Child’s Play: The Best Card Games for Kids
Playing games with kids is a great way to improve their math and reading skills, encourage problem-solving, develop teamwork, strategies and gain an understanding of how to both win and lose fairly. If you’re really lucky, you may even find a game that kids enjoy more than screen time and can play on their own without help from an adult. We call this the ‘holy grail’ of kid’s games. Card games for kids are a great option for keeping kids busy since they can tick all these boxes and are typically more compact than board games, making them ideal for travel or keeping kids busy while away from home.
There are plenty of great games that are suitable for kids of all ages and in some cases are fun for the whole family to play on game night. We’ve compiled a list of some tried and true favorites, as well as several new additions to the wonderful world of kid’s card games. Taco, cats, and butts are all really having a moment right now.
Whether you’re trying to fill an empty Sunday afternoon, keep kids entertained on a car trip, or want a non-screentime suggestion for their next sleepover, these card games are not only fun for kids, but they even sneak in some great lessons along the way. Yes, even the butt games.
One of the world’s most recognizable card games, you can get variations with everything from SpongeBob Squarepants characters to WWE stars, but nothing quite beats the classic. With four suits including 25 cards each, as well as eight wild cards (including the dreaded +4!), you can spend hours on rainy or sick days getting lost in this game.
2. Exploding Kittens
BEST FOR TEENS
A great game for the whole family (yes, even teens will want to play), Exploding Kittens has, well, exploded in the game market in the past few years. The card game for kids is ideal for older kids who can quickly grasp the rules and learn to strategize in order to stay alive in a game best described as kitten roulette (no actual kittens are harmed in the playing of this game). The silly cards will entertain kids and adults and one round can be played in about 15 minutes, which is short enough to keep the attention span of younger players.Buy: Exploding Kittens $19.82
3. Monopoly Deal Card Game
BEST BOARD GAME CROSSOVER
We are big fans of Monopoly, but the board is big and games can take for-ev-er. Thankfully, there’s a way to take a compact game of Monopoly with you on trips and games can be played in under 45 minutes or the length of the car ride to grandma’s house. Players still need to collect properties in order to win Monopoly, but in the card version they must look out for debt collectors, deals and deal breakers. Even in card game form, Monopoly is still a great way to teach kids about math and money … and the crushing blow of entering the housing market for the first time. Too dark?Buy: Monopoly Deal Card Game $7.99
4. Kids Against Maturity
BEST KID VERSION OF AN ADULT GAME
Kids Against Maturity was one of our top picks for kids’ board games and it definitely deserves to be on our best card games for kids list as well. The game comes with more than 600 questions that are designed to elicit laughs and silly suggestions from players. One player gets to decide whose fill-in-the-blank response is the best and the player with the most cards at the end of the game wins. A great game for kids to play on their own or with the whole family, Kids Against Maturity is a card game that helps to build fun memories of game night.Buy: Kids Against Maturity $24.99
5. 3UP 3DOWN Card Game
Play 3UP 3DOWN with the whole family and enjoy the fast pace of the strategic card game. Suitable for ages 7 and up or any players who can add to 10, the award-winning game can be played with two to six players. Each round only takes a few minutes to play and the game is won by whoever has the fewest cards at the end.Buy: 3UP 3DOWN Card Game $12.95
6. Taco vs Burrito
COMES WITH MULTIPLE GAMES
Get five games in one with the silly and surprisingly strategic Taco vs. Burrito. The game comes with several playing cards that help players build their tacos and burritos, but they could lose their meal if a health inspector (card) shows up or they get a tummy ache (card). The game can be played in five ways and each round lasts about 10 minutes. An excellent combination of fun and educational elements, Taco vs. Burrito is suitable for ages 7 and above and can be played by two to four players.Buy: Taco vs Burrito $19.99
7. Butts in Space: The Card Game
What do you do when an evil butt steals all the toilet paper in space? No, this card game isn’t a metaphor for 2020, although it feels like it, right? Each player gets their own outrageous butt character (we especially like Classy Butt) and must try to gather the most toilet paper on the planet before time runs out. There’s a wide variety of toilet paper to be collected and in addition to being totally silly, Butts in Space also helps kids learn strategy. Plus, checking for toilet paper is frankly just a great life lesson as well.Buy: Butts in Space: The Card Game $25.00
8. Wizard Card Game
For fans of traditional card games like Hearts and Rummy, check out the Wizard Card Game. At first glance, what looks like a normal card deck actually contains four extra Wizard and Jester cards. Players gain additional cards every round and must make bets, with each level gaining in difficulty. Older kids and teens will enjoy the strategizing required and the game is tricky enough that adults will also want to play.Buy: Wizard Card Game $8.00
9. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
For kids who find it tough to sit still, they’ll love this card game for kids that has a big physical component. Each player gets a stack of cards and takes turns flipping them over. The title of the came, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, is said by each player. If a card matches one of the words, slap your hand on the pile and don’t be last or you’ll be stuck with even more cards.Buy: Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza $9.97
10. Sushi Go! – The Pick and Pass Card Game
BEST PASSING GAME
A yummy card game that helps kids practice their addition skills, Sushi Go! encourages players to create the sushi plate with the highest number of points to win. Fun for kids and adults, Sushi Go! is straightforward and easy, making it a great game for times when kids have new friends over to play. The pass and play method makes it easy to involve all players and works best with three or more sushi lovers … or card lovers, but sushi is delicious.Buy: Sushi Go! - The Pick and Pass Card Game $7.39
GREAT FOR MEMORY RETENTION
In this fast-paced game, you must match either shape, count or color, and the first person to get rid of their draw deck wins. It’s colorful, with bright symbols, making it a fun way to improve memory and image recognition.
12. Uno Dare
TWIST ON A CLASSIC
A twist on the classic Uno game, here there are three categories of Dare cards you can draw, which can make you do things like talk like a pirate or stand on one foot for your turn. A great wait to spice up your Uno nights, this will get the whole family laughing.
13. Five Crowns
In this five-suited Rummy-style game, there is a rotating wild card, and the simple rules make it easy for kids to pick up. It’s won over ten game awards, and even comes complete with a solitaire version.
In Quiddler, you arrange the cards in your hand into simple, short words that each add up to a point value, and the player with the most points wins. A great educational game to help improve spelling and critical thinking skills, you can play in teams, maybe even kids against adults?
15. Rooster Race
BEST FOR SOLO PLAY
Compete to win corn in this wacky card game for kids where you predict whether the card’s value will be higher or lower than the previous one. Ideal for players of all ages, you can play alone or in groups, and it’s easy to learn the rules and pick up the game.