For more information on school programs or the WCHOF curriculum, please contact:
Claire Grothe, Program Manager
(314) 367-9243 ext. 105
Updated April 30, 2013
Family and Children’s Programs
The World Chess Hall of Fame is pleased to offer a series of programs designed especially for children and their families.
Family Backpacks are available at the front desk for temporary checkout and use in the galleries. Designed for kids ages 3 and up and their adult companions, backpacks are supplied with “make and take” art projects, games, and other activities designed to explore the themes and symbols of the chessboard. Family Backpacks are available free to World Chess Hall of Fame members and to non-members paying the suggested $5 family donation, and are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Three themed backpacks are available:
- Kings and Queens
- Knight Life
- Shape Up!
A valid driver’s license is required as a deposit at the time of checkout, and backpacks must be returned (with the exception of finished “make and take” art activities) in their original condition.
Family Days at the WCHOF
Family Days are a fun, free way to explore the World Chess Hall of Fame. Take a special “kids-eye” tour of the WCHOF galleries designed for kids and their families, then join us for a craft project exploring the connection between chess, art, and our current exhibitions!
The World Chess Hall of Fame is open from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Family Day sessions will begin at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the first Saturday during the fall and winter months. The tour and project will last approximately one hour. Our craft is recommended for ages 5-12, but children of all ages are welcome!
Check back in Summer 2013 for more information on 2013-2014 Family Day themes and projects!
Past Family Days:
MARCH 2, 2013
Create your own versions of favorite games of the past!orite games of the past!
FEBRUARY 2, 2013
Create great art with the Screwed Arts Collective during the final days of Screwed Moves!
January 5, 2013
Decorate your very own t-shirt with members of the Screwed Arts Collective!
December 1, 2012
Create winter-themed crafts, including and fun scratch art ornament and “Texas snowflakes” with liquid watercolors!
November 3, 2013
Craft funky chess pieces out of nuts and bolts!
October 6, 2012
Create themed canvases with members of the Screwed Arts Collective and explore their first-floor exhibition, Screwed Moves!
July 7, 2012
Are you a budding photographer? Check out the images in our second floor exhibition, Bobby Fischer: Icon Among Icons, Photographs by Harry Benson, then decorate a photo frame in which you can display a favorite snapshot of your own!
June 2, 2012
Light plays an important role in the art of photography. As the temperature rises, explore the work of renowned photographer, Harry Benson, whose work is featured on our second floor, then harness the power of the sun to create a fun design on special sun-sensitive paper!
May 5, 2012
Masks, odd costumes, and strange figures are found all over our first floor exhibition, Marcel Dzama: The End Game. Create your own mask in honor of these mysterious characters—will it be silly or scary? Odd or ornate? You get to decide!
April 7, 2012
The knight is one of the most recognizable pieces on the chessboard—and what would any good knight be without a coat of arms? Explore our new exhibitions, then decorate your own shield with symbols of bravery, kindness, and other knightly virtues!
February 4, 2012
Black and white may be the standard colors on a chessboard today, but was that always the case? Learn about how the game board changed over more than a thousand years, then make your own chess-inspired keychains or backpack clips inspired by the traditional (or perhaps not so traditional!) black and white color scheme.
January 7, 2012
Our second floor exhibit Chess Masterpieces: Highlights from the Dr. George and Vivian Dean Collection features chess sets from all over Asia. In celebration of the Chinese New Year and these beautiful sets, decorate your own dragon, a symbol of good luck in many Asian cultures. Then try your hand at origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding! Create unique versions of familiar chess pieces, as well as animals that are commonly associated with the game.
December 3, 2011
64 squares make up a chessboard. However, did you know that thousands of tiny shapes can be put together to make beautiful images? Learn about the art of mosaic, and create your own picture using small, colorful squares.
November 5, 2011
The Mechanical Turk, a work in our first-floor exhibition, Out of the Box: Artists Play Chess, is based on a real-life hoax—a chessplaying “robot” that amazed audiences for 50 years. Create your own self-propelling toy that will have your audience wondering, “How does it work!?”
Family Film Series
The World Chess Hall of Fame’s Family Film Series highlights films that feature iconic chess scenes, chess plots, or ties to the history of the game and current exhibitions. Join us for light refreshments and family-friendly cinema while discovering new and surprising connections between chess and culture. All Family Film Series films are rated G or PG, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
January 14, 2012, 2 p.m.
Alice in Wonderland (1951), G
Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass features young heroine Alice stumbling into a giant chess game, complete with kings, queens, and pawns. Before Through the Looking Glass, however, there was Alice in Wonderland. Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat in a romp through a bizarre, slightly off-kilter universe in this animated Disney classic.
Friday, November 11, 2011, 6 p.m.
Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993), PG
Based on the bestselling book of the same name, Searching for Bobby Fischer tells the true story of a young chess prodigy (Max Pomeranc) who, under the watchful eyes of his father (Joe Mantegna) and his brilliant but intense instructor (Ben Kingsley), tries to succeed and nurture his gift without succumbing to the pitfalls of win-at-all-costs competition.
WCHOF Family Guides
The chessboard is, in effect, a peek into medieval Europe, where the game took on its modern form. Available free to family visitors, the WCHOF Family Guide is a kid-friendly introduction to the pieces on a chessboard, the people and concepts they represent, and medieval society at large. A brief description of each piece and its historical context is included, as well as a discussion question or activity that encourages families to make connections between the world of the Middle Ages and their own lives.