Card games

Card games are loved by young and old, parents, children, grandparents and siblings quickly get together. They are also practical to take along and can help to bridge long car or train journeys and waiting times. In the Waldorfshop you can find classic playing cards as well as card games like Quartett and Schwarzer Peter for children. You can also find classic card games like Elfer raus and special games like "Hold on a second" and the Kapla card game in the games category online in our shop.


The History of Playing Cards

When were playing cards invented?

The first playing cards probably originated in the 12th/13th century. They then came to Europe in the late 14th century, and one or two centuries later the playing card sheets we know today came into being.

Where were playing cards invented?

The oldest playing cards from the 12th century can be traced to Korea and China. From there they spread to India, Persia and the Arab countries. Subsequently, they came to Europe and first became known in Italy and France.

Card games for children

The card game, like many games, was originally a game for adults. Some of these games are also suitable for children. Of course, in the course of time, many games were designed especially for children. The rules here are simpler, the motifs adapted to children.

What should you look for in a card game for children?

  1. The rules should be straightforward and easy to learn.

  2. The theme of the game should come from the children's field of interest.

  3. The illustrations should be child-friendly.

  4. Card games with short rounds are especially suitable for younger children.

  5. In order for children of different ages to play together and for the card game to be used sustainably for a longer period of time, it makes sense to choose a game with many variations and levels of difficulty.

Card games as learning games


There are some card games that can double as learning games.

Find arithmetic card games like Multiplex and Grimm's number cards in our online shop. For quick learning of letters, we carry Grimm's letter cards and the beautiful ABC card game. Our Nature Memories and Quartet games introduce children to this area in a playful way and our Star Quartet provides a first knowledge of the signs of the zodiac.

Card Game for Kids: "Black Peter"

This game is one of the most widely used for children. The origin of the game is probably a game of chance to determine someone who will pay for the next round of drinks. It is played in a similar way to quartet, except that one card, the Black Peter, remains. Whoever has this at the end loses the game.

With the rise of colonialism, the term "Black Peter" became part of everyday racism. Originally, however, the name may have come from the robber Johann Peter Petri, who is said to have been a contemporary of Schinderhannes in the 18th century and was nicknamed "Schwarzer Peter".

Meanwhile, there is even an idiom that originated from the game.

"To pass the buck to someone."

This means to pass on a problem, blame or responsibility for something to another person against their will.

In other countries the game has the following names:

  • Old Maid - Old Maid - in England 

  • Jackass - Stupid - in England

  • Vieux garçon - Old boy - in France

  • Asinello - little donkey - in Italy

  • Svarte Petter - Black Peter - in Sweden

  • Zwarte Piet - Black Peter - in the Netherlands

Card game for children: Quartet

Quartet is one of the most popular children's card games. Four cards belong to a family and must be collected in the hand and then discarded. Whoever has the most quartets wins the game.

Quartet card games are available with a wide variety of motifs from nature, such as animals and plants, from fairy tales and from children's toys and everyday world. By means of the symbols and/or numbers, the children recognise which cards belong together. If this is also reflected in the motifs, the children can learn connections and contents in a playful way.

In other countries the game has the following names:

  • Happy Families - in the UK

  • Jeu de familles - family game - in France

  • Gioco delle famiglie - Family Game - in Italy

  • Authors - authors - in the UK and the US

The quartet games in the Waldorf shop are characterised by their particularly aesthetic and child-friendly design in the sense of Waldorf education.

In addition to card and educational games, we also offer a wide variety of social games.