Copyright 2004-2008
The Activity Director's Office
admin@theactivitydirectorsoffice.com
All rights reserved
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR TODAY
You need Java to see this applet.
Activities 4 U
Activity Director
Today E-magazine

FREE SAMPLE










SUBSCRIBE
Activity Director Books
.
Excellent Books for Activity
Professionals
Join Our Message Board to
Network With Other ADs
across the nation.
IT'S  FREE
Join Now
Resident Shopping & More
Activity Department Supplies
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
NOVELTIES
Gifts & Promotional Items
JANUARY

Start a Hobby Club (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

January is National Hobby Month.  What a great opportunity for you to start a new monthly activity for your residents...a Hobby
Club.  This can be organized in two forms:  1) a mixed gender group, or 2) a separate Ladies’ or Men’s group.

Things you need to consider before you get started:

  • A room which is the right size for the group.  It would be best if the room was free from distractions like staff walking
    through, intercom announcements and pages, etc.
  • Invite staff members, family members or volunteers from the community to share their hobby with the residents.  You
    need one volunteer per month.
  • Have the presenter bring a display of their hobby items.  If possible have the presenter demonstrate how they create
    their craft or art items.  Let the residents examine the items and make comments.
  • Finally, provide refreshments for the residents and volunteers who participate.

I am sure that the number of hobby items to be presented is limitless; but here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • Crochet
  • Quilting
  • Polymer clay crafts/sculpting
  • Oil painting
  • Water coloring
  • Electric trains
  • Coin collecting
  • Stamp collecting
  • Scrap booking
  • Stamping
  • Fly tying
  • Beading
  • Candy making
  • Photography
  • Computing
  • Doll making
  • Doll collecting
  • Woodworking
  • Musical instruments playing and/or collecting
  • Glassware collecting
  • Ceramics
  • Cartooning
  • Book binding
  • You name it

Remember to keep it light, happy, interesting and a lot of fun.



FEBRUARY

Pie Eating Contest  (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Residents enjoy home made pie.  Many of the ladies made pie on a daily basis.  I have often used a pie contest for a way to
bring in many different kinds of home made pie for our residents and to bring in people from the community.  It is an
excellent marketing tool for your facility and can make a pretty good fundraiser for your activities department.

Preparation:

  • Prizes - I used $50 in gift certificates from a popular store.  First prize was $30; second prize was $20.
  • Advertising - Advertise at least 4 weeks in advance.  Make fliers and distribute throughout your community.  Call the
    local newspaper and/or other media to cover the event.
  • Make up entry rules - 1) Eligible contestants include family, friends, staff and anyone in the community.  2) All pies
    must be home made.  3) Entry Fee [I never had one, but you need to do this if you use the event for a fundraiser]  4)  
    All pies become the property of the facility.  5) The judges decision is final.
  • Judges - Use an odd number of judges (3 or 5).  Choose your judges from residents, dietary manager, retired home
    economics teachers, pastors, etc.
  • Prepare an entry form - On the form have an assigned number, type of pie, name, address and phone.
  • Prepare cards for each pie - Put the entry number on the card.  Be sure no names are on the pies.  Judging will be
    done by taste and appearance only.
  • Judging form - I secured a pie judging form from our local 4-H and used it as a judging guide.
  • You will need a table for pies, paper plates, and forks for tasting.

How to do it:

  • Have your judges come early and put them in a room where they cannot see the pies coming being delivered.  This
    keeps the judging fair.
  • Have someone accept the entries and assign a number to the entry.
  • Cut each pie for the judges to taste (a small amount will do fine).
  • Let the judging begin.
  • Here’s the best part.  After the prizes are awarded, cut all of the pie and pass it out to the residents and guests



MARCH

Mystery Auction  (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Everybody enjoys going to an auction.  The thrill of winning a prize by out bidding everyone else is a terrific feeling.  Well, you
can have an exciting auction in your facility every couple of weeks.  Here’s how you do it…

Items Needed:

  • An auctioneer
  • Lunch sacks (enough for every resident to win at least twice)
  • Monopoly Money
  • Numbered cards for the residents to bid with.
  • Items to place in the lunch bags (stuffed animals, chips, candy bars, jewelry, hair bow, baskets, cards, holiday
    decorations, figurines, all sorts of small (donated or Dollar General Store) items.
  • Place all of the closed bags on a cart.

What to Do:

  • Assemble residents in spacious area.
  • Give each resident the same amount of money (use hundred and five hundred dollar denominations if possible)
  • Each resident gets a bidding card (this helps those who have a hard time speaking up to make a bid)
  • Set three or four sacks on a table in front of the residents.
  • Start bidding.
  • The winner of the bidding gets to choose one of the sacks.
  • The winner pays for the sack and then opens it up for everyone to see.

