March is full of fun and important holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day and International Women’s Day! It’s also when we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring. In this blog, we’re sharing some activities that bring spring into your community and give you ways to celebrate those milestone dates!
Coffee Filter Sun Flowers
Coffee Filter Sunflowers is an art program that is inexpensive and can bring some colour to your community. For this activity, you’ll need coffee filters, crayons, scissors, glue, and green construction paper or cardstock.
Hand each participant a few coffee filters and encourage them to colour them with crayons (the filters are not suitable for painting).
Place 3 or 4 of the coloured filters on top of each other and fold them in half, then in quarters.
Cut the circular end of the filters to form the shape of petals. To make this step easier, you can print out a template of a flower and place it on top of the filters as a guide.
Glue the center of each flower onto the next, leaving the petals free. You can cut stems out of cardstock and glue those to the flowers as well.
Hang the flowers up on walls, doors, or in your residents’ bedrooms.
Note: If coffee filters are not available use crepe paper or tissue paper in different shades of yellow, orange, and red. This would be mainly a 'cutting' activity since colouring is not necessary, but glitter and foil confetti can be used to decorate them.
Recycled Crayon Sun Catchers
Do you have some old or small crayons that you don’t want to throw out but don’t know what else to do with? You can recycle them by making a beautiful crayon sun catcher with your residents. This activity requires a clothing iron and ironing board, so keep this in mind when you’re reaching out to invite residents to attend.
For this activity, you’ll need a template for your suncatcher design. Print some out online or ask your residents to design their own. Trace the templates onto black construction paper and cut them out.
Grate the crayons one colour at a time and store the shavings in small containers. If the pieces of crayon are too small to grate, place them in a microwave-safe cup and melt them in a microwave.
Pour the melted crayons into a mold, allow to cool, and then you’ll be able to grate them.
Set down a sheet of newspaper and place a sheet of wax paper on top.
Scatter different colours of crayon shavings on the wax paper.
Put another sheet of wax paper on top, and another sheet of newspaper on top of that.
Iron the wax paper and crayon between the two sheets of newspaper. The iron should be on a low heat setting, NOT HOT.
Put aside to cool.
Once the wax paper is fully cooled down, glue your suncatcher template on top and cut around the excess.
Make a hole at the top of the suncatcher and insert a string so you can hang it up in front of a window!
Egg Carton Spring Flowers
Get your residents in the spring spirit by hanging these colourful egg carton flowers everywhere in your community! It’s a good way to use those egg cartons from your community’s kitchen to bring some vibrancy in your home.
Give each resident an egg carton and a black marker. Show them how to cut the individual egg cups from the carton, drawing guidelines first if necessary.
Cut the tops of the egg cups into rounded points so they look like petals. Staff or volunteers could assist residents to make the edges as neat as possible.
Supply your residents with paint and paintbrushes so they can decorate their flowers.
To make the flowers into a garland, thread a needle with string. With a black marker, make a dot every 5 inches or so to make sure the flowers are evenly spaced.
Make a small hole in the back of the flower and pass the needle through it.
Knot the thread a few times so the flower stays in place, and repeat with the remaining flowers.
Hang your garland from ceilings, doors, verandas, and so on.
Make a Desert Terrarium
Bring a bit of greenery into each of your residents’ rooms with this activity. A desert terrarium can be created with cuttings from succulent plants people already have at home. Involve staff and family members to bring some in!
Give each resident a terracotta, stone, or ceramic container.
Have garden spades and a box of potting mixture within easy access. Show them how to cover the container’s drainage holes with recycled vegetable netting or a piece of fabric so the soil won’t fall from the container.
Fill the containers ¾ of the way with soil mixture and top with one inch of sand.
Arrange 3 or 4 different kinds of succulents in the terrariums.
Place pebbles or small river stones around the plants.
Decorate with ornaments such as ceramic frogs, lizards, and turtles.
To care for your desert terrarium, place it in a sunny place and water once a week in summer and every two weeks in winter.
April showers bring May flowers! And let’s celebrate the rain instead of the flowers! Purchase umbrellas from a discount store and clean out your craft closet to provide residents with a choice of paints, fabrics, pompons, streamers, stickers, and more.
