If you’ve been around the homeschool world for any time at all, you’ve seen the game, Dutch Blitz. It seems to be in every catalog targeted toward homeschoolers. Why? That’s what I decided to find out for all of us.
I purchased for my family both the regular and expansion sets of Dutch Blitz and took them for a spin. I’m going to give you a review as both a mom and as an occupational therapist.
I really like how pretty the Dutch Blitz cards are. They are colorful and don’t look like regular playing cards. Gameplay is a lot like solitaire (the Klondike verity). So, if you kids know how to play that, this game isn’t hard to pick up.
Gameplay is fast, which means you can play several hands to get to a certain score or play as many hands as you have time for. As a mom, I also love that I could pick up the expansion pack and my entire family of 5 can play together, or my kids can play with a large group of friends.
Occupational Therapy Observations
As an OT, I see several advantages to Dutch Blitz for kids who have challenges. I like that instead of just the typical suites of cards, this game has 4 distinct colors of cards to work with. That is much easier for kids to discriminate between than the difference between a spade and a club. I also like how the cards just count up 1-10. Face cards, Jack, King, Queen, can confuse kids and cause them to make mistakes. So, right out of the box, I like this set of cards and could see using them to play other children’s games like Crazy 8’s and Go Fish.
Gameplay involves more fine motor tasks than other games, as kids are constantly picking up and putting down cards without having to wait on their turn. Kids who struggle to hold a handful of cards and look at all of them won’t have that problem with this game, as the cards mostly sit on the table. However, their fingers are going to work hard to keep moving those cards around and putting them in the correct piles.
The game also requires a lot of visual-motor work, as players look for where their cards can stack onto piles in the middle of the table. This part involves color matching, counting, and watching both your own cards and others on the table. So, this game works on lots of great skills! Plus, no reading! So kids with dyslexia can enjoy it too.
Other Things to Know
I do recommend teaching your kids to play Dutch Blitz one at a time. If you expect any of them to struggle with the complexity of the gameplay, go slowly. As I mentioned, Dutch Blitz plays much like solitaire, but each of my kids needed to play a few hands of it to get the hang of it. Once everyone has a handle on the game, then you can move on to having the whole group play together. Keep in mind, that the more people who are playing, the more this game could become overwhelming for sensitive children. Everyone moves cards at the same time, so gameplay can be very intense.
For part of the game, instead of stacking cards red, black, red, black, you stack them boy, girl, boy, girl, based on the pictures on the cards. Yes, my kids did have tons of comments on how that seemed odd. I chose to use it as an opportunity to explain how the game was created in the Pennsylvania Dutch community and is still popular with the Amish and Mennonite communities. Once again, distinguishing between the children on the cards may be easier than typical playing cards for some kids.
If you would prefer to play something like this with regular cards, Nerts is the game you want.
If this doesn’t seem like the right game for you, check out my other post about card games!
P.S. Here is a link to the game on Amazon.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.
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