5 Classic Games Improve Senior Brain Health

senior brain health

Classic games are fun for seniors

Games are perfect for a relaxing visit with your older adult. Some are great for groups, like when grandkids visit, and others are ideal for quality one-on-one time.


Games are great for senior brain health

Don’t underestimate the health benefits of playing games! They improve senior brain health by encouraging different ways of thinking — strategy, keeping track of things, and math.

Plus, simply having fun with other people keeps seniors happily engaged in life and avoids the health dangers of senior isolation.


Games encourage family and friend visits

Some family and friends might avoid visiting because they feel awkward when they don’t know what to say or do.

Playing a game together is a great way to take the pressure off forced conversation. It gives everyone a chance to get to know each other better through a shared activity.


5 games that seniors (and you!) will love

1. Checkers
Try this $21 large size soft board with easy-grip pieces and tic-tac-toe on the back or this basic $7 set.

2. Bingo
Home bingo sets aren’t as nice as professional ones, but it’s a fun game. Try this $50 set with wood balls or this $19 set with plastic balls.

  • DailyCaring tip 1: Trace the letters and numbers on the balls with a permanent marker if they’re too hard to read.
  • DailyCaring tip 2: You can buy extra bingo cards and use regular markers instead of those little plastic chips to mark the spaces.

You could also play for free by using a free online bingo caller and printing your own bingo cards (choose “one numeric bingo card per page” for the largest size).

3. Connect Four
This is a vertical tic-tac-toe game that’s fun for young and old. Here’s the $10 original Hasbro game (the construction is more flimsy these days, ah well).

4. Yahtzee
Yahtzee is a fun dice game that keeps the brain sharp. Here is a $10 version from Hasbro.

You could also play for free by buying some dice, printing your own score cards (PDF), and following the official game rules (PDF).

5. Card games
Card games are great because you can make them simple or complex.

Here are instructions for a variety of card games, in order from easiest to most challenging:


Bottom line

Fun games are a great way to keep seniors happy, engaged in life, and exercising their brains. They also help visitors feel more at ease and allow closer relationships to develop.

It’s also a smart strategy to get family and friends to come over more often. After all, “Come over for game night!” sounds a lot more fun than “You should really visit Dad more.”


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: About Parenting


You might also like:
Free Large Print Crossword Puzzles for Seniors
Beautiful Coloring Books for Seniors
Activities for Seniors: Jigsaw Puzzles!


  • Reply September 1, 2018

    Julia mccrobie

    Thanks for wonderful suggestions

    • Reply September 1, 2018


      You’re very welcome! So glad this is helpful ❤️

  • Reply April 6, 2018

    Melinda Triplett

    My senior program for lunch plays a game called Nutro that is similar to bingo but uses food items. Can you tell me where to order a new one as the old one is wearing out and we really need a replacement.

    • Reply April 6, 2018


      The game “Nutro” doesn’t come up in any Google search, so it may be better to use the information printed on the box or instructions to find the manufacturer name and try searching for that in Google. I did find a number of DIY printables related to food bingo games by searching Google with the keywords “food bingo for adults” or “food bingo game printable” (don’t use the quotation marks when searching). I hope you find something great, it sounds like a fun game!

  • Reply February 10, 2018

    Bobbie Caleb

    Starting back in this field of work and enjoy a good website I can go too.

  • […] DailyCaring.com mentioned that having a game night is a great way to get family and friends together. They said that it’s easier to do that than say “You should really visit Dad more.” Below are a few ideas for games, but you can play whatever you’d like. Just remember to keep it fun and challenging, but not too challenging. […]

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