This is great fun for everyone!


APRIL

Men's Breakfast (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Having an activity that men will attend is not an easy task for any Activity Professional.  I discovered one that brought our all
of the men who were able come and participate.  I served a monthly Men Only Breakfast which was cooked to order
(restaurant style).  You can do it too, and the results will amaze you.

What you need:

  • A room and a setting that gives the men some sense of a restaurant style meal.
  • Electric skillets or griddles (i.e. equipment you can use to do the cooking in front of the men).
  • Toaster (4-slice or greater).
  • Plates, cups, silverware, napkins.
  • Food:  sausage, bacon, eggs, bread, hash browns, coffee, milk, juices, water.
  • Place cards for seating.
  • Lots of volunteers to be waitresses and cooks.

How you do it:

  • Send each man an invitation to the Men Only Breakfast.
  • Set up tables with six to eight men at each.
  • Use place cards.
  • Set up their drinks.
  • Set up a table for cooking.
  • Pre-cook the sausage, bacon and hash browns.
  • At each table ask the men how they want their eggs cooked.
  • Serve one table at a time.
  • Have other waitresses (i.e. volunteers) serve coffee and circulate for refills.
  • Allow a lot of time for the men to talk.

Tip:  Be sure to set men with similar backgrounds and life experiences together (i.e. farmers with farmers, business men
with business men, hunters with hunters, etc.)

Believe me, it is well worth the effort...you’ll see.



MAY

National Nursing Home Week Activity Ideas  (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Okay...the administrator tells you he wants a really WOW! Week...a real blow-out celebration.  Now you are asking yourself,
“Where do I start?”  Well...get you favorite beverage, some paper and a pen, set down in a quiet place and start planning.  
Here are some ideas.

First, let’s look at why and who should be celebrating National Nursing Home Week.  This is the time when everybody,
residents, staff, volunteers, families and the community should be proud of their nursing home.  Therefore all of them
should be included in the celebration.

Here are several activities you may want to include at your facility.

Mother’s Day Tea (or Open House)
.  Furnish refreshments, music, a gift for all mothers (flower, candy, etc.).  Have the staff
give tours of the facility.

White Elephant Bingo.  Open it up to everybody.  Use candy bars, pop, chips, pens, flowers, decorations, tissue paper,
powder, jewelry, stuffed animals.

Cook-out.  For everyone.  This can be a carry-in or the facility can foot the bill.  Have music and door prizes.

Balloon Launch.  Use helium balloons with strings and a card attached.  Free for the residents (prize to the one returned
from the farthest away).  Sell balloons for $1.00 each and offer a cash prize for everybody else.  

Banana Splits.  Bananas, chocolate syrup, caramel, strawberry, nuts, cherries, pineapple, whipped cream, ice cream.  
Remember:  everybody likes to make their own.

Volunteer Appreciation Day.  Serve refreshments, gifts, awards, door prizes.

Staff Appreciation Day.  Pizza lunch, gifts, door prizes.

Movie Marathon.  Choose a theme, dress the part.  Serve popcorn, pop, etc.  Give awards to those who are best dressed to
match the theme.

Dance.  Have a dance on an evening.  Choose the kind of music the people will enjoy:  country, rock n’ roll, western, big
band.

Gospel sing.  Have groups and church choirs come in and sing for about a hour each.  Start at 11:00 a.m. and run through
supper.  Stop at one point and have prayer for the staff and residents.

Above all...be sure to advertise your activities before the event...and thank everyone after.



JUNE

One-on-One Item to Share (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

I was recently thinking about one-on-one and small group activities when I ran onto the following piece of humor.  Wouldn’t
it be fun to share this with your elderly residents when you visit their room for an activity?
Hope you enjoy it. - Linda

I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN
And proud of it!

  • I'm the life of the party... even when it lasts until 8 p.m.
  • I'm very good at opening childproof caps with a hammer.
  • I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.
  • I'm good on a trip for at least an hour without my aspirin, beano, and antacid.
  • I'm the first one to find the bathroom wherever I go.
  • I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
  • I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a word you're saying.
  • I'm very good at telling stories. Over and over and over and over.
  • I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not as bright as mine.
  • I'm so cared for - long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.
  • I'm not grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, children, politicians.
  • I'm positive I did housework correctly before my mate retired.
  • I'm sure everything I can't find is in a secure place.
  • I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.
  • I'm having trouble remembering simple words like...uh???...uh.
  • I'm now spending more time with my pillows than with my mate.
  • I'm realizing that aging is not for sissies.
  • I'm anti-everything now: anti-fat, anti-smoke, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory.
  • I'm walking more (to the bathroom) and enjoying it less.
  • I'm going to reveal what goes on behind closed doors. Absolutely nothing!
  • If you are what you eat, I'm Shredded Wheat and All Bran.
  • I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days.
  • I'm in the initial stage of my golden years. SS, CD's, IRA'S, AARP.
  • I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?
  • I'm supporting all movements now...by eating bran, prunes, and raisins.
  • I'm a walking storeroom of facts,
  • I've just lost the key to the storeroom.
  • I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN, and I think I am having the time of my life!!!!

