17 Games, Activities and Dynamics for Older People

Today I come with a list of 17 games for older people , playful and dynamic activities to improve memory, attention, language, self-esteem and motor skills of the elderly.

In the late 1990s, the World Health Organization defines active aging as the process of maximizing opportunities for physical, psychological and social well-being throughout life. And he emphasizes that in addition to being physically active, it is important to remain socially and mentally active.

Exercises / Activities for Seniors

As psychologist Ursula Staudinger, president of the German Psychological Society dedicated to the study of aging at the University of Bremen explains, even in old age the brain continues to form new neurons, which are in charge of transmitting information.

That is why you recommend looking for mental challenges and novel situations as often as possible. From interacting with new people, acquiring new knowledge such as learning a language, or visiting places we’ve never been before. Novelty and variety help keep the brain active and preserve intellectual capacity.

The exercises that we propose have several objectives. Some of them are directed to the maintenance or improvement of the manual motor, also encourage the creativity and increase the self-esteem.

And on the other hand we propose a series of activities to improve or maintain mental capacity by stimulating functions such as memory, attention or language.

1- Elaboration of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. with the use of beads

Following an established model or designing one’s own can be made different pieces of ornament.

This exercise encourages concentration and attention in an activity, as well as contributing to the creativity and maintenance of manual dexterity.

2- Painting

This activity can be very varied, from painting mandalas or coloring figures, to painting on canvas or on different surfaces such as tiles.

This exercise enhances manual agility and again contributes to maintaining attention and concentration. It also encourages self-esteem and self-satisfaction.

3- Work for the manual motor

Different tasks such as macramé, crochet, knit, bobbin lace, etc. All of these activities contribute to improving manual motor skills, visual acuity and the ability to maintain attention.

4- Plasticine for making figures

The use of plasticine for the elaboration of figures favors the movement and the articulation of the hands and the fingers. In addition to contributing to self-esteem and reinforce the feeling of self-improvement.

5- Performing puzzles

Again this activity allows us to choose the degree of difficulty that we want to use. It helps to maintain the tactile recognition through the pieces and favors the concentration as well as the observation.

6- Each sheep with his partner

This game consists of grouping all the elements of the same category that appear mixed on a table.

The objects to be used can be very varied, from legumes (in this case you can mix lentils, chickpeas and beans to separate them into their corresponding category), buttons of different sizes or colors, the cards of a deck, etc.

This exercise contributes to maintain the intellectual capacity of the person, as well as the mobility of the fingers and hands. And it also facilitates viso-manual coordination.

7- Chained words

This activity consists in chaining words in such a way that the last syllable of a word is the beginning of the next.

For example: me-sa, sa-le-ro, ro-pa, pa-ti-ne-te, and so on. This activity can be done individually or in a group, in which each person says or writes a word. It helps maintain and foster abilities such as memory , language or logical reasoning.

8- Reading and commentary texts

A comprehensive reading of a story, or chapter of a book, is done. Subsequently a summary of what is read is done or a series of questions are answered.

It promotes memory and verbal communication. It also maintains attention and concentration.

9- Guess what it is

To perform this game you need a group of people. An object is hidden in a bag or under a cloth and the person must describe it by touch.

The rest of the participants have the task of guessing what the object is. It contributes to exercise language, tactile memory and verbal communication.

10- Description of routes

The person has to explain to the listener the route he / she performs for example to go and buy bread, and all the obstacles, people or peculiarities that are in the way.

It promotes recognition and spatial orientation, as well as fostering cognitive abilities suchas memory and attention.

11- Who’s Who

To perform this game you need a group of people. It is about recognizing who is only by the voice.

One of the members of the group covers their eyes and the rest is placed in a circle. One will say a previously chosen word and the person whose eyes are covered will have to guess who it is.

If one word fails, the other person will continue to say another word, and so on until they identify it. This exercise enhances the auditory functions by recognizing and identifying sound stimuli.

I see I see

This classic game can also serve to maintain and foster different cognitive abilities. One of the members of the group chooses an object by saying the letter by which it begins.

The other participants are saying possible objects until they identify it. The person who chooses the object can give clues and inform about the place of the room in which it is if the companions cannot guess it. This exercise stimulates memory, visual concentration as well as verbal communication.

13- To the compass

To carry out this activity, a group of people are also needed. One of the members performs a sequence of well-beating sounds on the table or with an object and the others have to repeat the same sequence and with the same rhythm.

This activity enhances auditory acuity, and attention through the recognition of stimuli. It also helps maintain and improve short-term memory.

14- Forming words

A set of letters are presented and the person has to form as many meaningful words as he can in a given period of time. This activity promotes skills such as memory, language, or observation.

15- Perform hobbies

Crosswords, soups of letters, sudokus, etc. There are various activities with different degrees of difficulty. They contribute to maintaining and improving lexicon, memory and concentration. It also favors logical thinking and visual acuity.

16- What does it smell?

This exercise consists in putting a series of objects and substances in different containers, for example soap, chamomile, a rose, etc. they cover their eyes to the person and must find out what object is through the aroma that gives off.

This exercise enhances recognition and identification through olfactory ability. It promotes memory and concentration.

17- Remember and describe pictures

An image of a landscape or person is presented for a few seconds. The person should retain in that time as many details as possible because later he will have to describe everything he remembers of the image. This activity promotes visual ability, memory and concentration.