Word games for seniors are one of the absolute best ways for us to stay sharp. No matter how old we get.
Besides books and board games, most word games can be found FREE on line. So, there is no excuse, for senior adults, not to play. There are even printable word games for seniors that you can take with you anywhere.
You know, as we adults age, exercising our minds is just as important as exercising our bodies. We usually don’t even consider that, do we?
Think about it, those of you who have taken up regular physical exercise know how much better you feel. Right? How much easier things are to do. How much easier every movement is. True?
It’s the same upstairs. We need strength and flexibility up there too. But, we normally don’t consider exercises for our thinking. Do we? Until it starts to go. Right?
We surveyed 308 seniors on the question: “Is mental exercise necessary?”. 288 said they didn’t know…. Wow!
Well, now you all know. But, don’t worry. It’s not like forcing yourself to go to a gym and sweat. On the contrary. These “exercises” are ALL in game form.
Word games for seniors are fantastic brain exercises to help keep us sharp upstairs. And, we have a great time in the process.
Word games for seniors are:
To maintain alertness, ability, sharpness when we get old is absolutely vital. There are a number of ways to do this. Like reading books, building things, meeting new people, going to new places….
But, word games for seniors are one of the #1 fun ways to exercise our minds. Word games are easy to play anywhere anytime. There are so many. Literally hundreds. And, most are free.
As we seniors age, we all want to be as independent and as strong as possible so that we can enjoy every day for as long as we have.
A strong sharp clear mind is part of what we need to do that.
How many of you know a loved one, or a friend, who was still muscularly strong and able, but, had to be put in a “retirement home” because they couldn’t even remember family members?
And, a difficult situation for everyone.
To keep clear and sharp our minds need different tasks everyday. Not just easy ones. Word games for seniors offer this to us. Muscles don’t stay strong without effort. Why do we presume thinking will?
Never thought about that. Did you? Most people never do.
Well, I’m happy to see you here now.
NO. Don’t worry. You don’t have to solve mathematical equations and recite history lessons (unless you want to), or do other annoying unpleasant things that we won’t do anyway.…
No. This is going to be a completely fun and satisfying experience. Every day!
There are different ways to make activities very engaging and strengthening. Word games for seniors are one of the best! And, remember, most are free! So, no matter what the situation is, you can still play. All you want!
We’re going to share our list of the most useful and engaging word games for seniors that we found.
Granny and Gramps are not always going to be the quickest at these word games. So what? The main idea is to have fun. The extra benefit is: Words games for seniors stimulate their minds. Strengthen them. Just like going to the Gym for our bodies.
Words games for seniors, when played with others, gives our dear older ones a chance to communicate with others. Enjoy social interaction. Feel normal. Vital. Alive.
Is there any better gift in the world?
The internet can be a very entertaining place to go. You can shop, learn anything in the world, communicate with your friends (even the ones who are thousands of miles away), meet people, chat, play all kinds of games, including word games.
And, most word games on line are Free!
There are all kinds of word games too. Games that sharpen and improve cognitive ability, games to learn new words, and games that are just simple and a fun way to pass some leisurely time.
The hard part is choosing a game!
There are so many thousands of games on line, how do we seniors find the ones for us?
We have sorted through dozens and dozens of pages, hundreds of word games for seniors, and we made a list of the ones we liked best.
Then we surveyed 200 senior citizens who play games on line and found these are the 40 Most Popular Word Games for Seniors.
So, are you ready to start having some fun? We think you’ll find there’s something on this list for everyone who wants to give their brain a good workout.
Here we go:
Words in Words is not only fun, it really makes us think. And, it gets elder and even very old seniors using and strengthening their brains!
But, did you know “Words in Words” is one of the most useful memory games for elderly seniors?
Words in words is a great socialization game too. And, 2, 3, 4 can play it together. But, seniors can also play this word game on line when alone.
Here’s how it is played:
1) Ask the first player to pick a word. This will be the “seed word”. It can be any word as long as the word is not too short. The longer it is, the better.
2) Write the word in the center of a sheet of paper, or, on a white board.
