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Board and Card Games for Your Next Game Night

Posted on 
April 29, 2024

You’ve probably heard that playing board and card games is good for cognitive function, mental clarity and memory retention, but do you know about the benefits they provide for aging and development? Board and card games are the perfect activity to bring together a group of friends any time of year and a great way to stay mentally engaged. Below, we've compiled a list of the best senior-friendly games to try at your next game night.

Board Games

If you’re looking to spice up your next game night, board games offer the perfect blend of fun and camaraderie. Whether you’re a trivia enthusiast or just playing for laughs, there's something for everyone. Check out our selection of top picks guaranteed to stimulate excitement and friendly competition.

  • Trivial Pursuit - Generations puts a new spin on the classic trivia game, with each card featuring five generation-specific questions in one of six categories. From historical events to modern pop culture, it offers an engaging way for seniors to reminisce while staying mentally sharp. This version also features larger cards with easy-to-read text, making them easier for aging eyes to read and enjoy gameplay.
  • Aggravation revives the classic marble race game with a vintage design featuring retro artwork. The simple rules provide straightforward gameplay that appeals to all skill levels, while the excitement of the chase offers a fun way for seniors to unwind and bond with fellow residents. It’s a timeless favorite guaranteed to whip up some friendly competition and foster social interaction.
  • Really Loud Librarians is a fast-paced, word-shouting game that promises to increase everyone’s noise level as they turn useless knowledge into points. This game is the liveliest choice on our list and accommodates larger groups looking for endless entertainment. Players draw category cards and shout out words matching the category that begin with the letters on the racetrack. Categories have varying difficulty levels, keeping each round lively.
  • Chronology lets you take a trip down memory lane to see if you remember the order in which things occurred in history. Gameplay can turn hilarious because you must decide which came first, between a memorable historical event and a decidedly unmemorable one. Which came first, JFK’s first inaugural address or the bikini? Seniors may appreciate revisiting pivotal moments from the past and the hilarity of figuring these things out.

How Do These Board Games Benefit Aging and Development in Seniors?

Board games benefit aging and development in seniors by providing cognitive stimulation through memory and problem-solving challenges. Trivia-based games like Trivial Pursuit and Chronology help keep your mind sharp, while Aggravation and Really Loud Librarians keep the laughter coming. All these games promote social interaction, reducing loneliness and supporting overall well-being. Board games can even provide light physical activity and help you maintain dexterity.

Card Games

Get ready to shuffle the deck and deal a round of fun for your next game night. We’ve rounded up some card games that offer strategic challenges and endless entertainment. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, these card games are sure to keep the good times rolling.

  • Up the River is a fast-paced trick-taking card game where players bid on how many tricks they can win as the hand sizes increase each round. This game requires a considerable amount of strategic thinking because even with bad cards, you can still score if you bid correctly. Seniors may enjoy the excitement of the quick rounds and close calls making their bid.
  • Down the River plays like Up the River, except hand sizes decrease each round. For example, when playing with five players, each player gets 10 cards in the first round. Cards dealt decrease by one each round until you only get one card in the final round. Like Up the River, you bid on how many tricks you think you can take each round and get a bonus if you hit your bid. You can actually combine both and play Up and Down the River, starting with one card and working up to 10, then going back down to one.
  • Bridge is a classic trick-taking game that requires you to play with a partner using a standard 52-card deck. Two teams work together to bid on the number of tricks they believe they can win combined out of the 13 cards dealt. Teams attempt to win the exact number of tricks they bid on in a given round. Bridge remains a favorite among older adults and is often played in organized club settings in Independent Living communities.
  • Pinochle is another popular trick-taking game requiring two teams of two players working together. In some versions of the game, players use an 80-card deck, and bidding takes place through an auction, with the highest bidder choosing the trump suit. Players win points from tricks and combinations of cards in hand called melds. In some Pinochle games, you start with 20 cards, so keeping track of what’s been played makes this card game even more mentally stimulating.

How Do These Card Games Benefit Aging and Development in Seniors?

Each of the card games above benefits aging and development in seniors by providing cognitive stimulation through memory and strategy. The additional complexity of Bridge and Pinochle further challenges seniors mentally to help prevent cognitive decline. Like board games, card games also foster social interaction and promote overall well-being through laughter and entertainment.

Falcons Landing offers a wide variety of activities and services. If you have a favorite activity or game that you think would be great to add and engage with fellow residents, you can always talk to our Community Life team and we will work with you to add to our calendar of events, based on availability and interest!  Book your tour today to learn more about the Falcons Difference and how we serve those in our community.

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