Inside: Fun card games for kindergarteners great for stocking stuffers and travel. All of these games are under $15, store easily, and plus they are fun for adults too!
As I was doing self-assessment exercises to figure out a vision for my work life as a working mom, I realized something. I’m competitive. Very competitive. Always have been.
I like to work in teams and help others succeed, but I also really like to win. So, competition made it onto my list of must-haves in my career and I created a job for myself that let me compete, even if it was just against myself. It’s working out so far and the good news is I’m winning, against myself, it’s close though.
My kindergartner, Jack, has inherited this same competitive spirit. He can turn anything into a competitive activity. Sports, clearing the table, teeth brushing, loudest yell at the dinner table, etc, etc. So it didn’t come as a surprise to me that he LOVES playing games.
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Stocking Stuffer Card Games for Kindergartners (That Adults Will Love Too!)
We have a bunch of board games Jack is really into including Don’t Wake Daddy, Let’s Go Fishin’, and Quirkle – I highly recommend them all. Each of these games comes in a big box though and they aren’t super small-space friendly.
We also have some great card games for kindergartners that come in teeny tiny packages but are just as, or dare I say MORE, fun.
Looking for a great stocking stuffer for the competitive kindergartner in your life? These games will be right up his or her alley! Plus, maybe he or she will grow up to be an entrepreneur, professional athlete, real estate agent, or venture capitalist and you’ll be there patting yourself on the back for encouraging their natural competitive nature. Look at you, being awesome.
1. Spot It
Spot It makes the top of the list because it’s one of my favorite card games for kindergarteners AND adults. Seriously, I’d happily play Spot It against my husband while drinking wine and call it a great date night. Actually, I think we’re going to do that this weekend. Change things up a little from cocktails and backgammon…
Spot It comes in a little tin that easily fits in a Christmas stocking, your purse, a kid’s overnight backpack, the pocket of your coat, etc. The point here, this highly portable.
Each card has different pictures on them in different sizes. The point of the game is to spot the picture on your card that matches one of the pictures on the card that was flipped over in the middle. Since all the pictures are different sizes it’s actually harder than it seems. Call out the picture and you get to take the card in the middle adding to your stack. Most cards at the end wins.
2. Go Fish
Jack has been all about Go Fish lately, and he’s getting pretty good. So good that I needed to call in for a little “assistance.” (see below)
You can play Go Fish with a regular deck of cards which you probably have lying around, making this a $Free.99 game choice. #Winning. (Do people still say #winning anymore? No.)
Or you can pick up a Go Fish card game as a fun stocking stuffer if you’d rather not have your kid’s sticky fingers all over or your poker night gear. This Go Fish set has sea creatures in case your kiddo is more comfortable with pictures than numbers. You can also use the same cards to play Slap Jack and Old Maid.
3. Color Smash
Color Smash is another card game that comes in a cute little portable tin which I appreciate for its tininess and because if the dog gets to it, he can’t chew it up. Hooray!
To play Color Smash, each player gets a stack of circle cards with colors on the back. You take turns flipping one card over into the middle pile. If the card you flip down into the middle is the same color as the card directly below it in the pile, you try to slap the pile as quickly as possible. Whoever slaps the pile first, gets the stack of cards.
The tricky thing with Color Smash is that if the card is green but actually has the word “blue” or another color written on it, you aren’t supposed to slap the pile even if the colors match. We don’t actually play it this way because our kids haven’t learned to read yet, but it will be a fun challenge as they get older.
Also, I don’t mean to turn yet another card game for kindergartners into an adult drinking game… but well, you could.
4. Story Cubes
Not technically a card game, but it’s just as small and doesn’t require a board so Story Cubes makes the list!
A friend gifted my kids Story Cubes after she heard about all the ridiculous stories they had been asking me to come up with after dinner. Knowing that I love making up stories, but that my brain was probably shot after dinner, she came through with a game that made stories MUCH easier to come up with at 6:30pm.
Story Cubes is a set of dice with pictures on them. You can play with just one die and roll it to see how to start your story. (For example, you land on a robot and that’s your character.) Or you can roll a few dice and get a series of pictures to base your story off of. (For example, a robot, a basketball, a chair, and an apple.)
Parents can use Story Cubes to come up with stories, or kids can make up their own stories using the pictures if mom and dad need a break. Pop these in your bag if you’re heading to a restaurant and need some pre-meal non-electronic entertainment too!
Mini Memory Match Game
We have a handful of memory games in our house that when taken out of the box and popped into a small bag can easily be transported around if you’re going on vacation. The kids love this Cars memory game and this one with Lion Guard characters. (Watching Simba be a dad in Lion Guard makes me feel next level old, but that’s a story for another time.)
I just found another memory game though that already comes in a small package and I’m OBSESSED.
The Mudpuppy Little Feminist Mini Memory Match Game is your traditional card matching game but with illustrations of famous women throughout history who have made important contributions to the world. Marie Curie, Malala, Rose Parks… love, love, love!
Wrapping It Up (Literally)
Time to put a bow on this card games for kindergarteners gift guide and wrap it up before I start making more gift related puns.
I hope you found some card games for kindergartners that will be the perfect fit for your kiddo’s stocking this holiday season or great for traveling to Grandma’s, waiting at a restaurant (when we start doing that again), or entertaining kids on a cold winter day. For a list of other card games for your bigger kids check out this list from Today’s Parent.
Or, and I’m quite serious, just buy Spot It or Color Smash for yourself and your spouse and open a bottle of wine to unwind after a busy work week. I promise you’ll have a good time and Netflix will still be there for you when you get back!