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Teaching Checkers to Children
How to Play Checkers for Kids

Teaching Checkers to Children of All Ages October 23, 2003.

In the fall of 2003, the ACF announced its support in the growing campaign to teach checkers kids of all ages about the fascinating and rewarding elements of our grand ole' game. In its commentary, it was stated that in the past few decades, Robert Pike, a former Massachusetts State Champion now living in Chula Vista, California, has been devoted to teaching young kids and students about the depth of a good checkers game. Pike has won considerable accolades from teachers, school principals and superintendents across the country and he has earned plenty of appreciative smiles from his checkers game students.

Robert Pike: Teaching Checkers to children of all ages.

“Every organization counts on its young children to support its established veterans. The ACF is no different. We look to our youths to bring fresh ideas to the table and to make our organization even better.”

Winning Checkers to Students

Tactics that give the reader an edge are described and reinforced with clear annotated checkerboard illustrations. The player learns how to control the center of the board, protect the back row and spot enough double and triple opportunities to crown more than their fair share of Kings. Children can clip out a numbered checkerboard on the last page and use pennies and dimes as checkers pieces if they don't have their own game set.

In their teaching checkers to children article, the American Checker Federation posed these questions: Parents, how do you get your kids away from mind numbing TV and computer games? Teachers, how do you raise those SAT scores while letting your students have fun? And youths, how can you learn and do what your parents tell you to do while playing games with friends? The answer to all these questions is TEACHING CHECKERS.

Perhaps no one has been more instrumental in teaching how to play checkers for kids in the U.S. than Robert Pike of Chula Vista, California. The former Checkers Champion has been teaching the checkers game to children in schools for several years with excellent results. The positive effect that learning checkers has made in many children’s lives is evident in the following letters commending the value of the game:

Dawson Newsletter: Teaching Checkers Initiative

We are in the middle of another initiative, which is capturing the excitement of me, the students and staff - checkers! For a variety of reasons, students are noticeably more impulsive than they were when most of us began our professional careers in education. To counteract this and also to enhance the problem solving and spatial intelligence of our students, we have developed an initiative to teach all of our students how to play the game of checkers.

Many studies are beginning to surface indicating a connection between high reading and other academic scores and playing checkers and chess. We are very fortunate to have as a resident of Holden, Mr. Bob Pike, former Massachusetts Checker Champion and author of several books on playing checkers. Mr. Pike has conducted a workshop for all of the teachers and is currently in the process of conducting hour long classes with every grade one through grade five class. He teaches the history of the game, the academic skills the game reinforces, the rules of the game and key pieces of strategy, and concludes by playing a game with the class using a large board with Velcro checkers he has designed.

How to Play Checkers for Kids

Students take home one of several checker challenge puzzles he has developed. It has been delightful for me to observe the high level of excitement and engagement demonstrated by the students during this process!

I want to encourage every family to support this how to play checkers for kids initiative with at home checker matches, a very productive family activity. In grades four and five, every class will be holding a round robin checker tournament. Top performers in every class will be offered an opportunity to go into a weekly lunch / recess checker activity program conducted by teachers Patricia Hurley and Gerry Bak. They will work on teaching checker challenge puzzles and play each other. Tournaments with other District Schools are a possibility for the future!

Charles T. Gruszka, Principal: Developing Competence and Caring.
(Excerpt taken from the Dawson Newsletter, Volume 7, April 1997.)

In support of board games within the school system:
Wachusett Regional School District Memo Board Games December 19, 1994 Alfred D. Tutela, Ph.D., Superintendent.

As educational teaching leaders, we are responsible for developing the minds of our students and youth. Our responsibility includes encouraging, facilitating, cajoling and/or promoting those ideas and activities that will enhance learning.

In a former school system, in a very inner city school, a teacher asked me to support his efforts in creating a board game as an extra curricular activity. That school, within a three year period, won the state chess championship. Students were allowed to use their intelligence in ways, which instructional programs didn't complement.

As you read the attached promotional brochure from the American Checker Federation, note that the Willoughby (a suburban Cleveland district), Ohio superintendent, who once was interim superintendent and deputy in Cleveland, encouraged board games in his district and learned from the performance of Cleveland schools.

Computers can be excellent tools to develop the intellect, but they also limit social development. Competitive board games not only entertain but can encourage and inspire intellectual teaching. Certainly, an individualized educational organization can respond to the needs of those students who desire to develop their strategic and tactical skills in a competitive environment. For those of you who have been teaching checkers to kids and students, keep it up.

Many educators have praised Robert Pike for the critical thinking and social skills the students learn from his interactive presentations. Teaching how to play checkers to kids and students that are eager to share this newfound wisdom after listening to his presentation, and are anxious to challenge their parents, friends and siblings with newly discovered checkerboard abilities.

A few years ago, Pike was keen in introducing this age old board game of checkers to his grandchildren and was rewarded by their keen intense interest in the game, so he began searching for primers on checkers for young children; however, there was nothing available that was suitable. As a result of this void in the checkers market of literature, he sat down and wrote, Winning Checkers for Kids and for younger audiences, Checker Power. Pike also produced an award winning video entitled Learning to Play Better Checkers, which incorporates visualization with the learning process. His checker problems have been featured in Highlights for Children magazine and he has published two books on checker puzzles. These resources have become very popular as a method of introducing play at the checkerboard to a world wherein many young, inquisitive minds reside.

Things People Say About Robert Pike's Teaching Program
  • Your Teaching Checkers Program is more than entertaining, it encourages and inspires intellectual interaction.
    (Dr. Tutela, Regional Superintendent, Wachusett, Massachusetts)


  • ... not just fun, but a valuable strategic exercise in judgment, conceptual planning and visualization.
    (Children's Bookwatch)

  • Winning moves and easy to follow advice.
    (School Library Journal)

  • Your teaching how to play checkers to kids presentation was clear, fascinating and stimulating. Everyone had a wonderful time.
    (M. Lo, Children's Librarian, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts)

  • We use Checkers with Math to help students visualize geometrically. It also produces social skills.
    (G. Bak, 4th Grade Teacher, Dawson School, Holden, Massachusetts)









DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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