Grab a pack of cards for this simple indoor energy buster, from Alisha, to get kids moving and learning!
My kids can play outside forever, but sometimes we’re just stuck inside. When that happens, I turn to a quick, no-prep indoor energy buster card game that’s so simple to put together on the fly!
No Prep Indoor Energy Buster Card Game for Kids
Card games are such a fun way to engage with your children, but sometimes they need to move. This activity twist on the classic card game of War will get your kids moving and having fun.
Check out this card counting math game for more hands on fun!
To play your own indoor energy buster card game, you’ll need:
- Deck of Cards
- Piece of Paper
- Pen or Pencil
Ready, Set, Play & Move Indoors Together
Before you get moving, set up a simple guide.
Draw out the shape of each suit of cards: heart, diamond, spade, clubs.
Decide upon a movement that each of these suits will represent.
Count and sort cards with a simple DIY game for kids!
We decided on these movements:
- Hearts = hop
- Spades = squats
- Clubs = toe-touches
- Diamonds = jumping jacks
Pick fun movements that fit where you’ll be playing, that your kids enjoy, and that they can do successfully.
Decide on the value of face cards. We decided on:
- Ace = 1
- Jack = 11
- Queen = 12
- King = 13
These are the standard values given to these cards during other games. But if you wanted to avoid confusion, simply leave them out of the pack for this game.
Play, Move & Learn with an Indoor Energy Buster Card Game for Kids
This card game follows the same rules as the game of War, just with some movements added in.
- Remove the Jokers (and face cards if desired) and divide the deck evenly between all players
- Everyone flips over just one card from their deck at the same time
- Highest card wins! Winner claims all lower value cards
- Two “highest” cards: each player sets out two additional cards, one face down and one face up; highest face-up card wins all played cards; repeat until one player is higher
- The goal is to be the first player to win all 52 cards.
Play another card game with a learning twist for even more fun!
Add Movement to Burn Energy
Now for the twist. The person (or people if playing with more than two players) with the lowest cards have to pay a penalty.
Remember those movements?
Everyone except the “winner” of each hand will need to do the move that matches the suit on their card. How many reps they do of the move is determined by the value of the card played.
- 3 of hearts = 3 hops
- 4 of spades = 4 squats
- 7 of clubs = 7 toe-touches
- 5 of diamonds = 5 jumps
When two players go face-to-face in a “war,” only the loser of that contest has to do the penalty moves. Everyone else gets a free pass!
Other Ways to Play Your Indoor Energy Buster Card Game
The best part of this simple game is that it’s endlessly adaptable.
Try these fun twists on your indoor energy buster card game:
- Pick 5-10 cards and do just those moves
- Scatter cards around the house and challenge your kids to hunt them, doing the moves along the way
- Do 52-card pickup, doing each move as they gather up the deck
- Go through the whole deck, flipping over one card at a time for each kid instead of competing against each other
- Use the card movements as a fun energy busting break with other activities, like homework or chores
- Set out two cards of the same suit, add or subtract and do the number of moves in the answer
- Group the cards by value, then do the moves for each card of each value (1 squat, 1 jump, 1 hop, 1 toe touch; 2 jumps, 2 squats, 2 hops, 2 toe touches, etc.)
What other twists can you think of for your indoor energy buster card game?
This simple indoor energy buster card game is sure to get out that extra energy in a fun and exciting way!