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Card Games for Kids

Chicken in the Barnyard

Think fast! You don't want to be the chicken in the barnyard!
Think fast! You don't want to be the chicken in the barnyard!
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

"Chicken in the Barnyard" is a great game to play when you get together with a large group of friends -- up to 13 people can play. But it's just as much fun in smaller groups too.

The game is played with sets of four similar cards -- that's the same card in each of the four suits (such as the ace of hearts, the ace of clubs, the ace of diamonds, and the ace of spades), so choose as many sets as there are players. For instance, if there are six players, use all the cards in all four suits from ace through 6.


Get ready to play smart and think fast. You don't want to be the chicken in the barnyard!

What You'll Need:

  • Deck of cards
  • Spoons (or dice), one fewer than the number of players
  • Pencil and paper for the scorecard­

How to Play "Chicken in the Barnyard":

Step 1: Count out spoons (or dice) so you have one fewer than the number of people playing the game. (Five players? Four spoons. Eight players? Seven spoons.) Place the spoons in the middle of the table.

Step 2: Deal out all the cards, face down. The goal is to get a set of four cards of the same rank (for example, all four queens).

Step 3: Pick one card from your hand to discard, lay it face down, and slide it to the player on your left.

Step 4: Pick up the card passed to you from the player on your right.

Step 5: Keep picking up and passing cards -- and do it quickly! -- until someone gets a set of four of the same cards. He or she then grabs a spoon from the center.

Step 6: As soon as someone grabs a spoon, everyone else should grab for a spoon, too.

Step 7: Whoever comes up empty gets a "C" by his or her name on the scorecard. Each time someone is left without a spoon, he or she gets another letter in the word "chicken." The first person to spell out the entire word must cluck like a chicken -- and that's the end of the game.

If you can add, you can play the "Add a Card" game. Learn the rules on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out: