FUN OUTDOOR GAMES FOR SENIORS

fun outdoor games for seniors

INTRO

Today I'm sharing something a little different as we come out of lockdown and social isolation and start seeing our families again. A lot of us have been desperately waiting to see our adult kids and our grandchildren, but there's the other people in our lives who we're also finally able to spend some time with - our parents.

Getting together as an extended family is back on the agenda again if we're careful about looking after each other and with the weather being so lovely it's the perfect opportunity to spend some time outside in a park - plenty of fresh air and sunshine and the space to still keep ourselves safe. I have a collaborative guest post today on some great ideas for games  for the whole family to participate in after we've shared a meal and caught up on the family news.

FUN OUTDOOR GAMES FOR SENIORS

Games are fun for all ages. While the type of game differs with each stage of life, there’s always something to do that will be enjoyable.

WHY PLAY OUTDOOR GAMES?

Seniors benefit greatly from spending time outdoors:

Nature boosts energy.

It improves immune system functioning.

Seniors feel better mentally and physically.

The sun provides healthy vitamins C and D.

Increases quality of life for seniors.

This is why it’s a good idea to encourage your older loved one to spend more time outside.

OUTDOOR GAMES SENIORS WILL ENJOY

The following are some of the best outdoor games seniors will enjoy.

Card Games

Bring the indoor classic card games outside. Set up a small table with chairs or play on a park bench. As long as you can hold the cards and have somewhere to place the remaining cards, you can play a card game. 

Fun Outdoor Games for Seniors

Not sure what card game to play? Here are some options:
  • Gin Rummy
  • Rummy
  • Go Fish
  • Crazy 8s
You can also purchase card games for specific games like Phase 10 and Uno. If your older loved one is able to and interested, learning a new game is highly beneficial to their cognitive health.

Board Games

Similarly to card games, there are many board games that would be fun outside. Checkers or Chess are two great examples. All you would need is a small table and chairs.

Tag

Yes, tag. This game is often played when you’re a child, but it’s highly beneficial for seniors with limited mobility. Not only can it be fun to play tag with grandchildren, but it’s also exercise! Just think of all the memories made when chasing your grandchildren as they shriek and laugh.

Can’t walk or run to play tag? No problem. A mobility scooter or power wheelchair can help keep you moving. These mobility devices are portable, so you can take them wherever you go especially if you have various types of handicap scooter accessories to assist you.

Catch

Playing catch is another fun and beneficial game to play as a senior. Catching a ball involves many skills, such as balance and hand-eye coordination. It’s also a good way to reconnect with the person you’re playing with because chatting while playing catch can make the time spent together more fun.

One way to make this more fun is to see how far apart you can get from the person playing. For example, start very close to one another and then every time the ball is caught, take a step back. If someone doesn’t catch it, you can either start over from the beginning distance or just step back in one step.

Again, seniors don’t have to be on their feet for this one. It’s possible to sit in a scooter or wheelchair and throw the ball from a seated position.

Horseshoes

This classic game is fun for all ages, which means seniors can enjoy it with their adult children and grandchildren. Horseshoes involve throwing horseshoes towards stakes in the ground. If you get it around the stake, you get a point. Usually, people play up to a certain number of points.

Cornhole

Similar to horseshoes but with bean bags, this game involves having two boards with a hole on each one. Place a board opposite the other one a good distance apart. Each person receives three beanbags. Taking turns, each person tries to get the beanbag into the hole on the board.

Bocce Ball

This game dates back to the Romans! The concept is to throw metal balls towards the bocce ball to get it as close as possible. The person with the balls closest to the bocce ball wins.

Fun Outdoor Games for Seniors

Ladder

Ladder requires some setup but it’s fun once it’s ready. Each person gets two strings with a ball on each end. There’s a plastic or wooden ladder type of set up opposite of the player a few feet away. The idea is to throw the string and wrap it around the ladder bar. Points are awarded every time someone wraps their string around a bar.

OUTDOOR FUN FOR SENIORS IS POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE

Many people don’t believe they go outside and play outdoor games because of their limited mobility. As mentioned above, limited mobility should NOT stand in your way of enjoying yourself outside.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you able to spend time with the family again? Are you loving being able to see your parents as well as the kids and grandkids? I know my Mum and MIL were both happy to see the family again once the restrictions lifted enough to allow visits. It's certainly made me appreciate getting together with the extened clan and having some fun together.

RELATED POSTS


Some great ideas for fun outdoor games that the extended family can all participate in.
Some great ideas for fun outdoor games that the extended family can all participate in.

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26 comments

  1. I've never heard of some of these games - well, apart from horshoes and bocce, that is. Any activity outdoors has to be beneficial & even more so if it involves play...and a little healthy competition...

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    1. Hi Jo - I love that there's so much variety - because we all have different levels of physical stamina - so it means there's something for everyone - even our little grandgirls enjoy it when we bring out the bocce balls.

