It wasn’t long ago that kids killed time with a deck of cards and a few rounds of Snap, Go Fish, Old Maid, Memory or Spit. But research has found these games are dying out in favour of Angry Birds and other games played on iPads, phones and other electronic devices.
A report into the gaming habits of today’s kids and their parents for Barclaycard found fewer than half of the children interviewed now play card games, and only 44 per cent of children aged between seven and 14 were even familiar with 52-card packs, let alone the games you can play with them.
Then there are all those cultural references kids could miss out on: from not knowing an Ace of Spades from a Queen of Hearts.
In addition to concerns about kids spending too much time alone, educators and parents say card games are an important way to teach children arithmetic, problem solving and tactical thinking.
Three out of four parents said they were worried that the way their children play is holding back their development. Only one in 10 thought computer games do anything to help children learn new skills.
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That said, another recent study conducted by the University of London found that the learning benefits of iPads for babies and children were enormous, and they should be allowed to play with tablets from birth.
“Everything we know about child development tells us that tablet computers should not be banned for babies and toddlers,” said Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith, who led the study.
Despite this, there is surely room in modern children’s lives for both cards, computers and – while we’re at it – board games too (the Barclaycard report found chess had taken a significant slip in popularity in recent times, too).
Let’s talk: Do you play card games with your grandkids? Why or why not? And are you a card player yourself?