3) The next player will form another word, using only the letters from the “seed word” and write it somewhere on the paper.
4) Then go on to the next player. If there are only two players, you just keep going back and forth.
The idea is to see how many words you can form from the letters in the original word.
To give you an idea of the possibilities, over 121 words can be formed from the word “pedestrian”. Wow!!
This is one of the most famous free word games for seniors (or anyone) that can be played anytime and anywhere with no materials or games pieces.
Any number of people can play.
The first player picks a word. Let’s say, “encyclopedia”. The next player says the first word that comes to their mind that they associate with “encyclopedia”. Like, “book”. Then the next player says the first word that comes to their mind that associates to that word to the original “seed word”. Like, “paper”. Then the next player….
The words don’t have to necessarily make a logical association (although they should). But, there needs to be some kind of association.
AND: You can not use a word that was used before!
To make it more exciting, you can add a time limit, like 10 or 15 seconds to come up with the next words. At the beginning of the game this is easy. As you go along it may take longer to find associated words. That’s where the real fun begins.
You keep going until you run out of associations.
Then you pick a new “seed word”.
In this game, we learn to build associative chains. To remember words and their meanings. Your elderly relative also has to remember a lot of words and keep in mind which ones were already used.
Can you see the great strengthening benefits that may come with this fun and exciting word game?
Word Searches surveyed to be one of the very favorite word games for seniors.
Word searches makes us sharpen our visual acuity as we search for words hidden in jumbles of letters. I think I always like this game because I always loved treasure hunts as a kid. This gives me the same satisfaction!
There are some nice word search apps like “Word Connect”.
And, for those who prefer paper and pencil: There are lots of Word Search books available at your local Walmart and on line.
Daily Word Search is a FREE on line version that is completely FREE. A new puzzle is given every day. They have word searches at all different different difficulty levels. So, this is a good place for beginners and the experienced alike.
"Words" is a simple, easy, and fun word game for seniors that is similar to the "Word Association Game", but, a bit more advanced.
In Words, the player must use the last letter of the previous word to form the new word. Remembering the topic put forth from the “seed word”.
Now we are getting to word games for seniors that get a little more difficult. Most of these are not free, but, they are all very inexpensive, the boards and pieces last a long time, and they are well worth the price.
We all know what Crossword Puzzles are. Right? And, Crossword Puzzles are one of the very best word games for seniors.
Did you know they come in all different sizes and levels of difficulty? And, one of the best things about Crossword Puzzles is you can do them anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you do them. At the kitchen table, riding on the train or bus, in the park, at a coffee shop,… And, you can also play them alone or with a friend!
For those of us seniors who enjoy Crossword Puzzles, you know there are few things more satisfying than filling in the very last square to finish the puzzle. It’s a Joy and a real Ego Boost! Am I right?
For those who are not yet playing them, you’re in for an unexpected treat.
Now, do you know what else?
Playing crossword puzzles is extremely good for developing our thinking abilities.
Did you know people who regularly do Crossword Puzzles "maintain brain function as they age, especially in the categories of attention, reasoning, and memory?"
reference: “The Best Crossword Puzzles to Play On Line for Free”
reference: University of Exeter and Kings College London
Doing Crossword Puzzles is like going to a Gym for your brain. But, they’re a lot more fun!
When getting started, just be sure to choose ones that are not too difficult for you. Those will drive you mad!
Here’s a little personal story about my own journey into the world of Crossword Puzzles:
My mother was a word genius. She spoke seven languages and could tell you the meaning of almost any word without the use of a dictionary. Also the derivation from which language…. She was, in my opinion, a genius. She breezed through even the most difficult Crossword Puzzles in record fast time.
I, on the other hand, was a Crossword Puzzle Disaster. From the way I played them, you would never guess that I was her natural child.
I hated the things. Mostly because the ones I was always being given were for the ultra literary.
One day (when I refused to participate in playing one) someone pointed this out to me. I explained I hated the humiliation and that is why I would not play. She laughed and took out a book of crossword puzzles. I froze. Horror of horrors!
