fun exercise games for elderly

Sit down games for senior citizens

Games. We all love them- they’re tons of fun, engaging, and stress-relieving.

Now, for the seniors in our hands, games have loads of extra benefits- they’re isolation and loneliness killers, memory boosters, brain sharpeners…….you name it.

The best part? There is a great deal of games your loved one can play while sitting if they’re unable to engage in physical outdoor games such as minigolf, bocceball, or croquet due to physical limitations.

To help you choose a fun and creative game your elderly mommy or daddy can enjoy from the comfort of their sofa, check out the exciting sit down games for senior citizens below.

Sit down games for senior citizens

Sit down games for senior citizens

Here are some entertaining and imaginative sit down games for senior citizens your loved one can play comfortably:

#1- Cup stacking game

A really simple but absorbing game, your dear one will stack paper cups into pyramids on a flat, smooth surface.

If playing with them, each of you starts with three piles (each having three cups).

The goal for is for both of you is to separate your cups then stack them to build a pyramid and finally unstuck them, returning the cups to the original pile as fast as possible.

To make it more interesting, you can challenge him/her to make new stacking patterns while timing them.

Potential benefits: This game helps improve a senior’s hand-eye coordination. In addition, your parent is likely to start making swifter reflexes.

#2- Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a smart way to keep your beloved senior occupied and entertained for hours.

And the good news is that there are specially designed full size/large print crossword puzzles that are easy to read for seniors with age-related vision problems.

You can also surprise them with a gift of large print puzzle books such as this for a daily dose of easy puzzles.

Potential benefits: Apart from keeping your parent’s minds active and sharp, studies have shown that such brain exercises preserve and even improves cognitive abilities in seniors.

#3- Board games

Many seniors have played board games such as Backgammon, Chess, and Trivial Pursuit their entire lives and continuing with this familiar route will enhance their spirits and activate fond memories. 

Select senior-specific versions of their favorite board games such as the Large Print Scrabble, Large folding chessboard, etc.

Also consider introducing him to other popular senior-friendly board games like Ticker to Ride and Hive (played almost like chess). 

Potential benefits: Board games are another brilliant way to improve mental agility and alertness in older adults. Plus, your elderly friend will grow a stronger bond with their grandchildren or whoever they’re competing with.

#4- Musical Ball (for teams of seniors)

If your elderly parent has always been passionate about ball related games, introduce them to the musical ball game.

Make no mistake: It’s not a complicated game- he and fellow players sit down preferably in a circle, and simply pass around a giant beach ball.

To time the activity and award scores, you or a caregiver plays a song that the seniors recognize from the iPod or smartphone- this is the cue for them to start passing the ball.

Points are awarded to the elder with the beach ball when the song stops and the winner will be the senior who has accumulated the lowest score at the end.

Potential benefits: Sure, it’s not as effective as outdoor ball games but it still gives your aged relative and their friends a good muscle workout!

#5- Good old card games

Another great way to pass time is to invite your grandpa or grandma to have a go at his favorite card game.

Card games such as the Classic Go Fish and Super Jumbo Playing Cards (or alternative card games like Crazy Eights contained in this value card games pack) , are super easy and inexpensive.

Most importantly, any elderly person can play cards because they don’t need tanks of energy to play.

Potential benefits:  Card games are easy so most seniors tend to score good wins. The sense of accomplishment does a world of good to their self-esteem and general happiness.

#6- Dice Sit down games for senior citizens

Played solo or in tiny groups, dice games are also thrilling and quite versatile!

You retired sibling can choose to try the Match ‘Em Up Dice , Add ‘Em Up Dice, Poker Hand Dice, and more – they’re all straightforward but greatly  pleasurable.

Dice games can be played even by seniors in the early stages of dementia (or Alzheimer’s disease) so long as they have the dexterity needed to roll (and handle) the dice. 

Note that for seniors who are visually impaired, you should look for large dice games.

Potential benefits:  Besides offering a great opportunity for social bonding, these games are a fantastic cognitive exercise for elderly people.

#7- Balloon game

This game is for a group of seniors too.

The caregiver draws a smiley face (or anything else funny) on a balloon.

Next, the playing seniors sit again in a circle.

If you’re the helper, begin to play some music. The players should now start to pass the balloon to each around the circle.

Here is the amusing part: whoever has the balloon when you halt the music- you should stop it randomly- must NOT smile for 10 seconds (at least).

If they do, they’re forced to exit the circle.

The last senior standing wins the game!

Potential benefits:  This game is good for laughs and also helpswork some body muscles reasonably.

#8- Games apps and Online Games

With the emergence of easy-to-use, seniors-centric smartphones, more elders have joined the digital games bandwagon.

Indeed, there is an infinite pool of games available on both iOS and Android devices and all you have to do is to identify one that he/she finds stimulating and let them indulge! 

Even for those still a bit apprehensive about smartphones, it’s easy to find fun to play games online from the laptop (AARP’s website has some amazing games).

Potential benefits:  Depending on the game, your older buddy will improve his/her cognitive abilities, reduce the risk of developing depression, enhance their memory, etc.

Tip: Spending hours gazing at the screen can be harmful to the eyes and you should encourage your aged friend to play offline games as well.


Admittedly, there are dozens of satisfying and beautiful sit down games for senior citizens out there so take the options in this list as just a starting point.

You can even invent your own simple games to play with your elderly relative with a bit of creativity.

Folks do it and it’s not even costly- search the web for ideas.

Either way, inspire your loved one to play always- it will do them a world of good.

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