By starfish from Poole, Dorset
Solitaire is easy to do with a small playing surface. You can even play it in a plane. There are several types, some require more room than others. One me and my parents call 4 card solitare. I'll explain it below. Another thing I just thought of is you can get the person a laptop and WiFi internet. They would be able to read things, shop, do word puzzles, games, research... all kinds of stuff.
Anyway - 4 card solitaire
(I'll try to explain this clearly)
Shuffle the deck.
When done hold the deck in one hand (usually the left hand for righties).
Pull the bottom card from the deck, flip it over and set it on top of the deck (We'll say it's a 2 of clubs).
Pull the next bottom card off and place it on top of the first card but slightly to the right so you can see the first card(4 of diamonds).
Pull one more card from the bottom and do the same thing (king of clubs).
Now the playing starts.
Pull the fourth card out from under the deck and place it on top of the other three just to the right like you did the others. It's kind of like holding a hand of cards but you have the whole deck in your hand as well.
If the fourth card matches the suit of the first card (the 2 of clubs) you pull the two cards between the two clubs and lay them down in a discard pile (usually face down).
If the fourth card mathces the number or face of the first card you discard the four cards into a discard pile.
If the fourth card doesn't match suit or number/face you continue with the next card in the deck and match it to the card 3 cards back.
So lets say the fourth card a an Ace of hearts. No match. The next card is a Jack of diamonds. You discard the king of clubs and the ace of hearts.
Now you have a 2 of clubs, a 4 of diamonds and a jack of diamonds.
You pull another card - 8 of hearts. No match.
Another - 10 of hearts. No match.
Then you pull a jack of hearts. The jack matches the jack three cards back (the jack of diamonds) you discard all four cards, the two jacks and the two cards between them.
But lets say it wasn't a jack of hearts, it was a 4 of clubs (no match).
But the next card is a 5 of hearts. The 8 and 5 of hearts match suit so you take the two cards out from between them.
Now your hand consists of the 2 of clubs, 4 of diamonds, jack of diamonds, 8 of H and 5 of hearts. The only cards that really matter while you play are the top four. But once you pull cards the order changes and you have to re-look at the top four. If the 5 of hearts had been a 5 of diamonds you would take out two more cards and be left with the 2 of clubs 4 of diamonds and the 5 of diamonds.
The object of the game is to go thru the whole deck and end up with as few cards as possible (and it is possible to end up with no cards left).
Advise: as you keep pulling cards up into the hand you can see start moving the cards to the left on top of the cards so you can't see them. Just leave 5 of the cards visible. As you eliminate cards you can respred them out a few cards to verify matches.
Audio books or regular books, newspapers or magazines, puzzle books (crossword, word search, etc.), Playing cards for games of Solitaire, comedy movies, music CDs, have a small gathering of friends visit and serve cake and coffee while they chat, Paint by number set, craftwork (could make and give as gifts), get some annual flowers and let her/him arrange them in a large pot of soil to enjoy watching them grow and bud out and could make these for self or for family and friends. Could create plain tee shirts into something fancy by tacking on cool buttons, ribbons, lace and fabric paints for a female.
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