Card games can be a lot of fun to play with your children. There are several they will enjoy over and over once they learn them.
Go Fish is a popular game that very young children can play. They just need to be able to make matches with numbers. Each player either starts with five or seven cards, depending on the number of players. The first player will ask any of the others for all their 5’s or Queens, or any other rank they need to complete a match. If they have that rank, the player gives it to the first player who asked. If they do not have that rank in their hand, they will say “Go Fish,” and the first player will draw from the pile. If at any time a player gets a match of four numbers, they lay them down and go again. The game goes on until all the cards are gone from the discard pile. The person with the most matches wins!
Rummy is a great card game to play with children who can do simple addition. In this game, each player collects sets of cards, either of the same suit or consecutive “runs” of cards. Starting with 10 cards in their hand, each player picks up a card from either the draw or the discard pile each turn to look for matches, and then they must discard every turn. When a player has matched all or most of his cards, he lays them down in front of him. In the end, everyone adds up the score for any unmatched cards in their hand, and the person with the lowest hand scores the difference between their hand and that of the other hands. A player has “gin” if he has no unmatched cards.
Snap is another great game for even the little ones. All the cards in the deck are dealt out to the players face down in a pile in front of each player. Then each player turns their top card over, either one at a time or simultaneously, and the first player to notice a card that has a matching number says, “snap!” The player that says “snap” first gets all the cards from the other players’ discard piles added to his own. The end of the game comes when one person has collected all the cards.