I thought I was losing my mind trying to create more meaningful interactions with my children by playing a few little card games. It turns out that I’m not the only one. In my previous article, I recounted how bringing a pack of cards around in my purse changed the way we approached family outings. This eventually led to a bunny trail of all sorts of interesting new discoveries that I will share in this sequel.
It began with a stroll around Target. We came up to the toys section and took our traditional roaming around time where we would look at the latest toys and make our wish lists for Christmas, birthdays, gifts and other special occasions. I looked at the card game section. There were regular packs of cards, of course, but also other specialized games such as various forms of Uno, Go Fish, a card version of Catan, and even a portable Monopoly game. I honed in on one of the more popular ones. Most of the others were marketable copies of classic card games; Uno being an example as Crazy Eights is the original version. ‘I bet I could duplicate this using a standard 52 card deck,’ I thought. Naturally, as a millennial, my next thought was, ‘Perhaps someone has already thought of this idea online.’
Indeed, someone had thought of the idea, which led me to a whole community of card players who devote their time to not only playing classic games, but creating their own original ones. I took to YouTube and found so many videos and threads of game creators, most of them taking up this hobby since the pandemic. It seemed that many other people were thinking of ways to take technology breaks and focus on small, intimate group play in order to salvage their mental health and then share their experiences with the rest of the world. It inspired me to create my own versions of games to play with my children and family, so I started with their interests.
My kids are currently interested in a certain franchise that has a card game. How could I bring the fun of playing it to my kids without actually spending money on cards that they are too young to collect? Could I use a standard 52 deck of cards? With a little imagination, I found the answer to be a resounding, “yes.” I created my very own version of the game using a standard 52 deck, four dice, and paper and pencil. Now, it’s not perfect; it doesn’t yet include substitutes for every single aspect of the real game, but for a simple, rudimentary version, it allows for a lot of fun, strategy, and a little bit of luck which is the formula for every good card game.
If you want to get back into card games, but don’t want to play the old favorites, there are so many new and intricate games that people have invented online. Whatever the case, I hope we can all remember the importance of creativity and gathering together for a great game.
Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives. If you have ideas that you would like to share with Hunter, you may email suggestions to [email protected].