Fun Games for the Elderly

Updated March 18, 2017

While some games and activities may become too physically demanding as we get older, elderly people are capable of playing more games than just bingo or bridge. Try a jigsaw puzzle with a personal twist or even create an entertaining guessing game using only the childhood photographs of the players.

Then and Now

Before people arrive for the game, ask everyone to bring a photograph of themselves from their childhood. Write down the name of the person in each picture on the back of the photo and pin them all to the notice board. You should also attach a sticky note to each photo with a different number written on it. All of the players must individually decide which person matches each photograph by writing down a name to go with each number. The person with the most correct guesses wins the game.

Tunes of Your Youth

Divide the elderly players into teams and play a list of songs from their youth, which may be from the '30s, '40s or even '50s. Play five seconds from the first song, pause, and then allow each team to call out what they believe the answer to be. A correct answer rewards that team with a point; no correct answers mean another five seconds of the song is played. Continue this process until all of the songs are finished and then count up the points to find out which team is the winner.

Hobby Guess

Make a set of around 50 cards each with a different hobby written on it, such as gardening, golf, puzzles and embroidering. Split the elderly players into two groups. The first player must take a card from the top of the pile and describe the hobby without saying its name; the teammates must attempt to guess the hobby. The player with the cards must describe as many hobbies as possible in a minute, at which point the task is passed onto a teammate until each person in that group has had a turn. Repeat this process with the opposing team and then count up the points to discover the winner.

Group Photo Jigsaw

Jigsaws can be fun games for the elderly by themselves, but making the image more personal is bound to go down well. Plan ahead by taking a group photo of the people playing the jigsaw game, a week before the completion begins. Arrange for the photograph to be blown up so that it is a minimum size of 8 by 10 inches and make four copies. Glue each photo to a thick piece of cardboard and then cut the pictures into many bits, shaping them like jigsaw pieces. Split the players into four teams and provide each team with a copy of the personal jigsaw to put together, the first team do so wins the game.

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About the Author

Based in the U.K., Martin Cole has been writing since 2009. His articles have been published in "The Evening Chronicle," "The Journal" and "The Sunday Sun." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Northumbria University.