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  2. Don’t forget 1-2-3-RED LIGHT! Though maybe that is a USA game but it was fun and easy to cheat all in good fun. Swinging statues also (though players not as agile and a bit older may want to just watch) ...

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    1. Great suggestions Luisa - I'm going to google them and keep them in mind for our next extended family catch up.

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  3. It's great to keep the mind and body active all through our lives. I haven't heard of some of these games but of course I know Tag, Checkers and Chess. When we were first married we were living in a unit saving for our first house and had friends in a block of units over the road. We used to get together a lot, taking turns to host dinner. After dinner we would play cards or Trivial Pursuit. When we played cards it mostly used to be Canasta. I can't even remember how to play it now! My Mum meets with a group of other senior every Friday and they play Bridge.

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    1. Hi Min - I used to play more games too back before we had kids. Then there was all the "kiddie" game era and now we're starting to resurrect a few when we get together with the kids after a meal. I love the connection and conversations that playing games together bring about.

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  4. Hi Leanne - This is such an exhaustive list. I haven't heard of some. It's so important to be out with the nature. And sport and games can be a very entertaining way being with the nature.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - I loved that the list was comprehensive too - lots of choice for different ages and physical capabilities. It's so important to not give up playing as we get older isn't it?

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  5. Great thinking..I have just bought a few new outdoor games for the grandkids...one is totem tennis and a new basketball. Itching to do some passes..must get husband to be my partner. Denyse

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    1. Hi Denyse - our grandgirls love their version of bocce and I bought one of them totem soccer - with a soccer ball to kick instead of a tennis ball to hit - much easier than having to go next door to retrieve a lost ball!

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  6. Hi, Leanne- I hadn't heard of some of these games. I LOVE the idea of being outdoors and of learning something new (as long as its fun and easy) at the same time! Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Donna - some were new to me too - or I knew they were played in the US (like corn hole) I loved that there was lots of variety to choose from and to get inspired to try out a few.

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  7. Great suggestions! We had a multi-generational game of bocce this summer and everyone loved it!

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    1. We used to always play bocce on Christmas Day at my in-laws' house Michele and really enjoyed the fact that everyone could participate (I don't think I ever won a game though!)

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  8. Some great games here with some new ones thrown in. I like the sound of ladders for something a bit different. Our family game is Kubb (a Swedish game) and our daughter even played it at her wedding - the boys versus the girls - a a great hit with them all in their finery! I can't wait till my grandkids are older to play some of these with them.

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    1. My brother-in-law has become a bit of woodwork guru in his later life Deb and one of his first projects was to make a Kubb set (or two) and the family often lines up for a game if we're out for a picnic somewhere.

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  9. Leanne, Games for the entire family is always a good idea and especially now, as we are able to get together again. Our two-year-old throws and catches better than I can. Plus it tires them out. Badminton and Bocce balls are winners for us. You are right, how we can even play cards outside. My daughters and their families have been bringing their own picnic blankets over. Thank you for sharing some great and timely ideas. (Summer for us, here)🙂

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    1. Hi Erica - yes, I thought these ideas were perfect for those going into Summer, but also for those of us in Australia where we often have quite balmy days during Winter and need something to tempt us outdoors. Our grandgirls are getting the hang of bocce and throwing and kicking balls - it's lovely watching them develop their skills isn't it?

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  10. These are really fabulous ideas Leanne. My parents in law would love them. As they're aging I see them becoming more reluctant to go out, and these ideas would encourage some outdoor activity which would benefit their health.

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    1. Hi Christina - I love that these are multi-generational and fun for any of the family who's prepared to participate. It's all about getting some sunshine and fresh air and having a bit of a distraction to lure us outside.

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  11. This is a great post. I missed my outdoor play with the grandchildren when we were all in lockdown. I also noticed my fitness levels declined. It's so good to have them back now. We play lots of hide and seek, I also push them around in their outdoor cars which is good strength exercise and pushing on swings. Sometimes it's just nice to lie on the grass and look at the clouds.

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  12. I can't imagine my mum playing outdoor games as she's more of an indoors person though doesn't mind gardening and stuff. When she was younger (in her 50s or so) she and dad used to play with my niece a lot though but as she got older and she had knee and hip replacements her options were far more limited.

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    1. PS. Realise I'm assuming 'seniors' mean 70s+!!!

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  13. I love outdoor games. We recently got a corn hole set. Looking forward to some fierce competition this summer!

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  14. Hi again, most disappointingly our grandkids have had their visits postponed by me. I am concerned about not catching even a cold before my surgery next week and it was in these school hols we were planning for them to come up. I even bought games..never mind, they will last!! Thank you so much for linking up for Life This Week. Next week, the optional prompt is "whatever you choose" because I am focussing on Head and Neck Cancer: 29/51 Your Choice. Mine is: World Head & Neck Cancer Day. 20.7.2020. Hope to see you there. Take care, Denyse.

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  15. Bocce is a family fave for us. From ages 5 to 105 , we love a good game of family bocce. Any age is competitive.

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.