Need some inspiration for your next activity calendar? We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 activity ideas to try with residents in your senior living community that will keep them active and engaged, all while having a blast. With ideas that will help your residents appreciate the natural world, get some low-impact exercise, and create gift-worthy arts and crafts, this list has something for everyone!
Have you ever wished on a shooting star? If not, you’ll soon have a chance! The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12 this year. Invite your residents to view this dazzling event. You can even make it into an outing and travel somewhere with less light pollution. Be sure to bring coats or blankets in case it gets cold and set up recliners for comfortable viewing. For a full guide on how to watch the meteor shower, click here!
Get your residents grooving to the beat with cardio drumming! Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great form of exercise that can easily be adjusted for different fitness levels. Place exercise balls in laundry hampers or buckets so they won’t roll away and give your residents drumsticks. You can invite a cardio drumming instructor to your community, follow a routine online, or create one yourself. Here are some examples to watch from Arbor Oaks and Wesley Court Senior Living!
Next time you and your residents are out for a walk in nature, try this gratitude scavenger hunt by Simple Acres! This checklist will help your residents release stress by focusing on the positives. While they’re enjoying the outdoors, they can search for something in nature that makes them happy or find something that would make someone else smile. Everyone is sure to feel refreshed after this mindfulness activity!
With this activity, your residents can create beautiful artwork to use as room decor or gift to a loved one. You can purchase pressed flowers from Amazon or at a local craft store. If you have the time, you can also press your own flowers. This would be a great way to recycle floral centerpieces or preserve a sentimental bouquet. Your residents can experiment with arranging the flowers to their liking on a piece of coloured cardstock. When they’re happy with their arrangements, simply glue the flowers in place. Frame the artwork for the finishing touch!
Tossing a bean bag is a great way for older adults to get some light exercise. To turn a simple bean bag toss activity into a purposeful sport, try following the rules of bean bag baseball! For this activity, you’ll need a board like the one below. Check your local sports stores or see if someone in your community can build one for you!
To play the game, form teams with your residents. The “batter” has three chances to throw their bean bag into one of the holes on the board. The hole the bean bag lands in will tell them whether they’ve hit a foul or made it to a base. You can set up chairs to represent the bases or keep track of everyone’s positions on a whiteboard. Teams score points when they make it back to home base. Get the full list of rules here.
This painting technique has you create a design or image by printing dots. You can use q-tips, the ends of paintbrushes, or other similar items dipped in acrylic paint to print the dots. Your design can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like. If you need inspiration, search online for templates. This technique leaves a lot of room for creativity so your residents can express themselves!
Not sure what to do with all the arts and crafts your residents have made? Why not showcase their talent by hosting an art gallery? Invite your residents to set up a table with their favourite pieces so they can view each other’s artwork. If it’s safe to do so, you can even invite family and community members to come view and purchase the artwork!
A fragrance sachet has many uses. You can use one to freshen up drawers, as a heat or ice pack, or for some on-the-go aromatherapy. You can make a lot of them using very little material, so they make wonderful gifts and party favours!
To make this craft, you’ll need fabric, rice, and something to give your sachet its fragrance. Lavender is a popular choice, but your residents can experiment with different scents using bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and more. To make the sachet, follow these sewing instructions or make a no-sew sachet using glue. Fill your sachet with rice and the fragrance of your choice, and enjoy the refreshing scent!
This mindfulness activity from Good Therapy will help your residents connect with nature and boost their mood! This meditation can be done as a group. Bring your residents to a natural setting like a park or nature trail. Ask them to find something in nature that they are drawn to. They can then spend a few minutes contemplating how this aspect of nature relates to them and what they can learn from it.
Good Therapy suggests that an older adult might feel increased self-worth after meditating on how the older trees in a forest provide shelter and shade to the younger plants and animals. The interesting part about this meditation is that everyone will come up with something different. At the end of the meditation, be sure to ask your residents if they want to share what they’ve learned!
Spend meaningful time with your residents in memory care by creating a memory box together. A memory box is filled with items that hold special significance to the resident. They might be keepsakes that remind them of a happy memory or something related to their favourite hobbies. For example, something as simple as an old baseball glove may remind someone of fond childhood memories. These items can be used to prompt conversation and provide mental and emotional stimulation. For more information about the benefits of a memory box and how to make one, click here!
You can also turn this into a group activity by making a themed memory box. You might fill a box with items and photos that represent a certain era or an important day in history like the moon landing. Pass the box around to your residents and listen to their stories. Don’t try to lead the conversation. Just see what comes up! Click here for a helpful guide on running a successful reminiscence activity.
Did these activity ideas spark your creativity? Get more inspiration with 10 Senior Community Activity Ideas: Part 2 and these Senior Community Activity Ideas to Kick Off the Summer!
Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.
Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.
Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
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