Skip to main content

Game Night

Every so often I put on my calendar a program that I simply call Game Night. I advertise it as a night that the residents can come to the auditorium and play whatever game they want to. It is a place where they can find people who might be interested in learning their favorite game, so that in the future they can get together and play.

I ask the residents to sign up for the evening and list what game(s) they are interested in playing. This helps me because I know how many tables to set up and also which games I need to bring to the event. I invite the residents to bring their game and supplies also. I also made name tags for everyone on my list, and had blanks for those "last minute Marys" that like to show up.

I had about 30 people sign up and about 30 people attend..... but not the same people that signed up showed up.... but that is typical in my community. I provide a 6ft table full of games - some that the community owns and some that I personally own.  The games included Life, Clue, Monopoly, Rummikub, Backgammon, Chess, Checkers, Cards, Phase 10 Twist, Dominoes, Yahtzee, Othello, Scrabble and others. 

The residents played bridge, Rummikub, Mexican Train Dominoes, Backgammon and a card game called PIT. What was fun was to see the residents who were prepared to learn something new, I had a table that was teaching Rummikub, one that was teaching the Mexican Train Dominoes game and another that was teaching the PIT game.  I also had a lady that took the Phase 10 Twist game home so that she could learn it. She has since come to me and told me that she is going to have a few game playing ladies over to her apartment and they are going to learn it together!

I had a resident who really wanted to play Backgammon and there was no one else interested, so I volunteered to play with him. I thought that I knew how to play the game, but it has been awhile since I played, and if I recall, was beaten by my teenage son!  Thankfully the resident was willing to teach me as we went along and as we played, I learned that he was a tournament Backgammon player! YIKES! All I can say was that if I embarrassed myself by the way I played, I was to dumb about it to even realize it! Guess that is one of the best part about the job.... being the young one in the room most of the time with lots of good senior knowledge to share with the youngster!

It was an easy night to put together and the response was very positive. I might do it more often, and I don't think that I need to be there to make it work! That is even better.

Popular posts from this blog

4 Pictures 1 Word Game for the Big Screen

Many of you who have played 4 Pictures 1 Word, know that this brain game is available as an app for your computer, tablet or phone for free. That is great, bu it does not allow a team to play and is not audience friendly if you wanted to present it at your retirement community (or other social gathering). 
After some time and effort, I made a 4 Pictures and 1 Word game  slide show that you can use in your community. I did use the app for suggestions and the Internet for the pictures. I am glad to share this with you so that you will not have to spend the hours that I did in creating this game. If you get the urge to make one also, please come back to this blog page and share it.  I played this last week with a group of about 25 independent living residents.We did not get through all of the slides due to time constraints..... but I was glad I did not run out of slides in my hour that I had their attention. I will be playing this with them again... and would love to have other slides t…

Play Music More Often

"Music is the soundtrack of your life," said Dick Clark. When you hear a song, if you are like me, it takes you back to that time in your life when you heard the song for the first time or to the occasion where you heard it. That is powerful. Can you imagine the music that our residents have heard in their lifetime? Just like the world in general, they have experienced so much and it is nice when we, as activities professionals, can take them back to the happier days, with the soundtracks from their lives.
So, the question I pose to you today is how do you find and present music to your residents? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is by way of hired professional performers. That is a given in our jobs, so in this post, I'd like to focus on a few other ways that you can bring music to your residents that they will recognize and enjoy, along with theme music for your special events.

Pandora, Amazon, (search MP3 Download then search free songs) and YouTube are pla…

Brain Games

Recently we hosted our senior Olympics program. This year we added a new event called Brain Games. I found a really good link for brain games that you should look at to understand the definition.
After looking at that link and reading through some other online material, I realized that there is a difference between training your brain and brain games. Be mindful (pun intended) that you are not qualified to train resident's brains unless you have gone to training for it. We, as activities professionals however, are very capable of playing brain games with those who are interested in our communities.
Recently, I introduced Scattergories, Apples to Apples,Wii Jeopardy,Wii Wheel of Fortune and a Name that Tune type of game.  They are fun games that required your brain, so I thought that they were Brain Games. This last game, Name that Tune, I created on my own since I could not find anything that would have been appropriate for this generation to identify with. I downloaded music from t…