Are grandma and grandpa coming to visit?  That sounds like a perfect occasion for a rousing game of Go Fish!  All you need is a deck of cards.

The rules of play are very simple.  Deal every player 5 cards and put the rest face-down in a messy pile in the middle of the table. All of the players put any pairs they happen to have in their hand down and earn a point for each pair. Starting with the youngest player and moving clockwise, the player asks one of their opponents “Do you have a ____?”  The card requested should be one the player has in their hand. If the opponent has the card, they must give it to the player who earns a point for making a match.  If the opponent does not have the card they say “Go Fish!” The player must then pick a single card from the face-down pile of cards.  If the addition of the new card makes a pair in their hand, they place it down and earn a point. Children as young as 4 or 5 years old can learn to play this game.

This simple game builds visual discrimination, visual memory, and visual sequencing skills.  Handling the cards develops fine motor skills especially finger dexterity. Taking turns and learning to give up your cards to another player are important social skills.

Is it difficult for your child to hold onto the cards or keep them in sequential order? No problem……You can make a card holder with a POOL NOODLE!!  

Who knew a pool noodle could be so handy?

Have a VISIONary plan for a rainy day. Card games can be simple or more complex; they are engaging for children of all ages.  Grown-ups can join the fun too!  Build some memories.  I loved playing cards (and mah jongg!) with my grandmother.  Here are some more ideas for card games appropriate for various ages and developmental levels.

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This summer, we’re urging parents to Keep Summer Vision in Sight by providing kids with toys and games that promote vision development, as well as by taking them a comprehensive vision exam before the next school year begins. Find a developmental optometrist near you!