She flipped through to what she said was an easy puzzle. I was hesitant, but, I agreed to try it with her…. After that I was hooked! It was so much fun. I understood all the words and the clues… it was an awakening. I looked forward to playing the next one. And, the next. And, the next…. And, my vocabulary steadily increased.
OK. Who really cares about me and my mother? Right? Except family and close friends?…..
The story was just to let you know that playing crossword puzzles is really enjoyable, especially when you have some hours to kill. Like sitting in the waiting room of… anywhere.
Yep, these babies will keep you company anywhere. Anytime.
HINT: Don’t start with the New York Times crossword. Unless you have huge language skills.
Now, you don’t need to go buy books of puzzles like we used to before the computer became so handy. Today, there are many free on line puzzles and app downloads. You can play them on your laptop, desktop, and even your iPhone when you are away from the house.
Free Daily Crosswords for Seniors, FREE on line
Boatload Puzzles, FREE on line
AARP Crossword Expert, FREE on line (for AARP members)
Crossword With Friends, FREE app
Daily Celebrity Crossword, FREE app
For seniors who prefer actually working with pencil and paper there are loads of books of crossword puzzles that only cost a few dollars.
And, for those who need some visual aid, there are loads of books with Super Sized Lettering. You can choose from dozens and dozens of these on line. At all skill levels.
It would be impossible to talk about the best word games for seniors without mentioning Scrabble.
I think every senior has heard of Scrabble. But, in our survey we found only about 34% of seniors have actually played the game.
Scrabble is the all time classic word party game for seniors. Now, you can also play it on line. So, you don’t even have to buy the set. You can play for FREE.
Personally, I’m old school and I prefer playing with physical objects.
But, when we’re away from home a free on line version is a great substitute.
As you get better at Scrabble, it’s a real bonus to keep a copy of The Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary with you. In there you will find a lot of obscure words that’ll help you achieve the highest word scores (and WIN the game!)
Scrabble not only makes us unscramble letters, and find words. It also winds up increasing our vocabulary and our problem solving abilities.
For those who want to learn how to play scrabble, here a great short Video:
Upwords is a Scrabble like word game for seniors. It gets it’s name because you stack entire words on top of each other. A bit easier than Scrabble.
“The Scrabble-like Upwords gets its name because you can stack letters and entire words on top of each other. The higher you stack — up to five levels — the more points you pile up.The game therefore is more compact and easier to play than Scrabble on a cramped smartphone screen. It runs on a tablet, too, and it is also accessible via Facebook in a desktop-web browser.
The Upwords app doesn’t bombard users with advertisements and other come-ons as much as the Scrabble-style Words With Friends and other online games incessantly, infuriatingly do. What’s more, you can pay a few bucks to make the Upwords ads go away forever.”
reference: "The popular Upwords board game can be played online", twincities.com
What are Cryptograms?
When you were a kid, did you ever dream of being spy?
Cryptograms are simply: text (a message) written in code. Cryptograms can be as simple as exchanging one letter for another as in the message:
“Cayptogaams aan sopea fon.”
The Rs became A.
The Us became O.
Decode them and you have:
“Cryptograms are super fun.”
A more complex Cryptogram may have ALL the letters changed.
These can be a real challenge and very exciting to play. You can find Cryptogram games in books like: “Cryptograms to Keep You Sharp”
Or in an app like: “Cryptogram Cryptoquote”
And, you can find FREE on line cryptograms (with instructions on how to decode them) at “Puzzle Baron’s Cryptograms”.
VIDEO Tutorial: Cryptograms are one of the most difficult word games for seniors and everyone else at any age. If you've never played them before, and, you're up to the challenge, and, you'd like to take a little class to learn how to solve cryptograms, here's a great Video by Tammy Donroe:
Boggle is a board game. You can pick it up at major department stores like Walmart for $10. Or, get the newest edition for about $20 ay Kohl’s. You can also find it on line.
In Boggle the goal of the game is achieve the highest point total creating words from randomly assorted letters. The longer the word, the higher the point value of the word. The player who finds the most words wins.
