Scattergories is a different kind of trivia. Participants brainstorm words (using the alphabet) that match the category given. This game is a great way for participants to socialize and stimulate cognitive functioning by finding words in an adaptive way.


Ideal Group Size:    1:1 or small group


Equipment Needed

  • White board (for larger group) or paper (for 1:1)
  • Markers or pens
  • List of categories – please see below for category ideas
  • OPTIONAL - Official Board Game



  1. Gather participants in semi-circle facing the white board for larger group. If 1:1, sit at a table. Limit noise distractions in the background (no television, radio or chatting).
  2. Explain to participant(s) that we are going to play “Scattergories”.
  3. Tell participant(s) that the leader will write a category (see below) on the board/paper and together we will find something that matches each letter of the alphabet.
  4. Write category at the top of the white board or on top of paper. Category examples include:
    • Girls/boys names
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Animals
    • Places (cities, countries)
    • Lakes
  5. Next write the entire alphabet (A-Z - you can exclude U-Z if you wish) underneath the category.
  6. Then prompt participants: “Ok can someone give me an animal that starts with the letter A”. Then go through the alphabet (either in order or skip around from letter to letter).
  7. Make it a challenge. Encourage participants to try to come up with as many as we possibly can.
  8. Sometimes participants may get “stuck”. Provide clues to help: “Hmm an animal that starts with Z? Well I can think of one that has stripes and is black and white. Does anyone know what that could be?”
  9. Once you have completed the entire alphabet, you can continue to a new category or do just one. It’s completely up to the leader.
  10. Finally, thank participants for attending and congratulate them on a job well done!


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