Card games for kids are an amazing way to teach a host of concepts while also hitting the all-important social skills/game etiquette. The Alphabetical Order War Card Game provides multiple ways to learn how to alphabetize words (up to three letters)! Students will enjoy learning the alphabetical order rules with this engaging and slightly competitive “War” card game. They must work together to decide whose card comes first in alphabetical order as they try to win all the cards.

Practice alphabetical order with your students as they play this fun alphabetical order "war" card game! Such a fun way to learn!

Recommended Grade Level:

Alphabetical Order “War” Game Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Paper Cutter
  • Cardstock (optional)
This large number place value "War" card game will have your students comparing numbers to the millions and thousands place values with an exciting card game that is great for a partner math center.
These Decimal Place Value "War" card games are a fun way to learn how to write and read decimals. Compare between hundredths and thousandths with this face-paced partner card game game.

Benefits of Learning Alphabetical Order



Board games and card games are wonderful ways for children to learn a variety of concepts, from math to literacy! But they also have the added bonus of teaching important social skills, like taking turns, losing and winning with grace, and following game rules.

Here are a few of the benefits received by playing games with kids:

  • Early learning skills, like counting, letters and numbers, player to the left or right, etc.
  • Strategic thinking
  • Enhances language and vocabulary
  • Increases attention span and focus
  • Offers solution to anxiety or boredom
  • Teaches the value of teamwork
  • Gets kids off of screens
Practice alphabetical order with your students as they play this fun alphabetical order "war" card game! Such a fun way to learn!

What Can Children Learn While Playing and Alphabetical Order Card Game?



I love these “War” games because they cater to a variety of skill levels. Get creative and use the cards in other ways, too, that will suit your individual students!

12 Unique sets of word cards with varying skill levels:

  • Alphabetizing to the first letter
  • Alphabetizing to the second letter
  • Alphabetizing to the third letter

This word card game for kids provides many opportunities for students to practice without using the same words every time. Since your kids will be begging to play this card game, their motivation for learning how to put a list of words in alphabetical order will soar!

Set three utilizes common word groups such as: CVC, colors, numbers, family, Dolch Pre-Primer Sight words and more.

Practice alphabetical order with your students as they play this fun alphabetical order "war" card game! Such a fun way to learn!

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn How to Alphabetize?

Once kids are comfortable with alphabet sequence, it’s important to show them how information is commonly organized in our world.

Improved Reading: Alphabetizing skills support better reading comprehension and fluency by allowing children to quickly find and recognize words in alphabetical order.

Study Habits: Learning how to alphabetize assists students in organizing notes, making study guides, and accessing information more effectively during research and studying.

Vocabulary: Alphabetizing exposes children to a wider range of words, enriching their vocabulary and language development.

Everyday Skill: Alphabetizing is a practical skill that finds relevance beyond academics, helping kids organize personal belongings, files, and information in their daily lives.

How to Make The Alphabetical Order War Card Games

To Prep:

Just print the card sets and laminate. Use cardstock or scrapbook paper to ensure kids cannot peek through the cards.

To Consider:

The Alphabetical Order card game is played following the traditional “War” card game rules. Players divide the deck evenly and place their pile of cards face down in front of them. Then, they both flip over a card at the same time. The player with the higher card gets to keep both cards. The goal of the card game, “War,” is to be the player that collects the most cards.

To play the alphabetical order game, slight modifications include the number of cards each player gets (26 cards in the playing card version), and instead of the player with the higher card winning the hand, it’s the player with the word card that comes first in ABC order.

The cards in this deck feature words that are easy for new readers, so they are not distracted from the concept of alphabetizing while they try to figure out how to decode each word.

How to Play the Card Game “War”:

  • Pass out all of the cards giving the same number of cards to each player
  • Place cards on the table face down in a stack
  • Players each turn over the top card in their pile at the same time
  • Player with the word that comes FIRST in alphabetical order takes both cards and adds them to the remaining cards at the bottom of their pile
  • In case of a tie, each player lays two cards from their hand face down and then turns the third card up. First in alphabetical order wins the war and takes all the cards that were played.
  • Play continues as time allows or one player runs out of cards

I also included a recording sheet where students select ten cards from the set, alphabetize, and record. You may want to provide an alphabetical order example first.

I like to show students how to play the war card game during small groups, then they can later work at a literacy center independently or play with a partner.

Ways to Extend the Activity

Word Cards

If your students aren’t quite ready for ABC order, that’s OK! Use the CVC word cards to practice. You can make a draw/read type of game, or hide them around the room to keep kids engaged.

Write the Room

Use any of the War card decks for a write-the-room activity where kids have a clipboard and pencil. They scour the room to find a card, then read and record it. Great for early finishers!

Phonics Focus

Working on blends? Use the word cards! Short vowels? Use the word cards. The word card sets are packed with different phonics concepts you can use for kids to practice reading, writing, or identifying letter patterns.

Get The Alphabetical Order War Card Game

Get your printable learning activity here
Click to download the printable from Teachers Pay Teachers
author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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