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Here's a card game I thought up to get the kids I teach using the names of the cards.

A group of about 6 kids deals out all of a deck, including the jokers. They then take it in turns to ask for swaps. The object is to collect sets of four of a kind.

I gave my kids a set sentence to use, eg. "I'll swap my seven of diamonds for the jack of spades" - or whatever cards are relevant. It doesn't have to be that prescribed, though, as long as you make clear they have to name the cards.

Whoever has the card that's been requested then has to decide whether to swap. If they agree to the swap, the swap happens and play moves on to the next person. If they don't agree, they take the offered card and have to give *two* other cards in return (this is where the jokers come in handy - excellent cards for discarding, if you're trying to stop someone winning).

Played for too long, the kids will discover the lack of interest, but I found this good for about half an hour. It certainly wakes up Chinese kids used to chalk and talk.

Phil in Xiamen
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