Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Fun Night

Cards Anyone?

With all our new fangled fancy gadgets & technology we sometimes forget the simple pleasures in life, like a game of cards. Some of my greatest memories with family & friends involved a deck of cards, or even several decks of cards. At the same time, learning & playing card games is educational, supporting memory, matching, math and strategy skills.

I remember playing endless games of War with my brother & best friend. My mom and
I would always play Gin Rummy during down times instead of watching TV. When we got tired of that we would play Crazy 8's, Old Maid, or Go Fish just for the fun of it.

On rainy days when we couldn't go outside and were tired of our toys my mom would always say, "build a card house." That was an old stand by. My brother & I would compete to see who could make the biggest, tallest or strongest houses. When we were finished building we would shoot rubber bands at them to see who could knock the other's house down first.

On camping trips there were always a few decks of cards thrown in with the gear. We played lots of penny Poker games around the picnic table, as well as the other old favorites. Oh, and then there's card tricks, there's always someone who knows a card trick or two.

My kids would often play Pig, Slapjack, Spit and Snap with their friends. There's always a new card game that's popular as kids are growing up. One I had never heard of before but watched my middle school aged kids play with a group of friends was called Dahimi. It's best played with 5 or more people and more than one deck of cards. The rules are a bit unusual, and there are several versions, it was great fun in a large group.

Cards also transcend age and gender. My mom was so happy when my son came home from college one Christmas and offered to play Cribbage with her. Then they taught my daughter how to play, and my brother joined in, and it became a 3 generation tournament. The best family times often happen spontaneously with a simple activity.

Not a card shark?

You don't even have to know how to play cars to start. It's really easy to learn, just buy a book of rules for card games or get one from the local library. (click image for Amazon's low prices). There are also games like UNO, Kings in the Corner, and Wizard that come in a box with instructions.

Also, the largest card producing company, Bicycle, has a great new website. Not only will you find more card products & games than you knew existed on this site, you can learn some card game history, find retro Bicycle card packs, and search game rules by popularity or age. There are even sections on card magic & Cardistry. No, I don't work for Bicycle and they're not paying me to write this article (wish they would), but I was impressed with their site.  


  1. I love playing cards. I am looking forward to playing with my girls.

  2. Thank you so much for lovely comments on my blog and following my blog. I enjoy playing cards with my mom and brother as well growing up in Sri Lanka. I do play cards with my son now but not very often after reading your post I wanted to play cards with the whole family. I totally agree with you all your pointers of benefit of playing cards… very good post…. now I need to learn few games… Lovely blog…

  3. We love games. I'm a huge card player myself!


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