Rethink and Repurpose: Chess

Hopefully you read the article on checkers. This time, we take the next logical step.

After the holidays, I found lots of holiday and wintry stickers, figures, and miniature ornaments at great savings. I thought it would be fun to rethink chess and recreate a set of chess pieces for a wintry theme.They remind me of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia characters, which could make them great for story starters. The individual pieces could go on adventures, need to be rescued from the bedroom closet (wardrobe), and generally help children play with the characters and stories.I thought of the penguin queen being held captive in an evergreen forest. Her only hope would be from the gingerbread boys who use the light bulbs to show the way. But what’s this? It’s the moose, the protective knights of the realm, plundering through the foliage to rescue the penguin royalty and take her away to the safety of the snow and forest castle.
I utilized the same plastic containers we used for ornaments and checkers, choosing a variety of sizes to match the importance of the characters.The small pawns are filled with silvery snowflakes or colored plastic lightbulbs. The knights become the protective moose. Bishops are actually gingerbread boys with superior skills at logic and strategy. Castles are the wintry forest homes of deer and evergreens.Two penguins rule this realm. The Green Queen can go almost anywhere. The Red King is protected above all, for if he is captured, the realm will stop and cease to exist.
Here the pieces are lined up on the checkerboard we made from repurposed poster paper and portfolio folder.
Of course, it won’t always be winter. There are many holidays and ideas for themes. Look around your hobby store and you’ll find lots of tiny objects that will play with your child’s imagination.
These foamy transportation stickers and foamy dinosaurs are two examples of themes for chess pieces that work for everyone’s interests.


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