The Benefits of Chess

Playing Chess as Educational Enrichment for Kids

"According to research, Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities," states 4-time World Champion Susan Polgar in a recent interview.

Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development.  The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences, and helps players practice decision making.  The Susan Polgar Foundation offers a page of information on this topic.

If your child is interested in learning to play chess or is in need of new people to play with, there are opportunities to do so locally!  The Forbes Library in Northampton offers drop-in chess on Saturdays from 2-4pm, the Jones Library in Amherst has a monthly chess club for anyone over the age of 7, and the East Longmeadow library as a chess club Wednesdays  4-5pm.

Help your kids develop their analytical skills and get them involved in a game they can enjoy for life!

Do you know of a local chess club or casual meet-up? Share it below. Want to organize a casual chess club at your local library?  Send us an email and we’ll help you get started or visit the Western Massachusetts Chess Association.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Joe Philipson]

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining!

Follow Me on DeliciousWhere are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site, in the left-hand column.  Click any time to see what links we’ve added!

Below is the latest 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page). All links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement:

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011)

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader, nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011)

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our bank of the most recent 25 recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):


  • One Hungry Mama Guide to Halloween
  • Daddy Issues: How Can I Keep My Daughter Loving Science? (article)
  • Science Experiments You Can Do At Home or School
  • Booklists for Teens (Boston Public Library)
  • AAASpell.com – Practice Your Spelling
  • The wisdom of teenagers (article)
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic
  • Out in the Berkshires (LGBT Life in the Berkshires)
  • Day of the Dead: History, Facts, and Resources
  • Maths Teaching Ideas
  • Sidekicks: Graphic Novel Reviews for Kids
  • HauntedHappenings.org (Halloween in Salem, MA)
  • Banking Curriculum
  • Best Documentaries on Eating Green
  • Math Game: 100s Grid
  • Glow in the Woods (For Babylost Parents)
  • My Science Box
  • Ashfield Local Goods Catalog
  • Johnnie’s Math Page
  • RECOMMENDED DVD: Life in the Undergrowth w/ David Attenborough (Nature Science)
  • ArtsVivants/ArtsAlive
  • Kids Caving
  • Online Spelling Course
  • Virtual Skies
  • Smithsonian Education for Students
  • Read the rest of this entry »
  • Q&A: What’s Your Favorite Family Card Game?

    QUESTION AND ANSWERS

    Uno is always a go-to. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Playing card games on these lazy summer days with the family create great memories!  What’s your favorite family card game to play with your kids?

    • Jennifer Page responds: When I was a kid my brother and I played Spit a lot. It’s a 2-person game, but would be fun for family tournaments.
    • Angie Gregory responds: Uno is always a go-to. And now my oldest is enjoying Set (which is not quite a cards-in-the-hands type game, but really fun and challenging… and colorful!)
    • Phoebe Shaw responds: Casino
    • Kathy Kristjanson-Gural responds: My son and I love playing Double Solitaire.  We play to see if we can both put our cards up to the middle.  That we play as a team instead of against each other.    We have also really enjoyed Frog Juice, Rat-a-Tat Cat and Duck Duck Bruce (all by Gamewright, I believe).
    • Jessica Day responds: Scrabble Slam! It’s fun and great for our seven-year-old… gotta stay on top of the spelling skills over the summer.
    • Anita Morehouse responds: Cribbage.
    • Jody Hadden responds: Uno!!!
    • Julie Gouldman Russell responds: Love me some “Blink.”
    • Jenn Drumm responds: We love Slamwich and Hiss, but you need to buy their deck as it’s not a card game for a regular set.
    • Anne Campbell responds: Frog Juice, Sleeping Queens and Rat-a-Tat Cat. Anything we’ve tried by Gamewright has been great.

    Other games recommended:

    • Diane Hinze Kanzler responds: Checkers. And we’re all playing Marbles, even those of us with “old knees!”

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