Trivia is a great activity for people of all ages and all cognitive levels. Trivia challenges the mind, gets people working together (if done as teams) and can be great for a social activity. People who do cognitive and socially engaging activities exhibit higher cognitive functioning than those who don't. A great reason to do trivia or other brain games!
FACILITATING TRIVIA GROUPS AS A RECREATION THERAPIST:
As a Recreation Therapist facilitating groups, the trick to making trivia fun is to find the appropriate level of difficulty for each person. I have done trivia with people of all cognitive levels and it's only fun when people can succeed at answering the questions. Of course you want them to feel challenged, but not so much that they become frustrated and lose confidence in themselves. If they feel too challenged during a group activity, they will often walk out of the room after a little while and feel totally deflated or will sit quietly, not wanting to disrupt the group and still feel deflated. The last thing you want is for your participants to feel down on themselves when they leave a group. Before I invite people, I try to get to know them a little bit first and find out what their cognitive level is so I'll know if the group is appropriate for them. As a Recreation Therapist, our job is to assess people, determine what activities are beneficial for the person and develop activities and programs according to their interests and needs. If I know someone detests trivia or that the person gets frustrated easily, I wouldn't invite them to a trivia group. When I invite participants, I let them know they will never be put on the spot and they are welcome to leave at any point if they aren't enjoying the activity.
There are a few different ways to run a trivia group.
It can be set up as teams so participants work together and cheer each other on. The teams get points when they answer a question correctly and if they answer incorrectly, the other team can steal the point.
The participants can sit wherever they'd like in the room and just call out the answer when they know it. I usually know who the strong trivia players are in the group so I will usually ask them prior to the program starting if they could just raise their hand briefly when they have the answer to allow others time to think of the answer. They are always understanding and respect that others might need more time.
Participants can write answers down and at the end, tally up the correct answers for the winner.
Personally, I usually facilitate it as individual players and people call out the answers. If there are a few really strong players, I'll ask them to raise their hand briefly like suggested in number 2 above. If one or two people answer every question, it's not much fun for the others, either. It's important to tweak the program according to the dynamics of the group.
As the facilitator, you can encourage conversation around the trivia questions so the group gets to know each other and they end up having a lot more fun. They'll feel more involved if they can contribute to the activity rather than you just asking questions and waiting for answers.
Trivia is also a great activity to do with people in early to moderate stages of dementia. As mentioned above, it is very important to cater the level of difficulty to the abilities of the participant. People with dementia can become very frustrated if they feel too challenged with an activity. Simplify the questions, provide more hints and ensure the participant is successful. You want them to enjoy the time they spend with you and to feel confident in their abilities.
Today, I'm including Canadian Trivia. This is fairly basic trivia suitable for Recreation Therapy groups. If you're not Canadian, give it a try with your group and they'll have a chance to learn a little bit about Canada! With not being able to travel right now, learning about other countries is a great activity. I hope you enjoy the trivia! The file is attached below.