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Numbers and Suits Game: A Great Activity for People with Dementia

Posted by on 10/25/2014 to Dementia Activities
MindStart's new Numbers and Suits playing card games were designed for and trialed with people with dementia. The game was a hit during a one hour slot of a day program, as a variety of games were played with the cards, both individual and as a small group.  What makes these cards unique?

Numbers and Suits Card Game for Dementia

The idea for the Numbers and Suits cards is to provide the idea of traditional playing cards but in a more simplified way.  Traditional playing cards are very busy, with lots of design all over the card.  They also have 2 markers on each card - a number and a suit.  The result is that they can be confusing for the person with dementia.  Also, the card games that are played with traditional playing cards become too difficult for the person, as memory and ability to track things declines.

The Numbers and Suits card game solve these difficulties for the person with dementia. 

  • Each card has only one Number or one Suit on it, so no confusion caused by having a number and suit on the same card.
  • There are 4 cards each of numbers 1-9 and of 4 cards each of Club, Spade, Diamond, and Heart.
  • Cards are large (3.5” X 5”), so they are easy to handle and to see.  They also allow the cards to be used in a common game played together by a small group.
  • An instruction guide is included with over 10 ideas of use, including ideas for patients functioning at both higher and lower levels. They also provide ideas for using individually or as small group.

The Numbers and Suit game have endless opportunities for use.  The activity can involve using only the number cards, only the suit cards, or using them together for easy card games, matching cards, ordering the cards in sequence, simple math problems, and more.  Children can also use the cards with the person, as it is a level of play that they both can understand. 

Shop Numbers and Suits card game and other MindStart games

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