Some people have an impression that playing cards are bad toys. They are often linked to some bad habits, such as gambling and drinking. Obviously, this is a misconception, and there are international tournaments for poker and professional players competing. Actually, card games for kids are good things for them all around.
52 playing cards and 2 Jokers are amazing and give you an unlimited possibility of entertainment. We have tons of games in history to prove that.
Let’s give your children a chance to benefit from some gameplay, as well as have some fun together in family gatherings…
Overview of Playing Card Games for Kids
Actually, playing cards are probably the more suitable broad game for children. They just start learning, and the very first thing to learn is numbers.
These 52 cards are the simplest tools for kids to learn counting and calculations. 1 to 13 should not be too overwhelming to most children.
We know, kids do not have much patience. A deck of playing cards has many variations in games, so surely they do not easily get bored. They also lack concentration, and most games are short and could wrap up in minutes. No worries!
How can card games help kids in growing and developing?
Playing cards are good for children’s growth. It is a good way to develop their brains, reflexes, patience, and control. Moreover, it helps them build a sense of teamwork and how to handle winning/losing situations.
Most children are not yet equipped to handle adverse conditions. It may be tough to take losses in the beginning (yes, they may cry when beaten), but this is a good learning experience to improve the handling of challenges. Learn how to take things easy, boys and girls!
Apart from the chance of learning various calculations, playing card games help them manage memory and build a brief plan ahead for the next moves.
Okay, here are several games that may suit your kids at young ages…
For young kids, you do not need the entire deck. Pick 1 to 5 of all four suits to start, or even 1 to 3 for even younger children.
- Starting with all the above cards facing down in the middle. In each round, a player turns over two cards at a time.
- If a match is found, then you collect both cards and are awarded to continue with another two cards.
- Otherwise, turn the cards back and face down. Then, it becomes the next player’s turn.
- At the end, when all the cards in the middle are gone, the player with the most cards wins.
This should be the simplest and easiest for most kids to start playing cards.
Biggest Takes All
It is a good game to learn about planning ahead. Some older kids may start learning about strategy: Should you throw in your biggest weapon? Or, reserve it for the next round?
- All 52 cards are evenly distributed to each player. (You may include Jokers as the wild card if you like)
- In each round, every player picks a card from his/her hand. Wait, keep it face down first…
- When everyone is ready, open the selected cards together.
- The biggest collects them all.
You may want to introduce some rules to determine the winner when it is a tie: You can opt to compare suits or rock–paper–scissors to decide a winner. Alternatively, making things more exciting, let’s skip this round and build a jackpot, the biggest in the next round takes all!
There are quite a few variations in Go Fishing. So, it is all up to you how to play the game. If you have an exciting idea, please share your version in the comment box below.
- Each player holds 5 to 7 cards (depending on the number of players).
- Prepare a “fish pond”: have 8 to 10 cards (again, flexible) facing up in the middle.
- Each takes a turn and tries to fish from the pond (i.e. match any “fish” in the pond with the cards in your hand). You can define a match in various ways: by matching the same value (any suits), or by adding two cards together and equals to the sum of 10 (except that 10, J, Q, and K match in pairs, e.g. 10 and 10, J and J).
- If no match from your hand, then draw a card from the pile and try to fish immediately. If fail, then throw it into the pond and proceed.
There are variations in scoring, e.g. red cards count 2 points, while black only scores 1.
This is basically a game of solitaire, like that in your Windows system. But, it should be more exciting as players are competing with each other here.
- Get all the cards 5, and have those four cards face up in the middle.
- Each player receives 7 cards to start (again, depending on the total number of players), or you may have all the cards distributed.
- Then, let’s play Solitaire together: Discard a card to follow (up or down) what is in the middle (matching the suits).
- If fails to discard, draw a card or skip.
Turtle Joker/Old Maid
This should be one of the favorites for children. Enjoy the tension to avoid being the last!
- 52 cards, plus a Joker to start (with another Joker is put aside).
- Distribute these 53 cards to each player (yes, not evenly is alright).
- Discard pairs from your hand, until no more pairs.
- Take turns to draw a card from the previous player (clockwise/anti-clockwise). Normally, it starts with the player with the most number of cards.
- Again, when a pair is found after drawing, discard them.
- The last player holding the Joker loses!
Warning: This game could scare you to jump out of the chair. So, remember to calm down! This game may suit elder children…
- Evenly distribute all 52 cards to each player (facing down, not allowed to inspect the cards).
- Each player takes turns to call from 1 to K and repeat. At the same time, discard the top card from your stack. This time, the card is face-up in the middle to show everyone.
- If the called number is identical to the card value, then snap on the card as quickly as you can! (e.g. you call out 1, and your card happens to be an Ace, then SLAP!)
- The last person reacting to it takes all the cards in the middle.
- In the end, the person taking all the cards loses the game.
It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? There are even more variations to make it even more challenging, for example:
- No calling out numbers! Everyone remains silent and counts inside his/her mind.
- Instead of “number = card” to slap, you can have +1 and -1, or +2 and -2 (e.g. you call out 3, then slap on an Ace or a 5.) This could be a fierce contest!
If the above is overwhelming, then you can instead try a simplified version: No need to call out any values at all. Just slap when you see a J! (Yes, that is why it is called “Slapjack” in the west.)
There are many more games you can play using these 52 cards (plus 2 Jokers). This is how amazing a deck of playing cards can do. This makes good games for anyone at any age.
For children, we recommend using plastic cards to play. They are more durable (you know, they are kids!) Another tip is to use cards with bigger fonts. It may make things easier for children.
To add even more fun, you can customize a deck of cards with your own designs or the photographs of your kids. They should be more engaged and cheerful.