Each TOY or GAME has a STORY to share with kids.
Today, it’s the Game of CHINESE CHECKERS’ turn to tell its story (with a little help from Grandma Sharon)…
WHAT is the Game of CHINESE CHECKERS: Chinese Checkers is a board game arranged to form a 6-pointed star/hexagram and has 121 indentations for marbles’ play. Pieces consist of 6 sets of colored marbles, with 10 marbles in each set. The object of the game is to make enough “jumps” to be the first to place your set of marbles in the opposite player’s point of the star/hexagram.
WHO invented CHINESE CHECKERS, and WHEN & WHERE: The popular belief that Chinese Checkers was created in China couldn’t be further from the truth.
Chinese Checkers was invented in Germany in 1892, but the game was called Stern-Halma.
Stern (German for star) refers to the star shape of the game board and Halma is a square-board game with the objective to move all of a player’s pieces to the opposing corner of the game board.
So how did the game Chinese Checkers, a variant of Stern-Halma, get its name?
In 1928, Bill and Jack Pressman of the Pressman Company marketed Stern-Halma as Hop Ching Checkers, thinking that the “China” reference would be intriguing and interesting from a marketing perspective.
The Pressman’s were correct, and during the 1930’s this new game became very popular… and often referred to as Chinese Checkers.
In 1941, the Milton Bradley Company got a patent on Chinese Checkers.
And the rest is history.
Chinese Checkers provides hours of fun and challenge to kids of all ages. If you don’t have a game of Chinese Checkers handy, get out and get one for your kids and grandkids. Teach your kids the awesome “ta-dah!” of moving all of their marbles to the opposite point of the stern-halma game!
And let your kids in on the STORY that Chinese Checkers is not Chinese at all!