Go Fish is the perfect introduction for your child to the world of card games. The game teaches your child to match pairs, describe objects by color and count pairs. It also introduces strategy to your child. This is a good game to have in your home.

Objective of the game – To be the player with the most pairs.

Number of players – Two or more.

How you play

There are lots of variations of the Go Fish game. Here’s one that is ideal to play with young children.

  • Shuffle the cards and deal three cards to each player. The rest of the deck is the draw pile in the center of the table.
  • The first player then takes a turn to ‘fish’ for a card by asking another player if they have a match to one of the cards held. For example, “Do you have a blue card with a yellow fish?”
  • If a player has this card, they hand it over to the player ‘fishing’ for a card to form a pair. If they don’t have this card, they say “Go Fish”. The fishing player then pulls a card from the draw pile. Then it is the next player’s turn to ‘fish’.
  • Once a player forms a pair, they put it down on their own ‘pairs’ pile.
  • If a player manages to get rid of all their cards by forming pairs they can draw three new cards. Once all the cards have been drawn, each player counts the number of pairs they have collected.
  • The player with the most pairs wins!

Educational Benefits of Go Fish

  • Matching – The game teaches your child how to match pairs (called visual discrimination). The ability to see differences in similar objects is an essential skills for learning to recognize letters, numbers and shapes.
  • Descriptive Language – The game helps your child develop their descriptive language. For example “Do you have an orange card with a blue shark?” or “Do you have a orange card with a small red starfish?” Using colors, sizes and animal names to describe cards.
  • Counting – The counting of pairs at the end of the game provides a fun opportunity to count with your child.
  • Strategy – Over time your child will start thinking about which cards to ask for. They will think about the questions that have already been asked and the answers that have been given to help choose the best game option.

Variations to the game

  • Deal more cards to each player for greater complexity.
  • Play with your cards showing to make it easier for your child to ‘fish’.
  • If you only have a normal deck of cards you can still play Go Fish. You can read the rules on wikipedia.

Educational Toys and Games Resources

Abacus – Everyone knows the abacus is an amazing mathematical tool. It’s even claimed the abacus is instrumental in giving kids a head start.

Tupperware Shape Sorter – There are very few educational toys out there like the Tupperware Shape Sorter. Your child can play with this toy from newborn through to pre-schooler and not only will it entertain your child throughout, but also teach them many things along the way.

Snakes and Ladders – A Snakes and Ladders board game is the perfect addition for any household with young children. Not only is the game fun but also highly educational.

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