The 11 Best Card Games for Kids of 2022

Uno provides just the right combination of luck and strategy for all ages

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Card games are a great way to keep younger minds (and hands) busy during down time. These games come in a variety of shapes and sizes—from the classic Go Fish to more elaborate games that involve full body involvement like Throw Throw Avocado. The best card games for kids can do more than just promote a little friendly competition. “Playing card games and board games are very important to help children learn and reinforce cognitive skills, thinking, memory, motor coordination and social skills at a minimum,” says Darby Fox, LCSW, a child and adolescent family therapist.

Reviewed & Approved

If you’re looking for card games for the kids in your life, you can’t go wrong with Uno, which promotes strategic play while also helping kids boost their critical thinking and number/color recognition. If you want something even older teens will be on board with, try What Do You Meme?, the internet-influenced party game.

When shopping for card games for the kids in your life, you should consider the child’s age range, how difficult the instructions are to master, how long the games will last, and how much space you’ll need to play. To compile this list we took all those things into consideration, in addition to making sure to provide some suggestions that would be perfect for getting the whole family playing together. 

Here are the best card games to keep your kids entertained.

Best Overall: Mattel UNO Family Card Game

5
Mattel Games UNO Family Card Game

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Can be played with as few as two people

  • Comes with a tin carrying case

  • Easy for younger players to learn

Cons
  • Can cause heated competition

  • Can’t be played solo

Uno is a classic card game in which two to four players race to be the first one to get down to just one card so that they can call out “Uno” before anyone else. The brightly colored cards are simple to use and only require the ability to identify colors and numbers on sight, which makes them great for younger players. For experienced players, there are plenty of variations, including Uno Flip, Uno Dare, and more. Uno is perfect for family game nights or for passing the time on a rainy afternoon. Just be warned that the competition can get heated (and even mean), when those Skip, Reverse, Draw 2, and Wild Draw 4 cards come up.

Price at time of publication: $11

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 2-10

What Our Editors Say

“There’s a reason why Uno has been a family favorite for decades! This game is one that we love to play at least once a week. As an added bonus, we used it to help our preschooler practice learning her numbers!” — Lauren Wellbank, Contributing Writer

Best Easy Game: Hoyle 6-in-1 Fun Pack

Hoyle 6-in-1 Fun Pack

Amazon

Pros
  • The set comes with six games

  • Can be played with just two players

  • Learn to play in under 15 minutes

Cons
  • Not as fun for older players

This box set contains six different games in one easy to store package. You’ll get access to Go Fish, Memory, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Slap Jack, and Matching, each of which is appropriate for children as young as 3 years old. These games are each easy to learn and can be picked up after playing a single hand. They can also increase social and emotional intelligence in younger players. 

Price at time of publication: $5

Age level: 3 and up | Players: 1-4

Best Two-Player: Boss Dog Games Farting Frenchies

Boss Dog Games Farting Frenchies

Amazon

Pros
  • Each round takes only 15-25 minutes

  • Fast-paced game-play

  • As adorable as it is gross

Cons
  • Playtime is short

  • Requires strategizing

You can play Farting Frenchies with as many as eight people as you work to collect and feed fart-inducing foods to French bulldogs, and then steal other players’ pups. The winner is the one with the most dogs. Once you're done playing, keep the fun going by following the game’s characters on social media. Use expansion packs to continue to grow your potential puppy options. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 2-4

Best for Kids and Adults: Hasbro Clue Card Game

Hasbro Clue Card Game

Hasbro

Pros
  • Inspires problem solving and creativity

  • Easy to travel with

  • Prompts conversation

Cons
  • Needs at least 3 players

  • Mentions violence

A new take on the classic board game, the Clue card game allows you to take all the fun of solving a murder mystery on the go. The pack includes 84 cards that offer players hints, locations, and suspects to investigate as they try to solve who is behind the inciting murder. The game play lasts until someone correctly names all the details of the crime. 

