Are there any great Party Games for Seniors that are inexpensive or even Free? Games that the entire family can enjoy together too?
You bet there are.
Besides being fantastic fun, playing games fosters senior well-being.
Whether it’s for a Christmas, Chanukah, Thanksgiving type Holiday Party, a Birthday Party, an Anniversary Party, a Retirement, or, just a get together, there are loads of party games for seniors that family members of ALL ages can enjoy together. And: A lot of these games are FREE.
The Categories Are (you can click on the links):
1 - Card Games
2 - Table and Board Games
3 - Puzzles
4 - More FREE Games
5 - Party Games for Seniors and Children
6 - Outdoor Games for Seniors
7 - Games for Senior Citizens in Assisted Living
8 - The BENEFITS of Party Games for Seniors
Wow! I never realized just how many great card games there are until we started researching party games for seniors, free, with playing cards.
It turns out, card games are one of the most popular group of games we seniors love.
One reason is: We have been playing them since we were kids.
- All we need is a couple of decks of cards and some good friends.
- We like the feel of real things in our hands and not just electronic screens.
- Working with real things and real objects is a very basic and human need and desire.
- The tactile experience of card games will never be matched by any kind of electronics.
Did you know: Card games also have many advantages and benefits for senior citizens?
Old Maid has been a favorite one of the party games for seniors for decades.
Old Maid is a simple card game that was invented way back in the Victorian Era.
Most of us grew up playing Old Maid (before all the computers were invented…) and it is a fun game to teach the grand children. Surprisingly, most children love learning an “old fashioned” game that has real cards and not just an electronic screen.
Old Maid is played with a regular deck of cards. One of the queens is removed, leaving an odd number of queens.
The object of the game is not to be the player left with the odd queen.
Here’s a short Video where you will learn exactly how to play tis fun and easy card game:
Old Maid is a great game for the whole family to play together because is is fun for adults and still simple enough for young children and challenged seniors.
You can purchase special pictured Old Maid card sets. But, most people play with one or more regular decks of cards, depending on how many players there are.
“In a round of Canasta, you want to be the first one with no more hand cards. This is achieved by cleverly collecting and combining cards to form sets and melding them. To be able to go out of a round, you must have melded at least one set of seven cards – a canasta. A table of Canasta is played over several rounds. A maximum number of rounds can be set at own tables in the Canasta Palace. Any table of Canasta ends when one team hits 5.000 points, also, if the maximum number of rounds was not reached yet.”
Here are the rules, instructions, and everything you'll need to learn to play Canasta.
Gin Rummy is one of the party game for seniors that has started parties all by itself!
A lot of seniors already know and have played this card game very often already. For those who have not:
The object of Gin Rummy is to methodically and strategically work with the cards in your hand to create specific sequences of cards and at the same time, eliminate cards that are not necessary to your hand.
Here are the rules, instructions, and everything you'll need to learn to play: Gin Rummy.
The game of bridge originated in the 1930s. There are many variations to the game, but, the most common one is called “Contract Bridge”. It’s played with 4 players in two pairs.
Like Gin Rummy, Bridge is one of those party games for seniors that can become quite a habit and has started regular Bridge Parties throughout the country.
Bridge is such a popular game that we want you to see how it is played and get all the instructions you need to play the game.
We found them for you here in this great Bridge Video:
We're never too old for Poker Night! Right?
Which ever style of poker you like (Stud Poker, Draw Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Follow the Queen…), start practicing your poker face!
Drinks, snacks and good conversation. Maybe have your friends bring some quarters to add a little extra excitement.
Board Games are something that many young people today don’t even know exist. How very sad.
Remember the fun of Monopoly! Getting the “Get Out of Jail FREE” card? Owning Boardwalk? And, Park Place?
Being the shoe? Or, the racing car?
The computer is fun. It can be Amazing. But, playing games like Monopoly, Clue, Risk….. with real playing pieces…… There will never be a computer substitute. Yes, once you own a computer there are lots of free on line games to play.
Although these board games are not free, they are very inexpensive. And, playing these games are a whole lot more fun when we play them with real objects, rather than on an electronic screen (where nothing really exists).
Touching and feeling things, and moving real objects around is a very human experience that we lose when we play games on a computer.
Did you know that Board Games, like card games, have many Bonuses?
These include and are not limited to:
Remember these Board Games?:
Chutes and Ladders
(Don't you just pity all the kids that are missing out on these games today?)
Here are our four favorites:
If you are a senior citizen and are looking for party games for seniors, you already know about “Bingo”. Right?
