Word Games and Puzzles
Puzzles – Early to middle stage: Choose a theme, such as presidents, a map of America, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, or common flowers. Next, select images for the theme and the respective name, such as George Washington or tennis. Demonstrate how to put the pieces together and then let the participant do one. Middle to advanced stages: Find a jigsaw puzzle with up to 25 large pieces or three-piece puzzles in which the participant spells a word and that word is what the image represents.
Make a puzzle: First, make a copy of a photo or image. Next, with scissors cut copy of photo or image into 4 or 5 pieces to create a puzzle. Tell the participant to help you put the pieces together to make that photo or image.
Tetris game – Early to advanced stage dementia. Low function will sort the shapes of colors.
Word games – Making words (for example, names, seasons, sports, or flowers) from Junior Scrabble or letter tiles (Scrabble tiles) is great for early-stage dementia.
Missing letters – The object of this game is to find the letters missing from the word using letter tiles (from Scrabble or Bananagrams games). Choose a theme, such as tools, sweet treats, flowers, sports, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. Select photos or clip art that depicts items from that theme, for instance, Tools: hammer, wrench, screwdriver. Print photos on paper with the associated words next to them. Replace a few letters from each word with a space. Add more spaces to increase the difficulty level. For lower-functioning participants, lay out only the tiles for the letters that are missing. For more challenge, lay out a large number of letter tiles.
Letter tiles spelling a list of words – For early stage of dementia, a list of words (Presidents or States words or Springtime words) – search the internet for a list of words.
For middle to advanced staged of dementia – have them find words with A, B, C’s on flash cards or sing A,B,C,D … and find the respectful letters.