In today’s post: The spoons game is easy to learn and fun to play. It’s perfect for large or small groups and fun for all ages. Teach your kids how to play spoons today!
I like to tell my kids how boring life was back when I was a kid. There was none of this downloading a new fun app each week or watching whatever show we wanted at any minute of the day. I couldn’t text group of friends at once – I actually had to look kids’ phone numbers up in the phone book and hope I knew their parent’s first names in order to find the right numbers! And summer enrichment programs? Ya, no. In a lot of ways, life really was boring back then compared to what kids experience now. And yet…
…we had so much fun back then! We had fun with all kinds of super simple things like playing toilet tag and digging in dirt. That’s right, digging in dirt is FUN. In an effort to introduce my kids to the simple joys of my childhood, I’ve been teaching them some of the easy card games we used to play way back in the day. Recently I taught them how to play spoons, and they are HOOKED!
Looking for more fun like we had in the old days? Click here for the old fashioned summer bucket list.
The spoons card game
The spoons game is fantastic for a number of reasons. First, it’s super easy to learn and play, which means younger kids can play. Second, it’s very fast paced and tons of fun, which means even the teenagers will want to join in. And third, it works great for groups of all sizes (although it will be most fun if you have at least 3-4 people). Just know that this game will have everyone laughing!
Spoons game supplies
All you need to play spoons is a deck of playing cards and some spoons. You will need one fewer spoon than you have people playing (so if you have 8 people playing, you need 7 spoons).
If you have a large group (more than 7 or 8) you will want to play with 2 decks of cards.
How to play spoons
Everyone sits around a table or in a circle on the ground. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals out four cards to each player. Dealer keeps the remaining cards in a draw pile to her right. Set the spoons (one fewer spoon than there are players) in the center of the table or circle.
Everyone picks up their cards and looks at them.
The dealer picks up one card from the pile to her right. She quickly adds the card to her hand and then discards one of her cards to the left, where the next person picks it up.
The goal is to get four of a kind in your hand, so the dealer quickly decides as she picks up each new card whether to keep it (if it matches a card she already has) or discard it. If she keeps the card she picked up, she discards another card to her left, so she is always holding four cards.
The person next to the dealer picks up the card the dealer discarded, and then discards one of his cards to the left.
Play continues around in a circle, with everyone picking up one card from the right (where another player has discarded it) and discarding one card to the left (where the next player can pick it up).
As soon as someone gets four of a kind in their hand, they grab one of the spoons from the center.
When one spoon is grabbed, all the other players also try to grab one of the remaining spoons.
Whoever does not get a spoon earns a letter in the word “spoons”: first “S”, then “P”, etc. Someone earns a letter each round. Players are out of the game once they have spelled “spoons” and the winner is the one still in.
How to play spoons: strategies
If you are the dealer, pick up and discard cards as quickly as you can. You DO NOT wait until the first card gets all the way around the table. Just keep picking up and discarding. This gets the game rolling very quickly, making play more fun.
Switch dealers every round.
If you are the dealer and you run out of cards from the original pile to your right, just start picking up from the cards the person on your right has discarded.
Once you get four of a kind, you can make a big grab for a spoon, which will lead to everyone else noticing and grabbing as well. Or, you can continue to play while sneaking a spoon and then watching to see how long it takes everyone else to notice.
If anyone touches a spoon when they don’t have four of a kind, the round ends and that person earns a letter. This means you can try to “fake out” other players by pretending to grab a spoon even if you don’t have four of a kind. Other plays will think you are taking a spoon and grab one themselves, which will end the round and earn them a letter.
Spoons game variations
For a shorter game: Instead of earning letters, the person who doesn’t get a spoon is out immediately.
For a crazier game: If you are in a large area with plenty of room, place the spoons all the way across the room instead of in the middle. That way when someone wants to grab a spoon they have to stand up and run to get a spoon.
For younger players: Use plastic spoons instead of metal ones so little kids are less likely to get bonked when two kids are grabbing for the same spoon.
For an outside game: Don’t have spoons with you? Gather sticks or leaves, or use coins instead.
For a joker’s game: Include the jokers when shuffling the deck. They will act as wild cards.
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