“If you have a pack of Uno cards, you’ll never be bored again!”
That’s what I told my kids the other day while we were waiting at the Doctors.
Even if you are by yourself there is always something fun you can do with a pack of Uno cards. So next time the kids are bored, try one of these simple games you can play with Uno cards
We taught the kids to play Uno when they were around 5-8 years old, and it was a huge hit. Now matter how old they get, everyone still loves playing Uno. Uno is a great game, but there are so many other games you can play with a pack of Uno cards!
Because you can use Uno cards in so many different ways, they are perfect to have on hand, and bring out any time you need to entertain the kids. Pop a pack of uno cards in your bag, or your car, for those moments you find yourself stuck with cranky, bored kids, and nothing to do. Then all you have to do is pull out them out and try one of these games you can play with Uno Cards.
15 Fun Games You Can Play with Uno Cards.
This list starts out with some really simple games that are perfect for preschoolers. There are also some more complicated games and activities for bigger kids, but the little ones can usually join in too with a little help.
Classifying and sorting is an important skill for later mathematical thinking, and it’s also a great way to work on colour and number recognition.
For little ones who are just starting to learn the names of colours, turning over a card and naming the colour you see is a simple and fun beginners activity. Then you can move on to sorting the cards into piles according to colour.
You can do the same with naming and sorting numbers, and then combine both attributes and have your child sort into piles of colours and numbers. eg all the red ones, all the blue fives etc.
Number Grab Game
This is a great way to work on number recognition. Using just the number cards in all colours turn over one card and the first person to say the number of the card gets to keep it. The winner is the person with the most cards at the end (counting the cards to work out the winner is another great number learning task!).
To make it a little harder you can turn over two cards and the first person to say the number those two cards make up keeps both cards. eg A two and a three card would be 23.
To make it even harder for older kids, turn over two cards and the first person to make a sum out of them and give the correct answer keeps the cards. eg. A two and a three card could be 2+3=5 or 2×3=6
The ability to recognise and create patterns is another important maths skill and Uno cards are great for playing with patterns.
Set out a simple pattern for your child to continue. Start with the same number in different colours for young players, then try mixing the numbers and colours. Eg red 1, yellow 2, red 2, red 1, yellow 2, red 2, what comes next?
Count and Colour Match
This is a lovely simple activity for little ones who are beginning to learn counting.
You’ll need Uno number cards in all colours, and counters (or Legos, or pieces of paper) in matching colours. Turn over a card and put the right number and colour of counters on the card.
A simple set of Uno cards is great for playing snap, especially for young players because the they are just matching colour and number, not colour, number and ‘suit’ like you would with regular playing cards. Use a small set of just number cards, two numbers of each colour for a short game, or play with the whole deck for a longer game.
Start with numbers 1-4 in all colours for an easy game, add more numbers and colours, and even the action cards.
To make memory a bit more challenging, add some new ‘uno rules’. We add the rule that if you match a pair of skip cards it skips the next person’s turn, and if you match a pair of reverse cards it reverses the turns. This is a simple way to introduce the rules of Uno and makes it a bit more exciting for older kids.
Reduce the deck to two of each colour number and play basic go fish. You can also add additional ‘Uno rules’ to this game too. You can include the draw two and draw four cards and if someone asks for one of those cards and the other player doesn’t have it, when they ‘go fish’ they have to pick up two or four cards from the pile!
Use Uno number cards in all colours, starting with just low numbers. When you turn over a card, you have find, or list things, that number of objects in that colour. Eg if you turn over a green 3, you need to run around and find 3 green things, or list three green things you can see.
You’ll need number cards in all colours, plus wild cards (optional), and a bit of space to play this game. Assign each colour an action, each person turns over a card and they have to do the action assigned to that colour as many times as the number on the card. If you turn over a wild the person to your left gets to pick the action and number of times you have to do it (we limit the number to the highest card we’ve included in the deck!).
Guess the Number
This game is kind of like celebrity head, but instead of guessing which celebrity you are, you are trying to guess what number you are. You’ll need just the number cards for this game. Pick a card, and without looking at it, hold it up to your forehead. You can only ask yes or no questions, and neither you or the other players can say the number you are, as you try and guess which number you are. To make it even tricker, try guessing which number and what colour it is, using the same rules – you can’t say the number or the colour!
