For several years, my oldest daughters have asked to learn to play chess. While my husband knows how to play, he is rarely home at a decent hour so teaching them consistently was a problem. And unfortunately for the girls, I never learned how to play. Last week we acquired No Stress Chess. (I know, I know - I'm going to sound like a sales representative, and I'm not - though I did provide a link for anyone that feels like looking at it for themselves... I'm just so excited that my family can now play chess together!) No Stress Chess has to be one of the easiest ways to learn the basics of the game. You set up the board, draw a card, follow the directions on the card... and play! Once you've mastered the basic moves, playing with the cards provides interesting chess situations. And possibly most importantly for times when you are playing close to bedtime, if you use the cards it really keeps the game moving along. You can also flip the board over and play a standard chess game without the cards.
We also have Think Like a King, which is a software program designed to teach chess. I have to say that I love Think Like a King - however, it's a bit tough for my younger crowd. I would recommend it for middle school and up. It provides much more detail than No Stress Chess and gets into tactical moves, etc., but there's quite a bit of reading which tends to be hard on the 6-10 age group. They really just want to play! Between the two products, I'm determined that I will become a decent chess player. This hasn't happened in the last five days. I can play, but not all that well (hence the score between my husband and I: husband, 4; me, 0; ties, 1). However, ALL of my girls can play with us and with each other - and they enjoy doing it. I could not be happier with No Stress Chess for my gang.