Very easy simple pencil and paper games for the elderly

Written by matthew schieltz
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Many elderly people are not up to the challenge of playing physically exhaustive games such as interactive Nintendo Wii games that require you to get up and move around. Plenty of other opportunities exist for the elderly to have fun and even enjoy others' company, and many simple paper-and-pencil games such as Dot-to-Dot are good ideas. Puzzle books that contain a variety of brain teasers and relaxing activities can be found in almost any bookstore, and these are excellent suggestions for the elderly as well.

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Brain Games

Games that require some thought may be appropriate for elderly people. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku-type games that require filling boxes with numbers, and symbol-decoding games are all activities that get published in newspapers as well as activity books. These are games that are appropriate for those elderly people who still have nimble minds; they also provide brain stimulation that may enhance a person's functioning.

Word Searches

Word searches are very easy games for elderly people. All that is required in these types of games is that the word list is found and circled within the big box of letters. Word searches are often published in activity books and can be found in easy, medium, and difficult levels. In addition, some activity books that publish word searches may provide larger-than-normal text to allow for easy reading.


Tic-tac-toe is a classic game played between two people that only requires a figure resembling a telephone pound-sign to be drawn; one person is an "O and the other an "X." Each person takes turn placing his "X" or "O" on the tic-tac-toe board until one player get his letters placed three times in a straight row; this player is the winner.


The dot-to-dot game, also known as "Dots and Squares," requires using a pen or pencil to place a series of equally spaced dots in several rows; the amount of rows you have depends on how big you want the game to be. Each person takes turn connecting one dot with another using a vertical or horizontal stroke. The player who completes a square or box gets to place his initial in that box. When all dots have been connected and all squares filled with initials, the player with the most initials in the boxes wins.

Word Stories

Some activity books are published with mad-lib-type games. These types of games are essentially fill-in-the-blank word stories that are enjoyable to play with two or more individuals. These games are stories that have blanks in them. Each blank is required to be filled in by an adjective, adverb, noun or verb depending on the label with which the blank is marked. One individual typically holds the book and writes down the specific word named by another person. After all the blanks are filled, the story is read so that everyone has a good laugh.

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