Have participants work on their own or in groups to make a beautiful umbrella art piece. To end your program, hang the umbrellas from the ceiling of your activity room or hallway. Invite residents, staff, and family members to check out your Umbrella Art Show. Serve Rainy Day Cocktails (any drink with a paper umbrella garnish will do), and you could even end with a showing of Singin’ in the Rain.
Honour your Female Identifying Residents on International Women’s Day/Month
March is International Women's Month, and it’s the perfect time to honour and recognize the amazing stories your women residents have to tell.
Start by highlighting stories of the women who live in your community by interviewing each one (who consents) and posting their answers to questions throughout your community newsletter, bulletin boards, table centerpieces, and more.
Here are a few questions you can ask during your interviews that could help you dive into their lives even more than a “typical” social history assessment:
Tell me about a time when it wasn’t easy to be a woman.
Did you ever have to stand up to a man when it wasn’t necessarily socially acceptable?
Have you ever marched in a protest?
Tell me about your education.
What’s the best part about being a woman?
What’s been the hardest part about being a woman for you?
What advice do you have for young women today?
Who were women you looked up to when you were young?
Was it hard to find female role models?
What makes a woman strong?
You can also highlight women throughout March by talking about one influential woman every day before exercise class or before lunch. Here’s to women!
Here Comes the Sun Social
This is a fun theme to ring in Daylight Savings time as we head into warmer weather and more sunlight! Celebrate the unofficial start of spring by throwing a sun-inspired social!
Invitations and Decorations:
Make this event feel extra special by creating invitations to hand-deliver to residents. Consider using a sunshine notepad as the base of your invitation, using a marker to write in the details of the event. Or, design an invitation on your computer using sunshine clipart and an easy-to-read font.
To decorate your space, focus on the yellows and oranges of the sun. Try balloon bouquets as centrepieces and sunshine-inspired confetti for the tables. You can even use clear jars or vases of different sizes and fill them up with Lemonheads, yellow sprinkles, orange sprinkles, yellow and orange Starbursts, or other colourful candies.
What to Serve:
Keep the mood bright and shiny by having a lemonade bar. Include a few varieties of lemonade as well as mix-ins for the residents to use as they’d like.
For food, you can keep it simple with bright citrus wedges or kabobs; be sure to use more than just oranges. You can also incorporate grapefruit and blood oranges for a delicious complement to the oranges.
Work with dining to create a sunshine-inspired dessert bar that could include lemon bars, sunshine cupcakes, or even yellow macarons.
St. Patrick’s Day Bunting
Involve your residents in painting your community green for St. Patrick’s Day! Hold a craft program to create shamrocks that you can hang around your community.
Create a four-leaf clover cutout with cardboard to use as a template.
Trace around the template on green construction paper and cut the clover out. You can either pre-cut the amount of clovers you need so your residents can get right to the decorating, or make multiple templates so they can cut out their own. You can also make both options available to cater to different levels of participation!
Give your residents green embellishments like glitter, gems, buttons, small pom poms, foam cutouts, and feathers to glue onto their clovers.
Use a hole punch to make a single hole at the top of the finished clovers so you can hang them up and make decorative bunting.
Little Leprechaun Hats
Are you doing a St. Patrick’s Day Party? Why not do a craft program so that everyone has a little Leprechaun hat to wear! They can also act as centrepieces for those residents who aren’t fans of hats.
For this activity, you’ll need green plastic cups to form the hat and green paper or cardboard to make the brim.
Use a saucer, small plastic bucket, or other round object as the template for the hat brim. Have the circles already outlined for residents to cut out. If you’re using green paper, try laminating the circles to make the hat more durable.
Pre-cut 1cm x 20cm black paper strips for residents to make the band around the hat as well.
Glue the upturned cup in the center of the circle.
Cut two small slits in a round gold sticker and thread the black paper strip through to make the golden belt buckle. You can also cut a buckle shape out of gold cardboard and stick it in place.
Decorate the hat with small shamrocks cut out of green paper.
Intergenerational Making Rainbows Program
Brighten your residents’ day by inviting their grandchildren or kids from a local elementary school for an intergenerational program, making rainbows together!
Find a blank rainbow template online and print out or photocopy as many as you need so there’s one for each pair. Make sure to use thick paper.
Encourage pairs to colour together with pencils or paint.
Allow the artwork to dry and glue to a piece of cardboard slightly bigger than the rainbow.
Glue cotton balls at the base of the rainbows to look like clouds.
Hang them up so passerby can admire all the colours!
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.
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