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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dice games for those with dementia

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In December, we celebrate Dice day.Why not take some suggestions from this article

Large dice are a useful tool when it comes to designing and playing games with those who have dementia. This is particularly true if the person or persons in question liked to play games using dice before they had this
There are several things you should keep in mind before and during the designing and playing of dice games or any games for that matter when it comes to people with dementia.


Although it may be fun for some to have winners and losers, it is best not to emphasize this, but rather the fun of the game complimenting those who try their best to play.


Also introduce one game at time. Then play this game for several weeks before trying another similar game. If the games are quite a bit different, you may be able to introduce more than one at a time. Always follow the KISS rule. That is keep it as simple as possible.


You should you play dice games for several reasons Dice games are fun. Dice games have been played for years. Thus many people with dementia find dice games familiar. Familiar is always good when you are doing something with those who have dementia.
Dice games are extremely versatile. Some dice games rely on luck, and some use skill and planning. Some games use a combination of both. You can find dice games to play with one player or a whole group of players. There are dice games you can play on a table or on the floor.


Dice games can be based on many things. Residents may have to be lucky, or they may have to rely on their skill and ability to plan. Residents of all ages and mental abilities can play and enjoy dice games. This is especially important because now many facilities have younger residents and with only the need for a mild suggestion, your residents will want to partake in a dice game. You can find games to play with two players or twenty players, You can play them using a table or the floor,

Dice games are mind stimulating. They are mind stimulating in obvious ways because people have to count or do quick mental addition. But they are also reinforce the concept of taking turns, keeping score, winning and losing gracefully, playing without keeping score as well as many other things.
Dice games are portable. You can always find room for a few dice in an activity cart in your pocket, on a unit for staff members to use with residents or in a resident’s room. You can “pre-package” some dice with a stack of print- outs, plain paper and pencils. Put the dice and any other necessary equipment in a resealable plastic bag or box.

Dice games are personally satisfying.. Most people love the look and feel of dice. They like the versatility of dice game and the quickness of a dice game

Dice are cheap. You probably have a number of interesting dice in existing games, and you can certainly buy more very cheaply at a dollar store. You can make your own dice using varying sizes of cardboard boxes, white paper, dark paper or other interesting material to make the dots, a scissors and glue or tape. For some ideas on how to make dice go to

Dice games are plentiful. There are so many games you can play with just one di. A simple game to use as a filler is to have each participant roll the di to see who gets the highest number. You can have more than one round where you can have a winner for each round or the scores can be cumulative where you can have a scorekeeper or the residents can keep their own score. You can do the same thing with two or three dice. You could have a list of six things to do. Each time a group member throws a certain number, he has to do what is in the list for that number. For ideas as to what to put on the list go to

Another easy dice game is to have each number represent a part of something like an animal or object. The object is divided into six parts and each part has a number. The object is for each participant to roll each number so the whole object is made. To make it more difficult, the parts must be gotten in order. You cannot get one part until you get the part before it. For an example of this go to
Since December is a holiday month, play a dice game that relates to the holidays. You can make an adapted dreydl that looks sort of like a di with Hebrew letters on it.
Using the ideas on how to make a di, instead of putting dots on it, you could put Christmas symbols on it or make it in red or green or both. 
Encourage your residents make up their own games. You can help them of course. Then play the game(s) that have been made up.
Dice games can be quick or they can take a ling time. Pick a game for your audience that matches their needs, preferences, and time allotment.

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1 comment:

Bob Strong said...

Playing games is always great for those that struggle with memory problems. I used to play dice games with my mother all the time. It is a fond memory of mine. http://zanogames.com/games/meazy-n-dice-game/