Submitted by Megan Irving- CTRS of Hawthrone House
Size of Group: 4-8
Equipment/Supplies Needed: Beach Ball (with questions written on it in large print)
Activity/Treatment Objective or Expected Outcome: For residents to read the question on the ball and answer the question to his/her best ability, to reminisce with group using the question read as a topic, to use hand-eye coordination when passing/tossing the ball to other individuals in the group.
Description of the Activity: Gather a small group of residents in a circle and toss the ball to an individual. Direct the resident to the question that their right thumb is touching and have him/her read to the question to the group and then allow him/her time to answer. Before the resident tosses the ball to someone else, allow time for other members of the group to comment or answer the question as well.
Idea for questions to write on Question Ball:
Cats or Dogs?
Lake or Ocean?
Have you ever been to Europe?
What is your middle name?
Italian food or Mexican food?
What is your favorite color?
Have you ever been on a plane?
What was your favorite bedtime story?
Favorite subject in grammar school?
Summer or winter?
Beer or wine?
Do you like to dance?
What is your favorite season?
Red Sox or Yankees?
Balloon Pop and Reminisce
submitted by Melanie Jaske of Mercy Harvard Care Center on October 19, 2007
Size of Group: 3 and Up
Equipment: Balloons in a variety of colors, Scissors or pin, Paper and pencil
Objective: Socialization, Reminiscing, Interaction
Description: Begin be writing a variety of reminisce questions/statements on small slips of paper.
Who taught you how to drive?
Tell us about your first date.
Describe the house you grew up in.
What was your first job?
Tell us about your best childhood friend.
What do you remember about your grandparents?
Place one slip into each balloon. Seat residents in a circle with balloon on the floor in the middle. Have one resident pick a color balloon. We have the staff pop the balloons with scissors as the residents don't like to do it themselves. The resident then answers the question. We will also go around the circle and have all residents answer. You then go to the next resident in the circle and have them pick a balloon.
Submitted By Olwen Hutchinson Of Mind On March 28, 2009
Size Of Group: Small Or Large Groups
Equipment: Anything Old. I Got Mine Cheap From Ebay. Eg: Stone Foot Warmer, Chamber Pot, Old Advertising Ad's, Dressing Table Set, Flat Iron, Old Toys And Games.
Objective: It Helps To Unlock Memories Which Are Highly Valuable To Those Who Have Few Memories Left And Gives An Opportunity For Conversation.
Description: We Have A Group Circle For This Activity. Explain To The Group That You Have Brought Some Items You Would Like To Pass Round The Group. Take An Item Out Of The Box And Stand In The Center Of The Group So That Everyone Can See The Item. Encourage Conversation From Members As Each Will Have There Own Memories. Pass The Item Round The Group So They Can See And Feel The Items. Our Members Always Enjoy This Activity.†
Senior Moments Game
Submitted by Lurline Morrow on December 14, 2003
Size: From 2-200
Senior Moments Game, available for $26 (incl S&H). Call
Objective: This game helps stimulate the memory and helps
each person recall favorite times, places, events.
Description: This game is played on a game board. Dice are
thrown, pawns moved, and cards drawn. All questions (200) are
pertinent to life in the U.S. Anyone would have known the answer
to these questions at one time in their lives. This game is
suitable for people with slight to moderate memory loss.
submitted by Linda Swirck of The
Renaissance at Nohl Ranch Inn on October 08, 2002
Equipment: B.Y.O.B. - Bring
your own Teddy Bear
Objective: Have room set
up for sharing. Have teddy bear cookies and tea. Residents
to share memories of their Teddy Bear.
Description: Sit around
craft table or semi circle. Each person take a turn telling their
memories of their favorite Teddy Bear. End with tea and Teddy
by Kelly Murman on Thursday, January 6, 2000
Size of Group:
Equipment: paper bag or
box. small slips of paper
Description: Before the
activity starts, take slips of paper and write a memory on each
one.....First date......favorite winter activity.....favorite
color......least favorite school teacher....etc. Place all the
slips of paper in the paper bag or box. Seat the group in a
circle, pass the bag around. Each time a resident picks a slip
of paper, they answer the question on the paper...telling about
their first date, that mean old teacher they had as a child,
sledding down the hill in the backyard with their siblings.....It
creates a great atmosphere of reminiscing and sharing.
I've also used the same idea to
ask the residents to do silly things...Sing a song....Make a
funny face....make the sound of a duck.....There are many variations.
I've always had great groups with these programs.
