9 Fun And Easy Card Games To Play When You're Snowed In
There’s a reason some of these games have been popular for decades.
Megan Johnson · 12 months ago
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Winter is here, which means days are shorter and it’s colder outside. And THAT means that you’ll probably be spending more time indoors looking for something fun for your whole family to do together. Well have I got some good news for you!
Playing cards is a fun alternative to screen time that kids and adults of all ages can enjoy. There’s a reason some of these games have been popular for decades. From specialized card games to games using a standard deck, here are the best card games for your snowy days indoors.
2-10 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Matching and strategy skills
A classic in its own right, UNO is a great card game for the whole family. It’s a simple matching game: You match cards by color or number, and the first person to discard all their cards wins. To make things interesting, there are Wild Cards, Draw Four, and Draw 2 cards. You can play by the rules, or play how my family always played: If you don’t have a card you can play, you have to keep picking until you get one. No matter how you play it, you likely won’t play just one round!
2. Go Fish
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2-5 players, Ages 4+
Great for: Memory strengthening and matching skills
You can either get a pack of Go Fish cards, or use a basic 52-card deck. This game is perfect for younger kids since it is a matching game, and it can help with learning numbers if you’re using a basic deck.
3. Old Maid
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2-4 players, Ages 4+
Great for: Sharpening matching skills
Like Go Fish, this is also a simple matching game, making it ideal for younger kids. It’s a bit simpler than Go Fish in that all you have to do is pick a card from someone else's hand and see if you have a matching one. What makes this one fun is you don’t want to be left with the Old Maid, so if you do, you can try to find ways to entice other players to get it, or try to make them think you have it when you don’t! You can buy a special Old Maid deck, or take out 3 out of the 4 Queen cards, and the remaining queen becomes the “Old Maid.”
2-6 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Learning ascending counting
An awesome game for the whole family, Skip Bo is a delightful sequence game, which, like many card games, has special cards to add extra chaos to the mix. Perfect for kids who need a little extra help with some fundamentals of counting.
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2+ players, Ages 4+
Great For: Learning basic numbers
War is probably the most basic card game there is. In spite of that, it is a lot of fun for all ages! Each player plays their top card, and whoever has the highest ranking card wins that round. If two players have the same card, it’s a “War!” If you have more than 4 people playing, use two decks so the game doesn’t finish too fast (unless that’s what you want!)
6. Black Jack (21)
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2-7 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Basic addition
A perfect game for sharpening kids’ math skills, and another one that helps with teaching strategy. Players want their cards to add up to 21 without going over, and whoever beats the dealer wins. Kids need to know some easy addition, so it’s perfect for those that are elementary aged.
7. Phase 10
2-6 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Strategy
When a game can mix fun and learning, it’s a win-win for everyone. With Phase 10, each player has to complete 10 phases to win. This game is great for strategy-building skills, and it’s perfect for teaching root concepts for many different card games.
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2-4 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Basic math skills, learning strategy, risk taking
With this game, you want the lowest score, but can only look at half of your cards, so taking a risk is all part of the fun. Kings are worth zero, and my family likes to throw in Jokers, which are worth minus one!
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3-5 players, Ages 7+
Great for: Observation skills
Spoons is a game that is all about fun. To play, you place one less spoon than there are players in the center. Players try to get four of a kind, and when someone does, they reach for a spoon. Once one player does, other players can grab a spoon, and play keeps going until all the spoons are gone. The player without a spoon loses. There is a danger with this game, as fights over spoons can break out!
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