SHUT THE BOX
Object of the Game: Turn over as many numbers as possible.
How to Play: The game can be played 1 round at a time, whoever has the lowest score wins.
Or, a predetermined score (for example 100) can end the game.
Scoring: Add the remaining numbers. The goal is to have the lowest possible total.
For Early Stage Players:
1.     The total of the dice can be used as a whole or divided in two parts. For example: If a player rolls a 5 and 4, then the total of 9 can be used or divided into 8-1, 7-2, 6-3, or 5-4.
2.     If double 1’s are thrown, the number 1 can be turned over or the number 2 can be turned over.
3.     Each player throws the dice into the box until he/she cannot turn over any more numbers. His/her turn is then complete.
For Later Stage Players:
1.     Roll the dice and turn over the numbers that correspond with dice.
2.     Player can keep throwing the dice until all numbers are turned over.
Stickers are provided for the back side of each tile to cover the number if it seems confusing for players to see that number after the tile has been turned down.
More rules and ways to play Shut the Box can be found online.
Games for people with Alzheimer’s can be low-tech, high-tech, or anything in between. Every care community in the world probably has a Bingo game – and that’s about as low tech as you can get – yet playing Bingo has been shown to have positive effects when played by Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients.
One study reported in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias found that playing Bingo specifically provides mental stimulation that is highly therapeutic. Patients participating in the study performed significantly better on measures of cognition. Staff members reported increases in alertness and in awareness in the test subjects for hours after testing.
Most games provide the same type of cognitive stimulation as does Bingo. That’s what makes them games! And most can be played in groups, or by as few as two players. In fact, some games can be played by one person alone. Whenever possible, have children play with the older adults. Both age groups enjoy this.
Read more about the benefits of game-playing for Alzheimer’s and dementia.