Learning with Playing Cards

Playing card games is a great holiday indoor activity. You can take a deck of cards anywhere, and costs very little.  And it doesn’t require a computer, batteries, or game console.
Important learning skills can be developed and nurtured by playing with a deck of cards.
The best thing about cards, with games like Go Fish to Crazy Eights, Hearts and Whist, is that there’s always an element of luck involved. That means your kids can beat you fair and square while feeling good about themselves.



  • Take two packs of cards, without jokers, and shuffle them.
  • Divide the pack between two players and have them sit opposite each other, holding their packs face down.
  • One player puts the top card from his pile face up on the table between them.
  • Players take turns putting down cards, one at a time, until a face card or ace appears. When this happens, the other player must put down 1 card for a jack, 2 cards for a queen, 3 cards for a king and 4 cards for an ace.
  • If no face card or ace shows up while the player is putting down these cards, the other player collects the entire stash and starts another pile from scratch.
  • If a face card or ace shows up the other must put down cards until he or she can pick up the pile.
  • Continue in this fashion until one person has all the cards.

Additional Resources:

  • The Little Giant Book of Card Games” Margie Golick et al. Sterling Publishing, 2003. This book has rules and instructions for a variety of card games, and for people of all ages and abilities. BTW: “Want a terrific tip? Havard mathematicians say that seven ordinary shuffles are needed to guarantee that the cards are throughly mixed. Now you know!” from Page 8 of “The Little Giant Book of Card Games“.
  • Reading, Writing and Rummy” Margie Golick, Pembroke Publishers, 1986. ISBN 0-921217-04-08.  You might find this book in a library. I highly recommend it.

My previous post: The Need to Play

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