28 Best Board Games for Senior Citizens


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Board games are popular among senior citizens because they are often responsible for fun and engaging play, the increase of brain functioning, assisting in practicing cognitive skills, and facilitating bonding experiences. Several board games are available for them to play! 

The best board games for senior citizens are those that range in complexity and modernity. If elderly individuals would prefer a new challenge, Spontuneous or Cranium might be the ones for them. But if they rather stick to the tried and true, chess and checkers are always great board games. 

This post will discuss some of the best board games available for senior citizens to play. Further, the games will be separated by more traditional games than more modernized games; this is important in deciding which games are better for certain elderly individuals who might have a harder time learning newer games. There are many options available to choose from to help you start looking for the right games. 

Classic Board Games

Often you will find that most senior citizens have played many of the following classic board games. Some of these games have been around for centuries, and while there are more modern types, the classics are often the most popular among the elderly. They are familiar, fun, and offer many benefits. 

Most classic games have a similar type of idea. They focus on battle or more of a primitive manner. They often require strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, which helps senior citizens improve those skills. 

Below we will take a look at some of the most popular classic board games and what they have to offer. 

Chess

This strategy board game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is a great way to improve strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. The main objective is to trap your opponent’s king piece in checkmate or inescapable capture. Many different tactics can be used to win the game. Chess has been a popular game for centuries and continues to be a common favorite for many.

Checkers (Draught) 

Not only is checkers an entertaining game, but it is great for improving logic and cognitive skills for everybody. Similar to chess, checkers is another two-player strategy game. The objective is to take all of your opponents game pieces or enough to make sure they cannot move anymore. This game is another century’s favorite.   

Bingo

Grab your cards, take a seat, and wait for the right numbers to be called so you can call out “BINGO!”! Bingo is a traditional and fun game that provides for hours of entertainment. This is a game that can be played anywhere. The main objective is to get all the numbers on your board first before anyone else can. There are other variations as well, but that is the most common. 

Mancala

A game that has been around for thousands of years, and it still never ceases to entertain. The game’s goal is to leave your opponent with no other moves and gain the most amount of stones. It is a great game for strengthening critical thinking skills as you plan to beat your opponent(s). 

Scrabble

 

28 Best Board Games for Senior Citizens

 

Not only is Scrabble a fun game, but it is great for improving vocabulary, and even encourages concentration, reduces blood pressure, and improves memory! The goal is to collect the most points from all other players based on the words you make. This is a fun game that continues to be a joy for all ages, especially older adults. 

Jenga

If you are looking for a more “hands-on” game, then Jenga is the one for you! The objective is not to knock the structure down. This is completed by pulling out the blocks from the structure and placing them on top. The last one to successfully place a block on top of the structure without it falling is the winner! It helps improve manual dexterity and fine motor skills as well. 

Mahjong

Mahjong has been around for centuries and continues to be a fun, strategic game for people of all ages, particularly senior citizens. It even offers amazing benefits to improve memory and strategy skills. The set comes with everything you need, from the tiles to the dice, and even a carrying case! To win the game, all you have to do is get mahjong, which consists of four sets and one pair (a total of 14 tiles). 

Dominoes

We don’t know about you, but we have found dominoes to be a great game for reducing stress and calming the mind! It’s perfect for two or more players and is fun for elderly people to bond with. This particular dominoes set is even great for playing Mexican Train Dominoes, which consists of players creating one or more chains and to win by being the first to match all pieces. 

Marbles

Everyone has enjoyed marbles at some point in their lives, but there is no need for that to stop! Marbles is a game for two to four players, and the objective is for the first player to get all of their marbles “home.” A fun, challenging game that will keep any senior citizen on their toes! 

Cribbage

This tabletop, brain-teasing game will provide entertainment for everyone! This set includes a standard deck of cards, the board, and nine pegs for two to four people to play. All you have to do to win is to be the first person to reach 121 points. So make sure you have your game face on!

Yahtzee

This classic board game is easily accessible and is great for improving strategy skills. Included with this featured set are the dice and scorecards. The goal is to get as many points as possible from rolling your five dice. Nobody would want to miss out on this game!

Monopoly

 

28 Best Board Games for Senior Citizens

 

Whether you’re looking solely looking for something to play on game night, or you want to add a few educational lessons for practice, Monopoly is the game for it all. This game, built in 1903, was created to understand economic concepts about land and ownership better. It’s a fun game that will always keep everyone on the tip of their toes!

Clue

Clue is a great and socially beneficial game as it can support between three and six players. It is perfect for improving critical thinking skills as the main objective is to correctly guess where, how, and by whom a crime took place. This game will keep everyone guessing!

Battleship

Based loosely on military strategies, Battleship is a strategic type of game set on players trying to destroy their opponents’ fleet of ships. Each player conceals their board, so the opposing player is unaware of the exact locations, but they take turns guessing the coordinates of where each ship is. This is a great game for focusing on logic and building critical thinking skills. 

Chinese Checkers 

Also known as Sternhalma, Chinese Checkers is another strategic board game in which the objective is to see who can get all of their pieces “home” first. The concept is very similar to the game Marbles, but there are different strategies, variations, and layouts to this game compared to the former. It is a fun game for people of all ages!

Sequence

Sequence can be played between two to twelve players, making it perfect for those who want to play with multiple people for better socialization. The game’s name aligns with the objective, which is to make a sequence of five poker chips on the board in a row. They have to be connected with the card and color. It is a great game for social interaction, thinking, and strategy!

Backgammon

Known as one of the oldest board games, going as far back as 5,000 years ago, this game involves strategy and luck. The objective is to be the first player to move all fifteen checkers off the board. This set includes the board game, which can be folded into a case for travel, two dice with cups, and all checker pieces. Backgammon helps improve cognitive skills, reduce stress, and simply be a game for lots of fun!

Modern Board Games

You might find that some senior citizens will not be as open to trying these more modernized board games; however, they too have many benefits, just like the classics. First and foremost, they are new. This means that senior citizens will have to learn the concept of these newer games, which is great for improving their logical thinking, problem-solving, and creative planning skills. 

Most modernized games take on similar concepts as those from the past, but they bring a new spin on them. Often they are more abstract, creative, inclusive, and well-themed. So, below we have chosen a few popular, modernized games that are perfect for senior citizens to play. They will surely keep everyone on their toes with many surprises to come! 

Cranium

One of the best parts of the Cranium board game is the diverse subjects that are included. It challenges players’ creativity and helps build language skills, fine motor skills, and logical thinking. It is a game made for everyone! This game’s goal is to be the first player to get around the board and reach Cranium Central. That is the purple area in the middle of the game board. Your team (that’s right, team!) will then finish the final activity to call victory!

Ticket to Ride

This railroad-themed game is played on a board representing railways in the United States. There are many versions available that make it more fun for all people, including senior citizens. Essentially, players will want to claim train routes, and they gather points based on the length of the railway routes that are obtained and if the railways can connect to distant cities. This game builds on strategy, logic, and critical thinking skills. 

Rummikub

Loosely based on two popular games, Mahjong and Rummy, this game also requires strategic and critical thinking skills. The game’s objective is to be the first player to get all of their tiles off the rack or until no player can make a valid play. The board is always set to challenge players to adjust their tiles. Numbers and tiles are combined in this modern-day game. It will bring a smile to any senior’s face with the combination of two common favorites!

Catan

This game has become an increasingly popular modern-day game. To play, players create settlements, and they gain points based on growth, holdings, and resources. The concept is similar to the Monopoly as it also focuses on strategic thinking in economic terms. There are different versions, but all have the same concept. Catan continues to grow in popularity as it is easy to learn and play for all ages, and seniors will appreciate the concept. 

Sorry! 

Do you often say “Sorry!” as you are working to beat your opponents? This game makes it fun! Race against your opponents, bump them out of the way, and slide up into your home space all while saying “Sorry!” right before you win. This game can include up to four players for a perfect socializing game. Any senior will enjoy this modern-day board game!

Boggle 

Does your favorite senior love word games? Boggle would be the perfect game for them then! The game’s objective is for players to search for words that are approximately four letters or more. The player with the highest scoring points for their listed words in three minutes is deemed the winner! It’s similar to a combination of a word search and scrabble, all in one. It’s also the perfect game for improving vocabulary skills, time management, and memory skills. 

Apples to Apples

Have you ever heard of comparing apples to apples? This board game does just that! Each round, a player will draw a red description card, and the player that shares the best comparison with the green communal card will win that round. The goal is to be the player with the most comparisons. This game is fun for all ages and can be played with up to ten players. 

It is perfect for socialization, abstract thought, creativity, and just simple fun!

Telestrations

Back in the old days, we had the game Telephone. Now? Telestrations is the revised version of Telephone but with drawings! With this pack, there are over 1,700 words or phrases that could be used. One player starts with the word or phrase they landed on, and the game will continue from there. No drawing talent is required, just some fun! 

The goal is to see if everyone can get on the “same page” and guess the correct word – good luck!

Risk

A game filled with military strategy, engaging battle, and conquering enemies. Risk is a game that requires critical and strategic thinking throughout in order to defeat the enemies in your territory. There are four different ways to play this game depending on what all of the players are interested in – whether it be Classic, Two-player, Secret Mission, or Capital. Either way, the goal is to eliminate your opponents and occupy every territory. 

Risk uses similar concepts to the game Battleship with its strategic ideas. Therefore, it makes it perfect for senior citizens who want to play a modernized version of that. 

Qwirkle

If you are looking for a quick and easy game to learn, then this is the one for you! 

This game is perfect for improving tactical thinking and strategic planning. The concept is similar to Scrabble, so it starts off with every player drawing their hand of six tiles, then the player with the most tiles in common, whether it be shape or color, will be gaining the most points. The points will be calculated at the end of the game once all of the tiles have been placed. Simple, fun, and ready for anyone!

Spontuneous

A song game! Spontuneous is a unique game that gets everybody singing. Don’t worry – singing talent is not required! To play, all you have to do is write down several Trigger Words for your Hit List. The first player that sings at least five words from your trigger list advances on the board. This is a never-before-seen game. 

Seniors will relish in learning some new hits and singing old favorites. This game will help build confidence, improve memory as you try to remember all of your favorite songs and more, and be a fun game for everyone! 

Conclusion

There are plenty of great board games – new or old – that will definitely bring a smile to any senior citizen’s face. There are even some amazing benefits, including:

  • Improving skills, such as strategy, tactics, vocabulary, and more.
  • Strengthening visual cortex, motor function, frontal lobe functioning, and so forth. 
  • Bringing lots of fun and smiles to everyone!

The industry has made many changes in board games throughout the years, especially when it comes to concepts and themes. But one thing remains the same: the never-ending fun that they bring! This list serves as a great starting point for your favorite seniors. 

Sources

Ruth

Hey there, my name is Ruth, I'm in my late fifties. My life was turned upside down a few years ago as I experienced a burn-out. But I saw it as a sign that something had to change in my life. I'm happy I used this tough experience as a stepping stone. I now feel happier than ever and hope to inspire you to do the same, no matter how old you are.

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