We’re bringing you 10 more unique activity ideas to try with residents in your senior living community! Take your residents on a virtual adventure, celebrate Grandparent’s Day, and unwind from all the excitement with some classic games. We hope the activities on this list inspire you!
Grandparent’s Day falls on the first Sunday after Labour Day. This year, it falls on September 12. There are many ways to celebrate this special day. You can help your residents organize visits with their grandchildren either virtually or in person. Your community could hold a picnic or dinner in honour of residents who are grandparents. Whatever you choose should acknowledge and celebrate the important role grandparents play in our lives!
If you want to encourage your residents to stay active, try this fun twist on an ordinary step count challenge! Take your residents on a virtual journey to motivate them to reach the step goal.
To go on a virtual journey, you’ll choose a walking route anywhere in the world. This route could take you through a national park or past famous landmarks before ending at a final destination. Use your residents’ step counts from their Fitbit or pedometers to track how far they’ve walked on the route you set. Here’s a guide to setting a realistic goal and calculating the distance travelled.
There are all sorts of ways to make this challenge more interesting. For some friendly competition, print out a map of your journey and keep track of everyone’s locations. You can share trivia about the destination and photos of the landmarks your residents have reached. Search online for “Virtual Hike” or “360 Experience” with the name of your destination. There are so many great resources available!
Speaking of great resources, have you looked through Google Arts & Culture yet? This free app aims to open up the cultural world to people from the comfort of their homes. There’s a lot to see on this app, so it’s worth taking the time to explore. Here are some things you can do to get started:
With all these options, you’re sure to find something to support your community’s next discussion group or travel club meeting!
Invite your residents to give a presentation on a topic of their choice with a resident speaker series! They could share memories of an exciting trip, discuss their former career, or give a demonstration related to a favourite hobby. Your residents all have stories to tell, so this is a perfect way to help them share what’s important to them!
Help your resident speaker prepare a slideshow of photographs and anything else they need for their presentation. Invite the rest of the residents to attend!
For how well these yarn birds turn out, they’re surprisingly easy to make! You only need three different colours of yarn and some basic supplies like scissors, cardboard, and glue. Assembling these birds is as simple as placing different lengths of yarn on top of each other and tying some knots. You can get creative with the yarn colours to represent different kinds of birds.
We know that activity professionals will go above and beyond to entertain their residents. Next time you feel like going all out, invite your residents to watch the activity team compete in a mascot race.
The purpose of the event is simple. You and your team dress up as costumed characters and race each other around a track to determine the winner. To up the stakes and give your residents someone to cheer for, each team member can represent a different floor. The entertainment value is in the costumes, so be sure to break out your silliest ones for this event!
Do you have residents who just can’t get enough bingo? Introduce them to this bingo-inspired card game. It’s perfect to play on rainy days or when you need a simple activity idea.
To play, you’ll need two decks of playing cards. Divide one deck evenly among the players, who arrange their cards face-up on the table. Here’s a guide that tells you how to adjust the game to your number of players. The second deck is used for “calling.” The caller turns over one card at a time from the second deck and names the number and suit. The player who has this card in their hand turns it face-down. The first player to turn over all their cards calls bingo!
This painting technique creates a beautiful marble or abstract effect. It can be used to customize just about anything with a flat surface, but a canvas is a good place to start. Be warned though, it can get messy!
You’ll need acrylic paint in a variety of colours and an acrylic pouring medium, which is used to get the paint to the right consistency. You can find pouring mediums at an arts and crafts store. Common brands are Liquitex and Floetrol. You’ll also need plenty of disposable plastic cups to mix the paint in.
Here’s a list of full instructions. Keep experimenting with this technique until you’re happy with the look you’ve achieved. When it comes to paint pouring, every piece is sure to be unique!
The goal of this fun party game is to guess what your team members are thinking. Players are given a category and score points when they come up with the same answers as everyone else.
Split your residents into two teams. Give everyone a pen and some paper so they can write their answers down. Call out a category like “Things that are yellow” or “Song with a person’s name in the title.” Each player writes down three answers. Make sure there’s no peeking! When everyone has written their answers down they can share them. Award points for answers that team members have in common.
Here’s the full rule sheet and some sample categories. You can come up with more categories yourself or use Scattergories lists for inspiration.
The school year is fast approaching! For your next charitable initiative, why not donate school supplies to children in need like this Atria Retirement Community? Do some research to see if your community has a donation program you can join or start one yourself.
Reach out to your community to collect backpacks and basic school supplies like pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers, binders, and lined paper. Enlist your residents to help sort the supplies. Fill up the backpacks to give children everything they need to start the school year off right!
Did these activity ideas spark your creativity? Get more inspiration with 10 Senior Community Activity Ideas: September Edition or plan ahead with 10 Senior Community Activity Ideas: Fall Edition!
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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