This month, we’re hoping you and your residents have the luck of the Irish as you begin planning for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Pots of gold, beautiful rainbows, leprechauns, and all the green you can handle! Here’s a wonderful Irish saying to celebrate this fun holiday:
“May your pockets be heavy, and Your heart be light, May good luck pursue you, each morning and night.”
The options are endless when it comes to creating St. Patty's Day Themed Games for your residents. Irish Carpet Bowling using turnips and potatoes? Why not! Playing a "fortunate" variation of Bingo? Sure! A St. Patrick's Day version of Pictionary? Yes! A Golden Coin Toss? The more the merrier! You can create all the supplies you need with an Irish theme using images and words such as Leprechaun, Pot of Gold, Rainbow, and more!
Step right up, step right up! Encourage your staff and residents to enter the "Best-Dressed Leprechaun Challenge" on St. Patrick's Day. They can find a lucky green outfit using hats, ties, jackets, and stockings to complete the look. If someone has a pipe to pop in their mouth, that's the cherry on top.
Looking for a fun St. Patty's Day to kick off the morning? Why not start at breakfast with St. Patrick's Day Minute to Win It! Serve your residents a bowl of Lucky Charms and give each of them a spoon. See who can use them to pick out the most marshmallow pieces from Lucky Charms cereal and put them into another bowl. To add an extra layer of challenge, assign different amounts of points to different marshmallow shapes! You can't resist those Lucky Charms!
Somewhere over the rainbow, there's an opportunity to play good ol' coin toss! Use construction paper of the different colours of the rainbow and create colourful cups or tubes with them. Each colour earns different points! Have your residents toss their coins in and see if they have the luck of the Irish.
Are your residents feeling lucky? Organize a 4-Leaf Clover scavenger hunt! Use fake shamrocks or leprechaun gold coins (perhaps that were pre-made in an arts and crafts program) and scatter them around the common areas of your community. Maybe there are prizes, hopefully, there will be luck, but there will always be fun with this program!
March 17th is the perfect day to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and show off your green spirit! Encourage all of your residents to dress up and wear as much green as they can. Clothes, accessories, shoes, glasses. The world is their oyster. If there's room in the budget, maybe head to your local dollar store to pick up some celebratory green beads or fun St. Patty's day hats. For those risk-takers in your community, you could even offer to dye their hair or facial hair green (temporary, of course). Encourage all your staff to get involved and let your culinary team know to use green tablecloths, napkins, and centerpieces.
Along with those great green outfits, there are lots of opportunities to celebrate St. Patty's day using food and drinks. It's a great occasion to serve green beer, Guinness, or a non-alcoholic drink that you add green food colouring to. Work with your culinary team to come up with the menu of Irish foods: Soda bread, Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherd's Pie, Sausage and Potatoes, White Pudding. Looking to take it to the next level? why not add some decorations and put some Irish music on in the background to really set the mood.
Create a Dining Room Club to have residents assist with folding napkins, setting the table, putting out floral arrangements, and creating centerpieces for special occasions. Consider giving a napkin-folding or floral arrangement class to teach residents how to make different napkin animals and colourful arrangements. This is an inclusive activity to do with all levels of care.
Make a laughing basket! Sounds funny already, right? This simple, quick activity has a ton of health benefits and is possible for everyone to participate in. Laughing causes mental and physical changes to your body, including reducing tension, increasing motivation, improving memory, and enhancing one’s immune system. Who isn’t going to want to laugh? And, it’s easy to do. Look up jokes online, and ask your residents to contribute their favorite jokes or even funny stories they want to share. Then, every week you can share a new joke with everyone! This laughing basket can also morph into lots of things, depending on your resident's interests. Ask them for some of their wisdom, lessons they’ve learned, or even interesting facts.
Have any of your residents or any of their family members ever written a book – perhaps a cookbook? If so, then host a fun event where the resident or family member reads an excerpt of their book to your residents. If, however, you don't have any authors in your facility, then contact your local library to see if they know of any local authors who would be willing to stop by to speak to your residents about their book.
Did these activity ideas spark your creativity? Get more inspiration with these March Activity Ideas for Senior Living Communities and 10 Senior Community Activity Ideas: Spring 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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