10 awesome card games for kids

card games for kids

Are you looking for some great ways to spend some quality time with the kids? Here are some of the best card games for kids, which aren’t just fun, but have plenty to teach kids as well. All you need is a deck of cards! From numbers to following instructions, here is some fun the whole family can join in on.

Take a break from the screens and enjoy a game or two to break up your home learning day. Check out these fabulous card games for kids that have so much to teach your kids, and all while they have some fun!

1. Go Fish

Players: Two to six players, ages four and up.

Deal five cards out to each player and place the rest into a face down pile in the middle of the players. Choose who gets to go first! The goal of the game is to get as many groups of four as possible: four Kings, four 8s, four 2s and so on.

When it’s your turn, you ‘Go fishing’ for a card. Take a look at your hand and see what cards you already have and where there’s potential to get four of a kind. Next, ask a player if they have that particular card. If they have one or more, they have to hand them all over to you. Play moves to the next person.

If they don’t have any cards, they tell you to “Go Fish”. You then draw a card from the top of the pile. When you collect a set of four cards, you show the other places and place them in front of you.

The game continues until a player runs out of cards, or the draw pile runs out. The winner is the player who has the most sets of four.


2. Memory

Players: One to six players, ages three and up.

Lay all the cards face down on the floor and spread them out. Choose who goes first. When it’s your turn, you turn over two cards, one at a time.

If they match, you keep the pair and take another turn. If they don’t match, you turn them back over and it’s the next person’s turn.

When all the pairs have been found, the player with the most pairs wins.


3. Slapjack

Players: Two or more players, ages 4 and up

Deal the cards as evenly as possible to all players. You don’t look at your cards, instead keeping them in a face down pile in your hands.

One player starts, turning over the top card in their pile and lying it face up in the middle. The game continues and each player adds their card. When a Jack is turned over, all players fight to be the first player to ‘slap’ their hand over the Jack. Whoever gets there first gets the entire pile. Once a player runs out of cards, they have one more chance to slap a Jack that comes out. If they miss it, they’re eliminated.

Keep playing until one player has all the cards. They are the winner!


4. Cheat

Players: Two or more players, ages 6 and up

Deal out all the cards to the players as evenly as possible. Your goal is to get rid of all your cards. You do this by placing them face down in the middle and telling the other places what you’re discarding.

The trick is, you can only discard cards of the same rank on the one go. For example, you might have three 8s, so you place them face down and tell your opponents, “Three 8s”. Your opponents have to choose whether or not they believe you! Yes, you have the opportunity to cheat in this game and lie about the cards you put down. If an opponent calls you a cheat, you have to turnover your cards and reveal what you put down. If you did in fact cheat, you have to pick up the whole pile. If you didn’t cheat, they have to pick up the pile.

If the person before you has played 6s, then you need to play 7s or 5s on your turn. Your cards need to relate to the previous cards already face down in the middle.

The player to get rid of all their cards first, wins.

5. War

Players: Two players to four players, ages five and up

This is a fun card game for kids! Deal out all the cards in the deck as evenly as possible to players. You don’t look at your cards, instead placing them face down in a pile in your hands.

Use the free hand to flip the first card on your pile face up in front of you. Each player does this at the same time. The player with the highest card (based on just rank) wins the cards and adds them to their pile. If two people play a card of the same rank, then you go to war! This simply means you keep playing new cards until the tie is broken. Both players place the top three cards in the pile in front of them, face down. They then flip a fourth card face up. The player with the highest card wins.

You keep playing until one player has all the cards.

6. Crazy 8s

Players: Two to five players, ages four and up

Another fun card game for kids. Deal out five cards to each player. Place the remaining cards face down in a pile in the centre.

Turn over the first card from the pile and pop it on the floor next to the pile face up.

The first player puts a card on top of the face up card that matches suit or rank. If you don’t have a card, you pick one up from the face down pile. The player draws up to three cards before they pass to the next person. 8s are the crazy cards. They can be played on any turn. The player who puts down the 8 gets to pick the suit, and the next player has to play a card of that suit.

Once the draw pile is empty, if you don’t have a card that matches, you have to pass on your turn.

The first player to discard all of his cards wins.

7. Old Maid

Players: Two to eight players, ages four and up.

Deal out the entire deck of cards as evenly as possible to all players. Start by taking out the Queen of clubs, so only 51 cards remain in the deck.

Players start by sorting through their cards and pulling out any pairs. Now the game begins! Choose which player is to start. You hold your cards out face down to the person on your left. They pick one of your cards at random. If the card is a pair with one they already have, they discard with the others. Otherwise they hold onto it.

The game keeps going round until there are no more pairs and only the ‘Old Maid’, or the leftover pair, remains. The person holding this card at the end loses.

8. Snap

Players: Two to 12 players, ages three and up.

It’s an oldie, but a goodie and so much fun. Deal out the cards as evenly as possible to all players.  Players keep their cards in a pile face down.

Choose who goes first. You turn over the top card from your pile and place it face up in the middle. Move to the next player. Keep going around, until a matching card comes up. If someone puts down a matching card to the one already face up on the pile, the players race to ‘SNAP’ the pile. The one who gets there first wines the pile and adds it to their own.

The game keeps going until one player wins all of the cards.


9. Peanut Butter & Jelly

Players: Four, Six players or Eight players, 5 and up

This is a great team game and is a kid-friendly version of Spoons shown in the video above.. Start by dealing four cards to each player. Then split up into teams of two and come with a sign (tugging ear, touching nose, etc) they can make if one player gets all four of the same card. Dealer picks up the first card and can either keep it, or hand it on. The goal is to get four of the same kind.

When a player achieves this, they signal their player. If their partner sees it, they yell “Peanut Butter” and they win. But, if another team sees it first, they yell “Jelly”, and they win, whether they have four cards or not.

10. 52 Card Pick Up

Needing a little break from the kids? Surely your parents asked you to play this game when you were young. After all, it’s one of the best card games for kids…

Grab the deck and call the kids into the room to play 52 Card Pick Up. Once they’re eager and ready to go, throw the cards onto the floor and tell them to pick them up!

Parents need to have a bit of fun too, right…

Want more ideas for things to do at home with your kids?


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