Boggle is a wonderful game for seniors because it is not only very much fun, it also exercises focus, stamina, and visual acuity. AND, it comes in “Bid Boggle” size, that has larger letters.
Here you will find a full explanation and instructions to: Play Boggle.
Games like Taboo are great word games for seniors at a party.
It's fun and easy to play. And, everyone at the party gets involved.
Divide the party into two teams. The goal of Taboo is to get your teammates to guess the word you are describing. HOWEVER, there is a list of Taboo words you can not say to describe the word. There is a time limit for the guess.
Each word you get right is a point for your team. If you skip a card because it is too difficult, or use one of the Taboo words to describe it, it becomes a point for the other team.
The whole party gets involved. And, it’s a real team win!
A number of popular word games for seniors found on line are in the form of “apps”.
OK. What are “apps”?
“Apps” is computer language. It is an abbreviation for “Applications”.
“Applications” simply means a little bit of software (the stuff that make your computer, phone, laptop… do it’s work.).
So, when you find a game you want to play on line, it may tell you to “download an app”. That means it will put the necessary software to play that game into your phone, computer, etc.
Caution: Most apps are free and can be downloaded just by clicking the “download” icon. If they should ask for any personal information, don’t give it. It’s nobody’s business. Stay safe. Go to another website where the download does not require it.
Wheel of Fortune is one of the best word game of all time. And, it’s perfect for seniors! Have you ever wanted to play?
Well, now you can. Have some fun playing the game with a virtual Pat and Vanna. Right in your own home!
The Wheel of Fortune Game is based on the popular TV show with Pat Sajak. It’s fun: Spin the wheel, choose letters, buy vowels, solve the word puzzle.
It’s FREE here on Google Play: Wheel of Fortune.
Here’s a word game everyone seems to enjoy called “4 pic 1 Word”. And, it’s just like it says. You’ll see 4 pictures that all have one word in common. You have to figure out that word!
This is one of the most popular apps ever. It has been downloaded over 220,000,000 (two hundred twenty MILLION) times. Wow! You can play this game endlessly because you’ll never get the same puzzle twice.
A really great game that makes you think.
Here’s the app at the Apple Store: 4 Pics 1 Word
The games is FREE. There are in app purchases available.
Have you ever considered learning another language? But, it just seemed like too much work? Or, too expensive.
Well, here comes “Duolingo”!
With Duolingo, learning a new language becomes a wonderful word game for seniors type experience. It’s way more fun than going to class.
And, when something is this much fun, you’re going to want to keep using it.
AND…. that’s right. It’s FREE!
Yep! You can learn over 35 different languages for free.
You can learn:
Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Scottish Gaelic, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, English, Turkish, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Welsh, Arabic, Latin, Hawaiian, and more….
Practice speaking, listening, reading, writing in quick easy to understand bite-sized lessons.
Duolingo was designed by language experts. It is being enjoyed by literally millions of students around the world. And, it helps you learn how to carry on real conversations in the language of your choice.
And, ever course is FREE!
You advance at your own pace. As fast or as slowly as you like.
Duolingo is “Gamified”. That means you play it like a game.
Duolingo is Free to start. So it costs nothing to try out. Then, $9.99 a month if you choose to continue with it.
You can find out all about it here: Duolingo
Memrise is another app where you can learn a new language through playing games and having fun.
The app is available for FREE in app form or on the web.
Memrise is FREE to start, then $4.92 a month billed annually (billed a year at a time).
Here’s where you can find it: Memrise.
Here’s a list of 20 More Great Word Games for Seniors that can be played for FREE and accessed on line here: “On Line Games for Seniors”:
#16 (New) Synonyms - Create skyscrapers of synonyms by adding words that share a common meaning to the appropriate building in Syn City.
#17 Word Ferret - How many words can you find in three minutes?
#18 Patch Words - Fill in the blanks to create words as fast as you can.
#19 Scrabble - You know this one!
#20 Word Drop - Make words from letters that drop.
#21 Text Twist - One of the most popular word games of all time. Then there is Text Twist 2. Then, SUPER Text Twist.
