Sometimes a quick kids activity comes just at the right moment. When you need that break from the kids driving you bonkers and you don't want to turn on a screen, you look desperately around you to see what you can find.
Thus, this easy, no-prep card sorting activity for kids was born.
Attempting to stem the tide of the evening crazies, I handed my four-year-old a box that contained 4 decks of playing cards and a Skip-bo game. The cards were all jumbled up.
Knowing how much all children enjoy sorting, and how much my kid loves numbers, I suggested that he sort them, thinking it might keep him busy for a while.
First he worked on sorting the cards so they were organized by deck. All the Skip-bo cards in one pile, all the green-backed cards in another, and so forth.
However, when he was done I knew it wasn't over, yet! As I had enjoyed the quiet this sorting time had afforded me, I wanted to continue the card sorting activity.
I asked him to notice what was "special" about the playing cards. He identified that each card has a number, a color and a suit.
First he sorted the cards by number and letter (king, jack, queen, ace).
And then he organized the cards by suit.
This card sorting game kept him busy for an hour!
Sometimes I feel like the queen of no-prep kids activities.
Originally published 2009, updated 2022.