If you have read my post The Tiki Principle, you may be keen to what is about to unfold in this story.
(For all posts START HERE)
Harry Potter has been a favorite of myself and my daughter for many years. We have all the DVD's (because streaming was not a big thing almost 10 years ago), we have the books, and visited the Universal Theme park Harry Potter attractions. My how the attraction has changed since the opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter back in June 2010. How apropos to discuss this topic coming up on the 10 year anniversary.
One of our favorite scenes in the movies was the Wizard's Chess Match, watch for yourself:
A great article on the scenes background is detailed here: https://woochess.com/en/blog/secrets-of-harry-potters-chess-scene
Chess is Good for Kids
At an early age I taught my daughter to play chess on a small little wooden piece game set at the age of 4. She would always beat me ;–) which continued her excitement for continuing the game.
Chess for kids is good from what I read, it :
(1) improves memory and problem solving skills.
(2) exercises both sides of the brain.
A German study showed that when chess experts were given chess position and geometric shapes to identify, researchers expected to find the players’ left brain being more active, but the surprising thing happened when they saw that the right hemisphere of the brain was equally active as the left one.
One day at the Universal Park we finished the main Harry Potter ride (at the time) and when exiting the ride you have to walk through a store of many items to encourage spending money. All the rides at theme parks do that now.
We came across the most exhilarating item, the official Wizard Chess Set. So big, so beautiful and of course expensive. Well not getting that!
Its amazing how a true desire for something will stick around for a very long time. Another visit to the park a year later and its right there, the chess set sent from the gods! “I want it”. Still $400, so nope.
The desire from myself and my daughter to get this chess set didn't go away after time! OK, time to get creative. A little searching came up for a official Wizard Chess set but slightly different and a lot less expensive. SOLD
So we bought the cheap set. Looks good in the picture, however the board was a flimsy fold up board and the pieces are plastic. The plastic is not bad at all but it was so light and top heavy that if you sneezed, the pieces would fall over. And shake the table ... don't even think about it ... I promise you will die a slow miserable death!
Ok, joking aside, both sides of my brain were supper charged and an idea popped!
Just call me crafty
I can make those chess pieces stand up, just add weight! So I picked up some lead fishing weights for under $8, took a hammer to them to flatten them out and hot glue gun to affix them in the hollow base of the plastic figures.
It worked, they are heavy, feel and look great, very impressive. Bonus: they don't fall over! My cost is now about $48 total!
But what about that flimsy board that is warping now!
Home Depot here I come, lets see what ideas pop up!
Ceramic Tiles, yes for a few dollars a 12x12 square, I could use tiles. So we got 2 different tile colors and started separating them from the mesh material that holds them together.
Now we are up to $56 and the plan was then to make a table and grout the tiles in place for a stunning piece. But this would add unnecessary costs to the project. Later it was decided that if the tiles were separate, I could easily transport and assemble this chess set anywhere.
I have a tote bag full of the pieces and when we want to play, we have a great time setting it up as well as play a few rounds!
Surprisingly, after 8 years of having this set, we still love and play with it. Like just now to take pictures for the Coil Post!
So about that Financial Wizardry
We have a cherished Chess Set, with a family story behind it, enjoyment in setting it up, enjoyment playing, mobility and at the same time I get to improve my kids memory and problem solving skills while exercising both sides of their brain —> PRICELESS
From $400 down to $56 to PRICELESS
Wizard's Chess Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone HD - Juan Pablo Torres - Youtube
Harry Potter Scene - Cinefex -
Ever have Butterbeer?