Tea cup table centers
submitted by Nicolla Moran of Oakbridge retirement village on December 19, 2009
Size of Group: 1-15
Equipment: Tea cups and saucers ( very cheap from a charity shop) Floristry foam Flowers (chrysanthemum and carnations)
Objective: This really helps build the self esteem of people with dementia. It produces beautiful table centers that get lots of praise and is easy and stimulating to do. It also bonds the group or can be done 1-1, and people at all stages can do this.
Description: At a table cut the floristry foam into small squares that fit snugly in the teacups. Once the foam is in the teacup, water until wet through. Put a tea cup in front of each chair at the table. Cut the heads from all the flowers at an angle. Cut them at short but various lengths. A resident with higher skills could help you do all this.
Once you have enlisted people for the activity sit them down around the table with a teacup.
Hand out an equal amount of flowers then ask the residents to push the flowers into the floristry foam while you demonstrate.
Go round the table giving help and praise, and have a big round of applause once done. Then ask the residents to find a table to display their arrangements. Place them on saucers and you have fabulous table arrangement that residents can enjoy for days.
Crossword Puzzle with Slam Game
submitted by Anne-Marie Cram of Maine Veterans Homes on February 13, 2010
Size of Group: 4
Equipment: Scrabble Slam Card Game
Objective: To maintain letter and word cognition, eye hand coordination and socialization.
Description: Activity: Crossword Puzzle with Slam Game
Time: 30 minutes
Objective: Retain letter and word recognition, eye and hand coordination, socialization.
Equipment: Table, deck of Scrabble Slam Cards (commercially purchased)
Procedure: Explain to residents that the cards will be passed out to each of them. Cards are to be placed on the table in front of them.
Cards have letters on both side, and there are blank cards that can be used as wild card.
Have residents pick a word to start with, start with one resident and ask if they have the first letter of the word. Have resident’s place card in the middle of the table. Go around to each resident until the word is spelled out. Pick a letter from that word to start another word. Then work your way up or down. Repeat the process having residents thinking and spelling words along with you. If residents are able to place the cards allow them the time to do so. Words are set up as you would a crossword puzzle. Play until all the card are used or there are no other words that can be made.
I played this game with residents who are in the middle stages of dementia and they had a great time.
What is it?
submitted by Sharon Lewis of Keyhealthcare on March 23, 2009
Size of Group: 1 - 20
Equipment: items that residents can guess what they are
Objective: To get residents to communicate with each other
Description: I have several modern day items in a box ie. tea bag squeezer, jar opener, toothpaste squeezer, egg yoke divider ( I have now got about 20 items in my box )I get each item out individually the residents have got to guess what they are, they have great fun doing this, the one they talk about the most is the tongue cleaner.
submitted by Jennifer Vancho on October 9, 2008
Size of Group: any
Equipment: Greeting Cards,construction paper, pens maybe scissors,
Objective: Increased Self esteem and self worth,
Description: In my LTC facility I gather residents and discuss how we can
give back to the staff that do so much for them. We usually end up
constructing a large card and decorating it. We have the residents sign and write a message if possible. Each month we thank a different department. Sometimes we send a card for a specific staff member that is battling a hard time.
love everybody except....
Submitted by Rachel
Seltzer of Peachford Behavioral Hospital on May 09,
therapy. participating in a silly activity to learn to
find humor in life situations and learn to have fun and
laugh. And by standing in front of a crowd can help people
who are shy to come out of their shell.
sits in a circle with one less chair and a volunteer in
the middle. the volunteer begins by saying I love everybody
except those with brown hair...or those with black shoes.
If you have brown hair you get up and switch seats including
the volunteer. You can't go to the chair next to you. It
must be away from your initial seat. For children I reword
it and tell them to say I like everybody who.... They run
around trying not to get stuck in the middle. Adults and
children love this activity. They learn to be silly and
laugh and also get some exercise from running to the best
submitted by Anna Evans
of Longwood University on January 04, 2004
of various colors and scissors
To enhance socialization skills. 2. To share memories with
different colored yarn into varying lengths. Tie yarn together
end to end, alternating the colors. Roll the yarn into
a ball. Sit in a circle. Decide who will go first and hand
the person the ball of yarn. As the person begins telling
a story, he or she slowly unravels the ball of yarn. When
the color changes, it is time to pass the ball of yarn
to the next person so he or she can take over telling the
story. Keep passing the ball of yarn around as the colors
change, until the ball of yarn is completely unraveled.