We usually play it in a large group at the Elks Club or somewhere similar. But, it can be a fun stand by at home too.
This one needs no explanation, does it?….
Trivial Pursuit is a great games of all adult ages. You must have played it at least once in your life. If not, you’re in for a treat! This is one of our absolute favorite party games for seniors. It needs just two or more players.
The object of the game is to move around the board by correctly answering trivia questions. So, if you are a Trivia Buff, this game is for YOU!
This is an exciting one you may not be familiar with. It’s called: “Jenga”.
Jenga is a table game that can be played with two or more players. Any age combination. Adults, seniors, elderly and children.
Jenga is great fun for people of all ages and abilities. It is one of our very favorite party games for seniors. It’s not free. A normal set will cost $15 - $25 on line or in a toy store. It will last a lifetime. (since the game is so popular, there are also designer sets that costs a small bundle)
The game kicks off by assembling the wooden Jenga blocks to build a vertical tower consisting of 18 layers of blocks. Each layer of blocks consists of three side by side blocks.You play the game with two or more players.
First the tower you see is built. There are 18 layers of bricks. 3 bricks to a layer.
Each consecutive layer is built with the blocks positioned 90 degrees different than the layer directly below it.
Once you build the tower, the game begins!
Here is a great short Video where you will learn and see exactly how the game is played and how it is won.
We are giving Scrabble a special spot on party games for seniors. It’s not free. But, the game kit costs only about $20 at Walmart. Scrabble is such a popular game. So, a huge amount of sets are available that get fancier and fancier and cost over $100. The inexpensive set is every bit the same as the designer sets. So, get the one that fits you the best.
Because many seniors, elderly senior citizens, and even very old people like to play Scrabble, manufactures now make Large Print Tiles and Game Boards that make reading very easy. There are also tiles with black letters on white backgrounds for easier visibility.
These special Scrabble sets for seniors are in the $40 - $50 range and are well worth the price. Again, this game, like so many classic board games, remains constant. So, a set will last a lifetime.
There is no greater thinking exercise game, or any game that will get the wheels really turning upstairs, better than playing Scrabble will! It is an especially great game for those of us seniors who are very intellectually inclined.
And, Scrabble can help keep us sharp!
Now, just like Old Maid, Scrabble is one of the favorite old party games for seniors because most of us have played it before and we need no instructions to learn it.
For those who have never played Scrabble, we have a Video for you just below.
In a nut shell: Each player strives to make words that have the most point value, connected to a letter of an existing word, with the lettered pieces they possess. The player with the most word points wins.
You can learn Scrabble from this short Video, or just use this video as a refresher:
Puzzle games (even the free crossword puzzles in magazines) test, refresh and rejuvenate our perception of the world around us. Puzzles are entertaining for sure. Especially on a cold rainy day. But, puzzle games also give us a sense of accomplishment (which you know if you’ve ever done a 500 - 1,000 piece jigsaw, or, the New York Times crossword puzzle).
Puzzle games are enjoyed by people of all ages. But, they are especially suited to senior citizens because they provide hours of fun and adventure even for those with mobility issues.
Puzzle games challenge seniors’ concentration and problem solving skills. They are like going to the Gym for our minds!
Jigsaw puzzles are great party games for seniors because puzzles can take a long time. They give everyone a chance to have a wonderful long social connection without getting tired out.
You also don’t have to finish a puzzle in one sitting. This gives a great excuse to get everyone together again soon.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great party game when the whole family is getting together for a Holiday dinner. They are not free. But, they are usually very inexpensive and worth the price.
All the family members can participate in putting it together. AND, it doesn’t have to be all done at once. Before or after the dinner is cooking, kids by themselves, Granny with the Grandkids, or a single grand child, the adults alone….
Getting seniors involved is very easy if you have a custom puzzle made from a family group photo.
You can have custom jigsaw puzzles made for as low as $25 for a 500 piece puzzle.
If Granny or Grandpa has slowed down quite a bit, and putting puzzle together is difficult, you can even get puzzles with only 100 pieces, or even 20 pieces. The smile on their face, when even the simplest puzzle is completed is priceless.
There are also puzzles with very vivid colors and large pieces that are easier for many seniors to work with.
"Jigsaw puzzles can do amazing things. Whether you are looking for a puzzle for a senior in your family, or you are a caregiver you can be assured that the older adult you are buying for will benefit in many ways.”- Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults
Last minute party? Or, funds low for a party?
As the kids say: "No worries!" We have a bunch of great FREE games for you right here.
