‘Nice or nasty’ card game

For ages 6 – 8 years

‘Nice or nasty’ is a great game to play with the whole family. It helps children learn about three-digit numbers. It also helps to build strategic thinking and problem solving.

What do I do?  

  • Pack of playing cards with the picture cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) removed
  • Paper
  • Pens

How do I do it?

  1. Each player draws three boxes side by side on a piece of paper, each box big enough to hold a playing card.

TIP: You could start with two cards and read them as a two-digit number until you get the hang of the game. As you get more advanced you can play the game with four-digit numbers.

  • Before you start the round, decide whether you are trying to make the biggest or smallest number.
  • Now shuffle the cards and place them in a face down pile in the centre of the table.

Note that the Ace is number 1.

Playing nice

Take it in turns to turn over the top card and place it in one of your boxes.

When each player has placed three cards, read each of them as a three-digit number. For example: 2, 5, 9 is two hundred and fifty-nine.

The winner is the person with the largest or smallest number (as you decided at the start).

Playing nasty

The nasty version is when you can choose to play a card either on your own board or put it on your opponent’s. Strategy comes into play as you try to make your opponent lose the round.

No-one knows your child better than you.  So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.

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