When was the last time you played Crazy Eights with your kids?

Taking the time to do just that can create a fun learning environment. And it’s not just Crazy Eights that can provide an opportunity to teach a few valuable skills. Hearts, War, Go Fish and Old Maid are all card games that are fun and deceptively educational.

The list of skills that can be acquired from a family card game is extensive. Kids can develop the art of strategizing, hone memory and matching skills, and learn how to rank card values. And don’t forget math; research has linked both card and board games to better math skills in younger children.

The card games don’t have to be complicated, their simplicity is actually positive. Even younger kids can compete and win. They’re learning to take turns and follow the rules. Which leads to another attribute of these games – learning how to win without boasting and lose without making excuses – valuable life lessons.

The most important benefit of playing these and other games with your kids is that playing together builds your relationship, your connection. A child playing a game on the IPad or computer is solitary entertainment. Playing with siblings and parents or even grandparents means interaction, fun, the making of memories, and the increased possibility of building positive relationships.

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