20 Favorite Card Games for Kids
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Want some new card games for kids that they’ll LOVE? Even better, card games that your entire family will love…and that may even teach concepts and skills?
Since my family loves family game night (pretty much every night for us), we buy and test games regularly. I want to share our favorite card games for kids so you can find the best card games for your family, too. Specifically, games for many ages of children to play together!
Here’s a helpful tip for small hands. To hold the cards, let your young kids use a chip clip, a Little Hands Card Holder, or let younger players place their playing cards on the table — even though they will be visible to others.
Stick a card game or two in your bag and have them with you at restaurants. I used to take my kids out for card game dates at a bagel store. We have many happy memories of playing Go Fish while eating bagels.
Also, keep in mind that the recommended age ranges of the card games aren’t set in stone. You know your kids best and can decide if they can play games higher or lower than the recommended age levels.
Finally, don’t forget that you can play many games with a regular deck of cards and a good book of game ideas.
Favorite Card Games for Kids
Roll and Play
ages 18 months+
Toddlers and preschoolers love this interactive card game with actions like singing and movement. Players roll the big colored dice, pick the matching color card, and do the action it says. (Adults can help by reading the card’s action.) There are 48 game cards in six age-appropriate categories.
The War card game helps kids learn the value of numbers, specifically greater than and less than. Plus, it’s fast and fun! This larger-sized deck of cards is just right for little hands. To play, players turn over the top card at the same time. Whoever has the bigger number wins that round.
Go Fish / Crazy Eights / Alphabet Concentration / Old Maid
These are the classic card games for kids — Go Fish, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, and Alphabet Soup matching. My suggestion for Go Fish is to start with pairs to win instead of sets of fours — it makes it easier to win and shorter to play, which is better for younger kids.
Blue Orange Games
ages 6+ (Get Spot It! Junior for younger players)
Have you played this visual card game yet? It’s a blast, easy to play, and just-right to carry in your purse or backpack. The goal is to scan the pictures quickly, match any of the images on your own card to the card in the middle, and place your card on the pile in the middle when you find the match. The winner is the player who is out of cards first. We LOVE Spot It — and all its versions (Christmas, camping, and more)!!
Have fun, practice addition, and use strategies!! The goal of this game is to collect four cards that add up to the lowest score. When you think you have the lowest score, say “rat-a-tat-cat.” When you say this, all other players must show their cards and add up their scores. Whoever has the lowest score of cards wins the round. Somehow my youngest daughter ALWAYS wins this game. Is this why she loves it so much? I like it because 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? We play this card game frequently! (Even in middle school!) It’s our favorite card game for kids and families.
Check the Fridge! A Shameless Game of Bluffing
Check the Fridge is a winning card game for kids and our family. We love it because it gets us laughing, it is food-themed, and we can practice our ninja-like addition math skills. Yes, you’ll get to use addition skills while having a great time.
If you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with the Uno classic card games because who else has played a game that NEVER ENDS!? (Monopoly is worse, though.) Anyway, it is a great family game that works well for trips. We have UNO Harry Potter, also but we prefer the regular Uno to the thematic one. The winner is the player who is out of cards first.
Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza
ages 8 – adult (my teenagers love this game, too!)
Get ready for an easy-to-learn, hilarious game! Race against other players to slap a match between a card and the spoken word. Because players must say the words (taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza) and place down a card– whatever card is in their hand. IF the card matches the word they say, then you smash down your hand. The player who gets rid of all their cards first WINS!
ages 8+, 1 – 5 players
Gamewright’s Shifting Stones game for kids won the official Mensa Select seal in 2022! Besides being an engaging strategy game, you’ll develop your visual/spatial skills and long-term planning and it takes less than five minutes to learn! The goal of Shifting Stones is to win cards and points by moving the 9 titles to match a card in your hand. You can flip over or switch the tile stones during your moves as long as you discard a card. Full review here.
