: Top Picks for Young Players in 2023

Chess is a classic game that has stood the test of time, providing intellectual stimulation and enjoyment for people of all ages. For kids aged 8-12, learning and playing chess can help develop critical thinking, strategizing, and problem-solving skills that they can carry with them throughout their lives. Introducing a child to the world of chess with a kid-friendly chess set can make the learning process more engaging and enjoyable.

Chess sets for kids come in various styles and designs, with many specifically tailored to be visually appealing and entertaining for younger players. When selecting the best chess set for children aged 8-12, the key factors to consider include size, durability, and level of intricacy. Smaller, lightweight sets are often more suitable for young players, while durable materials like plastic, wood, or silicone can withstand the occasional rough handling without breaking.

It is essential to select a set that is age-appropriate and not overly complex, as intricate designs or small pieces can be both challenging to manage and potentially hazardous. Ideally, a chess set for kids in this age range should feature pieces that are easy to grip, brightly colored or uniquely designed for better differentiation, and large enough to eliminate any choking risk.

After thorough research and consideration of these critical factors, we have identified the top choices for chess sets for kids aged 8-12, making your decision easier and ensuring hours of entertaining, educational playtime.

Best Chess Sets for Kids 8-12

Discover our comprehensive selection of the best chess sets for kids aged 8-12, providing hours of strategic fun and enhancing cognitive skills.

Story Time Chess – 2021 Toy of The Year Award Winner

Story Time Chess Set

An outstanding educational and entertaining chess set, perfect for kids aged 8-12 looking to learn the game with engaging stories and characters.


  • Adventure-based learning with fun stories
  • No prior chess knowledge needed
  • Over 30 mini-games for diverse learning


  • May not cater to advanced players
  • Board size might be small for older kids
  • Only designed for two players

Story Time Chess takes a unique approach to teach kids aged 8-12 the intricate game of chess, making it an exciting journey. Designed as a fusion of engaging stories and memorable characters, the chess set ensures that children learn the game in an interactive and enjoyable manner. Regardless of their familiarity with chess, kids will be captivated by the over 30 mini-games that supplement their learning of various moves and strategies.

Another fantastic feature of this chess set is the dual-sided and dual purposed chess pieces — with a beautifully crafted storybook illustrated by award-winning former Disney artist, Ryan Terry. These custom chess pieces and board cater to regular chess matches or tournament play, allowing kids to transition from learning to competitive play seamlessly.

However, it is essential to note that the Story Time Chess set focuses on a fun and engaging learning experience, and may not cater explicitly to advanced players looking to hone their skills. Also, the chess board size could be a bit small for older kids or adults, but is suitable for the target age group.

In conclusion, Story Time Chess is an excellent choice for children aged 8-12 interested in learning chess in a delightful and captivating manner. The engaging stories and character-based teaching methodology make it one of the most innovative chess sets on the market.

AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set


Skillfully crafted and versatile, AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Set is recommended for kids aged 8-12 who seek a high-quality and enjoyable gaming experience.


  • Premium handcrafted wooden materials
  • Magnetic set for secure gameplay, perfect for travel
  • Complete chess and checkers set, including extra queens


  • Chess pieces may protrude, causing the board not to lay flat
  • Possible inconsistencies with magnetic polarities
  • Slightly large for some preferences

The AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Set is not only beautifully designed and handcrafted but also practical. The two-colored spliced grids and unique natural wood grains reflect meticulous workmanship, offering both a visually pleasing and comfortable experience.

What sets this product apart is its magnetic feature, making it perfect to play on-the-go without worrying about pieces falling or getting lost. Even on bumpy car rides or train journeys, the strong magnets keep game pieces in place, ensuring smooth gameplay.

As space can often be an issue with board games, this set is designed for easy storage and travel. The folding chessboard doubles as a compact storage box to keep all wooden chess and checker pieces well-organized and protected. Besides, the king stands at an impressive 3 inches high, ensuring a better grip for those who prefer larger pieces.

On the downside, some customers experienced slight issues with the chess pieces protruding, causing the board not to lay flat. There were also minor inconsistencies with magnetic polarities. However, these are comparatively minor issues when considering the overall quality and design of the set.

In conclusion, the AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set is a great investment for kids aged 8-12 and adults who would enjoy a premium and portable gaming experience. The beautiful craftsmanship and functionality make it an ideal gift for loved ones or as an addition to any game enthusiast’s collection.

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

The AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess Set is a great investment for beginners and experienced chess players looking for a portable and well-crafted chess set.


  • High-quality wooden material and craftsmanship
  • Magnetic chessmen for stable gameplay on the go
  • Lightweight and portable with folding board design


  • One customer mentioned a chipped piece upon arrival
  • Felt on bottom of pieces may wear with time
  • May be slightly heavy for some younger kids

The AMEROUS Wooden Chess Set offers not just an enjoyable gaming experience for adults, but also an enlightening tool for kids aged 8-12. With an emphasis on learning and fun, this chess set helps turn the often-boring process of learning chess into an engaging activity that kids can enjoy. The hand-carved wooden chess pieces are magnetically attached to the board, ensuring stable gameplay and preventing pieces from falling off during travel or movement.

