Summer is here! After spending months in isolation, you and your residents deserve some fun in the sun.
Here are some activities to get your residents outside to soak up the sunshine, as well as some summer-inspired activities to bring the outdoors to them when going out isn’t an option. As the world returns to almost-normal, we’ve made this list a mix of one-on-one and group activities to suit your residents’ needs.
We hope these 10 activity ideas for senior communities help you bring in the summer fun! Don’t forget to keep hydrated and stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day. Check out this list of summer safety tips for seniors for more information.
We’ve all heard of rock painting, but did you know that decorating rocks and leaving them for others to find is becoming a popular hobby? Check online to see if your community has a rock hunt to join, or start one yourself!
For this activity, you’ll need rocks that your residents can decorate which you can collect outside or purchase from a craft store. Your residents can use acrylic paint or stickers for less mess. Just make sure to seal the rocks with Mod Podge to make them weather-resistant. Then, write a hashtag or your social media handles on the bottom of the rock so people can let you know when they’ve found it.
Your residents can leave the rocks in a public place like a park or nature trail for others to find. This is a great way to get involved with your community and spread some positivity!
If your residents like to fish, why not make a day trip out of it? Do some research to find local fishing spots and sporting stores that offer equipment rentals. Fishing from shore or off a dock keeps this activity accessible for wheelchair users. Your residents can unwind and get plenty of fresh air while they share stories of their biggest catch or the one that got away. Make sure to wear sunscreen, and don’t forget insect repellent!
The care staff at Marham House Care Home shared this video of their take on the classic duck-hunt carnival game.
For this outdoor activity, your residents use water pistols to shoot at rubber ducks. Line the rubber ducks up on a ledge so they can be knocked off by the spray. Then, arm your residents with water pistols like these foam soakers from Amazon and stand back!
An indoor herb garden is the perfect activity for residents who want to develop their green thumb without spending too much time in the hot sun. This garden can be grown indoors in front of a sunny window, and it’s sure to brighten up your residents’ space.
Plant the herbs in small pots and water them according to care instructions. Vive Health shares this list of herbs that grow great indoors:
For added charm, you can plant the herbs in teacups instead of pots. Just make sure to drill small holes in the bottom of the cups so they can drain.
For another fun way to bring nature to your residents, try making some DIY bird feeders.
Here’s an easy recipe that uses bird seed, gelatin, and corn syrup as its main ingredients. These DIY bird feeders are made using cookie cutters or baking molds, so your residents can easily personalize them to their interests.
Hang them outside your residents’ windows so they can bird-watch from the comfort of their rooms. You can even make them a bingo card of local bird species so they can keep track of their visitors.
This indoor group activity is just like a game of beach volleyball, only without the beach. Or the volleyball. Maybe using a balloon doesn’t exactly make this a game of volleyball, but it does make it safe and great for residents with limited mobility. Your residents can either sit or stand as they pass the balloon back and forth. Set up a net, form teams, and let the game begin!
Flying a kite is sure to bring back fond childhood memories for many of your residents. To kick up the creativity, why not make the kite yourself? Kites are a fun DIY project that can be made using simple materials. This website has many classic kite designs to choose from and uses tools as simple as a pair of scissors and a ruler.
Your residents can take their kites outside and give flying them a try, but those who aren’t interested in flying kites can still have fun with this activity. Residents who aren’t worried about aerodynamics can make their kites from patterned craft paper and load them up with ribbons and fake flowers to create festive indoor decor.
Add a little magic to your residents’ lives with this whimsical craft idea. These miniature doors are placed at the base of trees or stumps to make them look like they’re home to the fae-folk.
Make a door out of popsicle sticks or purchase wood slices to use as the base. Decorate them with paint, markers, or objects found in nature like leaves, twigs, and dried moss. This craft leaves a lot of room for imagination so your residents can get creative. When you’re done, place the fairy doors outside your care home or leave them on nature trails to share the magic with others.
What else says “summer” like tie-dye? This outdoor activity lets your residents make their own custom tie-dye shirts. Fill up some spray bottles with different colours of tie-dye paint or put the paint in water pistols for added fun. Hang up plain white shirts on a clothesline so your residents can spray them and create their own designs.
If your residents don’t want a t-shirt, you can swap out another textile or they can spray a canvas to create an abstract painting. The great part about tie-dye is that it’s so versatile!
As nice as it is to spend time outside, sometimes it’s just too hot to do so safely. To make sure everyone stays cool this summer, set up a tent and some lawn chairs to hold an indoor camping trip. You can make hot dogs and s’mores with your residents and reminisce about past camping trips. Your residents can even share their best ghost stories around the campfire - though we’d suggest making the campfire out of tissue paper.
We hope you found some inspiring activity ideas to try out with residents in your senior living communities this summer! It is everyone’s mission to ensure the safety of all our loved ones while making sure everyone maintains a good mood, staff and residents alike. Hopefully, trying these activities with your residents will improve everyone’s day! Every resident’s well-being is at the heart of what we do.
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Wendy studies English Language and Literature at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
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.
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