If your childhood even mildly compares to mine (I’m sure not everyone collected stickers and made homemade sticker books out of printer paper, numbering each sticker up to the high five figures while drinking a Henry Weinhard’s root beer and feeling VERY cool, but I bet there are a few of you here), you probably spent a lot of nights with your family in front of a fire shuffling decks of cards.
For my birthday just a few years ago, my husband, my mom, and I played one game of UNO so far into the night that we still talk about it. After at least two hours, I think my husband won. I would remember even better if I walked away victorious.
Card games are clearly a serious business in my family. Naturally, I am working to instill a competitive edge into my four-year-old while my two-year-old naps. (We can’t risk her curious, sticky fingers messing with our decks, which I hide when she’s awake.)
This list rounds up the best card games for kids of all ages—myself included—that you can break out anytime, anywhere. We’ve categorized it by age to make introducing this level of fun to your kids even easier. You may even see something from your childhood here.
Start stoking those competitive fires and let the games begin!
See our favorite board games for kids of all ages in our Family Game Night Hub.
CARD GAMES FOR Ages 3-4
Whether you’re using them over for your family game night or keeping occupied while you travel, they’re perfectly portable and easy to store.
Your favorite Disney characters are the stars of this hidden picture card game. Join Mickey Mouse and friends on an exciting race through twelve exquisitely illustrated Disney realms—from Radiator Springs and Alice in Wonderland, to Peter Pan’s Neverland and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood.
Throughout the race, everyone searches for iconic Disney objects and gets a chance to say, “I found it!”
Be on the lookout for creatures of the land, sky, and sea. The Junior Edition of the popular card game has an adorable animal theme that young kids will love. It’s a matching game that can be played five different ways, each with a different challenge, which keeps the fun going for hours and hours.
CARD GAMES FOR Ages 5-6
Introduce young kids to the addictive fun of Skip-Bo with its Junior Card Game. The Junior version comes with simplified gameplay and appealing, kid-themed graphics that will ready them to compete against you in the classic version sooner than later.
Your mini players will use skill and strategy to create sequential stacks of cards —the first player to use all the cards in his or her stockpile wins.
In this card game version of Guess Who? each player lays out their deck of Character Cards in front of them and chooses a Mystery Character from the yellow deck. Then, the players take turns asking their opponent a yes or no question that gets them closer to guessing who is on their opponent’s Mystery Card.
When one player thinks they know, they make a guess – a correct guess is a WIN, but a wrong guess gets the big L. A super fun and quick game, perfect for home, traveling or visiting a friend’s house.
They’ll test their observational skills and hone their reflexes with Spot It!, a game of lightning-fast choices. This game includes fifty-five circular cards, each with several symbols. With five distinct mini-games, you can be sure that Spot It! will be different every time your littles play, and because it’s always their turn, there’s never any downtime!
Primo the Monkey was fast asleep until his friends swung by for a surprise pajama party. When you play this game with your kiddos, you’ll help Primo chase away the pranksters by flipping and swapping cards in numerical order. If you’re lucky, draw a wild monkey card to clear out the room in one clean sweep! The first player to stop the monkey mayhem and get Primo back to bed wins.
In Rat-a-Tat Cat, get rid of the rats and go for the cats! This is a game where players want to go out with the lowest score, so they get rid of the high cards (rats) and go for the low cards (cats). Sneak a peek, swap cards, and draw two add to the fun.
Kids learn strategy, mathematical concepts, timing, and the value of a good poker face!
The Clumsy Thief snuck onto the farm and mixed up all the stacks of food. Players stack food cards by adding numbers to ten. But they best watch out—The Clumsy Thief can snatch their stack! Use Trap cards to stop the Thief. Cards are constantly switching hands adding to the excitement.
The game is over when all the cards are gone – the player with the most cards wins!
CARD GAMES FOR Ages 7-8
If you get one thing from this list, make it the classic you’ve loved most of your life. UNO is the card game that’s easy to pick up and impossible to put down (as evidenced by that birthday I mentioned above that went well into the night). All it takes to win is a little coordination between colors (red, green, blue, and yellow) and numbers.
This one is a fun family card game that takes only minutes to learn and is so much fun to play!
Rise and shine! The Pancake Queen, The Ladybug Queen, and ten of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell, and it’s your kiddos’ job to wake them up. They’ll use strategy and a little luck to rouse these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. But watch out for knights and potion cards, or they could lose their awakened Queens!
This royal card game will help your littles develop memory, strategy, and early arithmetic skills.
Bring the sushi go-around to your house! In this fast-playing card game, the goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they pass by. You and your kiddos will score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi. Dip your favorite nigiri in wasabi to triple its value.
But be sure to leave room for dessert, or else you’ll eat into your score! Gather the most points and consider yourself the sushi master.
“Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza”: All the players are going to want to keep these five words in mind. As soon as there is a match between the card played and the spoken word, all players will race against each other to slap their hands on the central pile of cards. The last one in has to take them all. An addictive and hilarious game for kids and adults!
In SKYJO, the goal is to collect as few points as possible over the course of several turns. Subliminally teach them subtraction while they look for low or even negative numbers. There are some special rules, too, like the opportunity to remove several cards (and the points that come with them), leading to unexpected turns. Who can subtract the fastest?
Check the Oven is the family-friendly bluffing game that has everybody guessing! Players search for similar food cards to create sets of twelve (and, when they’re ready, there’s a version that lets them count to 25). Need some chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, or rolls? Ask players and they’ll offer their cards, but be clever in selecting offers.
Kids will master different ways to add to twelve while strategizing to get more cards. Easy to learn, hilarious to play!