ALWAYS REMEMBER: The world was made round so that we would never be able to see too far down the road.


JULY

Have a Fourth of July Barbecue (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Nothing gets the Residents involved in a group activity like food.  Especially if the food is not the same old institutional stuff.  
Make this Independence Day special to your residents through music, fireworks and a super-duper barbecue.

The key ingredient to any Fourth of July cookout or picnic is simplicity. There is something compelling about the smell of
food being cooked over a charcoal pit, open flame or barbecue that seems to link us to the holiday's roots as well as our
own ethos.

The head figure of the family (the Administrator), beverage in hand, fussing with meat on the grill is a common sight in
many American backyards on the Fourth of July.

While menus may have become more exotic (reflecting the diversity of the cultures which have made America home), and
the activities more elaborate (if less patriotic), the main theme is enjoyment of the freedom to partake of "life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness."

In a very real sense, this celebration has retained its intent and origin. Even though not consciously called to mind by most,
it still is a profound and human expression of independence and how essential it is to all of us.

Menus

The Fourth of July has become synonymous with the barbecue, outdoor cooking and summer fun. While variations are as
numerous as the stars in the sky, there are still dishes and foods which immediately come to mind when one thinks of
Independence Day. Below is a sample menu suitable for any Independence Day cookout.

  • Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers
  • BBQ Ribs (Beef or Spare)
  • Hot Dogs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Cole Slaw/Potato Salad
  • Baked Beans
  • Chips (various flavors) and Dip
  • Pies (Cherry or Blueberry, but especially Apple)
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Ice Cream (any flavor)
  • Sliced Tomatoes

Courtesy:  http://www.fourth-of-july-celebrations.com/html/food___drink.html



AUGUST

August is Watermelon Month (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

The following trivia will help you decide what kind of watermelon activities you can create for the month of August.

  1. How long does a watermelon take to grow?
  2. Name 2 vitamins that watermelon contains.
  3. When picking a watermelon, what color should the ground spot be (the spot where the melon lies on the ground
    while growing)?
  4. If your watermelon is seedless, what are the little white seeds doing in there?
  5. Does a watermelon keep ripening after it’s picked?
  6. How many seeds does a watermelon have?
  7. How much of the watermelon is water?
  8. Can you eat the watermelon rind?
  9. Guess the world record for the watermelon seed spitting distance.
  10. Where do watermelons come from?
  11. Is the United States 2nd, 4th, 7th, or 11th in the world for watermelon production?
  12. How many months of the year can you have watermelon?

Answers:

  1. 3 months
  2. Vitamins A, B6 or C
  3. Buttery yellow to white
  4. These are empty seed coats and they are OK to eat.
  5. No
  6. 500-1,000 seeds
  7. 9296
  8. Yes, all parts of the watermelon are edible.
  9. 66 feet, 11 inches
  10. Watermelons are native to southern Africa, but have been known in India since prehistoric times, and in Egypt for 5-
    6,000 years.
  11. 4
  12. All 12

For more ideas visit the National Watermelon Promotion Board website at
http://watermelon.org/


SEPTEMBER

Tips to Share with your Residents (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

NOTE:  I received these tips in an e-mail from a friend.  Although these tips are quite interesting , I have not tried them out.  If
you use them it is at your own risk.]

  1. A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be
    resealed.    (hmmmmmm...)
  2. Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance
    it belongs to.
  3. For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put
  4. Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40
    years!)
  5. To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out
    and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.
  6. Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort
    (elbow grease that is!).
  7. Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt
  8. BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
  9. Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After
    years of having to throwaway rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more
    economical. Now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get 'sharpened''
    this way!
  10. Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every
    drop of blood. Works every time! (Now, where to put the body?) LOL
  11. Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which
    side has the streaks.  Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day.
    They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
  12. Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be
    any stains.
  13. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
  14. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness
  15. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
  16. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces ........ Left over
    wine? What's that? :)
  17. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
  18. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So, get your chalk out and draw a line
    on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
  19. Use air freshener to clean mirrors It does a good job and better still,leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
  20. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting totweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch
    tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer........

