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Activities Home | Index of Activities

"Games may have particular relevance for conduct-disordered and delinquent youth... Games offer the opportunity to experience positive peer pressure and acceptance of authority in a non-threatening atmosphere." (Game Play- Therapeutic Use of Childhood Games, Eds., Schaefer & Reid, 1986).

Squabble
submitted by Joanne McAulay of Edgewood Park Nursing Facility on July 15, 2010

Size of Group: 10-15

Equipment: Letters on cardboard much like Scrabble, cloth bag

Objective: Friendly competition and socialization....residents enjoy this and helping one another

Description: Get each resident to choose seven letters from the bag and try to make words like you do in scrabble. They need to start with a word and join all the other letters on to make other words...you then count up all the letters (as you do in scrabble) and keep a tally. The one with the highest number at the end of the game wins a chocolate. The residents love helping one another. We called it squabble as to not to copyright the scrabble name.


 

Gamblin' For Gifts
submitted by Barbara Konuszewski of Huron Woods Nursing Center, Kawkawlin, MI on September 23, 2009

Size of Group: 8-14

Equipment: One set of dice, 11 prizes that fit into a lunch-sack

Objective: Social/Humor Game and Competition of Chance.

Description: Tables are connected end to end to seat up to 14 players. A variety of gifts are purchased ahead of time (can be small stuffed animals, candy bars, knick-knacks, funny hats, lotions, goofy eye-glasses, etc.) and placed in each lunch bag. Each bag is clearly numbered with marker (2 thru 12) and are lined up down the center of the tables. Announce that this activity is called gamblin' for gifts and that its no different than going to a casino, there are no guaranteed winners. Some people will win...and some will leave empty-handed. Choose the starter, the first person to roll the dice.

Prizes change hands again and again until the final round is completed.


Thimbles
submitted by Mary Donaldson of mcd on March 4, 2006

Size of Group: three

Equipment: empty wooden spools of thread

Objective: feeling of accomplishment

Description: flick the spools into table goals with fingers. With fingers and brightly colored spools. Yell touchdown when they get it in your goal. Good with male residents.


Dice & Grab Bag
Submitted by Mary Jane Newlon, ADC of Newark Healthcareon May 21, 2002

Size: large or small

Equipment: Six lunch bags with one prize in each bag. Number the bags 1-6, three dice and container to use to place dice in to throw

Objective: The activity helps with eye and hand coordination, gives a competitive spirit, allow a resident a chance to interact with other residents, have fun, and win a prize or prizes.

Description: Each resident rolls the dice. If two of the same number comes up, the resident wins the bag with that number on it. The next resident rolls and if he rolls the same number he gets the bag. A resident can win one or more of the bags. At the end of the game whichever resident has the bag(s) gets to keep them.


Let's Fish!
Submitted by Gail Hammer, AD of Birchwood Care Center on Monday, January 20, 2003

Size: 4-10

Equipment: fish shapes cut from Construction Paper, magnets, paper clips, yarn and dowel rods.

Objective: Hand/eye coordination, socialization, group interaction in a competitive situation and physical activity

Description: After you have cut out the fish shapes, place a magnet on the back side of each. Attach the yarn to the dowel rod-this is your pole and the paper clipped the the end of the yarn-this is your hook.

Have the group sit in a circle and place the fish on the floor in the middle. One the count of three everyone starts "fishing". Our residents really enjoy this activity and if you have too many people have them pair up one fishes and the other person helps take the fish off the hook. We play several rounds before the "master fisherman" receives his/her prize which is a small bag of gold fish crackers. I place this on my calendar year round as several different names; Fishing rodeo, bass tournament, ice fishing, etc.


Musical Scattergories
submitted by Evelyn B. Mika, CTRS of North Broward Medical Center on May 9, 2001

Size: 4 or more

Equipment: Piece of paper and pencil for each team

Objective: Teamwork/Improve social interaction, Creativity, Reminiscence/Improve memory skills

Description: Split group into two teams. Give both teams a topic and a time limit. The team with the most qualifying answers wins.

Each team brainstorms and writes the answers to questions such as: "Songs titles that have girls' names in them" (or boys, flowers, states, the word love, the word you, colors, weather words, etc.) Teams stop writing when time is called (5 minutes is average depending on age, ability, etc.)

To gather responses, each team takes turns singing one or two lines from the chosen song. They are the only team allowed to score points for that song. They must be able to sing the song to gain the points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.


What's in the box?
Janet K. Slade of Snow Valley on September 10, 1999

Size: 8 to 10 with mild to severe cognitive deficits

Equipment: Variety of balls, baseball, basketball, bocce, croquet, koosh, nerf, golf, squeeze, etc all in a big box

Objective: reminisce of past activities, sports group, sensory awareness

Description: Residents sit in a circle around the therapist who has the large box close to her/him. Starts discussion about various types of balls and brings out a ball from the box. Passes the ball around and asks for description of ball...is it heavy?, light?, smooth, bumpy, etc.. Continues by asking someone if they can think of another type of ball and then bring it out of the box and continue. Nerf and koosh balls are good sensory stimuli and also new to geriatric patients. Same with squeeze balls. Activity can be expanded to kick the balls, lift over head (large light balls) and even bat a balloon (instead of a ball).


