We are right into playing games now – a different board or card game appears on our dining most nights in the hope that there will be time to play after tea! Games are fabulous for helping children to develop a range of cognitive, literacy and social skills. As children play they;
- Make choices and solve problems
- Learn about strategy
- Count, observe similarities and differences, sort and sequence
- Talk about observations they make
- Learn to wait and take turns
- Learn to be a gracious winner and loser
With Easter rapidly approaching I have created a set of printable Easter Egg cards that includes nine different egg designs. These can be printed and used to play a range of different beginner card games with kids (you will find the printing instructions at the bottom of this post).
Game #1: Memory Matching Game
For this game you will need to print two sets of cards.
Memory can be played solo or with a friend. Before starting play lay all of the cards facedown on the table.
Take it in turns to turn over just two cards. If the two cards chosen match, you keep the pair and take another turn. If they don’t match, the cards are both turned back over again (remaining in the same place). You’ll need to watch carefully to see if you can remember where the matching pairs are hiding!
The game ends when all of the pairs have been found. The player with the most pairs is the winner.
For young children, start with a smaller number of card pairs and work your way up to using the full set as their concentration and understanding of the game increases.
Game #2: Snap
For this game you will need to prepare three to four sets of cards (the more cards you have, the longer the game will go, and more cards are best for more players).
Before play, shuffle the cards and divide the deck equally between the number of players. Each player places their stack of cards facedown in front of them.
Players take turns (moving clockwise) to take a card off the top of their pile, placing it face up onto a stack in the middle. If the last two cards played match, slap your hand on them and yell “SNAP!” The first person to slap and snap ‘wins’ the pile of cards. They add the cards won to the bottom of their own collection of playing cards. Play begins again when the winner of the round puts a card face up in the middle. The faster the cards are placed onto the centre stack, the more fun the game is! Players must not look at the card they are adding before placing it onto the centre stack.
The game ends when one player accumulates all of the playing cards.
Game #3: Go Fish
The smaller number of pairs makes this a perfect first Go Fish game for preschoolers and is best played with three people (but can be played with two). You will need two printed sets of cards to play.
Shuffle the cards and deal 5 cards to each player. The rest of the cards are put in a stack in the middle of the table.
The aim of the game is to collect pairs, so if you were lucky enough to be dealt any pairs place them together face down on the table in front of you. Then, taking turns, ask one of the other players if they have the matching pair of one of the cards in your hand. For example – I have the card with the flower patterned egg so I’m going to ask another player if she has the other rainbow card. “Immy, do you have the flower patterned egg?” If Immy has the card she passes it to me and I put it together with its pair onto the table with my collection of pairs. If she doesn’t have the card, Immy says, “Go Fish!” and I must pick up an extra card from the centre pile.
The winner is the person who collects all of their cards into pairs first.
Game #4: Old Maid
For this game you will need to prepare four sets of cards. You will need to remove one card from the deck (leaving one pair without a partner) before beginning.
Shuffle the cards and deal them around, one at a time to each player, as far as they will go. The cards need not come out even.
The goal is to form and discard pairs of cards, and to not to be left with the odd card at the end. To play, each player begins by removing all pairs from his hand and placing them on the table face down. If a player has three of a kind, he removes only two of those three cards. The dealer then offers his hand without showing which cards he has to the player on his left, who draws one card from it. This player discards any pair that may have been formed by the drawn card. He then offers his own hand to the player on his left. Play proceeds in this way until all cards have been paired except one – the odd card, which cannot be paired – and the player who has that card is the Old Maid!
To download and print your Easter Game Cards: Click to download your deck of playing cards here. This will open a PDF that you can download to your own computer. Open the PDF to print. The cards are arranged on two A4 pages. Page 1 includes nine different picture cards and page 2 features a patterned background to print onto the back of your cards (optional).
When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size. I suggest printing your cards onto cardstock (I used thick, matte photo printing paper) and laminating them for greater durability.
Decide how many sets of cards you will print and then print page 1 of the Easter game cards onto that number of pages. Turn these printed pages over and place them back into the printer to print the backgrounds onto the other side – note, this is optional, if your cardstock is thick enough, you may choose not to print the background.
Once printed, cut out each card and laminate, or cover with clear, self adhesive covering and you’re ready to play!
Please note, these are for personal, non commercial use only.
Does your family have a favourite card game?