10 Different Ways to Play with a Deck of Cards

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  1. Play WAR but switch it up: Who’s card is the highest? Who’s card is the lowest? Who can shout out the answer to a math problem between the cards the quickest? (Add the numbers together, subtract the smallest from the largest, multiply the two numbers together.)
  2. Sort them: So simple, but so great for little ones learning to sort. Have them sort them by number, by color, by category (spade, diamonds, hearts).
  3. Place value: Label the different place values and instruct your child to place the card in a particular place value. What number did he/she make?
  4. Reciting numbers: Keep it simple for the early learners and just have them tell you the number on each card. Amp it up by creating larger numbers to have to figure out.
  5. Card exercise: Assign an exercise movement to each number of card, have players take turns picking the card. Every player has to do the movement assigned to the particular card. (Ex: pick a 2 and do 2 squats, pick a 5 and do 5 jumping jacks, pick a queen and do a curtsy squat)
  6. Card dance party: Like above, but assign a dance movement. Get in a circle and then memorize the movement of the player before you and keep the dance going for as long as possible!
  7. Guess what card: Hold a card on your forehead for the other players to see. Have each player come up with a hint to give you so that you can guess your card. (Ex. Player holds a number 6 card. Possible hints: Your card is an even number. Your number is how old Johnny turned on his last birthday.)
  8. High-Low (and vice versa): Each player holds a card on their head for the other person to see. The players have to work as a team to put themselves in the correct order from highest to lowest or vice versa without knowing what their card is.
  9. Practice your telephone number or address: Have your child use the correct numbers on the cards to memorize their telephone number and address numbers. (You will have to assign one of the face cards with a 0 for this.)
  10. Create a treasure map- Label a dice with “left”, “right”, “straight,” “backwards”, “left”, and “right”. (We use this kind.)Roll the dice and pick a card. Pick a total of 10 cards. If the dice says “left” and you choose a 3, turn left and take 3 steps. Using the cards as pace markers, bury your treasure where you land after taking 10 turns. Draw a map to see if you can get the next player there. (For younger kids, you can make it less turns and this can be an activity to just reinforce following instructions and learning directions. For older kids you can make it more difficult by using cardinal directions.)

Have you played any of these games? What different ways do you play with a deck of cards?

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