This is war! Card fun with grandkids

I put a lot of thought, time, and energy—and sometimes money, too—into coming up with creative and enjoyable crafts, games, and activities to pack into my grandma bag for visits with my grandsons.

It's not necessary. At least not all ways, it seems. Bubby taught me that when I visited him and his brothers in mid-July.

"Wanna play war, Gramma?" Bubby asked while holding a deck of cards. I considered the crafting supplies in my grandma bag, the games I wanted to review with him and the books I hoped to read.

"Sure," I said.

war card game

So we did. And had a super time!

Bubby didn't know all the rules, had only played hands—not full games—with his dad a time or two. But I recalled the hours of war my siblings and I played in the back of the station wagon on family vacations, and shared the ins and outs (as far as I could recall) with my oldest grandson.

Then my middle grandson wanted to join us. So he did. And we had a super time! Even at four years old, Mac got the hang of the game right away.

When PawDad and I visited the boys again last week, the boys wanted to play war with him.

So they did. And had a super time.

war card game

Jak enjoyed the game, too, as he sat in his high chair alongside the game table, babbling right along with the big boys. 

Next time you need something to do with your grandkiddos, consider war. The good kind of war.

war card game

war card game

war card game

As I write this post, I'm tempted to look up the official directions for war. I refuse to, though, as this is the way I remembered, this is the way my grandsons enjoyed it.

war card game


  • Using one full deck of playing cards, including the jokers, deal the cards to each player until the cards are gone. Have each player stack their deck facedown in front of them.
  • All players flip their top cards into the center of the table at the same time. Highest card wins them all and places them in a discard pile nearby. Aces are high; jokers highest of all.
  • If two or more players flip the same card, it's time for WAR! Each player involved in the war starts with their card face up on the table then lays down three cards facedown—vertically from the one that was played—then flips the fourth to see who wins the hand. If there's another duplicate, the cards are lined up again. Winner of the war gets all cards on the table to place in their discard pile and play continues.

war card game

  • When the stacks from which players are flipping is gone, the discard pile is shuffled and play continues. (Shuffling won't always occure at the same time for all players so play continues, with only the one in need of cards shuffling and starting a fresh stack.)
  • Players are out of the game as they no longer have cards to play. If a player is short of the required cards for a war scenario, they put down what they have then shuffle the discard deck and continue. If they don't have more in a discard pile, all players involved in the war lay down the same amount as the one with not enough cards. (Say, one player only has one or two that can be added upside down then a final flipped, all do that.)
  • The winner is the player who wins all the cards.

war card game

Right or wrong when it comes to war, that is how my grandsons, PawDad and I played it.

That is how we had a super time!

No grandma bag required.

war card game

Today's question:

How do your rules for war (the card game) differ?