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While we might not have kids ourselves, we understand the importance of sharing your hobbies with your loved ones. Of course, that includes kids.
We’re a site dedicated to sharing geeky passions – specifically, those associated with gaming – with the world. Card games fall into that category, but many of our favorites aren’t appropriate for teaching young children.
If you’ve got elementary-aged children and you’re looking for card games to play with them, we’ve done the searching for you. Here is our list of the best card games for elementary students.
Best Card Games for Elementary Students
With this Regal Games Classic Card Games set, you’re not getting just one game – you’re getting several. To be more specific, you’ll get access to Go Fish, Old Maid, Slap Jack, a memory matching game, Crazy 8’s, and War. That means no matter what type of mood your kid is in, you’ll probably have a game to match.
Many of the card games in this set have educational value, too. The Monster Memory Match game is perfect for sharpening your kid’s powers of recollection, and the other games can help teach reading skills.
The artwork is zany and colorful. With cards that look anything but boring, everyone involved in game night is likely to be interested in seeing what crazy artwork comes up next.
- Includes six different classic card games to suit a range of moods and playstyles.
- Each game is suitable for children as young as four years old.
- The cards have bright, vivid artwork that’s interesting to look at.
- The cards are designed to be easy to hold onto, even if you have small hands.
- Despite the cards being smaller sized, there are some owners who say these cards are still a little large for younger children.
Cards Against Humanity is a great game, but it’s obviously not child-friendly. If you’d like to bring the same hilarious fill-in-the-blank concept to your children, Kids Against Maturity is the perfect way to do so.
Just like in the adult version, one player is the judge. They play a prompt card that the other players can respond to with random cards in their hand. The judge simply picks whichever one they think is the best.
It’s a super simple concept. With the bizarre, funny, and random cards you can play, there’s no doubt that the whole family will be laughing in no time.
- Easy to learn.
- It’s bound to make your kids laugh.
- Games can be finished quickly – anywhere from half an hour to a little over an hour.
- Some of the cards have jokes in them with a meaning that only adults will get, so there’s some fun for adults, too.
- Recommended for ages 10 and up, so it may not be appropriate for really young elementary students.
- You may need to look through the pack and remove any cards that are too mature for your children first.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza sounds like a jumble of random words. We suppose it is, but it’s also a fun, reflex-based card game that will be easy for your children to learn.
In Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, players each have a hand of cards depicting the objects in the name of the game. They must take turns laying one card on the center of the table, saying “taco,” “cat,” “goat,” “cheese,” or “pizza” in order. If their card matches the word they said, it becomes a race to slap their hands on the pile of cards in the middle.
The last person to slap the middle of the table has to take the pile. Since the objective is to empty your hand of cards, this sets you back quite a bit.
If it was this simple to write an explanation, imagine how easy it is to play it. This could be the perfect introductory game for a child who doesn’t have much experience with card games yet.
- The recommended age is 8 and up.
- Incredibly easy to learn.
- It’s fast-paced, so it can be finished quickly.
- The artwork on the cards is adorable.
- The cards can get bent as players slap their hands down.
Taco vs Burrito probably has one of the most interesting stories out of all the games on this list. It was created by a 7-year-old boy and intended for everyone to enjoy.
This is an incredibly action-packed game that will keep the whole family on their toes. In Taco vs Burrito, each player is dealt five cards and must use them to make an interesting meal.
Cards that represent ingredients are each assigned points. If you have the most points at the end of the game, your edible monstrosity wins.
If this sounds overly simple, don’t worry. There are action cards designed to shake up the routine by reducing opponents’ points, doubling your own, or even forcing everyone to throw out the meals they’ve created.
- The points mechanic encourages kids to use their math skills.
- Bright, fun artwork that everyone will love looking at.
- You can learn this game in just a couple minutes.
- Suitable for ages seven and up.
- Games can be finished in as little as 15 minutes.
- Some people have reported that it’s not as fun for adults or teenagers.
Look, we know everyone has a smartphone and is on social media these days. Even if your elementary-aged children don’t have smartphones of their own yet, they’re probably familiar with emojis.
Uno Emojis takes advantage of the trend by using familiar, lovable emojis on the cards. We think this will help keep your kid interested in a game, even if they’d at first rather be spending their time with a screen.
At the time of writing this, the description for the game seems to be mixed up. It references Hot Wheels cars instead, but users have confirmed it is, indeed, for a card game and not toy cars. Don’t let the description confuse you.
- Suitable for kids ages 7 and up.
- Can support 2-10 players, so the whole family can play at once.
- The fun emoji theme is relatable for tech-savvy kids.
- There’s an entertaining rule that requires players to imitate the emoji’s faces!
- Adults may not appreciate some of the sillier rule changes to the classic game of Uno.
