Friday, 13 November 2015

The Best Card Games for Preschoolers

I have mentioned before that we play cards quite a lot in this house, and include it in my curriculum details for our home ed checks. (See free preschool curriculum here.)

A few kind people have gifted us several children's versions of card games over the years, such as Uno (basically Switch but with special designs instead of using ordinary playing cards) or playing cards in a larger size which just seemed to make a hand even more difficult to hold!  Some just had childish pictures on them.  We always come back to a straight playing deck.

Cards are great for helping numeracy in the early years, and continuing into later years with games of Fish and then 21.  The best thing about this activity is that unless you tell the kids that this is a "lesson" they would never know.  We enjoy card games sometimes on family evenings and occasionally the kids get them out in their own time.

Our favourite games for our preschoolers are:


Never never underestimate the draw of playing Snap, however old the kids are. There is always someone willing to have a game with the young 'un.  Even tots love this!  Once your preschooler is used to turn-taking you could introduce another player to help the preschooler to further develop patience.

Clock Patience

In our preschool version of this game, the aim is not to beat the king but simply to place each newly overturned card into its correct place on the clock.  This helps develop counting, number recognition and number order.  It is a game I find my current preschooler enjoys doing alone while the others get on with their maths books.


We turn two cards of each number or picture card face down in rows and columns.  Turn two cards over for each turn. If the cards match, you take the pair out.  If they do not match, turn them back over and another player or lone player tries again.  The trick is to try and remember where previously turned-over cards were.  Continue until cards are used up or preschooler gets bored!  I find the kids are happier playing this one with a turn-taking partner.

Do you have any favourite card games for stealth learning development at home?

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