The last person ends the story. For a variation, make up
a rule to follow when the color changes. For example, each
time the color changes you need to change the setting or
introduce another character in your story.
submitted by Winton Barrow of Dept. of Human Resources on May 25, 2002
All types of sprinklers, wade pools, water balloons, water
be socially interactive with others. This activity really
all of the sprinklers and just let the students just have
fun in the water. They will love this activity and will
not want to stop.
submitted by Rosa Mariona on September 29, 2002
piece of light colored material or joined scarfs, 6 balloons, music.
gathering,upper body exercise,eye coordination,reminisce
people seating in a circle holding the material, with the
balloons in the middle, moving the material up and down
while the music is playing.
The aim is not to let the balloons fall off.
submitted by Jane Shelton on March 22, 2003
Chairs, Cookie Sheet Pan, Pre-Made Dough, Small Bowls,
Knife, Sprinkles, Icing, Small plate (Plastic) and Gloves.
a bowl in front of each participant. Place a knife (Plastic
preferably) in front of each person. Place a good size portion
of the Pre-made dough into each participants bowl. Have
the participant place gloves on and work with the dough
until it is soft enough to create into a round flat cookie
shape. Have each participant place the cookie into the
flat cookie sheet. Once placed into the sheet place into
the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. While the
cookies are baking have each participant pick an icing
color. After the icing color has them pick the topping
of sprinkles are next. By the time each participant chooses
a topping decoration the cookies will be ready. Finally
it is time to decorate. Each participant receives a small
plate and is encouraged to be as creative as possible.
The neatest thing about this event is the smell of the
cookies. It is not only a sensory event but brings people
together. After decorating the cookie we usually have a
contest on who's cookie is most creative, cute, and original.
This event is simple and yet fun for Reminisce Groups,
Socials, and Rainy Days.
to know you
submitted by Kathy Brigham
of Little Flower Manor on May 27, 2003
though 4 to 10 seems to work the best
a tablet write statements such as " I know how to
knit", " My birthday is in the summer"...be
imaginative without being too personal. Number statements,
as many as you can think of. Have each participant in turn
pick a number. Read statement. Each member in the group
has to guess if the statement about the person who picked
the number is true or not. When all have guessed the person
who picked the Number answers. Participants find things
they may have in common, also this game is often a good "opener" for
submitted by Theresa Zaffini of Pine Knoll Convalescent
Center on January 7, 2002
Antiques, information about the antiques (which you can
obtain from the internet)
open discussion, reminiscing, and interaction
have the residents sit around a table, we have about 10
antiques for each scheduled Antique Home Show. We show
the antique and usually the residents know what is it and
they can us more about the item than we know. This activity
is usually for the higher functioning resident, but it
has had success with our lower functioning as well.
submitted by Shoe Schuler of HCF:
Warren Manoron Thursday, August 9, 2001
Size: at least
3; the more the merrier
Each person receives a sheet of paper onto which has been
copied 9 dollar bills (copy Monopoly or other game money),
3 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel. (2) A
varied selection of items to be auctioned off.
competition, reality orientation, just plain fun!
of the items is held up and described, then walked around
the room by a helper so everyone can get a good look. The
auctioneer keeps up a lively pace to create excitement.
After a bidder wins an object, the amount he bid is crossed
off the sheet of paper. Bidders may continue to bid on
new items until all their money is "spent."
Since our auctions take place
in a skilled nursing facility with two beds in each rather
compact room, we find the most popular items are body lotions,
tissues, and food items such as candy bars, boxes of crackers,
bags of hard candy, etc. A local church group donates very
popular, quilted lap robes. A box of tissues usually goes
for $9 or $10 ; while a charming lamp, figurine, picture
frame, writing supplies, or stuffed animal will go for
as little as $.50!
by judith kautz on March 25, 2001
Size: from 4 to 12 people
Equipment: a small ball,
large piece of bright colored material (or parachute for
Objective: hand and eye
co-ordination, team building, fun arm and hand exercise.
Description: Have people
sitting or standing hold material tight, with ball in the
middle. The object of the exercise is to not let the ball
fall off when raising and lowering the cloth.
to know your neighbor
by Amanda on May 16, 2000
Size of Group: 3-4
Objective: To help the
residents interact with other residents
Description: First you
start by having them sit in a circle. You may start the
activity or have someone else do it. Now, say something
that you like to do, and if someone else likes the same
thing, they are supposed to raise their hand. Whoever raises
their hand first is going to ask the next question. Each
person should record how many matches they have and after
the game ends whoever has the most matches wins.
submitted by mel of Atria
on February 18, 2000
Size of Group: 6-?