Price at time of publication: $11

Age level: 8 and up | Players: 3-4

Best Style: Mattel Snappy Dressers

Mattel Snappy Dressers

Walmart

Pros
  • Can be played solo

  • More than 10 different ways to play

  • Hip designs and artwork

Cons
  • May not be fun for older kids

  • Requires critical thinking

Your kid doesn’t have to be a burgeoning fashionista to get a kick out of Snappy Dressers. In this card game, players have to find a way to match their card to another one in play. Each card features an adorably dressed (and very hip) animal who matches every other card in at least one way (for example, they could be wearing the same color shirt, holding the same type of “gift” to bring to a party, or even just feature the same animal on both cards). The trick is figuring out what that way is to create the perfect pair. With 10 different ways to play, it’s easy to find a game that will keep your kid’s interest. 

Price at time of publication: $16

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 1 or more

What Our Editors Say

“After receiving this as a gift during the pandemic, Snappy Dressers became our go-to game to bring on vacation. It’s got just enough chance that my son can beat us easily, and we all love to admire those sloths, giraffes, foxes, and other animals while we play.” Sabrina Rojas Weiss, Senior Commerce Editor

Best Rummy Game: Pressman Rummikub

Pressman Rummikub

Walmart

Pros
  • Improve STEM skills while playing

  • Good for two to four players

  • Fun for older kids and adults

Cons
  • Tiles not as easy to travel with

So, this is a tile game, not a card game, but the gameplay feels so card-like, similar to rummy, that we thought we’d include it here. Rummikub involves using both luck and strategy to put numbered tiles in runs that include consecutive numbers that are in the same color and groups, which include three or more of one number in different colors. A set includes 106 tiles and four tile holders. This is great for promoting critical thinking and pattern recognition for older kids, tweens, and teens. 

Price at time of publication: $15

Age level: 8 and up | Players: 2-4

Best Regular Playing Cards: Acelion Waterproof Playing Cards

Acelion Waterproof Playing Cards

Amazon

Pros
  • Waterproof

  • Endless options for gameplay

  • Easy to store and travel with

Cons
  • You have to come up with games

If you’re looking for a way to play some classic games that you grew up with, like gin rummy, hearts, or poker, you’ll want to grab a pack of Acelion waterproof playing cards. Not only do the black-and-gold embossed cards hold up well to water (making them great for outdoor use), but they also hide any messes dirty fingers may leave behind. And when the kids get tired of games, they can always try their hands at building a house of cards! The deck comes with 52 standard cards and two jokers. 

Price at time of publication: $8

Age level: 3 and up | Players: Varies

Best Game to Get You Moving: Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Avocado

Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Avocado

Amazon

Pros
  • Great way to stay active

  • Good for up to 6 players

  • Silly fun for grown-ups, too

Cons
  • Involves throwing things

  • Comes with multiple pieces

You’re going to want to forget everything you ever told your kids about throwing food in the house when you play this game, which involves collecting matching cards while throwing and dodging avocados with your opponents. This game from Exploding Kittens is easy to learn and will keep you moving while competing to end up being the player with the most matches. Good for groups of two to six, this game comes with 120 cards, six avocado “Boo Boo” tokens, one Fear Me Badge, and two foam avocados.

Price at time of publication: $25

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 2-6

What Our Editors Say

“This is one of those games that almost always ends with us in a heap of laughter on the floor, completely incapable of remembering who won.” — Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Best for Younger Kids to Play With Older Siblings: Exploding Kittens Mantis Game

Exploding Kittens Mantis Game

Target

Pros
  • Hilarious imagery

  • Shapes allow color-blind

  • Unique, fast gameplay

Cons
  • Competition could get fierce

Players of the Mantis card game will have to be quick on their proverbial feet as they work to steal colorful cards from their opponents. Each round of this fast-paced game can be completed in under 10 minutes as players continue to steal cards back and forth from one another. In the end, the first player with at least 10 or more cards in their “Score Pile” wins. The set comes with 105 rainbow colored cards, each featuring an emoting mantis shrimp. It’s all based on a comic (included in each box) by the Oatmeal, a.k.a. Exploding Kittens co-founder Matt Inman, about how incredibly violent and wonderful the mantis shrimp is in real life.

