Player Count 1-4
There are 52 cards in the deck, 2 of each letter in the alphabet. Shuffle the cards and deal 7 cards face down to each player. Deal 5 cards to each player if there are 4 or more players. Place the remaining cards face down in a draw pile where everyone can reach them. If a player has 2 of the same letters in his hand, he puts the pair face up in front of him.
How to Play:
The player to the left of the dealer goes first and play continues clockwise. The first player asks a specific person if he or she has a card of a specific letter.
For example, player 1 might ask player 3 if she has a B. Player 1 must have a B in his hand in order to ask for it. If player 3 has a B, she must give it to player 1. Player 1 may then go again and can continue playing until he does not get the card he asks for. If player 3 does not have a B, she says “Go fish!” and player 1 must take one card from the draw pile.
If the picked card is the card he wanted he must show it to all players, place the matched pair in front of him, and can then go again. If it is not the card he asked for, then it is the next player’s turn.
The game ends when a player gets rid of all his cards. The winner is the player who has collected the most sets of letter pairs.
More Ways to Play:
There are lots of ways to use these cards as teaching tools.
Ask the child to lay out the cards face up, in alphabetical order. Sing the alphabet song along with her as she lays out the cards.
Use the cards as flash cards. Mix them up face down and then hold one up, asking the child to identify the letter and the sound of the letter. Then ask him to think of another word that starts with that letter.
Ask the child to find the letters in her name. See if she can find letters in other names, such as family members or friends. Use the cards to spell other words, such as her favorite food, color, and animal.
For a more challenging game, select cards from the deck that spell a word, place them face up and scramble them, then ask the child to unscramble the cards to spell the word.
Shuffle the cards and lay all 52 cards face down randomly on a smooth surface. Children can take turns searching for matches by turning over 2 cards at a time – if they match, they can take the cards. If not, ask them to turn the cards back over in the same place and try again. Play continues until all the matches are found. This game can be played alone or with several children.