Cards move very differently through the air than a ball, which makes them fun to toss. Set up any kind of container and see who can toss the most cards into it!
A well worn set of Uno cards is great for making card houses. It can be quite a challenging for little hands to get started and to get the cards to stay up long enough to build anything with, so the addition of some blu-tak can help ease the frustration! Plus building on carpet is easier than on a table or hard floor!
Adding a set of Uno cards to other building materials can be lots of fun. Try adding Uno cards, plastic cups, and craft sticks to make a fun construction set. Or simple add cards to regular wooden building blocks or another construction set for an added dimension.
If you don’t mind cutting up an old deck, Uno cards can be used to make amazing card constructions. Check out these super cool constructions and how to make them, or try this bridge builder challenge.
If you’ve got a really old and battered set of Uno cards, you can use them like dominos and set them before making them fall down in a chain reaction. Put a fold in the middle and set them up on their side, just like you would for a domino run.
If you are looking for even more things you can do with Uno cards, check out these fun maths games you can play with Uno Cards.
Have you got a pack of Uno cards sitting in the cupboard?
What fun was have you come up with to use your Uno cards?
If you haven’t got a pack of Uno cards already, definitely put them on the list for birthdays and Christmas!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Deb @ Home life simplified says
Great ideas – i am starting to compile my packing list for our 6 week overseas adventure and you just bumped UNO cards onto the “pack” list – thanks – i always try to take versatile toys and games we won’t bore of easily.
Another game would be “Spoons” it will get noisy and kids will get excited but always a fun game.????
You are endlessly creative, Kate. What a great post. I love UNO, but those cards deserve more of an outing. x
I grew up on UNO…love those cards and enjoyed reading your creative ways to extend the fun! It’s up to us to make sure these simple pleasures for children don’t disappear i think!
Perfect timing. Freya has discovered Uno over our holidays and weve been playing endless games each night.
We got Annie some of those personalised Uno cards for last Christmas and she is still struggling to figure out how to play Uno properly.
My girls took a while to figure it out too.
We play endless rounds of open hands or in pairs so that everyone can get their head around the game. We also don’t play the cumulative draw 2s and draw 4s cause that causes too much angst!
Sarah S says
Ah, they cause upset here too, but we added one of the blank wild cards with a “draw out the plus cards” and now, if the person at the end of a stack of them has it, they can play it. We then share the total cards out between is starting with the person who played the special one at the end. It causes giggles.
Great post! Love it! Thanks!
Jenny B says
I love Uno I love to play games with the kids. I believe it is a great teacher It is definitely lots of laughs.
We like to play a game called SPAZ with our uno cards. Each color represents a pose (like sticking out the tongue) you get to pick them as a group. Pass out all of the cards to each player. With out looking at your cards, place one card face up in the discard pile. When two cards of the same color are put into the discard pile each player must make the pose that goes along with the color. The last person to make the pose takes the deck. The winner of the game is the firsts person to go out of cards. Best played really late when everyone has the giggles. You’ll laugh your pants off! BTW with playing with wilds, the person laying them down picks the color. Skips and Reverse have no meaning other than their color. Happy playing!!!
Oh wow that sounds like the coolest game ever!! Thank you so much for sharing!
My boys just discovered our old UNO cards and insisted on playing all weekend plus dividing up the cards between each other.
Great ideas thanks Kate.
Thanks for sharing ur ideas. It sparked an idea to use the UNO cards as part of my son’s first birthday party. 1) adults can play UNO, 2) use the blue cards for a “pin the ONE” on the clock game (for adults and kids), and 3) use the flip 10 game (reverse of ONE for the honoree) for the 4+ attendees.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Kk Morgan says
That was really cool for UNO cards
alex smith says
Who doesn’t love Uno? Great post. I remember playing cards at school – closest to the wall, leansies, knock ’em down and the happiest, or saddest part of all depending on where you landed, winner takes all. Thanks for this…
You can also play Stress with the uno cards:)
I don’t know that game, how do you play?
Texas Nana says
I just found a mini set of “uno” cards at the Dollar Tree Store. The name is dos go on the pack put they are printed just like the uno sets. The card is half the size of a regular size card. I now carry a set of mini uno cards and mini regular playing cards in my purse. Everyone asks where I found them when they are used in a waiting room or dinning table.
They sound like a fabulous set of cards to have! Thanks for sharing the details.