#22 Word Ruffle - Make as many words as possible from a list of letters.
#23 Secret Files - Catch the words! Before they fall to the ground. And then…. file them in the correct secret drawer.
#24 Acrostic - Word puzzles where you must solve the hidden text. A double treat!
#25 Advanced Word Hunt - You need to find all the listed words as soon as possible because each level has more words,… and, less time!
#26 Anagram - The first letter is already correct. Then you move the remaining letters to get the original word.
#27 Flip Word - A hybrid of “Word” and “Crossword Puzzles”. Super fun!
#28 Wordspy - An interesting variation on “Word Search”.
#29 Letterman - Even though some letters are blank, can you guess the word?
#30 Speed Reading - A wonderful memory game for seniors. Can you write, or, type the full phrase after seeing it for just a moment?
#31 Cryptogram - A word puzzle where you try to solve the hidden question.
#32 Square Words - Can you see the word in the square? You must follow the flow in horizontal or vertical direction. The letters are in order.
#33 What Word - A real thinker. What word is being defined.
#34 Word Up - Creating as many valid words as possible before the clock runs out!
#35 WordSpector - This one is for me! Every word you create becomes a clue that takes you one step closer to the Mystery Word!
These word games for seniors also provide exercise for memory and attention. These are skills we take for granted until we get old. They are excellent games for the very old and elderly to enjoy:
Name two items that begin with each of the letters of your name. In a group, go around the circle using the first letter, then the second, then the third…..
Name 3 - 5 items that begin with the chosen letter of the alphabet, that you can wear.
Name the months of the year, in alphabetical order (you may pass out paper and pencils to make this easier).
Take a good look around the room, yard, auditorium, etc… Then, close your eyes and remember 3 items you can put in your pocket, and then, 3 items you can not.
Rhyming Ball is one of the most fun and simple word games for seniors that there is! It’s a great game to keep sharp and quick thinking, AND, a way to have a little light body exercise as well. Rhyming Ball is especially suited to elderly and old seniors in a group situation
This is one of the simple highly enjoyable word games for seniors that is played with a group. Small or large.
Throw the ball to a player. This player creates the first word. Then she/he throws the ball to any other player of her choice. This next player must say a word that rhymes and then throw the ball to someone else, who must say a word that rhymes, then toss the ball to the next….
A time limit (say 10 seconds) may be enforced to give the game more excitement. Over the time limit and you’re out! Last man standing wins!
This game is a great way to enhance quick thinking skills.
When choosing word games for seniors, it is very important to always consider the abilities of the players involved.
The difficulty of any game can be adjusted to fit the players. Some of us need a game like Scrabble to get really thinking. Some of us will have a fine time just thinking of words that begin with the letter “A”.
Always choose, or modify, your game to fit the players and everyone will have a ball!
If the rules are ever too complicated you can always simplify them. You can even develop your own rules so that the game can be played by everyone.
REMEMBER: Don’t get disappointed if the game is too difficult for some elderly people and very old people. Just modify the game to make it easier so that everyone can enjoy it.
For Example: In “Examine Your Surroundings”, you may just have them remember 1 of each item instead of 3. In “Months of The Year”, just ask which months are in each season.
You can play any game in any way that works for your senior or your group. It’s just a game. It’s for fun.
If Mom or Dad is slowing down a bit too much, and, you’ve been wondering what might help, here are some of the benefits word games for seniors can bring:
The Benefits of Word Games for Seniors Include:
There are no terrible memory exercises that bore us and the person forced to do them. Just wonderful games for us seniors to enjoy playing.
Did you find a new word game or two that you want to play?
We hope so.
We tried to include word games for beginners as well as the seasoned players. And, lots of FREE on line games that come in all difficulty levels.
Remember: Word games for seniors are not just a fun way to spend time by yourself or with others. The benefits of word games for seniors include helping to keep our thinking sharp and clear.
So, if you’re not already playing word games, it’s time to begin!
And, if you are already playing, we you found something new and exciting here to learn and try out.
Wishing You Happy Gaming! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte