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Ideas for Using Giant UNO Cards in the Classroom

Use these GIANT UNO cards in the classroom for all the things this year with these 8 fun, hands-on ideas.

We are obsessing over these Giant Uno cards! There is just something about oversized toys and games that makes our hearts melt and minds race with ideas. In fact, I have come up with so many fun ideas for ways to use these Giant UNO cards, that I decided we needed to get them down on paper for others to use!

Take a look at all of our ideas below on using Giant UNO cards in the classroom and be sure to get the download with classroom posters and instructions

Using Giant UNO Cards in the Classroom for Classroom Management

Ideas for using Giant UNO cards in the classroom Pinterest image with picture of Giant UNO

#1 | Encourage predetermined behaviors

Use these UNO cards as a monetary system for earning rewards and deciding on rewards as a class.

Decide together with students what they will be working toward and assign it a point value. Ex. 500 = Extra Recess 

Then decide how they will earn cards. Include some individual examples (i.e. getting a compliment in the hallway) and some full group examples (i.e. following instructions exactly for an activity or lesson). Every time they achieve the desired behavior, the students involved take a card from the deck.

Card values as follows.

  • 0-9 = face value
  • skip = no points
  • draw 2 = draw two new cards
  • reverse = pick a new card
  • wild = 10 points
  • draw 4 = 25 points

When students earn cards, they will be added to the classroom total to put toward their class reward.

Idea: When you know you’re going to be using Giant UNO cards in the classroom a lot, consider investing in some magnet clips, so you can easily hang them on the whiteboard. When keeping track of ‘points’ in this instance, you’ll use the magnetic clips to hold the cards and place them across the top of the whiteboard as they are earned.

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#2 | Brain breaks

Using the cards as your guide, assign each of them a different brain break activity. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • 0-9 = breathing exercise
  • skip = 2 minute dance party
  • draw 2 = drawing activity
  • reverse = silent ball
  • wild = teachers choice
  • draw 4 = mindfulness activity

With this one, you can also break down each of the cards 1-9 into specific breathing exercises as well. 

In addition to the examples above, you can also assign each card a specific activity.

  • 0-4 = 10 arm circles
  • 5-9 = 10 jumping jacks
  • skip = 10 knee raises
  • draw 2 = draw 2 cards and do those
  • reverse = Slow motion jogging 10 seconds
  • wild = choose any
  • draw 4 = pick a new card

Variation: Another option is to pick one card to determine the brain break and another card to determine the amount of time you’ll spend doing that brain break. 

Using Giant UNO Cards in the Classroom for Math Activities

#3 | Fractions

Draw two horizontal lines on your white board. Pull 4 cards and use magnets to attach the card to board (one above and one below the line on each side) thus creating 2 fractions.

Now you can do the following activities with the fractions.

  • compare to two fractions
  • draw them
  • add 
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • Divide

You can also separate the UNO cards into two decks. The ones with numbers and the special cards. You can assign the special cards specific tasks from the list above (i.e. Wild=multiply, Draw 4= draw them, Reverse=subtract, etc.)

#4 | Any operations

Draw any number of cards and create two numbers. 

  • compare them
  • add
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • divide
  • have them write a word problem with the two numbers

As we suggested above, it may be best to separate the cards into two decks (numbers and special cards), and then assign each of the special cards a specific task from the list above to help guide the activity.

#5 | Patterns

Create patterns with the cards and have students identify a missing number/card type  9,9,S,R,4,9,9,_

#6 | Place Value

Create numbers with the cards and have students answer questions about place value.

  • Which number is in the hundreds?
  • What is the value of the _ in the number?
  • What would be the number if it had one more thousand?

You can use the Giant UNO Cards to do many of the same activities that we suggested in this post about using our Free Place Value Chart. Just replace the numbers with the cards!

Use Giant UNO Cards with Any Set of Questions

#7 | ELA example

Have students read a passage and answer some multiple-choice questions for it. You will use those questions then to play the game.

Step 1: Put students in groups and deal out 7 cards to each group. The goal of the game is for each group to get rid of all of their cards so they have a total of 0 points at the end.

Step 2: Read the first question they were to answer.

Step 3: Give students time to discuss their answers with their groups and come to an agreement on the group’s final answer. If they get the correct answer, they can discard any card in their hand. If they are incorrect, they have to draw a card.

Step 4: Depending on what card the students discard, they will complete one of the actions below.

  • 0-9 nothing
  • skip – use anytime when your team is incorrect to skip drawing a card
  • draw 2 – choose a team to give 2 cards from the draw pile to
  • reverse – give another team any card from your hand
  • wild – discard any other card with this one

Step 5: Ending the round. If someone goes out, the other teams get the number of points for each card they have left.

  • 0-9 – face value
  • skip = no points
  • draw 2 = draw two new cards
  • reverse = pick a new card
  • wild = 10 points
  • draw 4 = 25 points

#8: Questions that have a definitive answer

When using questions that have a definitive answer, start by having students spend some time answering the questions first. If they are quick to answer, then you can just ask the questions as you go. Then follow the steps below.

Step 1: Put students into groups and give each group 100 points to start.

Step 2: Ask a question.

Step 3: Give students a moment to discuss the question in their groups and come to a final group answer to submit.

Step 4: If the group answers correctly, they draw a card from the pile and get the appropriate points as listed below. If they are incorrect, they do nothing.

  • 0-9 – face value
  • skip = no points
  • draw 2 = draw two new cards
  • reverse = pick a new card
  • wild = 10 points
  • draw 4 = 25 points

Step 5: When you’ve exhausted all of your questions, the group with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Variation: Assign ‘Reverse’ cards a negative number to add a little spice to the game and keep everyone in it until the very end!


These Giant UNO cards aren’t just big in themselves, they also inspire big ideas and can make your day a whole lot of fun! You can grab some freebies for using with the GIANT Cards in my freebie library.

We hope that you find some inspiration in the ideas in this post, but we’d love to add even more ideas based on how you’re using Giant UNO cards in the classroom. If you try something new with your Giant UNO cards that you think others would love, feel free to send it our way! 

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