20 Carrots cards

20 Carrots: Playing Cards & 6 Games (basic math)


20 Carrots is a teacher-designed card deck with 6 fun games plus variations that target various math levels. Each suit runs from 1 to 20.

Ages 3 to 9.

Product Description

How do we encourage children to learn and practice math? 20 Carrots! Rather than explicit math lessons (which some children literally walk away from), children learn during enjoyable games with family and friends. These games are also appropriate for preschool, Kindergarten, lower elementary and homeschool classrooms.

What you get:

  • High-quality deck (310gsm linen) of 80 cards that contains 4 suits; each suit has cards numbered 1-20. (Free shipping in the USA.)
  • 6 games and variations (PDF download).
  • Instructions for adapting other popular children’s card games to the 20 Carrots deck (PDF download).
  • Educational article: "How the 20 Carrots Deck Teaches Math without Lessons" (PDF download).

Preview two of the six games (plus variations) by downloading them for free.

  1. Capture the Teen
  2. 20 Carrots

The games are designed to teach and reinforce the following concepts and skills:

  • Teen numbers.
  • Concepts about quantity.
  • The concept of equivalence.
  • Grouping by tens (fundamental to place value)
  • Basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Counting strategies for verifying and solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
  • Ability to visualize math problems.
  • Organizational skills and strategies.
  • Planning and strategizing.
  • Logical thinking.
  • Sportsmanship.

20 Carrots allows children at differing levels to play together and all learn. First graders proudly show off their skills to preschoolers, while preschoolers proudly hold their own with “the big kids.” Regardless of who wins, everybody wins.


Here is the secret: Math operations are all about counting. Children who realize this realize that math is easy. (The English language about math is confusing, but that’s a topic for another time.)

For example, we can add eight to seven simply by counting eight higher than seven, ending at fifteen. While a preschooler or Kindergartener may not be able to do this in her head, she can use her finger to count all the figures on the 20 Carrots “7” card and continue counting on the “8” card to reach the sum of fifteen. Then when she finds the “15” card, she can count seven images on that card and then eight more to verify again that “7 + 8 = 15,” indeed. Thus a young child can practice counting while successfully playing a game that introduces addition. (If a child does not count well, we have found that other children eagerly chime in to count with her.)

Children already knowing operational facts practice speed and accuracy while gaining new insights, such as the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction or that division is repetitive subtraction. They can always prove their answers (to themselves or to another player) by counting, reinforcing what they know and correcting what they forget. Everyone benefits.

For children who do not yet count to 20, our adaptation of “Go Fish” will help in a hurry. As soon as they show their card for matching, other players will naturally name it. Soon they will read the numbers themselves. Other games solidify their new understanding.

In addition to our own, many age-old card games are easily adapted to this special deck. Instructions to do so are included.

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