Article - The Games People Play
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Some people think playing games is a waste of time. The truth is that board games, card games and strategy games provide all kinds of benefits, no matter how old you are. Children learn structure, rules and patience through playing games. As we get older, games can provide a vehicle for stress relief as well as a way to develop common interests across generations. For seniors and for persons with disabilities, playing games provide important opportunities to socialize, practice math skills and recharge memory pathways.
Playing games can mean more than a night out with friends. Some researchers believe that playing strategy games also stimulates a part of the brain that supports the immune system. Other health professionals have found links between strategic game playing and creative thinking skills that help people adapt to the physical changes that come with progressive diseases.
Did you ever think that having fun would be good for your health? The staff at Dynamic Living has some products, tips and ideas to help get you started.
Schedule some fun!
Designate one night a month or more to be game night. If you can do it, it's a great excuse to get out of your home.
If you plan this event with friends or family you can rotate who selects the game, who brings the snacks and whose home it will be in.
Senior centers, community centers and churches often host monthly events for the community. For a very modest fee, you may find bingo, bridge tournaments and a circle of new friends.
If you cannot get out, then you can host the evening. But be sure to let others help with the preparations and refreshments.
Simple games can be complex too.
Many of the games we played as children have more sophisticated rules and variations than we may remember. Some can be played tournament style, making the game more competitive and exciting.
Dominoes is a simple table game where you match patterns on tiles, making it a perfect cross generational game. Their brick-like shape allows you to 'build' with them or line them up to knock them down in an interesting pattern. This is called Domino Tumbling, which some people have taken to the level of being an art form! For people who have low vision, there are larger Domino sets with Braille, as well as sets with bigger dots or colors instead of dots.
Checkers has been around for centuries. It's a strategic game with as many variations in the rules as there are families that play the game. Checker boards can vary from travel size to oversized with a carpet playing board. The pieces that come with this carpet board are significantly larger than standard checkers, making them easier to see and pick up. You'll find this game played in nursery schools and nursing homes.
SCRABBLE® is a board game that tests your mettle for fitting words crossword-style onto a board. Smooth tiles were created for SCRABBLE® competitions so that players cannot cheat when selecting tiles. These championship tiles provided an opportunity to make tiles with bigger letters. You can also find SCRABBLE® tiles in yellow which is easier to see for players who have macular degeneration.
Just for Laughs.
Some board games are designed specifically for social situations and often include lots of laughter. If social situations are awkward, you can use games to pass the time and eliminate the need for small talk. If players have special needs or time is short, you can adapt the rules to create "house rules" specific to the situation.
Senior Moments is a new game that is designed to test your memory skills. The objective of the game is to find your missing keys so you can advance to the 'Win' space in the center of the board. In order to advance your piece, you must remember items from a list read to you by another player. You may notice an improvement in your short term memory skills even after only one round of play!
Reminiscing is "The Game for People Over Thirty (and the younger people they let play.)". Players earn points by answering trivia questions or telling stories from their past. Questions are organized by decade and might be about anything from politics to pop culture.
When visiting an elderly neighbor or a friend in the hospital bring along a compact game, like a deck of cards. Playing cards are available with bigger numbers for people who have low vision.
From classic games like bridge to the latest craze like The Sudoku numbers game, playing with others allows us time to unwind and simply enjoy spending time together. Other benefits, like improving your health and developing strategic thinking skills are nice byproducts, but the main goal is having fun! Have you spent some time playing a game today?
Dynamic Living is not associated with Hasbro, Inc., which owns the SCRABBLE® trademarks and copyrights in the United States and Canada.
© Copyright 2006 Dynamic Living, Inc.
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