Top Tips

Here are my top tips for running a quiz and making it a fun evening or afternoon for everyone!

No points scored!

Don’t put people on the spot. I have found it works best to direct questions to the whole group rather than make it competitive and residents can just shout out the answers if they know it. Try not to make people feel silly if they get it wrong.

Find your quizmaster

With the quizzes already done for you anyone can run a quiz: a carer, volunteer or a relative willing to spare an hour a week.

Advertise your quiz.

If your care home has a ‘social programme’ include the quiz on it with the day, time and where it is being held. Talk to residents and let them know about it and also you can put posters up on notice boards, in the lift etc. If your quiz is running weekly try to make sure it’s on the same day at the same time each week if possible as residents get familiar with a regular activity.

Invite family and friends

I have found that when family and friends are around it can add to the atmosphere and enjoyment of the quiz and they can also be very helpful! Just make sure that they are not taking seating priority over residents and that they don’t start shouting out all the answers!

Set up the room

Prepare the room in plenty of time and try to start the quiz on time. Every home is different but I have found that arranging seats in a large circle works well. Leave space for residents using wheelchairs and leave an exit route.

Limit interruptions

Inevitably there will be interruptions such as late arrivals or people needing to use the bathroom. If possible have a carer in the room or a way of summoning a carer to deal with these situations.

Don’t force residents to come

Encourage residents to give it a go but don’t force them! If the quiz happens weekly you will probably find it gains momentum and more and more people attend. Include anyone who wants to join in even if they don’t answer any questions, some people just enjoy listening.


If your home has a microphone that can be very helpful for a large group or for people with hearing difficulties, you can get very discreet ones that just clip on to your top. Speak nice and clearly, try to read the question out twice and repeat the answers too, looking around the room to ensure that everyone has heard you.

Give clues

If nobody knows the answer, think of a clue you can give, make it into a multiple choice by giving them some false answers to consider with the correct one, or just say the letter that the answer begins with.

Include everyone

Make sure you aren’t looking at the same people all the time, look at different people, especially if you think the question particularly suits them e.g. the question is about Birmingham and that is where they are from.

Slow people down

There will probably be a few residents who know all the answers and fire them back very quickly. Try to slow them down tactfully, suggest they count to ten before they answer or say something like “Okay, Doris knows the answer, does anyone else”? The quizzes are designed to include all abilities so try and direct the easier questions to the residents who find some of them hard (without putting them on the spot). One hundred questions should last 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Make it fun

Don’t take it too seriously; it is supposed to be fun! Have little conversations between questions, let people comment on them. If it’s a geography questions ask if anyone has been there for example.

How to finish

Let residents know that it’s the last question. Usually the last question will be a joke or trick question. After my quizzes, I hand round sweets from a big tin with a real mixture in. Then we do teas and coffees so residents who wish to can stay and chat.