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Family Games Newsletter - Febrauary 2010
February 03, 2010

February 2010

Welcome to the February 2010 issue of our Family Games Treasurehouse newsletter. As we approach Valentine's Day (14 February), may we spend more time thinking about those we love than thinking about ourselves.

In our last issue, we looked at some educational strategy games and solitaire card games. For this month we'll focus on some games that are particularly suited to younger players, with three easy card games and "Round the Clock", a dice game for two to four players of any age.

Card Games for Younger Players

Our webpage Free Card Games has a number of games for younger player. (If you do not understand any card game terms, see our Card Game Glossary.)

One of the simplest games for very young children is Snap, where they only need to recognise numbers. The deck is shuffled and all the cards are dealt face down one at a time in front of each player. The first player takes the top card from their pile and places it face up in the middle of the table. The player on their left then places the top card from their pile face up on the middle pile. Play continues around the table, building up cards on the centre pile, until a player puts a card on the middle pile that matches the number of the card that the previous player had played. All players then try to slap their hand onto the middle pile while yelling, "Snap!" The first player to put their hand on the middle pile picks it up and puts it (face down) on the bottom of their pile. The winner of the game is the player who has the most cards after a set time (say, five minutes) or, alternately, the first player to get all the cards unto their pile.

Go Fish is a slightly harder game where children must collect sets of four cards of the same number. The deck is shuffled before dealing the cards face down to the players. If two or three children are playing, they receive seven cards each; for four or more players they get five cards each. The rest of the deck is placed face down in the centre of the table and is called the 'fishpond'. Players look at their cards and try to make sets of four matching cards with the same number or letter (four 5s, or four Ks for example). If the first player does not have a full set, he can ask any other player if they have a card that will help them. For example, he can ask Katie if she has a "5". If she does, she passes the card to him. (If she has more than one "5", she only passes one of them.) He can then ask Katie or another player for another card he needs. If she does not have a "5" she says, "Go Fish". He picks up the top card from the fishpond and adds it to his hand, finishing his turn. The next player then has their turn asking for a card they need, and so on around the table until a player gets a set of four which they place face up on the table in front of them. Play then continues until either: (i) one player gets rid of all their cards, or (ii) the fishpond is exhausted, or (iii) a time limit is reached. The player with the most sets of cards at that time wins the game.

My Ship Sails is a faster game that requires children to be able to recognise the four suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades). The deck is shuffled and each child receives seven cards. The rest of the deck is put aside and is not used for the rest of this round. Children look at their cards with the aim of getting a set of seven cards of the same suit. They choose one card they do not want and prepare to pass it to the player on their left. An adult or older child says "Pass", and all the children pass the card to their left. They pick up the card that was passed to them and see if they want to keep it. If it is the same as the suit they are collecting they should keep it. Otherwise they can pass it on or choose another card to pass on. Play continues with the adult calling out "Pass" every few seconds. Since there are some cards that are not used in the game, and more than one player may be going for the same suit, players may decide to change the suit they are collecting as the game proceeds. The first player to collect seven cards of the same suit wins the game and yells, "My Ship Sails" as they puts their cards down in front of them.


Round the Clock is an easy dice game for children who can recognise the number of spots on the dice and can count to twelve. The aim is to throw all the numbers from 1 to 12 in order. Player One throws two dice. If either of the dice is a "1", she can throw again, trying for a "2". She can throw one "2" or could throw two "1s". If she threw a "1" and a "2", she can count that as "1", "2" and "3", all in one throw! When a player does not throw the number they need, the dice are passed to the player on their left. The first player to go Round the Clock (throw all the numbers from 1 to 12) wins the game.

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, keep an eye out for our range of family game e-books coming out later this year. Your favourite games from Family Games Treasurehouse along with many, many more games in an easy to print book form.

The e-book you received as a free gift for signing up to this newsletter now has a new, more colourful front cover and some extra graphics inside. Check out to see the new cover. If you would like a copy of the updated e-book, you DON'T need to subscribe again. Simply send us a short message at and we will send you the link for the free download. We'd also love to receive any comments about the e-book that we can use as testimonials on the website. Thanks!

Finally, click on the image/link below to find out how you too can start your own website that can earn you money and give you more time to enjoy with your family. Site Build It!

Until next time,
Andrew Low
Family Games Treasurehouse

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