7 Intellectually Fun Games for Old People to Play

You may have reached your twilight years but that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on fun. There are plenty of games and activities that are great for older people and seniors; any number of them could be your new favorite thing to do.

Some of these games can be played by all ages – so you can enjoy a great time when your children or grandchildren come for a visit at the retirement residence. And some games are just as enjoyable when played with your peers (or by yourself). Wherever your interests lie and however much activity and exercise you feel comfortable doing…there’s a game for you.
To get you started, take a few minutes to check out our list of seven great games for old people to play!

1. Scrabble (and other word games)

As you begin to grow older, one of your concerns might be keeping your mind sharp. It can be somewhat hard to do because you won’t be participating in as many activities as before…but by no means impossible or hugely difficult. One of the best ways to keep your mind active – in a fun, relaxing way – is to play word games.

Scrabble, crossword puzzles, word searches, and anagrams are just a few word-based games that will help your mind remain healthy and active. These are all great games for old people to play. Many word games are solitary, but Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, and some similar games are more social – so keep that in mind for your next get-together or guest.

2. Chess

Chess is a methodical, careful, strategic game, played between two people. Chess is also hugely popular – championships (local, regional, national, and international) have taken the gaming community by storm and you’re almost certain to find at least one avid chess player wherever you go. The rules of the game are relatively simple so don’t let inexperience keep you from learning how to play.

Along with the fun of coming up with strategies to defeat your opponent, Chess is a tactile experience – picking up and moving the pieces with each turn. It can be especially fun if you invest in a good quality set. That way, the game will be both beautiful and fun.

3. Sudoku

This Japanese number game has exploded in popularity within the last decade or so – and no wonder. (It’s tons of fun.) In Sudoku, the goal is to have the numbers ‘1’ through ‘9’ in each row, horizontal line, and vertical line of the game’s grid.

These are rather quiet and slow-paced games for old people, so allow yourself plenty of time and peace to complete each grid. Sudoku won’t be for everyone. If you enjoy numbers, math, and games that embrace logical thought processes, it just might become your new favorite activity.

4. UNO

If you’re interested in a more social game, UNO is perfect for long evenings and quiet afternoons with friends. In this easy-to-learn game, you’ll play cards of different colors, numbers, and actions with the goal being to get rid of all your cards before anyone else. (Just don’t forget to shout “Uno!” when you’re down to only one.)

UNO is also a game that can be enjoyed by just about anyone, so you might want to pick up a pack for the next time your grandchildren come to visit.

5. Croquet

Tired of sitting indoors? Then come outside to play some croquet! You may not have a game set already but they are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at different outdoor and game stores.

This game might not be the best if you have limited mobility (though you should probably still engage in some gentle, doctor-approved exercise). But if you feel up to a game or two, you can have a lot of fun with croquet! Invite some family members and friends over and make a party of it.

6. Jigsaw puzzles

While not a traditional game, puzzles can still have the element of one – especially if you’re in competition with another puzzler to finish first or if you time yourself on your puzzle-assembly skills.

Alternately, there are many puzzles out there that come complete with a mystery: you read the accompanying story-mystery brochure, solve the puzzle, and then look for clues inside the puzzle with which to solve the mystery. Puzzles can be highly entertaining in a variety of ways. These are relaxing games for old people to play, so find a few that work for you.

7. Horseshoes

This game is a classic for a reason. While it might seem simple at first, appearances can be deceiving. Depending on how in-depth you want to go into the game, you can play with inexpensive horseshoes with the goal simply to get a ringer through lots of practice and determination. (You can even play by yourself.) Or you can go the formal route and play competitively with a friend, each of you trying to top the other’s score.

However you decide to play horseshoes, your biggest goal should be to have some fun. And maybe get a little exercise. And, of course, definitely best your opponent!

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