Elderly people often enjoy reminiscing about the past, and remembering all the good things that happened during their lifetimes. Reminiscing games are a way to spend an afternoon with family and friends to share, compare and learn about others. The games are best played with small groups, allowing everyone ample time to share their thoughts.
Ask all participants in the game to retrieve old pictures of family, friends and events in their lives. They could also bring other memorabilia such as old dishes, fabric, scrapbooks and letters--anything that's meaningful to them. Put the items in the centre of a large table. One person begins by picking up an object that does not belong to him and the person who brought the picture or item must give a short accounting of the item or photo, recalling past experiences. Set up a notice board with pictures of the participants at younger ages and have people guess who they are.
Music and Songs
Musical games and singing songs are a way to jog the memory and enjoy a lively game. Hearing an old song often brings back memories of an era or a specific event. Put a song on from a past decade and each person can relive a special and perhaps romantic event through the music. A specific song can create a wave of reminiscing from more than one person playing the game. If the group enjoys dancing, have each person get up and imitate a dance that was popular with the song. Have a prize for the one with the most memories or the best dancer.
Games with Questions
Have everyone write out several specific questions about past life experiences. Questions like, "Who taught you to cook?" or "What do you remember in the first grade?" or "What was your first job?" are good for this game. Take all the questions and put them in a bowl for drawing. Each person has to draw several questions and answer to the best of his memory. This game gives the memory a good workout, and provides a lot of laughs.
You can make up your own trivia game to stir up lots of reminiscing. On one side of the paper put down the question about different historical or entertainment facts from past decades, and on the back have four possible answers. To write out your own questions use a heavy weight paper and cut the paper in small squares in different colours for different categories. Set up two teams and have a reward for the winning team. This is not only an entertaining game, but one that will be educational about years gone by.