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Game Ideas
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Here are a few ideas for games that can be played at your facility


BALLOON GAME- circle game
Arrange chairs in a circle and have residents sit down. Start by batting a balloon to another person in the circle, the object is to keep the balloon up in the air for as long as possible. When it does hit the floor, pass it to the next person to start another round.

Collect empty egg cartons. Arrange them on a table or on the floor. Color each egg slot different colors to signify different point values. Have residents toss ping pong balls into the cartons and add up their total points. The resident with the highest score at the end of the game wins!

Take one long word and write it on the top of several sheets of paper (enough for each person playing). Give each person a sheet and have them make as many words as they can from the letters in the word you have written on the top of the page.

On a large piece of heavy cardboard cut out holes. Assign each hole a different point value. Hold up the board and let residents try to toss beanbags into the different slots. Add up the points and the high score wins.

Gather picture of serveral different presidents. Cover up the names (if applicable) and have residents try to name each of the different ones. The one who can name the most wins!

Get ten paper cups and place a different spice in each cup. Cover each cup with paper or foil and make a small hole in the cover. Each person gets to guess the spice in each cup by the smell . The resident who can identify the most spices correctly wins the game.

Purchase 10 inexpensive household items. Hold each item up one at a time and have residents guess on what the retail price of that item is. The person who gets the most correct wins

Magazine ads are cut out, and prepared by removing the name of the products. From text and/or slogans, residents guess what products they are.

Objective: Roll six dice and try to score points quickly. Different rolls and numbers buy you points. First one to 10,000 wins.

Point values
Ones are worth 100 points each
Fives are worth 50 points each
Three of a kind is worth 100 times the number rolled (2-2-2 = 200)
Three of a kind with ones scores 1000 points (1-1-1 = 1000)
1-2-3-4-5-6 is a special throw worth 1500 points

A player, after scoring points, may either stop and add all of the points from that turn to his/her permanent score, or throw again using any unused dice in an attempt to score additional points. A throw with no scoring combinations ends the player's turn and that player adds zero to his/her permanent score. If a player scores points with all of the remaining dice they may stop or continue again throwing all six dice. The first player to reach 10,000 points (or 5,000 in some versions) wins.

Objective: A card game where you try to discard your hand first by matching the previous discard.

Rules: The dealer deals seven cards to everyone and puts the rest in a pile facedown. The top card should be turned face up in a separate pile to start the discard pile. If the top card in the discard pile is an eight it should be returned to the deck and a new top card chosen. The player to the left of the dealer begins by discarding one of his/her cards if it matches the suit or rank of the top card in the pile. For example, if the top card is a 7 of clubs, the person could discard any 7 (hearts, spades or diamonds) or any club. If they don't have a matching card they must draw from the pile until he/she gets one that is playable.

Players keep playing this way around the circle. Eights of any suit are wild cards and can be played down on any card. The player who plays an eight gets to choose the suit the next player plays next. Players can pick up cards from the deck even if they have playable cards. Sometimes this is a useful strategy to change suits and keep other opponents from winning.

How to win: The first player to discard all their cards wins.


Make a "racetrack" with six lanes. Use a long sheet of the wide paper used to cover bulletin boards and draw the lanes on with a marking pen. Purchase plastic horses from a toy store. Divide each lane into about 8-12 spaces

You can have up to six players at one time with this game. The players places their horse on a lane. The operator throws a die and the player whose lane number comes up gets to move forward one space. The first player to the finish line gets a prize.


Paint foam core or plywood with funny bodies (circus performers, aliens, farmers, etc.) cut out holes for faces. Take Polaroid or digital pictures.


THANK YOU to Mary Brumfield for submitting the following idea:

Where I work we play a game called card bingo. It is easy and is played in rounds.  You have a dealer who uses one deck of cards and then another deck is divided up among the participants. say 10 people playing each would get 5 cards.

Dealer is responsible for extra cards. The players have the cards turned up. The dealer would call ace of spades. The resident would say I’ve got it. Next card called. It is easy and fun. Residents like the change. It is faster than bingo. I usually give 1st 2nd and 3rd place.


THANK YOU to Laurie Tighe for submitting the following idea:

The Memory Game
1 round tablecloth (plastic from dollar store)
Divide equal sections on tablecloth
In each section have a category eg. an Easter themed game could have my favorite foods at easter
My favorite Flower for Easter
My best Easter
My favorite Easter Song/ sing the song
My worst Easter
My favorite Easter tradition
Tell a Joke
A christmas themed one would have My best Christmas, My favorite christmas tradition, foods, songs, movies....
The themes are endless and the mats can be decorated with stickers, drawings, sparkles...
Sit residents in circle around tablecloth use beanbag have residents go around circle and each toss beanbag and follow the instructions or answer the question in the section you land.
Awesome getting to know you game to play with new residents.
It is surprising how much you can learn about your residents with this simple, engaging, game!
Have fun!

Thank you to Dianne Hamilton for submitting the following idea:
Opposites Bingo

I recently made a game called opposites bingo. It was a bit of work but worth it and they love it.  I got a list of opposites (need plenty) eg hot – cold, up – down - - look for them on the internet, its easier.

I broke the list  up into lots of 9 or 12, depending how many you want on each bingo card. Then you need to go through the list and change the groups around so that you don’t end up with 2 cards the same – this is why you need to get a big list in the first place.   Then cut out cardboard to desired card size and put your 9 or 12 words. You need to keep a list of the all the ones you used. Then you need to make small cards for yourself as caller to call out. So you call out a word and they need to mark the opposite. But I found that on my list to check off I had to put them in alphabetical order of the ones they marked not the ones I called as it is too hard check it off when they have won and call it back to the caller.Or if they ask to check if one has been called or not. Don’t put too more than 12 on a card and don’t give them too many cards, I give 2 each or they get confused and miss too many.


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