It's believed that games using playing cards originated in China as early as the 6th century AD. With the advent of wood blockprinting in the 9th century AD, it became possible to easily create decks of cards, making them more available and popular. Historians think cards might at one point have represented currency, where play money substituted for real money in gambling.


To play this game you need a set of cards. A deck of cards consists of multiple paper tiles that are typically identical in size and shape and have two sides: the face and the back.

For this game, you can use standard playing cards or sets with images. Use our template to create a deck of cards distinctly your own! A set of cards can total from ten pairs for beginners to a double-deck (52-card) game for more of a challenge.


• Gather or make your deck of cards.

• Turn all your cards over face down, mix them up, and arranging them in neat columns and rows. 

• The oldest player goes first and flips over two cards. If the cards match, the player claims the two cards and removes them and goes again in flipping over two cards. 

• If the two flipped cards do not match, the cards are flipped back over and it’s the next person’s turn to go.

• The challenge is to pay attention to the cards that are revealed and to remember where they are located so you can match and claim them when it’s your turn.

• Each player takes a turn flipping two cards until all the cards are matched and claimed.

• Once all the cards are matched and claimed, the person with the most cards wins.


This game can be played as solitaire with only one player. In this case, the player tracks the number of non-matching pairs that are turned over and tries to get as few flips as possible to match all the sets.


For projects for younger kids, look for Nigel the koala. 

BIG hint! You'll find Nigel in What's different? • Play portal • We Puzzle Together for Tots

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