Scrambled States of America
This geography game gets regular play in our house. Not only is it fun to play, but it helps kids beocme more familiar with the United States.
More Card Games for Kids
We laugh so much during this game as we 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 winner is the player with the most cards at the end. It is such a blast! SEE MY REVIEW HERE.
John N. Hansen
This is always a top card game for kids that gets us laughing hysterically! Players match a card with the funniest caption to the photo card drawn for all players. One player sits out to be the judge and picks the winning combination.
ages 6+, 3-8 players
In this favorite of all the card games for kids, players grab a colored stack of cards with four actions: Pound It!, Switcheroo, High 5, and Happy Salmon. When the game starts, everyone starts YELLING (or saying) what is on their first card. When they hear someone else has the same card, they do the action on the card, then discard the card in the middle of the group of players. Get ready to laugh a lot when you play this game. It’s action-packed and a great option for spending family time together.
Pass the Pigs
This is my husband’s favorite game to play with the kids. This Pass the Pigs classic party game consists of 2 pigs you use as dice, pad, 2 pencils and carrying case. Roll them as many times as you dare on your turn to score points. Just don’t role a “pig out” or an “oinker”. The first person to 100 points wins.
ages 8+ (for younger kids, try Swish Jr.)
Here’s another visual discrimination card game that my kids win 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?
This fun, fast-paced word card game has categories and letters. Players call out answers to the categories starting with the letters given. The first player to get rid of their cards wins.
We love this fun avocado twist on the game of Snap! It’s simple to learn and quick to play. Players place cards down and when they get a number match or a smash card, they must smash their hands down quickly. The last person to smash, gets the pile of cards. The first person with no cards wins. Even my teenager loves this fun game!
Check the Oven
A hilarious card game of bluffing helps kids develop confidence and math skills! Players use strategy, humor, and logic to accumulate playing cards that add up to 12.
ages 8+ (great for teens and adults, too!)
If you like to laugh and have a group of people, this is one of our favorite card games for kids. Pick an accent card such as pirate, side mouth talker, vampire, Italian, stuffy nose, Valley Girl, or Chewbacca then read one of your phrase cards in that accent.
Use those visual discrimination skills to make sets of 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 as my kids’ favorite.
Abandon All Artichokes
From our friends at Gamewright, this card game for kids goal is to ditch all the artichoke cards (to the compost) in favor of other vegetables.
5 Second Rule
Great for a group of all ages, this is one of our favorite card games for kids and families. First, a player picks a card and reads the topic, immediately starting the timer. The other player quickly names 3 things that apply to the the topic—in 5 seconds! If they don’t get three things, the next player gets a chance to guess. It’s easy and fun with guaranteed laughter.
ages 8+, 2 – 4 players
Be the fastest to place your cards in sequence and the same respective colors on the center Dutch piles while using as many cards from your Blitz Pile as possible. When your Blitz Pile has been exhausted, you’ve won. This is one of those classic card games for kids that continues to be popular.
Magic: The Gathering Adventures in The Forgotten Realm
This card game for kids who are nine and up is a VERY popular team-up between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, creating the ultimate fantasy card game.
What do you think the best card games for kids are? Which are your favorites from my list?
What is the No. 1 card game?
The top card games are UNO, Spades, and Magic the Gathering.
What is the most popular type of card game?
Using a regular deck, the most popular card games you can play are spades, poker, war, rummy, cribbage, and hearts.
What is the biggest card game right now?
Magic the Gathering remains the biggest trading and collectable card game with avid fans and followers.
See also: The Best Educational Games for Preschoolers and The Best Logic and Strategy Games for Kids
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UNO is the one I know and love (and haven’t played in YEARS!), but these other ones look good, too 🙂 I think “Game Night” is a great thing to do. Something I was never successful at making happen when my son was young : /
thanks, Donna — all we can do is take one day at a time and do our best. 🙂