Is there anything more reliably entertaining than a good game of cards? In addition to being a lot of fun, card games can also be used in the classroom or at home to teach valuable lessons. You can use a standard deck to play games like gin rummy, war, or spades while honing your students’ deductive reasoning, math, and decision-making skills. There are even fun card games that build communication and memory skills. Whether you’re teaching pre-K or high school students, there are fun card games on our list for kids of all ages.
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Fun Card Games To Build Language and Communication Skills
1. Go Fish
You can use the classic card game Go Fish to practice simple question formation. We especially love that this specific version of the classic teaches your students new adjectives with descriptive colors like apricot and chartreuse.
Learn more: Busy Teacher/Go Fish (Yes/No Questions)
Buy it: Go Fish on Amazon
2. Snap It Up!
This is the perfect game for early readers since it challenges them to build words at a fast pace.
Buy it: Snap It Up on Amazon
3. Jumbilee Stories
This game is the Mad Libs of card games since players lay cards down that form a silly story. It is perfect for early readers and will definitely have your students in stitches.
Buy it: Super Simple Songs on Amazon
4. Letz Talk
A card game that will get your preteen to talk while also having fun—yes, please! While a lot of card games rely on yes/no questions, this one forces kids to voice their opinions and thoughts in a more thorough way.
Buy it: Letz Talk on Amazon
5. Prepositions Review with Standard Deck
Use a deck of cards to create a grid on a table that is five cards by four cards, then create a stack of index cards that have different prepositions of locations written on them. The index cards will serve as the draw pile. During each student’s turn, they will select a preposition card and then describe the relationship of two of the cards in the grid.
Learn more: Busy Teacher/Prepositions Review
Fun Card Games to Work on Math Skills
Be sure to check our our roundup of more math card games here.
6. 21 Card Game
Known as either 21 or Blackjack, this fun card game works on addition skills while also enhancing critical thinking. Students want to get their hand as close to 21 as possible but need to be careful not to go over!
7. 100 Card Game
Before playing, decide if you are going to play with just the numbers 1 through 10 or use Jack (11), Queen (12), King (13), and Ace (0) cards as well. Students pull from the draw pile until someone reaches 100 without going over. Once you go over 100, you are out of the game. If the draw pile runs out and no one has reached 100, the player closest to 100 is declared the winner. Students will be challenged to add quickly while also having a lot of fun!
Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/100 Card Game
We love fun card games that can be used to teach a multitude of math skills like greater-than/less-than, addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. Check out the link below for all the different ways this classic game can be amended.
Learn more: Denise Gaskins
9. Boom Goes the Dynamite!
This game is similar to Memory but with a fun math twist. We love that this game can be played by kids as young as six, but can be challenging enough even for adults!
Buy it: Boom Goes the Dynamite on Amazon
10. Math Stacks
This math game will be doable but challenging for upper elementary school kids. Students work during the game to make equivalent stacks of three. The winner is the person who has the most stacks at the end of the game.
Buy it: Math Stacks on Amazon
11. Fraction Battle
Before playing, make sure kids have scratch paper or a whiteboard and marker on hand to do some problem-solving. During each turn, players turn over two cards that will be their fraction. The winner is the person with the larger fraction and, consequently, they get to keep the cards.
Learn more: Upper Elementary Snapshots/Fraction Battle
This card game that uses a standard deck of cards helps kids work on their counting skills while thinking and acting quickly. Players are dealt cards that they try to get rid of by assembling them in numeric order, eventually reducing the cards they have each round.
Fun Card Games to Improve Memory
This version of Memory is a fun spin on an old classic since it is all about food. Don’t play before lunch though unless you want a bunch of hangry students on your hands!
Buy it: Memory on Amazon
14. 5-in-1 Card Game
We are big fans of the hilarious show Bluey so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to put this adorable card set on our list. This single deck can be used to play Snap, Battle, Go Fish, Old Maid, and Memory.
Buy it: Bluey Card Game Set on Amazon
15. Peek and Push
This game can be played by middle school students all the way up to adults since it can be adjusted based on ability level. Real-life users love the game, with one commenting, “This game has everything you would want: strategy, pace of play and it’s never the same game each time you play it.”
Buy it: Peek and Push on Amazon
Solitaire is a perfect choice for students that may not have a sibling or someone else at home that can play a game with them. We especially love that it can be played digitally or with a classic deck of cards. Solitaire works on memory and organizational skills as players sort through cluttered decks to organize their cards into numerical order and black and red sequences.
Learn more: Bicycle Cards/How to Play Solitaire
Fun Card Games That Require Critical Thinking
17. Gin Rummy
Gin rummy is a perfect game for older students or adults since it requires concentration as well as analytical and decision-making skills. Before playing, you will need to deal 10 cards to each player and create a stockpile and a discard pile. During play, players try to create a run, which is a sequence of three consecutive cards in the same suit. They also try to create a set, which is a group of at least three cards of the same number.
18. Critical Thinking Cards Deck
This card game is so unique and will challenge teens to recognize manipulation, faulty logic, and propaganda in everything from the media, politicians, and even their own minds!
Learn more/Buy it: The Thinking Shop/Critical Thinking Card Deck
19. Guess in 10
We love the game play and strategy involved as students try to make correct guesses in 10 questions or less. Students can use Clue Cards and Bonus Questions while working their way to a seven-card victory.
Learn more: Guess in 10 on Amazon
Playing spades enhances critical thinking skills since it forces players to think about which cards to play and when. This game is best played in groups of four so make sure there are plenty of friends available.
21. Guess Who?
You probably have fond memories of playing the original version of this game in childhood, but now it’s pocket-sized and ready to travel! Kids will have to use deductive reasoning skills to figure out who is on their opponent’s card.
Buy it: Guess Who? on Amazon
Best Card Games Just for Fun
22. Triple Tongue Twisters
Raining outside? This is the perfect indoor recess game since it will keep kids still while resulting in a ton of laughter and fun.
Buy it: Triple Tongue Twisters on Amazon
23. Name That Puppy
Fun card games that also include puppies! Kids will definitely have fun looking at adorable pups while selecting names for them.
Buy it: Name That Puppy on Amazon
24. Old Maid
This game is a classic for a reason—it is just so much fun! We especially love that the jokers can be used too!
25. Happy Salmon
This is the perfect game for early finishers or for indoor recess. It is quick and can be played by a large group.
Buy it: Happy Salmon on Amazon