Key Initiatives To Early Education

PLAYful Idea of the Day – Thur 3/26

Kid-Friendly Card Games Beyond Go Fish

SPOONS: you need a standard deck of cards with no Jokers, spoons-one fewer than there are players, good for any number of players.

Objective: The winner is the last player remaining.

How to Play: Arrange the spoons in a small circle in the center of the table and deal four cards to each player. Each player tries to make four of a kind. The dealer takes a card off the top of the deck to have five cards in his hand, removes one and passes it facedown to the left. Each player discards to the person on his left. The last player places his discard into a trash pile. Cards are picked up and passed quickly around the table until someone gets four of a kind and takes a spoon from the center. Once the player with four of a kind takes a spoon, anyone can take a spoon. The player left without a spoon is out. If at any time the draw cards run out, pause to reshuffle the trash pile and keep going. Remove one spoon at the start of each hand so that there is always 1 fewer spoons than players.

The fun part: The player who reaches four of a kind first has a variety of ways he can take the first spoon. A sneaky pull exposes those paying too close attention to their cards. A demonstrative grab leads to a wild free-for-all. Either way, it’s hilarious.


SNAP: use a standard deck of cards.

Objective: Be the last player with cards to win.

How to Play: Anyone may deal. Shuffle the cards and deal all the cards out to the players as equally as possible. Players do not look at their cards but keep them in a face down stack in front of them.

The player to dealer’s left begins and the turn to play passes clockwise. At your turn you simply turn the top card of your face-down pile and place it face-up alongside. In this way each player forms a pile of face-up cards beside their face-down pile. If at any moment two of the face-up piles have matching cards at the top (for example two sixes or two kings), anyone who notices this shouts “snap!”

The first person to shout “snap!” takes both matching face-up piles and adds them face-down to the bottom of their face-down pile. The game then continues as before, beginning with the player to the left of the last one who turned a card.

If you have no face-down cards left when it comes to your turn, you simply turn over your face-up pile to make a new face-down pile and turn over the top card as before. If you have no cards left at all, you are out of the game.

Tips & Other Rules: When turning up cards, you are not allowed to peek at your card before the other players can see it. To ensure this, cards should be turned over facing away from the player, so that if it is turned too slowly the turning player will see it last.

If a player shouts “snap” in error, when there is no match, that player’s face-up pile is taken away and put in the center of the table, where it becomes a snap pool. If this happens several times there can be several snap pools. If the top card of any player’s pile matches the top card of one of the snap pools, the first player who calls “snap pool” takes both piles.


Crazy Eights

Age: 5+

Number of players: 2-4

Cards: Standard deck of 52 cards

How to play: In a two-player game, each player is dealt seven cards. In a game with three or four players, each player is dealt five cards. The rest of the deck goes facedown in a pile, with the top card turned up beside it. This is the discard pile. The player to the left of the dealer discards a card from his hand that matches either the number or suit of the top card in the discard pile. For example, if the card is a five of hearts, he could play any heart or any five. If he does not have a matching card, he continues picking up cards from the deck until he gets one that is playable. Eights are wild and can be put down on any suit. For example, an eight could be played to match a heart. The next player must match their card to the number or suit that the eight was meant to cover. Play continues with players matching the card at the top of the discard pile. The first player to use up all his cards wins. If the deck runs out before the game is over, the discard pile can be used.


Age: 6+

Number of players: 2

Cards: Standard deck of 52 cards

How to play: All cards are dealt to the two players and kept face down. Neither player must look at their cards. Both players turn over the top card of their piles and put them face up in the center of the table, beside the other player’s card. Whoever has turned over the highest ranking card takes both cards and adds them to the bottom of his pile. This continues until two cards of the same value (i.e. two sevens) are put down together. The game is now in a state of “war.” To continue, both players take two new cards and put one face down on top of the card they have already placed in the middle and one face up. Whoever puts down the higher ranking face up card wins all six. The game is won by the player who collects all of the cards.


Age: 3+

Number of players: 2+

Cards: Standard deck of 52 cards

How to play: Older children can use the whole deck of 52 cards, but younger children may want to use fewer cards. Make sure the deck you use is made up of pairs.

Shuffle and spread cards face down on a table between the players. Cards can be laid in a random pattern or in a grid. The object of the game is to find matching pairs. Players take turns turning over two cards and letting all the players see them and study them. If they are not a matching pair, try to remember what and where they are, then turn them back over. The next player turns over two cards. If they are a matching pair, that player removes them from the table and keeps them, and then has another turn. When all cards have been removed from the table, each player counts up the number of cards they have collected. The player with the most cards wins.

%d bloggers like this: