The Greatest Gift Could Simply be a Game

As a family, we play an awful lot of games at our gatherings, whether it’s a quick quiz, a game of rummy or a long and drawn out evening of Monopoly. These evenings are often loud and rambunctious because we are all very competitive and noisy people. We each have a huge variety of games in our individual homes and I can even boast that we own a personalised Monopoly game kindly gifted by my well-travelled son.

Now, I don’t know if my family are particularly normal with their obsession for shouting out answers or gesticulating wildly because it’s not really something that comes up in conversation with outsiders.   All I know is, it’s something that we, as a family, do and I don’t imagine it’s likely to end anytime soon because the next generation is all equally enamoured!

Whilst secretly scouting out the latest options for this year’s pressie swapping frenzy, I got to thinking about how beneficial our games are; they give a focus to our gatherings and ensure that the conversation flows. Plus if game playing really keeps our ageing brains active then it must be good for other seniors too.

Of course, I then began to think that a wide variety of different games would be ideal, to alleviate boredom and to provide different kinds of brain stimulation and ended up compiling a list of the absolute best games to play if you want to keep your mental acuity into old age.

Why not compile a list of great games that you can play with your favourite senior, and remember that they don’t all have to be multi-player games. These are a few of my top choices:

CARD GAMES – There are literally hundreds so this is a severely edited list:

  • Rummy
  • Poker
  • Canasta
  • Bridge
  • Whist
  • Go Fish
  • Patience


  • Scrabble
  • Boggle
  • Tongue Twister
  • Who/What/Where is in the Bag
  • Buzzword
  • Pass the Bomb
  • Balderdash
  • Pictionary
  • Upword
  • Taboo
  • Crosswords
  • Word Search


  • Rummikub
  • Sudoku
  • Dominos
  • Bingo


  • Monopoly
  • Cluedo
  • Chess
  • Backgammon
  • Battleships
  • Draughts
  • Risk
  • Cranium


  • Best of British
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Logo
  • Who Knows Where
  • The Chase
  • Scattergories


Most of the games that I have mentioned are multi-player because those are the games that I enjoy but there are single player games which are great for stimulating the little grey cells and, let’s face it, any brain activity is better than none if you are short of opponents.

There are lots of online games too which could help your loved one keep their brain busy, particularly if they lack people to play with. A tablet or similar portable device could make a great gift, particularly if you preload lots of game apps that will amuse for hours. They are easy to carry around and there are loads of different games available to allow for a bit of variety.