One of my most favourite games is an Italian card game that I learned to play as a kid. My cousin taught me to play and I immediately loved it for the strategy, the competition and the fun! And as the game involves simple addition and subtraction, it is a wonderful way to practise these skills in a fun family environment.

This card game, called Scopa meaning “sweep up”, can be played with regular cards or you can treat yourself to a packet of Italian Cards for a more authentic experience. If you use standard cards, you will need to remove the 10s, 9s and 8s, and note that the coins are the diamonds, the cups are the hearts, the swords are the spades and the clubs are still the clubs.

Imagine the next family pizza or pasta night, the scene set with some Italian ballads playing in the background and a few games of Scopa before dessert. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much you’ll want to play it with your own friends at your next dinner party.

This video is a quick and great demonstration of the entire game including how to keep score after each round.

We’d love to hear from you and the fun you have playing Scopa. In particular, we’d love to know if the fun of the game helps your child overcome any barriers to addition and subtraction.

Photo credit: qthomasbower / Foter / CC BY-SA