My Ship Sails is a great kids card game for very young children since they only need to recognise the four card suits (hearts ♥; diamonds ♦; clubs ♣; spades ♣). Children sit around a table. An adult or older child may act as the dealer, shuffling and then dealing the cards.
Age: 5+ (as soon as a child can recognise the different suits)
No. of players: 3-7
Equipment: One standard deck of cards (remove the jokers)
Time: 5 minutes+
Aim: To collect seven cards of the same suit.
1. The dealer gives each player seven cards, one at a time, face down. The remaining cards are not used for this hand.
2. Each player sorts their cards into suits and decides which suit they are going to try to collect. Usually, this is the suit with the most cards in their hand, but players may choose a different suit as the game progresses.
3. Players take one unwanted card (one that is not of the suit they are trying to collect) and place it face down in front of them. When the dealer says "Pass!" each player passes that card to the player on their left. They then pick up the card which has been passed to them and look at it. If it is a card from the suit they are collecting, they should keep the card. Otherwise they could choose that card or another card from their hand to pass on.
4. Play continues until one player has collected seven cards of the same suit. That player then calls out, "My Ship Sails!" and wins the game.
5. All the cards (including the ones which were put aside at the beginning of the hand) are then shuffled and dealt for a new hand. Play continues as along as the children want to play.
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