My Secret Weapon for Extending the Fun


Want to enjoy your dinner out in peace? Maybe extend your fun family day out a little longer without hearing the kids whine “when can we leave?” Let me introduce my secret weapon . . . a deck of playing cards. It’s small, fits in your purse, is fun for the whole family, AND it’s full of endless possibilities.

This past Sunday, we were doing my absolute favorite Charleston activity: listening to the best live music at the Pour House for their Sunday Brunch Farmer’s Market. Admittedly, this is an activity that is more fun for adults than kids. My kids are past the age of running around and dancing to the music like they used to do when they were toddlers. Now they are elementary school age and a little more vocal about what they do and don’t want to do.

They had completed a good hour of playing pinball, and I could tell they were starting to get bored. But Motown Throwdown just started playing “I Will Survive”, the sun was shining, and the rest of the adults were having fun. There was no way the rest of us were ready to leave yet. It was time to break out the deck of cards.

It seems silly, and probably pretty obvious, but having the deck of cards in my purse made the afternoon fun for all of us! The boys played War while the adults chatted and listened to music and then we all got in on the fun with a couple rounds of Garbage (our new favorite game)!

Boys with my secret weapon: playing cardsI noticed some kids at a table behind us sipping on their water, bored, while their parents were having the time of their lives. I felt bad for them! It’s no fun to be dragged to something that is boring. But also, it’s not fair for adults to have to revolve their lives around kids.

Having the deck of cards for my kids to play with extended our day of fun by a couple of hours. It was so memorable to play cards, giggle, and listen to great music in the Charleston sunshine . . . something that would have never happened if I hadn’t packed that secret weapon.

Boys and family with my secret weapon: playing cardsWe also break out the cards while we are waiting for a table at a restaurant, or while we are waiting for our food. It’s a quiet activity that keeps them from running around like animals. It gives our kids a little independence and some entertainment, plus, being good at cards is just a good life skill!

Here are some of our favorite card games that kids can play independently:

  • War
  • Slap Jack
  • Crazy 8s
  • Garbage
  • Kings in the Corner

Next time you head out for the day, don’t forget the deck of cards!

What other games should we add to our repertoire? Comment below and let me know!