8 Easy Card Games For Kids

go fish for kids
Do You Have Any Fours?

Screen Free Week continues around our house, and while I may have grabbed my phone once or twice, it’s actually much easier for the kids than it is on the parents. My wife really misses Victor Newman, I miss the 6 o’clock news, the kids aren’t missing anything.

We’ve played tag, soccer, and chased bubbles in the backyard, we’ve had geocaching adventures, and we’ve played cards. Lots of cards.

Cards are a great game for kids. It teaches them numbers, math, strategy, patterns, and they fit perfectly into our theme of Screen Free Week.

My 5 year old has loved playing Go Fish! (or Goldfish as he likes to call it). And here’s the thing: I had forgotten how to play. Utterly, and totally, had forgotten how to play Go Fish. And Crazy Eights. And Old Maid.

After the jump, a list of more than 8 Card Games you can play with your kids (and the rules in case you forgot how to play too).

  • Go Fish 1 of 8
    You can play with 2 - 5 players. Dealing 7 or 5 cards to each. The rest becomes the draw pile.

    The object of the game is to run out of cards by making pairs. The first player begins by asking another player for a specific card: "Momma, do you have a 3?" If the player has the card, they hand it over. If they don't have the card, they say "Go Fish," and the player takes a card from the draw pile.

    Whenever a player makes a pair (either from another player or via draw pile), they put the pair down, and go again. The game ends when one player runs out of cards.
  • Snap! 2 of 8
    This is a fun and fast game for 2 to 12 players. Players are dealt the entire deck of cards, some may have extra, that's fine. The cards are placed face down in front of each player.

    The first player to the dealer's left turns over a card. The next player turns up a card, and so on. When two matching cards are turned up, the first player to yell "SNAP!" gets the face up stacks.

    The game ends when one player has all the cards.
  • Crazy Eights 3 of 8
    Two to four players can play this game and are dealt 5 or 7 cards each with the remainder forming a draw pile.

    The top card is turned over to form a discard pile. The first player must match that card's value or suit. If they can't, they draw cards until they can.

    If the player cannot match and has, or draws, an 8, they can use it as a wildcard. They place it on the pile and then name the suit in play.

    The first player out of cards, wins.
  • Old Maid 4 of 8
    You play with 2 to 8 players, removing all but one Queen from the deck. The remaining Queen is the Old Maid. Deal all the cards to the players, some may have more than others, that's fine.

    All players remove their dealt pairs from their hands. Then the dealer offers their cards, face down, to the player to their left. The player randomly chooses one card. If it matches one of their cards, they put the pair down.

    That player then does the same to the player on their left, and the play moves around the table until all pairs have been put down.

    The game ends when one player is left holding the Old Maid and loses.
  • War 5 of 8
    Divide the deck amongst the players in a face down stack. Each player flips over their top card, the highest ranking card showing then takes the pile of cards.

    Ties are broken by flipping the next card. The player that has the most cards after the stacks has been flipped is the winner.
  • Memory / Concentration 6 of 8
    Two to six players can play this game that is a popular iPad pastime at our place. So it's time to teach the kids how we played it back in tha day.

    Start by laying out the cards on the table in a 4x13 grid. Players turn over two cards trying to make a match. If they match, they pick up the cards and go again. If they don't, they flip them back over.

    The game continues until all the cards have been matched and the winner is determined by who has the most cards.
  • 52 PIckup 7 of 8
    One of the best practical jokes, that only works once. Say to your kid, "I've got a great new card game, it's called 52 Pickup! Want to play?" Of course they will scream with glee. You then spray the cards and tell them to "Pick up!" Ahhh, good times.
  • Poker 8 of 8
    It is never too early to start, right? The rules are a little too complicated to explain here, so check out About.com's summary.

These games are a great entry for kids. I spent many hours with my grandparents playing Cribbage, Uno, Wizard, Up and Down The River, and assorted card games. When my Nan passed away, we had a deck of cards on her memorial table, they were that much a part of our family.

What’s your favourite card game to play?

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