Simple, low-cost, kid-friendly card games help sharpen skills during long break

photo of a mom, dad, holding their two young daughters and laughing

Games and kids are a forever go-together. Games that build skills help kids up their school game, their confidence, and their love of learning.

twp pack box of kids game cards go fish and memory match with eigh cards spread out in pairs

The Get Ready Game Cards Go Fish & Memory Match Farm (2-Pack) gives moms and dads lots of ways to get kids playing and learning for about the price of a large coffee! Even better, these games develop vocabulary, memory, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and alphabet and counting skills.

Go Fish with alligators
photo top down of two little kids pretending to fish with stick poles in a pond made of blue cloth with aligator Go Fish game cards

Just like the classic Go Fish, with this version of the game, the player with the most matched pairs wins. But this version helps preschoolers learn the alphabet as they match uppercase and lowercase letter pairs. Each letter pair features a parent and child animal starting with that letter, and also introduces fun words such as “hatchling” for baby alligator. Kids can play Go Fish by asking for a card by either the letter (A) or animal name (alligator).

These cards are also perfect for playing a version of memory match. Lay out the cards facedown and try and find the animal and/or letter matches from memory. Depending on the age of the child playing, a grown-up or older sibling can reduce the number of cards for matching. For example, with 2- to 3-year-olds try using only 12 cards. For 3- to 4-year-olds, maybe start with 20 cards, and for 5 and up, use the entire deck.

Does someone need some ABC practice? Just shuffle either the uppercase or lowercase cards and have your child put them in alphabetical order from A to Z. Or spread out all the cards and ask them to find and match the uppercase and lowercase pairs.

Go Fish alphabet game card layed out on a table to spell three words; cat, dog, and fish

For kids who are a little farther along in their letter recognition and reading skills, turn the cards into a word game by asking them how many simple words they can make with the cards such as goat, dog, cat, etc.

Hmm…where was the cat?

The second game pack, Memory Match Farm, gives anyone’s memory a good workout. For a basic memory game for 1 or more players, shuffle the 54 memory cards and place them facedown on a table or flat surface. Arrange the cards in rows. Hint: you can also play with fewer pairs to make the game easier. For example, use 16 pairs and arrange the cards in four rows of four cards each. To make the game harder, add more pairs.

table full of Memory Match Farm game cards face down with two cards turned up to reveal a matching kittens

For a two-deck duel, separate the pairs into two sets of 27 cards each. (Neither set should contain any matching pairs.) Shuffle and arrange each set face down, in rows, one set in front of each player. The first player turns over a card from their set, and the second player does too. If the second player’s card matches the first player’s, the second player gets a point for the pair. See where this is headed in terms of remembering the cards turned over?

Get fancy, get fast, get word-smart

In a “fancy” variation, arrange the cards in shapes instead of rows, or for a “spaghetti” version, just scatter the cards randomly on the playing surface.
Kids can also play this game against the clock by trying to find all the pairs in the shortest amount of time or the most pairs in a set amount of time. Or they can play a version of Go Fish with these cards by asking for specific matches.
Parents can use these cards to introduce farm-related vocabulary words by asking kids questions. What do you see in the picture? Can you point to the barn? Where is the tractor?

Two little packs of cards give hours and hours of skill-building gameplay.