Price at time of publication: $20

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 2-6

Best With Expansion Sets: Exploding Kittens Card Game

4.9
Exploding Kittens

 Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good for larger groups

  • Learn in under two minutes

  • Variety of expansion sets

  • Fun for tweens, teens, and adults

Cons
  • Short rounds

  • Mentions violence

If you’re looking for a fun party game for kids, Exploding Kittens will bring the giggles. Players draw cards until they pull the dreaded exploding kitten that kicks them out of the game. The original version comes with 56 cards, and you can add to that with expansion packs such as Barking Kittens, NSFW Kittens, Streaking Kittens, Imploding Kittens, Zombie Kittens (which can be played by itself), and more. The expansion packs provide additional cards for heightened and varied gameplay, so the fun never stops.

Price at time of publication: $20

Age level: 7 and up | Players: 2-10

Best for Teens and Tweens: What Do You Meme? Family Edition

What Do You Meme? Family Edition

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Great for parties and large groups

  • Good alternative to more mature games

  • Inspires creativity

Cons
  • Might not suit everyone’s sense of humor

Put your creativity and internet knowledge to work with What Do You Meme, the card game that allows players to pair popular meme photographs with pre-written caption cards and then judge each other’s choices. The resulting combinations can often lead to hilarious results. Play with as few as three players to get the party started. Each set comes with 300 caption cards, 65 photo cards, and an easel. The original version of this game is meant for adults (or 17 and up), but this version is much more kid-appropriate.

Price at time of publication: $20

Age level: 8 and up | Players: 3-20+

How We Selected the Best Card Games for Kids

We scoured the internet to find a range of games that were appropriate for a variety of ages, offered differing levels of intensity as well as complexity, and that could be played either while traveling (in the car or by plane) or while at home at the dining room table. 

We made sure to pick games that would hold the interest of kids who might normally prefer to play their games on screens. “It is critical that parents and caregivers have children playing games that are not on computers or devices of any kind,” says Fox. “The benefit comes from the live interaction. Children learn through experiences so any imitation of real concepts like money or ethical questions winning or losing are learned more completely when done in live settings.”

What to Look for in Card Games for Kids

Age Level

When shopping for card games for kids, it’s important to know the reading and comprehension levels of the child or children who will be playing. Younger kids will do better with games that don’t involve a lot of reading and rely more heavily on matching like colors with like or following a number sequence. 

Children who are proficient readers can play slightly more complex games, but you’ll want to keep in mind that elementary school-aged kids may not have quite the same attention span as their tween and teen counterparts, which means you’ll want to provide this age group with games that move quickly from round to round.

Difficulty of Instructions

Learning a new game can take time, which is why it’s important to determine how long the card game will take to understand. Most of the games we picked claim that players could easily master the rule of play after watching just one round. This is important when introducing kids to new games, since it’s hard for them to get into a game if they can’t understand the rules.

Time to Play

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but you want to double check exactly how long each round of a potential card game is before deciding to buy. Shorter games may increase the level of competition between the players (which could be good or bad, depending on how you want your kids to play), but many kids will lose interest in games if they drag on for too long.

Games of Luck vs. Games of Strategy

Card games can fall into two different categories: There are ones that require players to pay fierce attention to their cards as well as the plays that their opponents are making, and then there are ones where the outcome is determined solely by the hand that you’re dealt. Older kids, or children with competitive streaks, might do better with games that involve strategizing (like Uno and Rummikub), while younger kids or those who want to lose themselves in the moment will probably benefit from games of luck (like Go Fish or Old Maid). The best games have a mix of both elements.

For both types of games, Fox suggests that you remind your kids that playing is not about winning. 

“Take the importance of the actual winner or loser out of the game, and make sure you discuss [how] everyone wins and loses at different times,” says Fox. “Promote doing what you can to improve your chances of winning but not really worrying about it.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most popular kid friendly game?

    Perennial classics like Go Fish and Old Maid remain some of the most popular children’s card games because they are the easiest (and most fun) for younger players. They are perfect for kids ages three and up.

  • What is an easy card game to play?

    Uno is a great game for children just getting started with playing cards because the rules are simple, easy to follow, and many of the directions are on the very cards that they’re holding in their hands. As long as the child knows their colors and numbers, Uno is an easy game to play with the family.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Lauren Wellbank is a mother of three small children, and finding card games the whole family can enjoy is always a top priority. Nobody likes being left out of the fun, so Lauren finds it important to keep a wide variety of games on hand at home so everyone can be included. Well, everyone but the family dog, who is forbidden from family card games since he ate a set of Minnie Mouse memory cards.