These card games offer the perfect quick connection activity with my kids.
One of my goals recently is to have a couple ten minute “Special Times” (one-on-one time) with of my kids each day. You might think ten minutes one-on-one is short and would happen every day naturally, but it doesn’t seem to happen without me making it a priority, and just that short time of concentrated attention is making a big difference for all of our happiness. Card games have been a real hit for this time as they’re easy to pull out and fun for everyone.
Here are our favorite card games for young kids. These games require no reading, making them great for pre-readers or beginning readers, yet they’re fun for grown ups too. The links below are Amazon affiliate links:
Spot It is a quick matching game – each card has one item in common with each other card, but ONLY one thing. It takes quick eyes to spot the matching items. The game comes with five different ways to play and when you play one on one with your child you can alter the rules as needed to make it enjoyable for them to play.
My only issue with playing this game with younger kids is that the version we have (pictured above) has rather odd images. You can learn or make up the names of them (weird hand shape! question mark! target!), but if I could go back I would buy the version they have out now called Spot It Jr.! Animals which has cute pictures of animals – much easier to recognize than the pictures on the original Spot It cards.
Uno – This classic is such a great ten minute game. Kids can start learning it very young and you can play simply at first, just matching colors or learning their numbers. By the time they’re five years old or so, they can play on their own against you, and there’s just enough luck involved that they can win occasionally,even when you play at your best against them.
Aquarius is a little like dominoes with cards. It requires no reading, features colorful cards and quirky rules for play. You might have to help younger kids understand what to goal is, but even if they don’t quite get it, they have fun linking up the cards.
Zeus on the Loose – As we mention in our post about the best math card games and board games, Zeus on the Loose is a great game for building quick addition skills – perfect for kids (and grown ups) ages 8+. It’s also just downright fun,and the rounds go quickly, making it perfect for squeezing in a card game after dinner on a school night.
Story cards – We use story cards as story starters, as inspiration for mini books or conversation starters at dinner. eeBoo has many different sets of story cards available such as: eeBoo Tell Me a Story – Animal Village, which includes instructions for a variety of imaginative games. If rolling dice is more your style you may enjoy Rory’s Story Cubes too.
- Kings on the Corner – was a favorite in my husband’s family when he was growing up.
- Gin Rummy – This is what my grandma taught us when we’d come to visit, might be harder with young kids.
- Go Fish – There is something delightful about telling your opponent, “Nope, go fish!”
Those are a few of our favorite card games to play with our 5 and 8 year old (the 2 year old also gleefully “plays” when she’s on someone’s team ;)). What else can you recommend? I love having these easy to games for connection time and would be happy to add more.