Monday, October 29, 2012

Questions Answered #2 - Card Games

So here are the questions I was asked about card games:

Card games:
- How thick does the card stock need to be to make the cards durable?
- Is it faster to laminate or contact paper the cards?
- How do you organize/label your cards so you know what ways you can use them?

Do You Know Me Blends

My answers:

- How thick does the card stock need to be to make the cards durable?

I use a standard card stock that I purchase in packets of multiple colors at WalMart or other such stores. What makes the cards durable is Contact paper covering them.

Homonyms Pick-a-Pair

- Is it faster to laminate or contact paper the cards?

I imagine if you have a home laminator it is quick and easy to laminate the cards. However, not having that Contact paper is an easy and quick solution.  I can cover lots of cards in a very short time. 

The big secret is to do full sheets of cards, not individual cards.  Years ago I had a xerox machine in my home so I printed out (on colored card stock or bristol) pages of blank cards. These were then ready whenever I needed some cards. I would hand write on the cards. I could do this so easily while the children were doing their lessons, reading a story, or working on a unit. I would write out questions as we read a science or history book. When I had a page full of completed cards they could be covered, cut apart and used. Later, as the children got older, I had them write out the questions and answers (some times on the same side, often on the back, and occasionally we just made an answer key sheet.)

Using SPEED! cards - SPEED! Solitaire

- How do you organize/label your cards so you know what ways you can use them?

I store cards in zip-lock plastic sandwich bags (larger sets may require quart-size bags).  I put a piece of duct tape along the top edge and punch a hole. I hang these card games on a peg board.  I use cheap metal shower curtain hooks to hold several games. Then, several of these hooks will hang on each peg/hook on the peg board. When my children were young, my husband hung a door-size peg board on the inside of the door that lead to our basement. This door was in the kitchen right near the table where we did much of our schooling. This board held hundreds of games. At this time I had each game numbered and on the spread sheet. The games were hung by their numbers making them very easy to locate.

Like I mentioned in the previous post about organization....My current method and my old (preferred) method are different. Right now, because I have a limited number of games out, I simply store them together by school subject. I hope to get returned to the older method as I still feel it is best, even for a smaller number of games.

Now for the labels on the games....I try to NAME games in a way that it will help me know what the game is about and how we plan to play it. For example: Coin Search Cards tells me it is simply a card game (no board), we will be matching coins to money amounts, and playing Search (or many know this as Concentration or Memory).  I may add an index card with unusual directions to a game or a list of a variety of ways we may play the with the cards. This becomes less needed as you play more and more games. You will look at a deck of cards and know that you can probably play a variety of card games with them, or you can even add a game board you have around and play with them that way.  Much of game making and playing is a growing process...the more you do/make/play - the more you will know and the more ideas you will get of ways to use a simple deck of cards.

Color Match Search


Cards are easy to make and so versatile. Think of the many card games you may have played as a child...

Old Maid
Go Fish
  .....just to name a few.

All of these and others you know have rules that usually can be applied to any deck of cards.

I love when I can add a gameboard and we have a whole new game. How? Just have the children draw a card, answer the skill BEFORE they can shake a die or spin to move.

Also you can change the rules a bit (making it a true family game) and play again. Take out the "Old Maid" card and play "Go Fish."  You are playing a whole new game and yet you are still drilling the same skill. Children will often play over and over when you make a simple change and you can drill their skills for a couple hours.

Have fun!!!

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