Raising a good human requires more than teaching them letters and numbers. SEL skills, i.e. social emotional learning, are crucial for your kid’s development. SEL prepares kids to handle life’s challenges with balanced emotions and empathy while being a helpful citizen along the way. It’s more challenging to work on these life skills now because of social distancing, and you certainly don’t need one more thing on your plate to teach right now, but help is on the way!

We are going “all in” for Hoyle’s line of affordable (less than a latte), portable and simple card games, focused on SEL for ages four and up! Read on to learn more about Hoyle’s four new games and how they can help you connect with your kids emotionally while they build essential life skills and everyone has a blast!



Monkey, May I? (2-4 players, ages 4-6)

This game is focused on recognizing good choices and self-control—it even has a fun physical element if you need to get the wiggles out! Once a card is drawn, the first person to do the card’s action gets a dollar from the Monkey bank. If you draw a Monkey, May I? card, you have to choose one of two options, deciphering right from wrong. The person with the most dollars at the end wins! Like all the other games in this list, Monkey, May I? has a super simple premise and is easy for young kids to get the hang of. It’s a great way to help parents explain right from wrong, not to mention loads of silly monkeying around!

Super Me!  (2-4 players, ages 4-6)

This super card game helps kids become super citizens, as they explore empathy and why helping others matters. Super Me! requires kids to choose a solution to a problem and consider how it would be helpful. A player draws a Red Emergency card. If you have a Super Me! card that can help the situation, put your card down to pair with the emergency, and the problem is solved! The players discover ways to help their fellow players and are rewarded for doing good—the winner is the player that’s first to match all their Super Me! cards to emergency cards. 


Mixed Emojis (2-6 players, ages 6-8)

Memory recall and encouraging recognition and expression of emotions is what Mixed Emojis is all about! Each card has a different Emoji, and once a card is drawn, the player makes that face and gives an example of when they felt like that Emoji. It encourages kids to talk about things that may be impacting their behavior but won’t be open about; why they got sad at the playground or scared when they found out about moving to a new home or embarrassed in front of a classmate. If you pick a card that was already played, you need to remember what that player said and repeat it—a sweet and fun way to introduce and build on listening skills and empathy. 


Seal Squad (2-4 players, ages 6-8)

Teamwork makes the dreamwork in this simple strategy and decision-making game! Working in teams, players attempt to collect as many fish as they can before the walrus gobbles them up! By planning out next moves and making group decisions, kids learn how to give and take, support each other and have fun doing it! Seal Squad encourages the whole squad to collaborate. Patience is a virtue—kids also learn to wait their turn. Teamwork, self-control and helping others is the only way to beat the walrus and swim on to victory!


Grab a game and play today! All of these card games and more are available here.




—Jamie Aderski 

photos courtesy of Hoyle


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