Play Card Games With Your Kids, Keep Them From Turning Into Tech Zombies!

Smartphone Zombies

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Zombies are all around us!

You know exactly who I'm talking about.... It could be any one of us!
Who can resist watching those cute kitten videos on YouTube? Then there's Mom wasting her night away on Facebook, "catching up" with people she hasn't seen or spoken to in years! Poor little Suzy tweeting and twittering her life away (I honestly do not get twitter, I must be to old). I look over to find the boys sitting slack jawed and glassy-eyed in front of the television furiously tapping on their game controllers, reserving just enough brain function (aside from game strategy, of course) to prevent themselves from drooling, but just barely. Then there's Dad, when he "zombies out" it's usually after hours, when everyone's gone to bed, with the volume super low and in an "incognito" window, if you know what I mean... ahem...
What to do? what to do?....

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Let's play cards!

What has happened to the most important of all social networks, the family network? More importantly, how can we fix it?
A simple old fashioned game tool from the old world, the pre-internet, pre-social network world, a world free of this "500 friends on Facebook" madness. What a mess!
This simple and archaic game set can rescue us from all this social disconnection from our children, parents, aunts, uncles, REAL FRIENDS, etc....
"What is it?" you ask bewildered,
"Why, a deck of cards!" I say.
Go out and invest between $1 and $5 on a deck of cards!! Then round up your zombie pack and one by one pry their devices from their cold gray hands.... Once they come to and their eyes adjust to the natural light around them, somehow get them to sit around a table, together! You might have to use food to trick them into staying seated at the table long enough to suggest that you play a game of cards together.
Once they get past the fact that there is no touch screen interface, and no wi-fi password to enter, you can re-introduce them to verbal communication. Use your words to explain several games to them. Once the rules of the games are clear and everyone is playing and having fun you may actually find yourself having natural, unforced conversations with your children, and/or, family members.

Advantages To Playing Cards

Playing card games with your children can greatly improve your communication with them.
Face to face interaction combined with quick thinking card strategizing will increase their mental reflexes as well.
Playing cards actually improved my daughter's math grade! Since we started games such as "Speed", "War" and "Crazy 8's" her grades have improved. After watching her struggle with her math, I wondered if card games would help, they did! I realized that all she needed was to improve her cognitive speed. Playing cards did the trick! Kids can be very competitive and will want to win games, because of this they will be practicing their game play more often. This will in turn tweak the brain skills they required to be quick with numbers and snap decisions. For this to work you have to keep your child challenged and not "let" them win every single time, letting them win once in a while is ok to encourage them especially at the beginning. Eventually you will be struggling to win your own games, and your child will eventually "let" you win some games!

There are many games you can play, all will allow quality time with your child, showing them that you care and that you want to spend time with them.
While spending quality time with them it will also increase your child's ability to think logically under pressure and improve their strategic planning process. Decisions will be made with more certainty and confidence.

Which Games Should We Play? Here's a list of some popular card games including rules and regulations.

Speed

Set-up:

A standard pack of 52 is dealt equally amongst two players. Each player then sets up their cards in five piles in front of them. the first "layer" of cards has the first pile with one card face up, the other four with cards face down. The second layer starts at the second pile with the ard face up then the remaining three face down. Third layer starts at the third pile with the card face up, remaining face down... etc.... the remaining cards will be your draw pile. Each player has their own draw pile. As well as I believe I have explained that, I've decided to add a nifty video. (See below)

Game play: Both players simultaneously draw a card and place it face up in their respective piles. Each player then discards their cards as quickly as they can in either one of the piles on the table. They will follow numerical sequence, i.e: if there is a six on the table they can place a 5 or a 7. Suit does not matter. Sequence is Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and back around to Ace. At this point in the game there are no turns, fastest player prevails. When no more cards can be dealt both players get ready to draw simultaneously and play resumes.
The player who empties his hand first must yell "Speed!" and slap their hand on the smallest pile.
The game can end there, or play can resume with the remaining cards. The player with the least cards will have fewer cards to set up, and possibly no draw pile. Continue play, the victor will have finished his hand as well as his draw pile.

Speed Set Up


Crazy 8's

Set-Up:
Each player is dealt 8 cards, one card placed face up in the center of the table. The remainder of the cards become the draw pile.
Game Play:
The goal of the game is to be the first player to empty their hand. Cards are discarded by matching either the face value or the suit. For example, if the draw pile has a Queen of hearts, A Queen of any suit can be thrown down, OR any card that is a heart.
Special cards are the 8's, which gives it's possessor the power to select the suit of their choice.
2's force your opponent to pick up two, however if your opponent throws down a two immediately after then it is passed on to the next player and he or she must now pick up four cards.
Jacks skip a turn.
When a player has one card remaining he must knock and say "Last Card!" If he does not, he can't play his last card to win.

Crazy 8's Countdown

All the same rules as Crazy 8's above, however play continues after the hand is won. When the first hand is won the winner is re-dealt 7 cards and now 7's are wild for that player. This pattern continues until the last hand of 1, wherein the Ace is the wild card, and one card is dealt to the player. The winner is the first player to reach, and complete their last hand of 1.

Crazy Mutations Of Crazy 8's

I've seen many crazy rules making crazy 8's even crazier. Aces can be used to discard all of the same suit of the initial Ace in one turn. Example if a player throws down an Ace of hearts, he can follow with a 2, 3, 4, 5... etc... of hearts on the same turn.

Tens can be used to switch direction.
Jokers can be used to pick up 5


War

A standard deck of 52 is dealt between two players face down. Players are not to look at their cards. Each player draws a card simultaneously and places them beside the other players card. The player with the higher card takes both and adds it to the bottom of his pile. Play continues this way until two cards of the same value are drawn, this is when the "war" begins.

Players must now draw two cards each and place one face down on the existing cards, and the other face up. War is won by the player who draws the higher valued card, he then proceeds to collect all six of the cards in the pile.
The person who collects all the cards is declared the winner.



Have Fun!

So there you have it! There are many other games that can be played to the same effect. I simply dedicated this article to these card games because of the impressive results it has had on my daughter's grades and with the increased quality time I have been able to spend with her. Usually she's the one who introduces me to new games that she learns from her friends at school!
If you are a parent who wants to achieve these things with your child I would highly recommend it!


© 2015 Ardot

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