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 almost all ages to play together!
For small hands, try either a chip clip, a Little Hands Card Holder, or 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 set in stone. You know your kids best and can decide if they can play games higher or lower than the recommended age levels.
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.
Have fun, practice addition, use strategies!! The goal is to get your four cards to add up to the lowest score. 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. Is this why she loves it so much? It’s really fun and only takes around 10 minutes to play one game.
North Star Games
The Happy Salmon game is so fast and furious (and loud) and silly — that you will LOVE it! Get ready to laugh a lot when you play this game. It’s action-packed and quite frankly a great option for spending family time together.
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! (Even in middle school!)
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.
Check the Fridge! A Shameless Game of Bluffing
Check the Fridge is a win for us. We love it because it gets us laughing, it is food-themed, and we can practice our ninja-like addition math skills.
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 but 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?
This fun, fast-paced word 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.
Long Cow “an Udderly Ridiculous Card Game” is another clever Gamewright game whose goal is to make the most cows in a herd. You can get extra points for having the longest cow, go figure. And use wildcards to build hybrid cows. You’ll either love or hate the “moo” sound that 3rd place gets — it’s silly! Fantastic artwork.
ages 8+ (great for teens and adults, too!)
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. You’ll have a handful of phrase cards like “No Taylor, I cannot just shake it off”. I guarantee tons of laughs — this is a hilariously delightful card game experience!!
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.
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