Party Games for Older guests

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Party Games for Older guests

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When it comes to celebrating their birthdays, loud or extremely physical games aren’t terribly appealing to older adults. Older adults simply have different needs and different conceptions of what they consider “fun” at a party. With a little thought and inventiveness you can come up with party games for older adults that will truly keep them smiling.


Step One

Designated Decade Trivia - Compose a list of questions that target the events of the world during a designated series of decades for which all the older adults were alive. Stay away from current topics in politics, entertainment or the world today. Instead ask historical questions targeting years when the participants were growing up and young adults such as during the 1940's through 1970's. You could ask: "On which television show did the British band the Beatles debut?" Older adults will enjoy reminiscing together, and the questions you ask are likely to bring up a host of old memories. Make sure you have questions of varying levels of difficulty from easy to complex.


Step Two

Name That Tune... and Finish the Lyric - This game should naturally enliven the spirits of older adults as it involves listening to music which should naturally improve their moods. However, they should find this game especially cheering as it allows them to listen to music that they probably haven't heard in years. Play music by Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Doo Wop bands like the Crows, jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong and many others. Play a few bars of each song and see if the older adults can name the tune and the musician. Give out added points or prizes if players can finish the lyrics.


Step Three

Puzzle Contest - Putting together a puzzle allows senior citizens to relax yet engage in friendly competition with one another. If your party is for a particular person or occasion, blow up a photograph of that person or of an image relating to the occasion and cut it up into your own puzzle pieces. Divide older adults into teams and give each team a set of puzzle pieces. Teammates can chat with one another as they figure out the puzzle. Putting together a puzzle is also suitable for older adults whose sight or hearing might not be as good as it once was.


Step Four

Puzzle Contest - Putting together a puzzle allows senior citizens to relax yet engage in friendly competition with one another. If your party is for a particular person or occasion, blow up a photograph of that person or of an image relating to the occasion and cut it up into your own puzzle pieces. Divide older adults into teams and give each team a set of puzzle pieces. Teammates can chat with one another as they figure out the puzzle. Putting together a puzzle is also suitable for older adults whose sight or hearing might not be as good as it once was.


Step Five

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.


Step Six

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.


Step Seven

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.


Step Eight

Word Game - Word games are challenging but most importantly, very entertaining. Collect a tray of 16 dice, with different letters on each side. Place the dice in the covered tray and shake them around. Leave the tray open and ask the guests to identify words from the letters left upright on each dice. With the use of a timer this can be exciting and mildly competitive.


Step Nine

Memory Game - Visual recollection games are a great way to exercise and stimulate the aged mind. These games are productive and enjoyable. All it takes to set up a fun memory game is a tray of random items -- for example, a pen, a hair clip and a pencil sharpener. Place the tray of items in front of the elderly group and hand each person a pen and paper. Allow a few minutes for the guests to memorize the items, hide the tray and have them recall the items.


Step Ten

Bingo Blues - This too is music related, as the elderly do enjoy music from their day. Make up some large cards to look like bingo cards. Use 8-by-10-inch sheets of card stock or construction paper. Draw your lines in with a magic marker. The larger cards and darker writing will make it easier for the elderly to see the game they are playing. Instead of letters or numbers, fill in the squares with the names of recording artists from the past. Place the names in random squares on each card. Make sure you have a song to play from each artist you put on the cards. The object of the game is to play the song and the contestants mark the artist that is singing it. When their card is marked in a bingo pattern they call out "Bingo Blues!" You can give the tape or CD you are using as a prize at the end of the game, or you can play several times and give out simple little gifts, such as inexpensive music tapes or books to read. Elderly people will enjoy listening to the music later and remembering how much fun they had winning the music.


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