We can forget about props and having to locate and buy all kinds of board games with these games that are simple, easy to play, and fun for the whole group. These games are all FREE and need very little set up other than maybe some paper and pencils.
These party games are always some of the most fun. And, they are ALL FREE!
Riddle Riddle Ree is a fun party game for seniors when young children are part of the party. Here’s how it goes:
Everyone gathers in a single room and sits down in a circle. The person to start the game, the host, walks around the room and decides on an object in the room, telling no one what it is, making sure to keep it secret. Then the host says:
"Riddle, Riddle, Ree - I see something you don't see...And the color of it is (insert the color of the selected object).”
Then, one at a time each seated person takes their turn guessing which object the host chose. The first person who guesses the object becomes the new “host” and she/he chooses the next object and repeats the phrase:
"Riddle, Riddle, Ree - I see something you don't see...And the color of it is ______.
The new first person to guess is the next one after where the new host was seated.
Remember this one?
When I was a kid we all loved this one because whom ever was getting the most tunes right with the least notes was always considered Super Cool for some reason.
Just the first two notes always identified so many songs for the well versed.
If you still have your old vinyls and a record player, you’re ready to go.
If you love that show as much as we did, here’s an episode for you to watch (complete with all the TV commercials! That you can now fast forward by…)
Guess Who is one of the most fun party games for seniors because we usually don’t look anything like we used to. Right?
Guess Who is simple and a blast! Guaranteed to produce fun and laughter.
Sit everyone around the table. Everyone in the party brings at least 3 pictures of themselves from their youth.
Mix all the pictures up, face down (like a card shuffle).
Pick the first photo. Pass to around. Whoever guesses it first gets a point. The player with most points at the end of the game wins!
No one cares who wins here. It’s just so much fun to see what everybody used to look like, The hairdos. The clothes….
I think Charades is the oldest Classic Party Game. And, it still works great when we are seniors. It can even be more fun because some of our limitations make it funnier!
Charades has been around since the 18th century, and, is still a favorite party game today. All ages can play together. And, it’s FREE!
Split up into 2 teams. Write ideas on a paper, fold them up, and put them in a hat. Examples of subjects are movies, books, TV shows, plays, songs, and quotations. Choose a title that’s familiar to everyone. Fold the paper slips, and place them in a hat.
The first player will pick a paper from the hat and the show begins. This person pantomimes the clues without talking or pointing to anything in the room.
Each correct answer gets a point for the team.
Providing the clues is easy.
First act out the category:
For a Book: Place your plans up in front of you and pretend you are reading
For a Movie: Do the cranking motion of an old fashioned cabers
For a Song: Silently sing (with lots of gestures) in front of everyone
Then, act out each word of the subject in sequence. Non verbal hints include:
“Sounds Like” – Cup your hand around your ear or tug your earlobe.
“Short Word” – Hold your thumb and index finger about 2 inches apart.
“Long Word” – Pull your hands away.
“You’re getting warmer.” – Nod your head to indicate “Yes!”
“You’re off track, getting colder.” – Shake your head to indicate “No.”
“You guessed it!” – Point to the person who spoke correctly, and place your index finger on your nose tip, signifying “Right on the nose!”
The round ends when the title is guessed. Then the next person draws a subject from the hat and the rounds continue until all the subjects in the hat have been used.
The team with the most point wins!
This game can be a riot!
Each senior, one at a time, takes a turn recalling the best advice they’ve ever received.
Oh great. Just what we need to know. Right? B O R I N G….. Right?
After the advice is shared is when the game gets really FUN with the next question:
“What did you do to require that advice?”
Some the stories may have you laughing on the floor!
Each person writes down 2 likes and 2 dislikes on 6 separate slips of paper. Fold them up. Put them in a hat. Then each slip is drawn one at a time. Can you figure out who wrote what?
Pass out small slips of paper (many to each) and pens and have each person write down an event such as:
Fold them up and put them in a bowl.
Each player, in turn, draws a paper and reacts to it while the others simultaneously try to guess what they’re screaming, or cheering, or crying….. about.
Whoever guesses, is the next to draw a paper from the bowl.
Many of the simpler games above are great for Seniors and children to enjoy together. Games such as:
Old Maid (in Card Games above)
Riddle Riddle Ree (in FREE Games above)
the new favorite:
Jenga (in Table and Board Games above)
and of course:
Now, there is one more game we want to introduce you to that young children love. It is called the “Saran Wrap Game”. This one is especially good for Christmas when kids normally get all kinds of fun things to play with.
Here’s a Video of a family having a blast playing this game together:
The Saran Wrap Game is a one of the Great party games for seniors and adults when you have children who you want to include in the action.