  • Clean a toilet.  Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush.  The citric acid and effervescent
    action clean vitreous China.
  • Clean a vase.  To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer
    tablets.  
  • Polish jewelry  Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
  • Clean a thermos bottle.  Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer,
    if necessary).
  • Unclog a drain.  Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz
    White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.



OCTOBER

Get into the Halloween Spirit (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

(ARA) - Halloween is one of the biggest decorating holidays of the year, second only to Christmas. According to the National
Retail Federation, nearly 60 percent of people plan to purchase decorations and 47 percent expect to decorate their home
or yard this year. With everyone getting into the Halloween spirit, make your house stand apart from your neighbors' by
keeping in mind this year's trends.  

"Making homes festive with creative Halloween decorations can be easy and fun for everyone from beginners to advanced
crafters," says Susan Atchison, trend expert for Jo-Ann Stores. "This season, cute is in and creepy is out. Gone are the days
of menacing mummies or frightening felines. Cute spiders, goofy monsters and playful witches will be especially hot. Also,
décor adorned with sunny and unexpected color pairings such as royal purple mixed with hot green, pink and jack-o'-lantern
orange will add extra personality to the inside and outside of your home."

If you're in the mood to embrace the charming side of Halloween this year, check out these easy ideas from Jo-Ann Stores
to add a playful and creative touch to your un-haunted house -- inside and out:

  • Show your trendy side by dressing your table with vibrantly colored place settings that feature friendly spiders made
    from basic shapes with large animated eyes.
  • Accent your mantle with spider votive holders on a yarn table runner to add quirky distinction to party décor.
  • For Halloween entertaining, give your guests goofy handmade spider boxes filled with goodies and treats. With
    wiggle eyes and bright, glittery colors, these little favors are gifts your guests won't soon forget! (See instructions in
    sidebar.)
  • Greet guests and trick-or-treaters with a festive door wreath made with silly monster and jack-o'-lantern faces in a
    rainbow of colors.
  • Colorful lights aren't just for Christmas anymore. Use strings of lights to decorate outdoor trees and bushes for
    Halloween. For a fun, friendly feel, add lively and unexpected hues of green and magenta with traditional orange and
    blacks to bring fresh life to your outdoor lighting.
  • Post unique stakes in the yard featuring cute character cutouts to welcome guests (instead of scaring them away!)
  • Let kids make their own personalized treat bags this year by easily stitching two pieces of black felt together with a
    strip at the top for a handle.  Glue on ears, eyes and whiskers to make a black cat or use green and orange felt to
    create a pumpkin.

For more advice and a variety of the latest indoor and outdoor decorating products and projects for Halloween, stop by your
local Jo-Ann fabric and craft store.-
Courtesy of ARA Content

Spider Favor Boxes

Supplies and Tools (for one favor box):

  • One 2 inch paper mache box
  • 7 inches of 5/8 inch dotted ribbon, optional
  • 4 Chenille stems cut to 6 to 8 inches, black
  • Glitter, examples use black, green and purple
  • Tacky glue
  • Two 10mm wiggle eyes
  • Two 1/2 inch black pompoms
  • Black spray paint
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray paint box and lid.
2. For legs: Make one small hole on each opposite side of box near bottom.  Poke chenille stems through holes in box,
extending out both sides. Shape legs and make small loop at end for foot.
3. Spread glue on lid top and top of feet, sprinkle with glitter; set aside to dry.
4. Glue pompoms to lid, then glue eyes to tops of pompoms.  
5. Fill boxes with favorite treats.

Optional:  Glue ribbon around side of box lid.

Skill Level: No experience needed
Approximate Crafting Time: 30 minutes plus drying time


NOVEMBER

Count Your Blessings (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Thanksgiving is upon us.  With all of the family and friends that visit our facility it is difficult for residents to think about all they
have to be thankful for.  This group activity allows residents to express the joys they have encountered in their lives.  You will
be surprised at the results.

Supplies Needed:

  • Chalk board or some way to write a list for everyone to see
  • Light refreshments similar to “tea time”

Directions:

  • Sit the residents in a semi circle so all of them can see the chalk board.
  • Ask each resident to state at least one thing they are thankful for. Write that blessing on the chalk board.
  • Pass the refreshments
  • Give everybody a chance to list as many thins as they are thankful for.
  • Later, type and make copies of the list to pass out to staff and family at the Thanksgiving Dinner  (Warning:  Because
    of privacy issues, do not put residents’ names with the list).

Grandma's Baked Apples  (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Nothing smells better than apples and cinnamon.  Try this treat and your department will be the most popular place in the
facility.  This is an excellent activity for a small group.

