It's been noted that playing games is one great way to keep an aging brain sharp. Whether you (or the senior in your life) enjoys crossword puzzles, sudokus, or something else - there are a variety of options available in unique formats, modified for seniors with special needs.
For many senior citizens, working on crossword puzzles is an enjoyable pastime. Some seniors are able to solve the crossword puzzles in daily newspapers. However, there are also a large number of folks that find those puzzles frustrating and confusing as the years go by. These seniors still love the thought of doing crossword puzzles, but need ones that are easier to solve with larger print.
There are many excellent books full of easy crossword puzzles made for adults.
- The New York Times Easy Crossword Puzzle Omnibus Vol. 1 is a collection of crosswords from the Monday edition of the paper, when the puzzles are simplest. Don't let the title fool you though, although these are easier puzzles, they're not that easy!
- The Everything Large Print Crossword Book is a collection of 150 puzzles easy puzzles for people with reduced vision. The book is 8 1/2" x 11" (standard letter paper size), and the puzzles are a tad easier to solve than what you'll find in other puzzle books.
- The Ultimate Large Print Crosswords Omnibus has 125 puzzles of medium skill level, in large print. This is a great option for anyone who gets frustrated trying to see the numbers on a crossword.
Books that contain a mixture of brainteasers and word puzzles are also popular. For a good start, download and print the attached brainteaser puzzles. When you're done with those, try these resources:
- Senior Smart Puzzles, a collection of mazes and other brain-stimulating puzzles that would make a fun gift for any occasion. Reviewers generally had positive things to say, noting that the elderly person in their lives loved the books.
- The 1940s Activity Book is loaded with information, puzzles and word searches. There is also a book for the 1930s and the 1920s. This is a great option for someone who grew up in that era, not only because of the brain-stimulating puzzles, but also because of the opportunity it provides for reminiscing.
- Large Print Cryptograms - This large print puzzle book is approved by the National Association for Visually Handicapped for its ease-of-use for those who have a hard time seeing.
If you love jigsaw puzzles but find small pieces difficult to handle, try a puzzle made for seniors with over-sized pieces. These puzzles are made for ease of handling with images that are not childish but made for adults. These puzzles are also excellent for people with reduced vision.
- Senior Store stocks several different puzzles with large pieces featuring natural and vintage images.
- Puzzle Warehouse has quite a large selection of puzzles that offer larger size pieces. Here you can find puzzles that vary in difficulty too - making it nice for the senior who wants a challenge mentally, but cannot handle the tiny pieces of a several-hundred-piece puzzle.
Soduku is a number puzzle popular with many seniors. To play Sodoku, you use the numerals 1 to 9. Place them in the grid in such a way that no number is repeated in a square (marked off by the darker gridlines), in a row, or in a column. Use the printable Sodoku at right to get started. You can print it out in a larger size if that would be helpful. Just use the settings on your printer to do so.
Need more Sodokus and some online options? Try these:
- AARP has a wonderful page of puzzles for seniors that includes crosswords, sudokus, brain games and more.
- Seniors Online provides a good number of brainteaser quizzes.
Embrace the Puzzles
With the vast array of puzzles for senior citizens available, finding a type that you or your loved one will enjoy solving should not be a difficult task. When you start working on the puzzle you choose, then the challenge begins.