My family loves playing board and card games. Especially around the holidays, it is not uncommon for all my brothers and sisters to gather at someone’s house to play games all day before the holiday dinner. Kids included. However, Corinne and William seldom want to play the preschool games I bring for them, instead they want to play the games of their older cousins, like the game of Uno. But for my preschool aged children to play Uno with their grade school aged cousins, we have to tweak the rules a bit.
The first change we make is that each player begins with only five cards, instead of seven. We place them face up. Yes, this means that everyone can see one another’s cards, but it also eliminates trying to keep all the cards organized in the hand, which is a common frustration for young children.
We lay out a mat for the draw pile and the played cards. This helps William and Corinne to differentiate their own cards from those that have already been played. The skip, draw two, wild, and reverse cards are briefly explained before the beginning of each game, but the older players help explain to the younger players how to use the cards as they are drawn. When several cards have been drawn, and the hands get big, just layer the cards on top of one another.
The game is played, of course, by ridding your hand of cards that match the top card of the communal discard pile by number or color. This is an excellent exercise for toddler and preschool aged children. They are more than capable of making those matches, and playing this modified game of Uno is a fun way to reinforce their number identification and color recognition skills. After a few games, you’ll find your youngest kiddies will be able to play in this modified fashion by themselves. William is four and Corinne is two and a half and they it very well together, taking turns and encouraging one another.