Supplies Needed:

  • 4 large apples peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together.
  • Dip the apple halves into the mixture.
  • Place a dab of the butter into the middle of each apple and
  • place in a baking dish; cover with plastic and microwave on high for 6-9 minutes.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  Serves 8.

Fresh Pumpkin (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)
How to prepare real pumpkin for your recipes.

Why would anyone want to cook with fresh pumpkin when one can buy canned pumpkin from the store? That is easy; taste.
Have you tasted the difference between tomatoes that come fresh out of a garden and tomatoes that you buy at the store?
The difference is like eating real tomato tasting the way God meant a tomato to taste and eating cardboard. There is as big
a difference between fresh pumpkin and the pumpkin you buy in a can from the store. You haven't had pumpkin pie until you
have pumpkin pie made with fresh pumpkin.

There are several different ways to cook fresh pumpkin. This is my favorite method. It does take some time. I usually set
aside an entire afternoon. Instead of making supper that night I send out for pizza. I know that pumpkin day will be a long
one.

  1. Wash the pumpkin.
  2. Heat the oven to 5000.
  3. Cut the pumpkin open and clean out the inside. I usually cut it in half for this.
  4. After cutting it into large pieces, put the pumpkin in a big turkey toaster. Add about a half inch to an inch of water.
    Bake until tender.
  5. Let the cooked pumpkin cool completely. If you are going to can the pumpkin instead of freezing it, now is a good
    time to wash your jars and get things ready for canning.
  6. Once the pumpkin is completely cool, peel of the rind. Baking it has made this much easier. Many times you won't
    even need a knife.
  7. Now it is time for your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender. A blender will take
    about two times as long, but it will work. Puree the pumpkin.
  8. Put the pumpkin in a strainer and let it drain. Get as much of the water out of it as you can.
  9. All the books on home canning say that at this point you should simmer the pumpkin until well heated,. If that will
    make you feel safer, have at it. I never do this.
  10. If you are going to freeze the pumpkin, put 2 cups in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. That is it.
  11. If you are going to can the pumpkin, put two cups of pumpkin into a clean pint jar. Cook at ten pounds pressure for
    20 minutes. Quarts 40 minutes.

Remember: All the recipes that use pumpkin usually call for 2 cups.

When using real pumpkin for a pie, use less liquid when you are mixing the filling. This isn't necessary for cakes and
cookies.

Fresh pumpkin will not be the dark orange of canned pumpkin. The cannery uses food coloring to get that color. You can if it
makes you more comfortable.

This recipe was found at
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Fields/8616/Thanksgiving/freshpumpkin.html



DECEMBER

Viewing the Christmas Lights (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Residents always enjoy seeing the beautiful Christmas lights.  But with cold weather and snow on the ground, it is not
always easy to get the majority of the residents out for viewing.  And, if you don’t have a facility van or bus it is impossible.  

Well, don’t despair.  There is a way to for them to see the Christmas lights.  You can have a viewing in the facility.

Supplies needed:

  • VCR Player
  • Camcorder
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Cookies
  • Christmas Music

What to do:

  • Prior to conducting the activity, take pictures of the local Christmas lights by driving by in your car.  Drive slowly,
    stopping at times taking time to focus the camcorder and record the lights.  You will need about one hour of very
    good shots of the displays.  Try to get a volunteer to do this for you.
  • For the Activity, darken the room or have an evening activity.
  • Serve hot chocolate and cookies
  • Play Christmas music
  • Play the video tape of the Christmas lights.

Note:  People who are residents from your area will recognize many of the displays.  Enjoy!

Christmas Stocking (Submitted by Linda Lucas, AD)

Most of the older residents remember the time when Christmas was a stocking containing an orange and a peppermint
stick.  This was their only Christmas gift.  It is a wonderful thing to give  help them recall this happy memory.  Rather than a
stocking, I always use a chicken basket with no advertising on it. I get them from our food service vendor.  Here’s how I do it:

Supplies needed:

  • Chicken basket
  • Name tags for each resident
  • Oranges, apples, bananas, cookies, candy, chewing gum, chips, etc.
  • Note pads, pens, stuffed animals
  • Volunteers to full the baskets
  • Elves to deliver the filled baskets

What to do:

  • Order the chicken baskets from your food vendor.
  • Place the resident’s name on  the bucket they will receive.
  • Ask for donations from businesses, church groups, school groups and staff.
  • Fill a basket for each resident.  Make sure each one gets things they can use.
  • Pass the baskets out on Christmas eve or Christmas day.

Note:  You will get compliments from the residents like you’ve never heard before.