10 Poolside Card Games to Play This Summer!
Round up the kids and let’s head to the pool! We’ve got our SPF, sun hats, snacks, and sunnies packed. But, do you want to know a clever parent hack? Consider stashing a couple card games in your tote for the ultimate pool game activity!
Why should you bring card games to a day at the pool? Well, if you’ve ever tried rounding up busy little swimmers for lunch or some downtime in the shade, you’ll know it can be rather challenging.
A round of card games helps children transition from one fun activity to the next while they learn and engage with fellow poolside peers. An educational card game can also help refresh academic skills and prepare kids for back to school. Although these 10 poolside card games are so FUN, they’ll never suspect they are learning!
Skill Focus: Color & Number Recognition, Matching
Crazy Ates is a tasty take on the classic Crazy 8’s card game where players take turns choosing a card from their hand or the draw pile, trying to match either the color or food type and number of the top card on the discard pile. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins! Bonus: Crazy Ates comes with a mini food poster that teaches kids about nutrition. Play it with 2-6 players, ages 4 & up in 20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Color & Shape Recognition, Matching
Our variation of the classic “Go Fish” card game. Players collect sets of four matching cards by taking turns asking the other players for cards from their hands. The player that collects the most schools of fish (sets of four) when the cards run out wins!
Bonus: Comes with an aquatic poster featuring common tropical fish. Play it with 2-6 players, ages 4 & up in 20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Comparing, Focus & Self-Control
Get to know the SimplyFun Buddies as they help you quickly find matches using size, color, and character. But watch out, as your match must be different from the last player’s to play your card! Play it with 2-6 players, ages 4 & up in 20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Letter Recognition, Matching
Our variation of “Old Maid” has players looking for the one fly among all the colorful frogs. Select cards from other player’s hoping to find a match to a card in your own hand. Discard a pair when you make a match and be the last one with the fly card at the end of the game to win! Play it with 2-6 players, ages 4 & up in 20 minutes.
Get all four card games in the Kids on the Go Card Set. A set of four poolside games in a portable tote!
Skills Focus: Spelling, Vocabulary
Our new award-winning word game Chalk-A-Word is portable, fun, and a great way to work on vocabulary during summer break!
Players use the letter cards in their hands to create new words or add to words already in the play area. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Play it with 2-5 players, ages 8 & up in 30 minutes.
Skills Focus: Addition, Quick Thinking
Sneak in foundational math with 15 to Zero! Players match an individual number from the rolled dice, or the sum of the dice rolled, to a played match card. Special cards are used strategically to mix up gameplay. Get rid of all your cards to win the game! Play it with 2-6 players, ages 7 & up in 15-20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Sequencing, Planning
Up one, down one. Strike and spare. Be the first player to run out of cards in this game that challenges your sequencing skills. Play it with 2-4 players, ages 6 & up in 20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Memorization, Gross Motor Skills
Stay in the game by using your memory skills to repeat the existing action sequence before performing the action on the card. Make a mistake, and you are out! Play it with 2-8 players, ages 7 & up in 10 minutes.
Skills Focus: Dinosaur Facts, Decision Making
Which dinosaur do you think can best overcome dangerous events and natural disasters? Choose the dinosaur with the correct traits to beat out the other dinosaurs and win the most challenges. Play it with 2-4 players, ages 7 & up in 15-20 minutes.
Skills Focus: Focus & Self–Control, Matching, Shapes
Practice matching colors and shapes by quickly playing cards from your hand. Match a corner of your card with the center of the target card in both color and shape before another player makes the match. Play it with 2-6 players, ages 7 & up in as little as 10 minutes.
Poolside card games are a great way to keep kids entertained while sneaking in a bit of learning before (ahem…) back to school.
Portable card games also provide a quick activity for the whole family to play while enjoying a little sun and surf at the beach or sitting poolside. So let’s soak up every last bit of summer with grab and go card games for portable play!
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