The Horse-Race game is a great way to spend the morning!
This is a really fun activity for the elderly in senior care.
This is one of many free activities.
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This Horse-Race game is a great way to spend the morning!

Some memory care residents will be able to play this game too.


  • Social interaction
  • Relaxation
  • Great fun!


  • 5 Horses - make your own using this activity diy horses for a horse race game or see the activity comments for more ideas.
  • White chalk or white tape. If you use tape, remove it as soon as possible after the game - the longer it is left on, the harder it will be to remove.
  • A large die
  • Prizes such as: a bottle of sherry, a box of chocolates, a bag of marshmallows, a pair of socks, hand cream, face cloth, cologne, aftershave, etc.


  • Use chalk or tape to make a horseshoe design on the floor (see picture). The size is up to you, it will depend on the space available.
    • Write ‘Start’ at one end and ‘Finish’ at the other.
    • Make lines (spaces) at regular intervals throughout the horseshoe.
  • Place horses on the ‘Starting Line’.
  • The first player rolls the dice once and then passes it on to the next player.
  • Have participants roll the die to determine the order of play (highest roll starts etc).
  • Start the game! Count the spaces to match the number rolled in each turn.
  • The horse arriving at the ‘Finish’ line first is the winne!

Getting Game Ready:

  • Give each participant a horse and ask them to name their horses!
  • Explain the race rules
  • Have the prizes on show so everyone can see
  • Engage residents in the play and ask them to guess which horse will win!

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Comments   Post a Comment

Ruby 25th Oct 2018 AIN
Hi, this is my this is my version of Melbourne Cup Horse Race Game, You through the dice it only will have 1,2,3 in it and you move your horse up that many squares. I still have to make a big dice for it and work out how to stand up the horses when playing the race game. Hobby horse race, bean bag toss.
Talita 29th Oct 2018
I love this Ruby, thanks for sharing!
Mary 9th Nov 2017 Recreation Officer
Hi and again a thank you for your wonderful support and inspiration - we had a great Melbourne Cup day here in Brisbane yesterday and enjoyed the Horse Race Game marked out on the floor - used a gigantic inflatable / coloured fabric dice from Ikea. Was a highlight!
Talita 13th Nov 2017
Thank you Mary for your feedback, this is so wonderful to hear!
Joanne 29th Oct 2016 Leisure and Lifestyle Co ordinator
I have just made some noodle horses, instead of using hot glue gun I made slits to push in mane and ears, I also drew on eyes and nostrils. The idea is to get staff to 'ride' a horse around the track using the tape track as mentioned here.
Talita 31st Oct 2016
Love your horses Joanne!
Johnette 2nd Nov 2015 Activities Officer
We play tis every Melbourne Cup Day!!! We usually have 2 or 4 tables and it is a real race to finish first.
Thanks Golden Carers!!!
Shirley 13th Oct 2015 Activity Co-ordinator
We play this game with staff on hobby horses as the jockey's, we have two or three teams so each resident gets to throw the dice for their jockey. Winning team gets to eat my hat ( a hat covered with chocolates)
Each resident is also given a brightly coloured horse numbered 1 to 24 and that becomes their sweep ticket
Adrian 9th Sep 2014 Activity Officer
We use a similar activity on Cup Day to kick off ou Funny Money Month. We have residents choose a number horse from 1-6 which they recieve a laminated number. We then have races in differtent ways. I'll explain below. The horse that wins wins it's punters some funny money for their account which at the end of the month which is full of many other activities where they can earn funny money we have an auction. Residents use bought items as Christmas presents. Anyway I digress.

The races are run in a few different ways which mixes it up and is good for groups.
1. Pair of Dice - 1 is the horse number the other is the ammount of spaces
2. 1Die - Die is for horse number if rolled that horse moves 1 space
3. 1 Die - 1 Coin - Die is horse number, if tails comes up it is 1 place. if it is heads it is 3 places.

I often come up with others and I don't remember them. But we all have a lot of fun.
JUDY 8th Mar 2024 Activity Director
heather 7th Jan 2014 DIVERSIONAL THERAPIST
I got each of my residents to colour in their horse. We drew a jockey on top of horse. They named their horse and their jockey. Coloured in their jockey silks. I as Diversional therapist waltzed around the track before race, parading horse and jockey and of course "owner", that being the resident. I gathered up lots of 1p coins to place bets. It's such a fun day.
Jodie 4th Jan 2014 Recreational Activities Officer
We played this for Melbourne Cup and a fantastic day with the residents. We also modified it for Christmas and had reindeer races as well.
LEanne 11th Nov 2013 Aged Care Facility
Thank you for the idea of the game which we added our own slant to. We made the horse shoe track into a race track (as we have many players, both high and low care) and placed tokens on different squares, so when a player landed on that square , they read out a card which we also made. eg you have the best coloured silks, move forward one space or you dropped your crop, miss a turn. We threw in some funny ones as well for further enjoyment. We are lucky enough to have 26 soft toy horses, which we use for our sweeps, and each player had their own horse to move around the track. Great fun by all. Thanks.
solange 11th Nov 2013
Hi Leanne, ingenious 'added-on' for the horse race. Thank you very much for sharing.
Jessie 16th Oct 2012 Support Care Worker
Great idea. We shall try it in the garden with high tea and fancy hats. Thanks Jessie
Kellie-Anne 4th Nov 2010 Personal carer Assistant
I made this game for our resdients ...... residents and staff had a ball playing it lots of fun and laughter........wonderful idea thank you
cheers Kellie
Helen 3rd Nov 2010 Leisure & Lifestyle Therapist
We played this game on Melbourne Cup Day but had plastic felt covereed horses. They looked liked real horses, everyone gave them names and we ran heats and eventually had a cup final. Everone both in low and high care enjoed it immensley.
Pauline 29th Oct 2009 Lifestyles Co-ordinator
Love the concept and have developed similar. however, to start the game I use the dice roll to determine order of roll and do not play the throw a six to start. We also do not play extra roll on throwing a six.
This means everyone gets on the track faster and competion stays tight and no one is left sitting waiting to get going.
Solange 29th Oct 2009
Thank you for your comment. Excelent idea, simpler than my version, I
may use it in the future if you don't mind.
Pauline 29th Oct 2009
No problems, Solange.

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