My family loves family game night which is pretty much every night for us. We buy and test games regularly — for us and for you. Here are our picks for the best card games for kids of all ages.
For small hands, try a chip clip to hold all the cards, or just allow your kids to put their cards on the table — even though they will be visible.
Also, the recommended age ranges of the card games aren’t gospel — you know your kids best if they can play games higher or lower than the recommended age level.
Card Games for Kids
Roll and Play
ages 18 months+
I love this interactive card game for toddlers and preschoolers. Roll the big colored dice, pick the matching color card, and do the action. There are 48 game cards in six age-appropriate categories:
War helps kids learn the value of numbers — bigger than and less than. Plus it’s fast and fun! This larger sized deck of cards is just right for little hands.
Go Fish / Crazy Eights / Alphabet Concentration / Old Maid
These are the classic cards games of childhood. Stick them in your bag and have them with you at restaurants. I used to take my kids out for game dates at a bagel store and have many happy memories of Go Fish and bagels. My suggestion for Go Fish is to start with pairs instead of fours — it makes it easier to win and shorter to play which is better for younger kids.
I think this is a great concept and card game but I’ll be honest –no one in my family likes snakes so this game doesn’t make our regularly play list. However, I’m throwing it in because it’s a fun game for learning colors. If you can handle the snakes. 🙂
The goal is to get your four cards to add up to the lowest score. You’re dealt four cards face down and can only peek at the cards on the edges. Draw and strategize if you will replace your cards or keep them. When you think you have the lowest score, say “rat-a-tat-cat” and everyone must show their cards and add up their scores. Somehow my youngest daughter ALWAYS wins this game. Might be why she loves it so much! It’s really fun and only takes around 10 minutes to play one game.
Help the Sleeping Queens wake up by waking them up with the Kings. The goal is to be the first player with queens that add up to 50 points. Steal queens, put opponents queens back to sleep, and fight dragons. What will your kids favorite queens and kings be? This is a card game my kids play over and over!
Blue Orange Games
ages 6+ (Get Spot It! Junior for younger players)
Have you played this addicting card game yet? It’s a blast! Match an image on your card to the card in the middle and win the card. The winner is the player with the most cards.
If you’re like me, you have a love / hate relationship with this card game that often NEVER ENDS! (Monopoly is worse though.) Anyway, it is a great family game and one which works well for trips.
Scrambled States of America
This game gets regular play in our house. Not only is it fun to play, kids get more familiar with the United States.
We laugh so much during this game as we totally butcher words, trying to figure them out. My daughter has started writing down the funny words we invent on accident. To win a card, you have to read the word in one of the colored circles correctly. The player with the most cards wins. Such a blast!
John N. Hansen
This is always a top pick for a fun, get-us-laughing game! Match the best caption to the photo and see who the judge picks as the winner.
ages 8+ (for younger kids, try Swish Jr.)
Yet another game my kids excel at — their visual discrimination skills beat mine every time. Your goal is to match pairs of cards that complement each other — so the color circle matches the color ball. It’s not easy — you have to scan the 16 cards on the table to find your matches. The player with the most matches wins. One day, I’ll win. Right?
Use those visual discrimination skills to make sets fo three (symbols, numbers, colors, and shading.) It’s a bit tricky to figure out until you see the examples in the directions. If I had to pick between Swish and Set, I’d probably pick Swish for the kids’ favorite.
We just got this game and I’m so excited to test it out since it’s similar to Rummy. Be the first to go out in this unique set of cards with 5 suits (adds stars) and where 3s are wilds. It gets RAVE reviews on Amazon.