Game of the Month: Swish {Card Game}

Swish card game teaches visual and spatial perception skills

Swish Card Game

Our Game of the Month is ThinkFun’s Swish. Long time readers of this blog {bless you!} know that my kids and I love games! Swish is a new favorite of ours.  Swish is a family card game that challenges players’ spatial thinking skills. The rules are easy but even adults will find game play enjoyable. {UPDATE: We have now had a chance to try out Swish, Jr. and heartily recommend it for the younger set. See below for more.}

Swish consists of a deck of 60 transparent cards, each with hoops or balls of different colors. The object of the game is to create as many “Swishes” as possible. 16 cards are placed on the table and players study the cards calling out “Swish” when they think they see two or more cards that, when lined up, all the balls “Swish” through a hoop of the same color. The challenge of the game is that you must rotate, flip and match the cards in your mind, without touching them! This requires some serious mental manipulation of images! When one player removes a Swish, the cards are replaced until the remainder in the deck are used up. Read more about Swish here {links to games are affiliate links} or check out my thoughts about this gem of a card game:

Special Considerations:

  • Patience and spatial intelligence are key skills for this game. Those are skills are great skills for kids to work on!
  • My 8 year old beat me handily, so don’t get too confident if you are the grown-up at the table…
  • The official Swish rules contain variations to make game play easier or harder, depending on age or skill level.
  • You can also play the game solo, which my 8 year old loves.
  • The cards can be slippery and hard to pick up from a smooth surface. Place cards on cardboard or a towel to make picking them up easier.

Playing with Younger Kids at the Table:

  • This game is recommended for ages 8 and up, kids younger than that could play, provided older kids are patient enough to take turns. The amount of mental manipulation required to find matches may be too overwhelming for kids younger than 6 or 7.
  • There is a version of the game, Swish Junior, formulated for ages 5 and up. I haven’t played it After publishing this post, ThinkFun was kind enough to send me a complimentary game to share with my 4 year old {see below}.
  • If you have preschoolers, re-purpose the deck for non-competitive play and practice making matches, allowing children to use their hands, not just their minds, to create “Swishes.”

Notes on Swish Junior:

  • New Kid (age 4) was thrilled that he could play his own version of his “big brother’s game.”
  • Before playing according to the official rules, we took turns making practice Swishes.
  • Although the rules call for a “hands off” approach to encourage mental manipulation of the cards, we played several rounds in which my son was allowed to pick up cards to find a Swish. This helped him gain the confidence he needed to understand the concept.
  • We also took turns finding Swishes, rather than racing to see who could find one first.
  • Although there is a 1 card loss penalty for making and incorrect Swishes, reduce frustration for younger players by eliminating this rule.
  • In my opinion, kids as young as 3 can enjoy the challenge of making Swishes with the cards using well-modified rules, but not until they are 5 {the manufacturer’s recommended age} will they be able to play with the full rules.

Have you ever played Swish?

Interested in our previous choices for Game of the Month? See them all!

Disclosure: We purchased Swish ourselves, but received a complimentary set of Swish, Jr. cards from ThinkFun. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your continued support of this blog!

Swish game exercises spatial intelligence

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  1. says

    I bought Swish Junior and although we love the concept, it is too easy for my kids, almost 8 and 5. We are going to try the harder one. In the meantime, I’m thinking of variations to make this one more difficult, like requiring every Swish to use more than 2 cards.

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