"Auction"
submitted by Kathy Watson of SunBridge Care & Rehabilitation for Dresden June 13, 1999

Size of Group: 8-15

Equipment: play money, small items for prizes

Objective: promotes social interaction,promotes a sense of well being.

Description: Each resident is given a $100 bill. Each resident get to bid on the objects they want to purchase. Some of the residents really bid real hard against each other. Have enough prizes for all the residents to "buy" something. That way no one leaves empty handed


Card Bingo
Heather Myers of Innsbruck Healthcare Center-MN

Size of Group: 5-12

Equipment:

  • Any number decks of cards, depending upon the number of players
  • One full deck for the facilitator
  • Prizes (optional)

Objective: Increased socialization skills, Cognitive maintenance

Description: Seat players at a table. Pass out 5-7 cards to each player (with fewer players it takes longer with 7 cards.) The players will lay each of their cards face up in front of them. The facilitator will call out cards from the full deck, when a player discovers they have the same card, they turn that card over. The first one to turn all of their cards over is the winner.

Prizes are optional, but usual increase attendance!


"Carnival" Coin Toss Game
Submitted by Carol A. Johnson who is caring for her mother with Alzheimer's.

I "invented" a game where we toss coins (or whatever) into a large bowl/pot on the floor. She can toss them from her wheelchair and I adjust the distance of the bowl according to her strength for the day (sometimes good sometimes not). She takes the pennies (if this doesn't work try something with a little more weight) and I take the dimes (100 each)-[we built up to this amount] and we take turns trying to toss them in the pot. Like a carnival toss game.

This game used to end when we were out of coins. Then a friend of mine told me that her disabled son likes to "sort things". So I tried that out and sure enough it was true. So now, she will sort the pennies and dimes while I get to do something else and then she will count the ones that were in the pot to see who "won". I don't know how long she will continue to be able to do all of this activity but we both enjoy it and it is "therapy" for me as well. The down side is until they get good at it you'll have to sweep up the coins that don't make it into the pot or put a sheet under the pot to pick up the ones that missed.

[I just had a thought... for a man you might want to use "nuts and bolts" or "washers and gaskets" from the hardware store. They would be cheap, about the right weight and he might enjoy sorting them (i.e. it would be "functional.) Let me know if it works out.


Eleven

Size of group: sets of 3

Focus: fun, social interaction, cooperation

Description: A group of 3 people face each other. Each person clinches his fist and on the count of "one, two, three" throws out the fist and any number of finger (from 0 to 5). Count the total number thrown by each group member. If the total equals eleven, then the group "wins."


Telephone Line
Submitted by Brad Brunfelt Woodland Hills, Duluth, MN

Group Size: 8-?

Equipment: none

Objective: to teach about misinformation and how rumors start when communication goes through several people.

Description: this is a common activity but some may not have heard it.

  1. Whisper a phrase to your first group member (i.e "Steve sells magazines on Thursdays to a guy who likes to drive a mazeratti"). Tell him or her only one time.
  2. That group member must repeat it to the next group member. (whisper of course!)
  3. Have the last group member repeat the phrase. Chances are that it will be WAY off. This gives you the opportunity to have some fun and to teach on the importance of getting things from the source and getting it straight!

good luck, email me with questions


Ante Up
submitted by Kathy Deik of Twining Village

Size of Group: small to large

Equipment: a jar of pennies (about 25 per person and 100 more for the "pot"), questions written on index cards beforehand

Objective: increase socialization

Description: Residents sit around a table. Each has 25 pennies placed in front of him/her. The "pot" of pennies is placed in the middle. Each resident takes turns reading a card and following the directions on it. Each card tells the reader to either give or take a penny. The resident with the most pennies at the end "wins", but this is also just a fun socializing game and is good for ice breakers too. Very quick to organize after you've done it once.

Some sample cards would be:

  • IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN TO HAWAII, TAKE A PENNY FROM THE POT
  • IF YOU ARE WEARING EYEGLASSES, GIVE A PENNY TO THE PERSON ON YOUR RIGHT
  • IF YOU LIKE ICE CREAM, GIVE A PENNY TO EACH PERSON SITTING AT THE TABLE
  • IF YOU KNOW HOW TO TYPE, TAKE A PENNY FROM THE PERSON ACROSS FORM YOU AT THE TABLE
  • IF YOUR FAVORITE COLOR IS BLUE, GIVE A PENNY TO THE POT
  • IF YOU CAN SAY HELLO IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE, DO SO, THEN TAKE A PENNY FROM THE POT
  • SHAKE HANDS WITH THE PERSON ON YOUR RIGHT, AND GIVE HIM A PENNY
  • IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN ON A BOAT, TAKE A PENNY FROM THE POT
  • WHISTLE DIXIE, THEN GIVE A PENNY TO A PERSON WEARING RED
  • ETC. ETC. ETC.

"Hope this is helpful! Let me know if you try it."

 

Add your favorite quiet games for others to use.

Activities & Tx pages sponsored by compuTR and maintained by Charles Dixon
If reprinting ideas from these pages, please give credit.

 

 

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