What sets this chess set apart from others is its ease of transportation. The folding board design is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around and travel with. The chess pieces are large enough for comfortable handling, but won’t take up excessive space in your bag or luggage. The high-quality wooden material provides a smooth surface for optimal touch comfort while playing, and even comes with two extra queens as a bonus.

While this chess set has many positive features, there are some minor drawbacks. One customer reported receiving a chipped piece in their set, but the majority of buyers were pleased with the product quality. The felt on the bottom of the pieces may wear with continuous use, but this can be easily replaced if needed. Lastly, while the weight is manageable for most kids aged 8-12, some younger children may find it slightly heavy to carry.

Overall, the AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set is an excellent choice for kids and adults alike who are looking for a well-made, portable chess set that combines education and entertainment.

Croove Electronic Chess and Checkers Set

Croove Electronic Chess and Checkers Set

An excellent choice for kids learning chess, offering versatility, portability, and engaging gameplay.


  • 12 chess modes and 30 unique levels for customized play
  • Magnetic sensory board and large adjustable LCD screen
  • 8 additional brain games for added fun


  • Quality of chess pieces may feel less premium
  • Magnets may not work as effectively on all pieces
  • Occasional technical glitches

The Croove Electronic Chess and Checkers Set is a well-rounded option for children who are just starting to learn the game of chess. The set offers 12 chess modes and 30 unique levels, so as they improve their skills, they can progress through more challenging gameplay. The magnetic sensory board ensures that pieces stay in place while playing, and the large adjustable LCD screen makes it easy to see and track your moves.

One of the standout features of the Croove set is the eight additional brain games it includes. These games, such as 4 In-A-Row and Northcote’s Game, promote strategic thinking and provide a nice change of pace from chess. The extra games make this a great set for family game nights or when playing with friends.

While the Croove Electronic Chess and Checkers Set has many benefits, there are a few drawbacks worth noting. Some users have mentioned that the quality of the chess pieces feels less premium, and the magnets may not work effectively on all of the pieces. Additionally, occasional technical glitches may require resetting the computer. However, these issues can be addressed with a simple reset or finding a better storage solution for the pieces.

In conclusion, the Croove Electronic Chess and Checkers Set is an engaging and versatile option for kids aged 8-12 looking to learn and improve their chess skills. With its variety of game modes and additional brain games, it is sure to provide hours of entertainment and educational value.

Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set

Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set

This well-crafted, magnetic chess set offers a perfect balance of quality, convenience, and engaging gameplay for kids and adults alike.


  • High-quality wood materials
  • Strong magnetic chess pieces
  • Foldable and portable design


  • Slightly expensive
  • Occasional missing magnet in a piece
  • Suitable more for indoor use

The Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set is made from high-quality pine and peach wood materials, providing a smooth surface with magnetic properties. The 15″ x 15″ board offers adequate space for gameplay, while the nicely carved chess pieces are easy to grasp and feature thin felt coverings to protect the board from scratches.

The magnetic design of this chess set is both impressive and practical. Chess pieces remain securely in place on the board, even when turned upside down, ensuring uninterrupted gameplay. This feature is particularly useful during travel or when playing in areas where accidental bumps may occur.

The foldable board and internal storage for pieces make this chess set perfect for on-the-go entertainment. The foam insert holds the pieces securely, and the compact design means it can easily fit into backpacks or bags. This chess set is ideal as a gift or a fun activity for family nights, holidays, and even beginner or professional tournaments.

However, some customers have mentioned the chess set is a bit expensive in comparison to other similar sets, but the quality of the materials and design may justify the higher price point. Additionally, there have been a few instances of missing magnets in some pieces, but this issue seems rare among the overall positive reception. Lastly, the set is more suitable for indoor use, as outdoor factors like wind might affect the stability of the magnetic pieces.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a high-quality, portable, and engaging chess set for kids aged 8-12, the Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set offers an excellent option that balances style, convenience, and enjoyable gameplay.

Buying Guide

Size and Weight

When choosing a chess set for kids aged 8-12, consider the size and weight of the pieces. Kids this age have smaller hands, so a set with pieces that are easy to grasp and move is important. Avoid overly heavy or cumbersome pieces that may be difficult for them to handle.


Children can be rough on their toys, so it’s essential to find a chess set made of durable materials that can withstand the occasional tumble or rough play. Plastic sets are a popular choice for their affordability and durability, but wooden sets are also a good option if you’re looking for a more traditional feel.

Educational Value

For kids learning how to play chess, a set that provides some educational value can be beneficial. This could include sets that come with instructional booklets or built-in tutorials. Some sets may also have a beginner-friendly layout or labeled pieces to help young players learn the game more easily.

Size and WeightShould be appropriate for kids’ small hands, easy to grasp and move
DurabilityAble to withstand rough play and occasional falls
EducationalIncludes instructional materials or beginner-friendly layouts to help kids learn the game

Aesthetics and Themes

To capture a child’s attention and interest, consider chess sets that have an appealing design or theme. A colorful or themed chess set may encourage children to engage with the game and practice their skills.


Lastly, consider your budget when looking for the best chess set for kids aged 8-12. There is a wide range of prices available, so think about how much you’re willing to spend and what features are most important to you.


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