My husband is crazy about chess. Last Jan, he started the chess club for the 2nd-5th graders at my dd's school, and now she and her friends are crazy about chess.
The pps gave some great suggestions, especially chesskids, chess.com, and No Stress Chess. Early on, my husband downloaded whatever free chess app there is for the iPhone. Lately, however, dh has been playing chess tournaments on chess.com. Dd has an 11 year old friend enjoys playing on chess.com. Dd tried chesskids once and liked it, but would much rather play with other kids. We have No Stress Chess, and dd liked it when she first started playing chess, but now she prefers regular chess.
I have some other suggestions.
1. My husband bought a lot of good stuff for the chess club from wholesalechess.com. He bought "buddy boards" because he was trying to teach 40 children with short attention spans how to play chess. http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess/buddy_board_to_the_teaching_chess_rules_companion He found that the kids could refer to the buddy board to remind them how the pieces move while they were still getting started in learning to play their first games. (Of course, the back of a chess book can work just as well. Husband was shooting for durability.)
2. Here is a a chess computer game that my husband says is decent. He researches everything to death before purchasing, so he probably means that it's very good unless you are a chessmaster, and at a reasonable price. (He got it on sale.) He bought it from the local mall while I wasn't looking: http://www.amazon.com/Kingmaster-Electronic-Chess-Checkers-Game/dp/B000R8YMJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343669141&sr=8-1&keywords=kingmaster+iii+chess
3. Solitare chess - dd enjoyed it, dh approves
4. I got a lot of good books our local public library by entering the keywords, "chess juvenile".
Here are a few library books for kids about beginning chess that my dd (entering third grade) especially liked:
Dd's favorite out of this list. In depth, and read this book many times before tiring of it.
Dd's second favorite out of this list. Introduced some simple tactics.
Dd says that this was interesting and appealing to kids. Introduced how the pieces moved, and that was it. Dd didn't read this book more than once because after reading this book, she wanted to read more about simple tactics.
5. Once my dd had played for a couple months, I was also surprised that my dd was able to read many of the books in the adult non-fiction section of the library. Simply enter the keywords "chess beginning", or go to the Dewey Decimal section #794.1, and browse to look for the easier books. She finds these books helpful to learn some simple tactics.
Edited by emilysmama - 8/14/12 at 5:51am