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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
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104 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best card games for kids

Playing cards have been around for over a thousand years. Clearly, they've stood the test of time. Over the past millennium, however, card games have evolved, especially card games for kids. Today, there are thousands of card games available. How do you know which ones are the best?

The right card game for a child is one that captures their interest. The cards may be brightly colored, but the theme should be something the child enjoys. The rules shouldn't be overly complicated. Often, the best card games for kids put every player on a somewhat level playing field by involving a little luck as well as skill.

If you are searching for information about card games for kids, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we discuss the key considerations to keep in mind when shopping as well as the benefits of giving your child a card game to play.

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If your child is severely addicted to screen time, download apps, such as Crazy 8s or Uno, that can also be played with real cards to help them eventually transition away from their devices.

Key considerations

Age level

Age appropriateness is critical when choosing a card game for a child. For example, small playing pieces could pose a choking hazard for a very young child. Additionally, a card game designed for “ages three and up” likely would not entertain a preteen. Lastly, there are a few card games that are simply inappropriate for children. Following the age range listed on the box is recommended.

Number of players

Some card games are designed to be thrilling for just two players. Other card games can quickly turn boring if there are not at least four people engaged in the game. Try to match the card game to the number of players who will most often be playing. For example, if you have four family members, a card game designed for four players may be ideal.

Not all card games need multiple players. Teaching your child to play solitaire can help them learn to enjoy alone time.

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Features

Repeated play

Card games that can be played multiple times without becoming predictable are ideal for children. Games that feature grouping or matching or have an outcome that is dependent on how the cards are shuffled tend to have a longer active life than games that feature bits of trivia or finite options.

Expandable

The cure for games that become predictable is booster packs. If you can purchase additional decks that expand how the original game is played, it can infuse new life into an old game.

Luck or strategy

Do you want to play a game where victory depends solely on luck? Or, do you prefer one that requires strategy? While the choice is yours (actually your child's), usually, a game that involves a combination of strategy and luck is the most fun.

Educational focus

Educational focus is important for kids who need help in certain areas. Some card games rely on number and color recognition while others require knowing mathematical knowledge or memory skills. Choose a game that helps develop your child in areas where they need it the most.

Theme

If your child has a favorite something, look for a card game designed around that theme. It could be race cars, princesses, video game characters, animals, or something else.

Ease of play

Games with an overwhelming number of rules can be more tedious than fun. The ideal card game should be fairly easy to play on the first attempt yet challenging enough that your child doesn't lose interest.

Other items

While the most important part of a card game is the cards, some games incorporate other elements, such as a game board, playing pieces, action figures, or electronic equipment. If you want an experience that goes beyond the cards, look for a game that has one or more of these extras.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Some people believe the number of cards in a deck represents the 52 weeks of the year. Additionally, some say the 13 cards (ace through king) represent the 13 lunar cycles and the four suits represent the four seasons.
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Accessories

When you purchase a card game, you usually get everything you need to play the game at the time of purchase. However, there are a few accessories that you might want to consider to enhance the experience.

Card holder: Gamewright Little Hands Playing Card Holder 
Sometimes, little hands have a hard time holding multiple cards. This device is designed to help kids ages three and up hold their cards.

Travel case: Luck Lab Single Deck Leather Playing Card Case 
If you love to play card games, this single-deck travel case with felt-lining and magnetic closure will let you bring the fun with you wherever you go. And, it will let you do so in style.

Card tray: Brybelly 6-Deck Rotating-Revolving Card Tray 
How many times has your draw pile spilled into your discard pile and created havoc during gameplay? This handy card tray holds two stacks of narrow or wide cards and rotates to provide convenient access for all players.

Card shuffler: Yuanhe Casino 2-Deck Automatic Card Shuffler
Even if the kids don't need help shuffling, having a card shuffler can add a little fun and excitement to their game. This model shuffles up to two decks of standard-size cards in seconds. It requires four AA batteries (not included).

Card games for kids: prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable card games for kids cost less than $10. These are basic games such as Go Fish or Crazy 8s, which require only one deck of cards to play.

Mid-range: For $10 to $20, you will find card games that employ multiple decks or use other accessories, such as a game board or small electronic device. You may even find bundles that include several games in one package. 

High-end: Moving above $20, you can find themed games in which the cards may also be collectibles. In this price range, the games will most likely be for older kids and have more complicated rules.

For the very young, choose card games that are simple to play so the child can easily grasp the concept and devise their own strategy to win.

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Benefits of playing card games

A child learns skills when playing card games that can lead to development in other areas. Here are some of the benefits of playing card games.

  • Children learn how to take turns and follow rules.
  • Children get practice recognizing numbers, shapes, and colors.
  • Counting and grouping skills may improve.
  • Confidence builds as a child improves at a game or skill.
  • Children who play card games typically have advanced math and memory skills.
  • Playing card games teaches children how to engage in competition in a healthy way.
  • A child's verbal communication skills may improve as a result of playing card games.
  • Playing card games with loved ones promotes family bonding and creates lasting memories.
  • Manipulating cards helps a child develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
  • Conversation arises naturally during gameplay and isn't as forced as "Tell me about your day."
  • A child who plays games often has higher emotional intelligence, which makes them more self-aware and empathetic.
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When your kids are young, set aside a specific day and time to devote to family play. Make fun a priority of growing up.

FAQ

Q. How can I get my kids interested in card games?

A. Kids like to have fun, and they are impressionable. The easiest way to get them interested in an activity like a card game is for parents to play along and have fun. When your child sees you doing something you enjoy, they will be more open to trying it themselves.

Q. Should I let my child win?

A. Winning builds confidence that can transfer to other areas in life. If you let your child win, they will enjoy the game more. On the other hand, losing can help a child learn to deal with disappointment. It also shows a child that winning is something that is earned. Many parents decide that the best approach is a mixture of these two tactics.

Q. How can I teach my child to lose gracefully?

A. One strategy is to not make a big deal of losing yourself. Another: when your child is young, don't allow winning to become the main focus. Having fun and playing the game is what is important. 

When your child loses, look for the lessons to be learned. For example, how could they have played better? Also, teach them to sincerely congratulate the winner. As your child gets older, knowing what it feels like to lose can give them compassion in other life situations.

 

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