Since my son learned the earth's layers (check out our 3-D diagram), I thought it might also be fun to find a way to teach him the atmospheric layers. A rousing game of cards seemed like the perfect way to learn.
I designed a set of 1-10 playing cards plus wild cards, for us to play like Skip-Bo Junior.
DIY the Game!
Download a free 11-page PDF of the playing cards from Google Drive here. If you have trouble accessing the file, you can request permission within Google Drive or email me. Teachers: Use a personal email address when requesting access to my files. Most schools block emails from outside their domain, prohibiting me from granting you access.
Print on heavyweight cardstock and cut out. Print two copies of the WILD cards (on page 5). NOTE: This is a pretty ink-heavy printable; I recommend taking the PDF to a copy shop so as not to use up all your home printer's ink.
How to Win
The first player to play all of the cards from their stockpile is the winner.
How to Play
This is a two-person game. The dealer deals 10 cards facedown to each player; this is their stockpile. The top card is turned over (i.e. face-up) and placed on top of the rest of the cards. Next, the dealer deals three cards in three separate piles to each player face up next to the stockpile. The dealer does this with each turn.
In the playing area between both players, four piles can be started. These four piles are played on by both players and must begin with a No. 1 card (the inner core) or a Wild card, played face up.
The youngest player looks at the three cards in their "hand" (those dealt face-up by the dealer on the table) as well as the one card on top of their stockpile to see if they can begin a new pile or add to an existing one. The player plays all the cards that they can, even those that may be revealed from under another card that was just played. For example, if there is a No. 2 (outer core) card face-up on one pile, a player can place the No. 3 (mantle) or Wild card on top of it from their hand, as well as any other cards they may have to play.
If the card from the stockpile is played, the card underneath is turned over. It's the next player's turn when a player can no longer play any cards from their stockpile or hand. NOTE: The card on top of the stockpile may not be moved to the player's hand, even if all the cards in one pile of their hand have been played.
Each time it is a player's turn, three new cards are dealt on top of the existing hand from the last round of play. Once the new cards have been dealt, the player can take their turn.
When a pile has either been completed with the number cards 1-10 and/or a mix of wild cards, the pile is turned over and removed from the playing area, so a new pile can be formed in its place.
If the dealer runs out of cards and neither player has played all the cards from their stockpile, the completed piles can be reshuffled to continue play.
Like this game? Play our Medieval Kingdom version!