Why should you create your own top trumps?
They are great for practising numeracy, writing and spelling skills – not to mention getting those creative juices flowing! They are also fun to play with during long travel journeys or if you’re stuck at home during lockdown!
Our home-made Top Trumps
We had a delightful family stay in our gite (holiday cottage) a couple of summers ago and their son had brought along his own set of home-made top trump cards, a set of Monster Top Trump cards. Mr 7 and this lovely 9 year old had lots of fun playing against each other during the course of our guests’ stay. Mr 7 thought this was a wonderful idea and set off to make his own set. A year or so later, his set has become a little tatty and dog-eared, and I decided it would be fun to start over again with a fresh set. It’s so easy to set up and create – here is a quick rundown of the steps required to make your own set of homemade top trumps!
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How to make your own top trumps: step-by-step guide
Make your own top trops template. Get a piece of thick paper and trace around a card from another card game to create a new set. Trace as many card shapes as you like.
Set up the activity: all you’ll need are some biros, felt-tip pens, a ruler and some templates to customise. Depending on your children’s age, get them to cut out the card shapes themselves. It’s great for their fine motor skill practise.
Decide on a name or theme for your top trump set as well as the categories you would like to include in your cards. Mr 8 opted for another set of Monster Top Trumps and chose the following categories :
Encourage your kids to get to work and create some gruesome monsters! Once, they’re finished, laminate the cards and hey presto, you’ll be ready to play! Mr 8 has had lots of fun playing with them against his Dad.
Your kids will get a real thrill out of playing with their *own* customised top trumps. They would also be a really fun present to make for another sibling or young relative.
Top trumps theme ideas
You can of course create sets in lots of different themes – cars, princesses, aliens, etc. The sky’s the limit! Here are some ideas:
How to play top trumps
Top trumps is a very simple and straightforward game that can be played by everyone (children need to be able to read and have an understanding of numbers/values). Number of players is 2+.
Here’s a short video that explains how to play top trumps and we’ve also got written instructions below providing a step-by-step guide on how to play the game:
- Deal all the cards face down among all the players. You need a minimum of 2 players. Each player holds their cards so that they can only see the top card.
- The youngest player or the person to the left of the dealer starts off the game. They read out an item from their top card – for example, strength value = 89.
- The rest of the players take it in turns to read out the same item on their card. The person with the highest value wins and gets to keep everyone else’s card. They place their top card + the ones they’ve collected from the rest of the players and place them at the bottom of their own pile.
- The person who has won the round gets to take the next turn and chooses an item from their (new) top card. And so it carries on until one person ends up with all the cards. That person is the winner!
NB. If two or more cards have the same top value or no value is available for that category, then all the cards are placed in a pile in the centre and the same player gets to go again and chooses a category from his/her next top card. The winner of the hand takes all the cards in the centre as well.
TIP: If you’re looking for other ideas to keep your kids busy during travel journeys, be sure to check out our photo scavenger hunt post