Resident Activity Memory Book
submitted by Colleen
Mcgowan of York Lutheran Home on October 14, 1998
Equipment: large 1"
binder, memory book pages, stencils, markers, camera
Description: Residents will
be asked if they want to participate in creating a activity
memory book. They can decorate the front cover, and also sign
their names on the first page. To add a special effect, the
activity person can put sparkles over the signatures to make
them stand out. The recreation assistant will tell the residents
that this book will be used for anyone who wants to remember
any activity that would take place at the nursing home that
they enjoyed. The residents can remember activities that they
want to remember. Examples of ideas to put in the scrap book
would be special guests visiting, birthday parties, Christmas
presents being opened, etc. A camera or a disposable camera
should be made handy for pictures that could be taken. Be sure
to follow confidentiality procedures. Make sure the book has
a title on the spine and be put in a place where the residents
can look at it.
Amusement Park Game
Submitted by Theresa
Swider of ElderCenter on July 30, 1997
Size: 2 - 8
- Large Empty Sheet Pizza Box
- Colored Paper
- Pictures Taken at Amusement
- Doll Clothespins and Stands
- Reminisce about amusement parks
- Feel good about making own game
and then playing it
Description: We divided
this activity into 3 days. Each taking a half an hour to one
Day one made two different color
cards with backs that look like amusement park tickets, of course,
must be very general. Then sat down and talked about what things
happened at the amusement park that would be reasons to go forward
and things that happened that would be reasons to go back. Then
decided how far forward and how far backward each card would
go. Example: Cutting in line go back 10 spaces. One color represent
the forward file and a different color represented the backward
The next day we painted the clothes
pins everyone picking their own color and then we drew a face
on the pine.
The third day we pasted different
colored squares around the game board including the colors of
the cards made on the first day. (We also made the little squares
look like the larger cards)
Then we pasted a collage of the
amusement park pictures in the center of the board. We then
glued two blank cards one of each color of the cards we had
made on day one.
We each played the game with one
of the dice and the player that we had painted. Moving ahead
as the dice indicated and taking the appropriate card as we
landed on the like square and following its directions.
Size of Group: up to 6
Equipment: paper and pencil....
one for each participant
are first asked to write down each year of his/her life (i.e.,
1934, 1935,1936, etc.) in a single column (a sheet of paper
with years already written would be helpful). Ask the participants
to write down beside each year one or more significant event
associated with that year. The event can be personal or something
that happened in the world.
After the writing period, each
participant can discuss with others specific years and events
related to that year.
Alternative: instead of
having everyone write, announce a year and discuss events from
Traveling through USA Regions - submitted by Jean Lunt
Make a bulletin board or other
display entitled "Ride the Rails through the USA".
Each boxcar could name a region or area you plan to "stop
and visit." For example, you might want to visit the Southwest
Region while traveling on the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa
Fe. While there you could "stop off" and try such
ideas as water color painting while listening to the Grand Canyon
Suite, making Indian beadwork, or paper mache maracas. You could
make sand picture by adding food coloring and glue to play sand.
Maybe you might want to try learning a simple line dance and
munch on nachos while sipping ice tea and listening to country
western music. If gambling is a favorite with some of your residents,
include a trip to the Silver Dollar Saloon or Las Vegas.
Let your residents plan their train
trip outlining the path on the US Rail map. Then decide where
they would like to stop and visit. You can set your future activity
schedule from that. Create excitement by getting the entire
1. In 1831 in the U.S. ,
what was carried by the railroad? Mail
2. What is the car called
that has sleeping accommodations? Pullman
3. The final spike in the
transcontinental railroad driven in at a ceremony at Promontory
Pike was made of what metal? Gold
4. What was the name of the
famous waitresses that served on those early trains? The
5. Which two railroad companies
did President Lincoln select to build the transcontinental
railroad? Pacific Union and the Central Pacific
6. Who were the famous train
robbing brothers? Frank & Jesse James
7. What is the triangular
piece of the frame on the front of the locomotive called?
8. Who is in charge in railroad
yards to make sure trains are lined up in the right order? The yardmaster
9. Bill Cody earned his nickname
by killing what for meat for the railroad workers? Buffalo
10. What was the nickname
for the Irish immigrant workers? Tarriers
11. Someone bet that this
black steel driller could pound holes in rock deeper and
faster than the new steam drills. He won the bet but driller
died as a result. They wrote a famous ballad about the
driller as a result. They wrote a famous ballad about
the driller. Who was he? John Henry
Submitted by Jean Lunt of Jean
Lunt - Desktop Publishing. Jean has for sale packets of
themed activity ideas. The Railroad activities presented here
are just a small fraction of the Railroads packet.
Have a scavenger hunt with residents
assigned to teams. Give each team a bandana on a stick and a
list of things to find. They could keep the items in the bandana
until they finish. Give everyone at the party a balloon tied
on a stick to resemble the hobos pack. Each table could
be assigned a railroad line with its logo on the center or hung
above the table. Give instructions to each team that will lead
them from railroad to railroad collecting items for their scavenger