You’ll need a little pregame preparation for this one.
Gather up a small pile of prizes like candy, dollar bills, lottery tickets, movie tickets, sports tickets, gift certificates, cheap jewelry, a harmonica, small chocolates, coins, hair clips, combs, chewing gum, and maybe a great prize for near the middle of the ball (like theater tickets), or a massage… get the idea? And, get a LOT of stuff.
Pick one item to place in the center (maybe the BIG prize) and wrap it up completely in the Saran Wrap. If there is no big prize, that’s OK too. Then add one item at a time and wrap it on top of the first. Then another. Then another. Keep going until all the items are wrapped up in one big ball. Use a whole roll of saran wrap or even more!
Here’s an instructional Video:
Now, you’re ready to play!
Everyone sits in a circle. Give the ball to anyone you choose to start the game.
You’ll need a pair of dice. Give the dice to the person next to the player and have him/her roll the dice. As long as the dice don’t roll doubles, the person with the ball starts to unwrap it. As soon as he/ she gets the first prize inside, the dice roller rolls again. As long as no doubles are rolled, she keeps unwrapping.
Once doubles are rolled, the ball is passes to the next person and the dice move along to the next person (who just had the ball) also. Every player gets to keep the prizes they unwrapped.
Sound too easy? Oh… I forgot. The person unwrapping the ball must wear oven mitts! (if that proves too challenging, a pair of gloves will do fine.)
All prizes remain with the person who unwrapped them.
You’re going to need a LOT of prizes!
Here's how much fun the unwrapping can be:
The weather is beautiful! The air is fresh and clean. The sun is shining. We want some party games for seniors that we can play outdoors. Right?
Here are some of our very favorites that are ideal for seniors of almost any age:
This is one of the very oldest outdoor games for seniors and adults of every age. This outdoor game originated (in modern form) in Torino, Italy and Lyon, France (called “Boules” in France and England) sometime in the last 1,000 years.
“No one really knows how old bocce is. There were stone balls found in Turkey that date to 9,000 B.C. Some say bocce dates back to ancient Egypt (5,200 B.C.), but others argue that Greece was its birthplace around 600 B.C. When you really think about the simplest game a child can play – tossing a stone – you might think of bocce as the very first game man ever played. Even the child’s game of Marbles is based on bocce." - reference: Italian Sons and Daughters of America, orderisda.org
Bocce Ball is a very laid back game, in the outdoors games for seniors category, that Italian Seniors (especially the men) seem to love. Many Italians consider Bocce Ball to be the second National Sport right behind “Football” (Soccer).
A good quality regulation size set of Bocce balls will cost about$100. They will last a lifetime.
If you’ve never played, and, you like to chat and swear, you want to spend more time playing outdoor games for seniors, and have a very enjoyable afternoon out with the boys (or the girls) Bocce Ball may be your new fave party game.
Party games for seniors aren’t just indoors. Horseshoes is an old time favorite in the outdoor games for seniors line up.
The horseshoes are free (if you find them!) and so are the two stakes you bang into the ground. That's all the equipment you need to play this great old favorite.
You simply toss the horseshoe toward a stake in the ground. The idea is to get a “Ringer”. That’s when the horseshoe surrounds the stake. The team that gets 15 "Ringers" first, Wins!
Another party game for seniors most of us who grew up in the suburbs played more than once. Our outdoor games for seniors line up would not be complete with this old favorite.
We get to be outside in the fresh air and walk around the yard knocking the croquette balls, scoring points. laughing at each others form, and having a leisurely blast!
This is a great game for seniors of all ages. Men and women.
Not only is this a fun competitive game, we get a bit of nice gentle exercise in the process when we toss those bean bags.
Here you can watch the game being played and see how much fun it is. The Best player on this team is 98 years old!
These games are great for any party where we have elderly seniors, and very old people with more limited abilities. Not just those in retirement communities. And, they are basically free. Needing only a few items that will normally be in the retirement home already.
Yes, there are a lot of senior citizens in assisted living centers, and, the number grows yearly. The best activities directors try to have a menu of party games for seniors that keeps changing. So, we wanted to add some here that our activities directors may not yet be familiar with. And, that are easy to put together and play.
Most of the games in this category are homemade and only require some time and thought to get together.
These games are a great way to have a fun and active party, celebrate birthdays, milestones, or special occasions with. These games provide some real refreshment for the older seniors among us.
Smile toss is an especially nice party game for elderly seniors and even old people who are challenged. Or, just plain old.
This balloon game will get everyone smiling before long. And, we get a little gentle exercise here too! So, it’s a real winner.
Seat everyone in a circle. Blow up a balloon and paint a smiley face on it. Have someone be in charge of playing some recorded music.
When the music starts to play, pass the balloon around the circle from one person to the next. The person playing the music will have his/her back to the players and will stop the music at random moments.
The person left holding the ball must not smile for 20 full seconds. AND, everyone else will try to make that person laugh or smile in any way that they can. Its the balloon holder smiles, he/she must leave the circle (just push your chair back a bit).
The last person remaining wins!
Fact or Fiction has always been a real favorite of mine. I think because there are so many weird things that are true!
Here’s how “Fact or Fiction” works:
Get some books that have all kinds of strange and obscure facts in them.
Pick out 5 or 6 really strange facts. Then make up 5 or 6 more fake facts. You can get as strange as you want to. The stranger, the better!
Then randomly mix them up and number them 1 - 10 (or how ever many you have).
Pass out sheets of paper that are numbered 1 - 10 (or, again, numbered to how ever many “facts” you’re working with).
Then , read out each fact or fake fact one at a time and have each player write down true or false next to the number.
Then collect the papers and add up the correct scores on each to see who wins!
This game leads very nicely into another game like:
Spin a Story is a fun game for all ages. And, this is one of the great FREE party games for seniors that you can play anywhere!
You can have as many players as you want.
Everyone rolls the dice. The highest number is the first story teller. The second highest is the listener.
Start the clock. Tell a story. It can be true. Or, totally made up. Any subject: Family, dating, trips, work, social events,….
The listener has to tell if the story is true or if the storyteller is spinning a tale. The listener is allowed 2 questions any time during the story or at the end. Every correct guess (true or false) gets the listen 2 points.
If the listener gets it right, may pass on telling the next story, and, the dice roll again.
However, if the listener gets it wrong, he must tell his own embarrassing story. Get ready for some great laughs!
The first player with 10 points wins.
Party games for seniors can bring back some great old memories. Like with “Senior Name That Tune”.
Here’s what you do:
Choose a selection of songs from the era of the seniors involved. When they were in high school and Jr. high.
The day before the game, gather everyone together (maybe in the cafeteria right after dinner) to listen to the songs and relearn the song titles and the artist’s names who are singing them.
On party day, play the songs just like they used to on the “Name That Tune” TV show. Just a few notes. If no one gets it, start from the beginning and play the song a few notes longer. Keep adding time to the play until someone gets it. Then pay the song a bit for everyone to enjoy.
Do the same with the remaining songs. Give prizes to each of the winners.
Hearing their old favorite music will bring back memories and start conversations that they all get excited about. It’s a swell evening or afternoon!
Year of invention gets seniors really thinking.
Collect 10 everyday objects that are commonly used. Put them on a table. Number them from 1 to 10.
Hand out sheets of paper to everyone that has each line getting a number from 1 to 10. No one is allowed to access a computer during this time.
Have the seniors look at all the object and write down what year they think each was invented.
Anytime someone gets the correct year, ask them how they knew. There will be a story there.
The player with the highest total wins! A unique addition to your party games for seniors list.
Party games for seniors are not just fun, they are essential. Many are easy to play, free, or very inexpensive.
We never outgrow the need for friendship, social interaction, and, just plain fun.
But, did you know, there are many important and wonderful benefits that come with playing party games for seniors?
The benefits of parties and group activities for seniors include:
And, we get all these wonderful benefits just by having fun!
Let’s enjoy our parties and our gatherings as often as possible.
There is no shortage of Party Games for Seniors. No matter how great or how limited the ability level. And, many are free. So, there's no excuse not to get together and have some fun playing.
Remember: We all need time to play. Every day. It's one of the best things in the world for us. And, no one is ever too old to play and have fun.
Party games for seniors are one of the best ways to keep a family party fun and exciting. The whole family can get involved. And, as you could see, so many of these party games are free, or, require only a deck or two of normal playing cards. Or, a pad of paper and some pencils.
A Major Benefit
of Party Games for Seniors
is that they are a Great way for senior citizens to get together,
have some fun,
and some great conversations and social interaction.
Party Games for Seniors are also a great and fun way to help keep us seniors sharp!
Why bother with all kinds of made up exercises for our clarity and abilities when having fun playing Party Games for Seniors can accomplish the same goals? And, so many are free.
Party Games for Seniors (played anytime and anywhere) with people we enjoy, are so much fun, they are satisfying to our senses, and they bring great Joy and Happiness to everyone!
Enjoy! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte