Ideas for Games to Play With Older People

cards,shuffle image by Neil Denize from

Games should be fun for all age groups, including older or even elderly people. The problem is that many games that are popular with the younger crowd are either Internet-based or involve trivia with popular culture questions. Although there are bound to be exceptions, most older people just don't know or don't care to know what the leading pop song of 2010 was. There are plenty of games appropriate for the older crowd that don't include crossword puzzles or bingo. These games are stimulating and enjoyable to play with your grandparents, elderly parents or your friends if you're in the older age-group yourself.

Card Games

Although card games may sound a little stereotypical of the elderly crowd, there are so many varieties of games and ways to play them that this simply isn't true. Card games are not only mentally stimulating, but also provide a way for older couples or groups to get together for social card parties or dinners. Card games such as Poker, Texas Hold 'Em and Bridge are classic games for card pros, while games such as Hearts or Canasta are better for beginning card players.

Music Games

Music games are fun for people of all ages. Party games such as “Name That Tune” or a round of karaoke with songs from the players' youth is bound to receive plenty of laughs with a good time had by all. Select a song book or CD with appropriate music such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley or Judy Garland in order to accommodate older people's knowledge and tastes. “Name That Tune” involves playing, singing or humming a few notes or words from a song while the other players try to guess. If no one can guess, another small portion of the song is revealed until someone knows what it is. For karaoke simply make a karaoke CD of older songs most older folks would know.

Party Games

Although any game can be turned into a party game, there are a few classics that are especially popular among a vast range of age groups. For example, a mystery dinner themed party not only gives players a chance to compete with each other to figure out “whodunnit” first, it also gets them talking and laughing to create a festive atmosphere. Costume parties are also a possibility for seniors. The party host can request all people show up as a an Old Hollywood film star, famous military member or a character from a particular era in time. Prizes can be given to the individual or couple with the best costume.

Active Games

If your older people are still mobile and in good enough health, active games such as croquet and shuffleboard are backyard favorites. The long sticks used in shuffleboard to propel the puck to the goal provide a way for competitive older folks with achy joints to play an active game with little movement. Croquet also requires little movement although it does involve a little more walking around than the stationary game of shuffleboard.