Equipment: Pool Table,
cue stick, billiard balls, adaptive pool equipment as needed
Objective: To facilitate
Description: We invited
a neighbor facility to join us in a pool tournament. The
beginning bought mostly men however 50% of the entries
are now women. We treat them to refreshments and the winner
receives a trophy donated by our local trophy shop.
submitted by Robert
Montague of Anchorage Pioneers' Home on January 28, 2000
Size of Group: 4-12
Equipment: A room without
Objective: Creative thought,
socialization, communication skills, diversion, team work,
Description: 1. In a
small group setting you present a scenario or encourage
others to present the setting/scenario that will be the
beginning of the story. For example: You are on a boat
in the South Pacific. It is a beautiful day and.....
2. Then you encourage each resident
to take turns in completing the story. Each resident contributes
to the story line.
submitted by Diane Urban of Normandy
Size of Group: 5-10
Equipment: 1 disposable
camera with flash
Objective: fun, social,
Description: This worked
well with the Personal Care wing residents. Before I went
on vacation I made up a list of photos residents would
have to take while I was away. Each photo had a point value
depending on difficulty. If they got a certain amount of
points they would get a shrimp cocktail and mocktail party
when I came back from vacation. Residents really got into
it. Some photo suggestions: 3 residents doing exercise,
2 residents with the Executive Director, a resident at
the beauty shop, a staff person in the whirlpool tub (not
filled with clothes on!)etc... The nursing staff on the
wing were into it also. They helped make the phone calls
to staff to come have their photo taken and took charge
of checking off when they completed certain photos. When
I got back from vacation they had gotten enough points
and the photos were really funny to put on the bulletin
board, and the shrimp were great!
by Melanie Heffner
Size: up to 12
Equipment: small paper
bags, small objects around the house
Description: take the
small paper bags and place a small object in them (paperclip,
spoon, battery, comb, etc.) everyone picks a bag and go
around and tell a story about what's in the bag.
Name Word Association Game
Min/max # of participants:
5 min, but no more than 15
Total number of sessions:
can be used as a first meeting warm up
Frequency of sessions:-
once within a group
Staff requirements: recreation
room/outdoor space supplies required none
Program objectives: to
learn the names of other persons in a group through associating
the person first name with a word that also begins with
the same letter as the first name
- Have participants sit in
- Have each person think of
a word that might say something about their personality
or something that they like to do - this word has to
begin with the same letter as their first name
- To begin, the first person
might say my name is Elizabeth and I like to exercise
- Then the next person introduces
themselves in a similar manner and then reintroduces
all previously introduced people in the same manner until
everyone has been introduced
person 1 - my name is
Elizabeth and I like to exercise
Person 2 - my name is
Heather and I like horses, this is Elizabeth and
she likes to exercise
Person 3 - my name is
Jim and I like to jump, this is heather and she
likes horses, and this is Elizabeth and she likes
Drawbacks: while everyone in
the group may remember names of people that they have heard
repeated in this manner, the people who are introduced
in the end my not have their name remembered by all as
the leader make a special effort to remember their names
Idea submitted during an activity
workshop at the 1995 WVTRA Conference
Size of Group:
up to 8
Equipment: video camera,
video tape, VCR, past episodes of Candid Camera on tape
Focus: creativity, group
interaction and decision-making
- Day 1- Show participants
past episodes of Candid Camera or discuss sequences that
you have seen. Have group discuss ideas for candid camera
skit and work out details, location, props, equipment,
- Day 2- Have the group work
out final details. Setup filming location with props
as needed. Film the sequence.
- Day 3- Show finished product
to participants and staff.
facilities do not permit filming of clients. You may have
to erase or destroy the video tape after showing.
4 to 10
Equipment: pencil, paper,
Focus: social interaction,
Before there was Balderdash,
there was Flibbertigibbet. Before there was Flibbertigibbet,
there was just a dictionary. What ever the name, a dictionary
can be a source of fun for everyone in the group.
Description: Invite one
person to look through a dictionary till he finds a word
he believes no one else would know its meaning. This person
reads the word aloud and spells it out for others.
The other players tries to think
of a good definition for that word.
Encourage players to try to
make the definition sound as if it really belongs in the
dictionary as they are attempting to fool others as if
there definition is the real one.
Meanwhile, the player who shared
the word from the dictionary writes down the real definition
on a sheet of paper.
When everyone is done, the definitions
are collected and read aloud one at a time. Everyone listens
and tries to guess which is the real definition.
- Anyone who guesses the correct
definition gets a point.
- The writer of a false definition
that is voted upon gets a point for each vote he receives.
- The player who shared the
word from the dictionary gets a point for every person
who guessed a wrong definition.
Continue the game with each
person having an opportunity to share a word from the dictionary.
Discussion: What family
games do you play within your family? How do you think
that games can promote communication within the family?
Would a regular family game night help improve communication
in your family?
Expected Outcome: participants
will learn a new leisure activity and add to their repertoire
of leisure interests and skills. Participants will understand
the need for family activities.