Top Trumps is a well known game and activity for young people. Cards are available for popular films, computer games and books as well as educational purposes. Each card tends to include a name and character information.

This activity helps learners to become familiar with the idea of data and how it can be categorised.

This activity can be one with a family group or a several groups in a classroom.


  • pen and paper
  • coloured pens/pencils/crayons
  • Any Top Trumps cards (optional, these can help learners understand the task)
  • Blank Top Trumps Cards (optional, these can help learners visualise their game)


  1. Work in a small group to plan your Top Trumps Game by thinking through:
    • theme
    • card names
    • categories, specifying the minimum and maximum value for each as you plan your game.  e.g. strength, popularity, size, IQ. Categories can be anything you can assign a value to.
    • the value of each category for each card.  Remember the game needs to be balanced (no all-powerful cards)
    • card design (layout, colour)
  2. Create all of your cards
  3. Play your game!
  4. What do you think? Would you change something about your game after you played it?

What are we learning?

  • This activity helps you start to think about data. Each piece of information on your card is a piece of data.
  • Each time you group your cards into one of their categories you are organising your data
  • Can you find different ways to group your cards? Can you invent new categories?

© Data Education in Schools, University of Edinburgh, 2024. This resource is licensed CC BY-NC 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.