An ordinary deck of playing cards can be fun for kids of different ages and used in a variety of ways for some math fun and games for Valentines. This play-of-the-day can happen practically anywhere.
Very young children may only want to turn cards over and spread them out, but they will notice the different colors and shapes. We can point to the number and say it for them. Little one are soon able to pick out the cards with 1 and 2 and hearts and diamonds are probably the easiest shapes. For older kids, sorting the cards into two color piles with all the reds and all the blacks is one way to play with cards. Making suits of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades requires kids to look carefully at the shapes.
Some kids are really into numbers and like to count the number of designs on cards. Ask your child which card has more little things on it? Kids can make a number line with the cards from 1 to 10 in each suit. Once kids have the idea of more, it’s fun to play a card game like Which Number is Bigger? or The More the Merrier, also known as War or Gotcha.
Another game is Concentration or Memory. For this choose a few pairs of cards. Young children and adults like me who are not very good only need 5 or 6 pairs. Others can do 10 or more pairs of cards. Go Fish is a good game for two or more people as kids practice making pairs. Since it’s Valentines, these games could be called Friends and kids have to find the card that matches its friend.
Besides math, kids are also using lots of social skills such as taking turns, waiting for the other people, and sharing, all things that hearts need to know. Do you have a deck of cards for some fun with your little valentines?