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Teaching Counting & Matching Skills Using Solitaire

Card games are, first of all, entertainment pieces that can help us pass the time and have a great time. But that is not all. Card games can help us gain some math skills, exercise our cognitive skills, and so much more. The solitaire game is one such card game among the many that exist, and they can teach kids and even adults counting and matching.

But then again, how does one go from not having these skills without first finding out something about the game. On that note, here are a few interesting facts about the Solitaire game.

  • The name Solitaire translates to the word patience. That is why it is called a game of Patience.
  • Some fortune tellers have used the game of Solitaire to read people’s destinies and futures.
  • The game has five main variations of solitaire; Klondike, Freecell, Spider, TriPeaks, and Pyramids.
  • The highest score on the classic solitaire game on Microsoft is 24,113.
  • The game is not entirely based on luck; you need some skill to get a win in every game.

Now, let’s get to the most exciting part of the educational part of playing the game of patience. We shall cover several aspects that solitaire happens with; Counting and Matching.

Teaching counting using solitaire

A solitaire game is played with the typical deck of cards having fifty-two cards. And in this deck, all these 52 cards are divided into four suits. Each suite contains thirteen cards starting with ace,2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, Jack, Queen, and King.

This hierarchy is the exact value of the cards that the typical solitaire card game employs. The game is only won when you arrange these cards in descending order from the King all the way to the ace, which represents number one. Then you need to place them in alternating color or the same color depending on the game variation.

This action of arranging cards number-wise teaches you how to place them in terms of value. Ace being the least and the king having the biggest value, although it really is not a number. The simple arrangement of the actual numbers of 2 to 10 could help a child learn how to count and master this arrangement.

A child also learning to arrange these cards in ascending order from the card with the lowest value to the highest is a skill one can learn.

The award system of the brain, knowing that you will win when you get the right numbers, conditions it to see this arrangement so as to gain a win. The traditional celebratory bounce at the end of the game when you play it on the Microsoft software makes it even more exciting.

And this is how the game of patience could be used to teach one to count.

Teaching matching skills

Remember when we mentioned the four suits included in the 52-deck of cards above?

Well, here’s where they can help one gain skills to match up one suite to another. These suites are diamonds, hearts, clubs, and Spades. These four suites are further divided into two main clours; red and black. The diamonds that have a diamond-like shape and the hearts in a heart shape are the suits under the red color. Then the spades that look like a heart shape turned upside down, and the club that looks like the oxalis leaf belongs to the black card suits.

For a child, matching the colors and the shapes is the main part of the lesson. In this case, you can ask them to select all diamond cards and place them in one pile, and have them do the same for the clubs, hearts, and spades.

The second task you can give them on matching is to have them place all the red cards together and the blacks together. This one might be easier. But once they get these two tasks right, you can encourage them to advance and match up the numbers. To make this even more challenging, have them match the cards of the same suit with the same numbers. For instance, match up all number tens in the black colored cards.

Yet another task could be to match up all the numbers that resemble each other. This means that they will have four of each number, one from each suit. And in each group, they will have two red cards and two black ones.

Other skills learned from playing solitaire

Counting and matching are not the only lessons one can learn from playing solitaire. Here are some more skills one can master playing this card game:

critical thinking

Frequently playing solitaire nudges the brain to become quick in its feet to think a few steps ahead. When one starts playing, they get to master the art of looking at a deck and seeing possible solutions and landing places of cards even before touching them. This teaches one to become a problem solver by thinking two-three steps before making a move.

 Patience

It would not be called the game of patience if you did not learn patience. The fact that you have to be calculating and waiting for a chance to come to get the whole column filled with the numbers online to win emphasizes that waiting is one of the skills you use and get to your masters.

Resilience

Truth be told, you might now win the first few games you play of solitaire. But there is a certain push you get to give it another go even after losing. This drive to keep trying is what we refer to as resilience, and this grows with every game one plays.

Take away

It may seem like you are just passing the time while playing solitaire in solitude, but if you try to engage your child, they may learn to count and match similar objects even before they get to kindergarten. Wouldn’t that be nice? Having a child that is already counting, matching, critical thinking, patient, and resilient.

These skills will definitely spill over into other parts of their lives, which is very admirable.

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