The Two Best Word Games for a Group

Word games are a great “fill-in” activity and can really get an Alzheimer’s group engaged, happy and working together.  Staff can also play as they are going about their daily routine.  I have tried many different games and always go back to my two old favorites. (see each described below)  Even if your loved one with Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, has little or no language, these games can still be beneficial.  Sometimes I will plan ahead and have a few pictures of possible words and then I ask my less talkative participants to hold up the picture for the group as a prompt. (I may have a picture of a plum, plaid fabric or a pair of pliers, for instance for “PR”.)  There is always a way to involve everyone and make each feel important!  Play these with the grandchildren too.



Words That Start With….

It’s simple.  Pick a prefix such
as “PL”, “ST”, “CH”, or “BR” and write it on your white board. Then make a list!  Do it in even columns to avoid confusion
and make sure you keep repeating the phrase, “Give
me a word that starts with
“PL”.  I have even used two letters like “MA” or a single letter to make it easier.
Have a dictionary close by
(Yes, an actual dictionary!)
and ask someone to look up
a word that is hard to spell. Remember, they didn’t have spell check or cell phones in
the old days!  It helps to have your own list of possible words so that you can give clues and prompts if necessary.  For instance, for the word “plum”, you might say, “a purple fruit”.



This game is similar to
Words That Start With(above) except you name a category as well.  So you may choose the letter “A” and ask the participants to give a woman’s name starting with “A”.  Everyone usually yells out at once (“Ava, Amanda, Anna and so on) and you just have to write quickly.  I have found that it doesn’t work to have them call out answers one at a time so do your best.  Write the answers small or use two boards if you have them because it is amazing at how many words they can come up with!


 1. Woman’s Name
 2. City, State or Country
 3. Food or Beverage
 4. Household Item
 5. Article of Clothing
 6. Man’s Name
 7. Animal, Bird or Insect
 8. Occupation
 9.  Flower, Plant or Tree
10. Game or Toy

Additional categories:
          – Emotions
          – Body Parts