In the good old days when Go Fish, Slapjack, and Crazy Eights were popular, a standard deck of 52 playing cards was the only ingredient necessary for hours of homey fun. But the nature of card games has changed, especially those trending toward flash-card Q&A games featuring adult-oriented party humor. The proliferation of R-rated games can make it hard to find one appropriate for younger eyes and ears. But all is not lost. Here are three popular boxed games that will keep kids of all ages engaged and having fun for years to come.
A True Classic
This is one of the simplest and most fun card games around. Mattel Games
Easy to play by children as young as 7 years old, UNO is a classic family card game. Designed for as few as two and as many as ten players, the goal is to match a card in your hand with the top card on the deck by either color or number, and deplete your hand to a single card, shouting “UNO!” to win the game. It’s good, clean fun that has stood the test of time for nearly 40 years.
Mystery and Intrigue
If you want a card game with a twist, try one where players are characters trying to figure out “who done it?” Czech Games
The game Codenames is played in teams, with one player acting as the spymaster or “clue-giver” and the others acting as “guessers” who are trying to deduce which words on the cards relate to their team. The first team to identify all their words, wins. It takes a few minutes to learn, but Codename challenges deductive-reasoning skills and offers hours of fun for four to eight players ages 14 and up.
For Family Nights
It has age-appropriate toilet humor and is best enjoyed by groups of four or more. Kids Against Maturity
If the kids absolutely have to play one of the hottest card games on the market, Cards Against Humanity, but your duty as a responsible adult says, “No way!”, don’t worry. There is also a children’s version. Cards Against Maturity is tame enough that you won’t have to have a special talk with Junior after the game, but provocative enough to that someone is still bound to squirt milk out their nose with laughter.