introduce your kids to playing cards with these three fun games

when you have a deck of cards, you have an endless collection of games you can play anywhere. you and your littles will have so much fun playing these three card games for kids.

kids card games

go fish

child holding a hand of playing cards in a playing card holder

what you need to play

how to play go fish

deal five cards face down to each player. (for three or fewer players, deal seven cards.) place the remaining cards scattered face down to create the draw pile. 

the player to the left of the dealer goes first. this player, the fisher, picks a specific opponent and asks them  if they have any cards matching the rank of a card in the fisher’s hand. for example, “do you have any kings?” (the fisher must also have a king) if the opponent has any cards of that rank, they must give the fisher all of them. 

if the fisher successfully gets a card or cards from an opponent, the fisher gets to ask again. they can ask another opponent or the same opponent and they can ask for a different card or the same card. when the fisher completes a set of four, they lay it face up in front of them. 

if the opponent does not have any of the requested cards, they respond, “go fish!” the fisher draws one card from the draw pile and the person to their left becomes the fisher and takes the next turn.

play continues until all 13 sets of 4 are completed. if a player runs out of cards during play, they may draw one card from the draw pile on their turn before making a request. the player with the most sets wins. 

for a shorter game, end when any player runs out of cards.

why you and your kids will love it

while many card games for kids are so simplified that they don’t resemble card games adults play, go fish plays more like a regular card game. it gives your littles a real introduction to interacting with other people, paying careful attention during all turns, trying to read a player’s intentions, and thinking strategically. it’s a good way to introduce a fun type of play that may be new to your children!

memory match/concentration

a kid opens a box of woodland animal themed playing cards. shown is a 3 of diamonds with a moth and a six of diamonds with a squirrel.

what you need to play

  • a deck of playing cards

how to play memory match/concentration

in memory match, players compete to collect the most pairs of cards.

shuffle the cards and lay them face down on the table in columns and rows. the first player turns over any two cards. if the cards have the same rank, the player collects the pair and continues to take turns until they fail to make a match. 

when the player does not make a match, they turn the two cards back over and the player to their left takes the next turn. when all cards have been collected, the player with the most pairs wins!

for a shorter game, remove two of the suits from the deck before playing, so that there is only one pair for all ranks.

why you and your kids will love it

many of us remember memory match as our first card game — and for good reason. it’s simple and easy to play, making it a perfect introduction for kids to the fun of card games. and as a bonus, kids are oftentimes much better at memory match than adults, making it a great confidence booster.


three children holding hands of woodland playing cards with beautifully illustrated designs on them

what you need to play

  • a deck of cards
  • enough spoons for all but one player (any set of kid-safe items will work if you don’t have spoons on hand)

how to play spoons

in spoons, your goal is to be the last person standing as a player gets eliminated in each round.

players sit in a circle with the spoons in the center of the play area (you need one fewer spoon than there are players–so for 4 players, you willl have 3 spoons in the center). the dealer deals each player four cards and then sets the remaining cards face down, in the middle, to create the draw pile. 

play moves quickly, with each player trying to create a set of four-of-a-kind. the dealer draws one card from the draw pile, adding it to their hand. they then choose any one of the five cards in their hand to lay face down in front of the player to their left. that player picks up that card and does the same while the dealer draws another card and repeats the process. 

players should be constantly passing one card at a time to the next player, with no player ever holding more than five cards in their hand at once. the last player creates a discard pile. ifthe draw pile runs out, pause to reshuffle the discard pile and then continue playing. 

whenever a player gets four of a kind, they take a spoon. immediately, all other players race to grab a spoon. the player who doesn’t get a spoon is out. 

you then play another round with one fewer player. shuffle the cards, remove one spoon from the center, and deal again. the last player standing wins!

why you and your kids will love it

spoons is a great game for all ages, making it ideal for those times when you need to engage little ones, big kids and adults. and it can be played with large groups–for groups of more than 7, use 2 decks of cards. spoons is also the perfect game for active littles! kids (and adults) who aren’t ready to sit calmly in a circle for a gamewill enjoy the fast pace of play and the frenzied race to grab a spoon.

beautiful playing cards for kids

get our beautiful woodland wanderings playing cards, and enjoy countless screen-free activities with your kids. add our gorgeous woodland card holders to help your littles while they learn to play.

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