Kids everywhere fantasize about solving crimes and being a hero. With the Clue Card Game, they can entertain that fantasy by solving a murder mystery – just like in the classic board game.
If you’re worried that a game about a murder mystery is too violent, there’s no need to be. The cards do not depict any graphic art, and the minimum recommended age is 8.
This card game is perfect for indulging your little detective. The theme is also fantastic for spooky fall nights with the family.
- Incorporates the fun mystery elements from the classic Clue board game.
- Because it’s a deck of small cards, it’s portable – unlike the board game.
- Perfectly safe for ages 8 and up.
- The mystery elements of this game will require kids to use critical thinking.
- Some players felt that the game can end a little too fast.
- It only supports up to four players.
We know that when we were kids, we were pretty destructive. We probably would have loved having a game like Throw Throw Burrito, which encourages throwing things (namely, foam burritos) in an organized setting.
Your goal? Match cards before the other players can. It seems simple enough, until one of you draws a burrito brawl, war, or duel card that forces the others to launch soft burritos at each other.
The chaos of this game will undoubtedly have your children screaming with laughter. There’s no way you can’t be entertained when you’re hurling fake food at one another.
- Action-packed burrito-throwing gameplay will keep everyone involved on their toes.
- The cards have amusing pun-filled art on them.
- We can’t help but admit the foam burritos are strangely cute.
- Easy to learn.
- Can be played by children ages 7 and up.
- The burritos can be a little fragile, especially if you throw them really hard.
Does your child have a goofy sense of humor? Then they’ll probably love the ever-popular Exploding Kittens. The artwork on these cards is wild and oftentimes side-splitting.
The objective is kind of random – don’t draw an exploding kitten card. You lose the game if you do…unless you have a defuse card that prevents it from exploding.
Players who are still in the game each take turns drawing from the potentially lethal deck. They can use various action cards to skip drawing or “attack” other players until one person is left standing.
- Has a crazy, random sense of humor that will appeal to wackier kids.
- You can learn it quickly.
- The artwork is fun and unique.
- Suitable for ages 7 and up.
- Games can be finished quickly, allowing you to play multiple in a row or move on to something else.
- Some may feel that the humor is a little “cringey” or not as entertaining for adults – we personally don’t mind it, though.
What to Consider When Buying a Card Game for Elementary Students
Kids have famously short attention spans. Most of the time, you can’t expect them to focus on something for hours and hours at a time, which makes lengthy games like Arkham Horror completely out of the question. (Not to mention, Arkham Horror isn’t appropriate for a number of other reasons!)
Look for games with a more reasonable duration. The ideal duration depends on your child – how long do you think they can focus on something? Aside from that, how long do you think you can spend playing a single card game? Personally, we’d suggest looking for something an hour or shorter.
The duration is almost always mentioned in the description for each card game. If you don’t see it in the product description, you can look for pictures of the box to see if it’s on there.
It should go without saying that one of the first considerations for a card game for elementary students will be the age range. Each manufacturer, when they create a game, designs it to be played by those in a specific age group.
You obviously don’t want kids playing games that were intended for adults. Rather, you should be looking for those games that say they’re suitable for ages as low as 6 or 7. Games suitable for such young ages won’t have any overly scary, violent, or adult themes in them.
This is up to you, though. If you trust your child can handle more mature thematic elements, you could certainly look to card games intended for a slightly older audience.
Where can you find the age range? This is almost always in the product description for each card game. Like the duration, though, you can also check pictures of the box if you’re not finding the info you need in the description.
Every single card game is created with a unique theme. You can tell what it is based on the colors, gameplay, and artwork featured on the cards.
There are themes for virtually every single interest under the sun. Whether it’s pirates, ninjas, cats, mysteries, or anything else, you can find a card game that fits with whatever your child is into these days.
We think this is something worth thinking about. If you’re hoping to find a game that will completely absorb your young ones for a little while, it’ll be much easier if you find something that mirrors their passions.
We tried to include card games with a range of themes to show you just how many options there are on the market today.
Have you ever played a card or board game that took forever to learn? You know, the type of game where you have to stop and consult a huge rulebook on pretty much every single turn?
This is due to the game’s learning curve. The steeper the learning curve of a game is, the harder it will be for your child to learn how to play it.
Elementary students won’t usually have the patience to learn the convoluted rules to a complex game. Your best bet is to look for games that can be picked up quickly. The good thing is, most card games for children will naturally be designed in such a way that they’re easily learned.
However, if you need some extra assurance, you can check customer comments. They’ll report if the game was too hard for children.
Card games are an excellent way to bond with the whole family. In some ways, you might find them preferable to board games, because there’s less setup involved and they tend to be more affordable.
Plus, some of the artwork on them is wonderful. That’s part of the reason why Throw Throw Burrito is the game we’d recommend most on this list. It has a funny art style and we have no doubt your kids will love being encouraged to throw something (a burrito!) for once.