• Jules

CATEGORIES - A fun cognitive game to brainstorm different words

This is a great cognitive activity you can use for a group or an individual. The great thing is it works very well for all ages and levels of abilities. To make it suitable for the person or group, you just need to change the title and categories.



How to play: Look at the attachment below while reading the instructions so you can follow along and learn quickly how to play. At the top of the chart, you can see the word, beach. On the left side you'll see different categories. Ask the person to think of as many answers as they can using the letter and the category. For example, try to think of as many women’s names as you can starting with B…then E…then A, and so on. Write the answers in the box. When facilitating this as a group, you can draw the chart out on a white board and write the answers down as participants call out them out. Or, you can provide everyone with a handout and have them fill in answers independently or as teams. You could even do the activity with points such as providing a point for unique answers and then announce the winners at the end. Personally, I find there are so many different cognitive levels in my groups that I feel it works best not to have winners but rather just play for fun as a group. You have to use your own judgement as the facilitator and know what is best for your participants.


If facilitating this for one person, such as someone with mild dementia, you can write it down on paper or print the sheet. If the person is struggling, give them hints. For example, you can provide them with the second letter, ‘Be…’ or say “It is 5 letters long”, etc. You can give hints each time, if needed. If the person can’t answer it at all, you know the activity is too challenging and it’s best to find an easier, more appropriate activity where the person can succeed with providing answers.


I've given one example in the attachment but you can create your own by easily changing the top word and the categories. Have fun and let me know how the activity worked out for you!

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