Chess for Kids (Printable Chess Board and Chess Pieces)

A printable chess set for kids with 3D animal designs that you can print at home.

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Chess tournaments have been very popular during down-time at the summer camps where I’ve worked.

Nevertheless, the limited amount of chessboards available at the camps were always a problem. There were very few of them and sometimes incomplete (Carlitos don’t eat that pawn! …too late).

I made this Animals Chess hoping to give those “chessful” kids, counselors and parents a cheap but cool solution to easily print and build a chess set.

Chess gives a good work out to the mind, it is very entertaining and it is great for bonding quietly with kids ?.

Have fun!

(Video) How to build a Paper Animal Chess

** Spanish subtitles available **


  1. Get your PDF Chess from the Download link at the bottom of this page.
  2. Cut out the pieces and Chessboard.
  3. To put together the pieces:
    1. Bend your cut-outs where you see the vertical lines.
    2. Glue and paste the flap on the right that has the 3 dots (Want a faster yet less appealing method? Instead of a gluestick or other glue, you can use tape).
  4. To put together the board:
    1. Layout together the 4 pieces of the board in the right position using the stone border as a guide.
    2. Flip your 4-pieces layout so you can tape them nicely from behind. Either using little bits of tape or doing 2 long stripes like big “+” sign.

You’re ready to play chess!

Design story:

Bronze animal pawn chesspiece with a monkey design by Rodrigo Macias for a free printable chess for kids
A short design-story of how this Animal chess came to life

Pieces comparison:

Pieces guide for the Free printable boardgame: Animals Chess for Kids by Kids activities designer Rodrigo Macias

Pawn – Monkey: Because they are tiny and big in number.

Rook – Elephant: So the kids can relate its’ weight with the heaviness of a solid tower.

Knight – Zebra: So the kids can easily make the relation with the traditional Knight (horse-shaped) chess piece.

Bishop – Snake: The design was based on a Black Mamba because of the way it moves, and also because I’m a fan of Tarantino’s Kill Bill ?.

King – Lion: By popular demand (I wonder why!).

Queen – Giraffe: This was the second choice by popular demand, but I thought it was better than a female Lioness to show the kids that there is no problem at all with mixing races in couples.

Get the PDF:

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