If you told me I could only have one "toy" in my entire houseful with 6 kids, I would pick a deck of cards for sure! We go camping quite a bit so we definitely play a lot of cards. Even at home, we will have a card night where we all gather around the dining room table to play cards. Here are my 5 best card game suggestions for kids ages 4 years old and up:
1. Feudal Lords (our version of this card game) - we go through phases where we get hooked on different games. This is the current game. It is super easy and fun. Deal out all the cards. Players sort their cards from highest to lowest. Suit does not matter. The player with the 3 of clubs goes first, all 2's are wild and Ace is high card. The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards. You go clockwise taking turns. You have to follow in numerical order by either matching the number on the card or going higher.
Here is an example of how a round would go -
Player one plays the 3 of clubs.
Player 2 must play a 3 of any other suit or any card(s) higher than a 3. So let's say player 2 plays a single 4.
Player 3 plays 2 fives. Player four must now play two of any numerical card.
Player four plays 2 tens.
Player five plays 2 Aces.
Back to player 1 - must play 2 aces or a wild 2 to clear the board. If you can not you pass.
Player 2-4 do not have 2 aces and/or do not want to play a 2.
Play returns to player 5 who gets to clear the board and start over with whatever card he/she chooses.
Continue playing until everyone runs out of cards. The first person out of cards is the KING. Next person out is the QUEEN. Last person out is the SERVANT #1. Second to last person out is the SERVANT #2. Everyone in between are smoothies. If you are playing with only three people just have a king, smoothie and servant. When you play the next round, Servant #1 has to give the King his/her two best cards and the King gives the Servant back 2 cards. Servant #2 gives the Queen his/her best card and the Queen give Servant #2 back one card of his/her choice.
We usually play for a set amount of time. Sometimes we play with candy. Everyone starts with a pile of treats. If you are the King you get to pick a piece of candy from the Servant's pile. When you get to the last round, everyone keeps the candy that they have left. No eating any candy during the game.
2. Old Maid - My kids still love to play this game. Although it always lands up that someone cheats. You can read the rules at Bicycle Playing Cards.
3. I Doubt It - I used to love playing this game as a child and my children enjoy it as well. This is another one that can go on forever though so set a time limit. Read the rules here
4. Go Fish - This is probably one of the best games to start with for younger children (around 4 years old). Super simple game of making matches. Read the directions here.
5. Solitaire or Double Solitaire - This is an absolute classic that you must teach your children. First of all they can play it by themselves....need I say more. Read the directions here. Another version we love to play with more than one player is double, triple or even quadruple solitaire. Everyone plays solitaire at the same time but you all put your cards up in one shared location. Therefore, if one player puts up the Ace of diamonds, I can play my 2 of diamonds on the Ace even if I have not put my Ace of diamonds up. By playing with more than one person, in turns Solitaire into a face paced game of racing who can get their cards in order first. One rule is that you can only touch one card at a time. This is a favorite game of mine for sure. You do need a lot of table space.
What is your favorite card game to play with kids?
If you are looking for some great fun activities to play with the kids check out Set the Record. Only $1.99 and ready to print and play. Kids of all ages LOVE this game!
Check out all the other Family Game Night Ideas!