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Recreation Therapist planning for February....

valentine's day Program planners must consider not only the activity itself but the anticipation of the event and of the memories evoked from the event.

Special Events Days

February Special Events Days

  • Black History Month
  • 3rd Monday- President's Day
  • 2- Ground Hogs Day
  • 7- Beginning of Chinese New Year
  • 14- Valentine's Day
  • 14- Arizona Day, Oregon Day
Everything for Winter Everything for Winter: A Complete Activity Book for Teachers of Young Children: Activities for December, January, and February
by Kathy Charner (Editor), Joan Waites (Illustrator)

February Facts

  • Birthstone- Amethyst
  • Flower- Primrose
  • 8- Boy Scouts of American began (1910)
  • 20- John Glenn orbits the earth (1962)
  • 21- Nixon is 1st US President to visit China (1972)

February Birthdays

  • 4- Charles Lindbergh (1902)
  • 5- Hank Aaron (1934)
  • 6- Ronald Reagon (1911), Babe Ruth (1895)
  • 12- Abraham Lincoln (1809)
  • 14- Jack Benny (1894)
  • 17 - Michael Jordan (1963)
  • 22- George Washington (1732)

Activities for February

Cultural Fashion Show
submitted by Salima A of True Davidson Acres on February 17, 2010

Size of Group: 12

Equipment: Cultural Outfits and Accessories

Objective: Increased Self-Esteem that comes from celebrating one's culture and teaching others about it

Description: Advertise that you will be having a cultural fashion show so that anyone who is interested in either modeling or loaning outfits, will be aware. Research the different cultures clothing, including the correct name, how it's made, when it would be worn, origin, and any other interesting / pertinent information. Do a write-up of same. Put together an agenda so that everything is organized, including the order or items. On the day of, have all participants meet in a common area so that they can be organized.
If any residents are in wheelchairs, ensure someone is assigned to wheel them. Organize the seating so that it resembles a runway. Find an M.C. to read the descriptions of the items, and don't forget the jewelry, make-up, hats, hair and shoes to complement the outfits. We did an excellent fashion show that everyone enjoyed.
Heart to Heart
Submitted by Cher Oddy of KCHT on February 14, 2004

Size: 2 - 6

Equipment: card, scissors, marker pen

Objective: To match up the heart pairs ie: Romeo - Juliet, Rhett Butler - Scarlett O'Hara

Description: I draw around a heart template & ask my more able residents to cut them out. We then write down on each heart the name of a famous lover & their partners name is written on another heart.

The cards are placed name side up so all can see & we then match up the pairs. This game can also be placed with the names facing the table so your residents turn them over 2 at a time to find the partner. This way they have to remember where the partner card is placed. You can increase or decrease the number of cards used depending on your residents capabilities.

Karen Scott on 2-1-17

Create the hearts on construction paper or other paper.  To make it more interesting they may color the hearts in colors other than red, or stick with the traditional color.

"Color" the hearts in many ways:
1.  Put drops of glue inside the heart outline and sprinkle glitter to make polka dot hearts.
2.  Put the paper over a textured mat to make a rubbing as the "color"
3.  Take shredded color paper and glue it to the hearts.
4.  Put drops of glue inside the heart outline and sprinkle cinnamon and glitter together.

Place the paper hearts throughout the facility for others to find.  Those who find the decorated heart are encouraged to announce, "I found a heart!"  The hearts can be used to decorate their room.

Hunt the heart
Submitted by Cher Oddy of National Housing Association  on Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Size: 3-4 (more if abilities allow)

Equipment: hearts cut out of red and pink card and bluetack

Objective: Treasure hunt with a slight twist. Gets the residents searching for the hearts to win a small prize.

Description: Cut out the hearts drawn on the card or paper, your residents can help with this as it will help with recognition when they go off to hunt the hearts.
For the more able you could write clues but with mine I number the back of the heart and list where I have put it in case we do not find them all.
I usually find that those who do not want to take part will point out the objects to those who are playing. This theme takes place near Valentines day but could be adapted to Easter eggs, shamrocks, fish, chocolate coins, Xmas trees and stockings etc.

Have a heart
Submitted by Cher Oddy of National Housing Association on Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Size: I tried this with a group of 6

Equipment: Salt dough, fun foam, terracotta pot, small stones, willow twigs, thread, glue, paint

Objective: to paint the flower pot, cut out hearts in various sizes and glue to pot or glue together to hang on branches. Also to roll out salt dough and use heart shaped cutters and make a small hole for hanging after they have been cooked.

Description: Once all of the above has been done you can paint the hearts and let then dry. meanwhile place the branches in the pot and add the pebbles to hold in place. Thread the hearts with ribbon or wool and hang from the branches for a Valentines day decoration.

Valentine's Day Singing Telegrams
submitted by Gail Greenberg of JCADCP on August 17, 2000

Size: 4-8 residents

Equipment: Song Sheets with 2-3 Love Songs,
Big Red Heart Name Tags, Singing Telegram Forms

Objective: Empowerment, Self-Esteem, FUN!

Description: A group of residents will sell singing telegrams for Valentine's Day. They will be delivered on or near the holiday itself. When our facility did this, we charged $1 per telegram and made $50! The press came out and covered the event, and we were on the front page of the metro section. VERY SUCCESSFUL!

3-4 weeks prior:
1. Develop forms for people to fill out to give to telegram recipient. This must include the recipient's name, the giver's name, and an area for a message.
2. Advertise in your facility newsletter and on boards in your facility.
3. Send out press releases.

2 weeks prior:
Begin practicing songs with your telegram delivery group. Songs like "Always" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" go over well.

1 week prior:
1. Make large heart name-tags at a craft activity to be worn when delivering telegrams.
2. Take inventory of how many telegrams you have sold and begin to organize them to make them easy to deliver.
3. Follow up with media contacts.

Day of:
1. Gather your group, who have been encouraged to wear red. Pin on name-tags.
2. Deliver telegrams thru out the facility.

This was an incredible activity for our residents. They especially liked giving telegrams as thank you's to the staff.

Good Luck!

HEART (bingo)
submitted by Lisa Laveglia of The Nursing Center at Oak Summit on June 23, 2000

Size of Group: all of your regular bingo players

Equipment: bingo cards, bingo chips, bingo master sheet, strips of paper

Objective: celebrate Valentines Day and add a little twist to ordinary Bingo

Description: take strips of paper large enough to cover the B-I-N-G-O letters on top of bingo cards and write H-E-A-R-T on them. Also do this on the Master Board. When you call your numbers, you use the new letters instead of the old (B6 becomes H6, N35 becomes A35, etc)

heart throw pillow Heart Throw Pillows
submitted by Carolyn Leo, CTRS

Group Size: 1-10

Equipment: Fabric, Thread, Needles, Marking pens, Heart pattern, Scissors, Cotton fabric stuffing

Objective: To develop a new leisure skill. To promote self-esteem through the completion of a project. To learn a life skill.

Description: Cut out a pattern of an 8" by 8" heart onto poster board. Provide clients with fabric and marker and let them trace the heart two times on fabric. Clients will cut the heart shape from fabric. Instruct clients to stitch together the hearts, inside out. Leave small opening at the base of heart. Turn heart "inside out" so that the stitches go on the inside and the front of the fabric faces out. Fill hearts with cotton fabric stuffing. Stitch together the small opening.

Heart Throw pillow is complete.

cupid Valentine Hugs
submitted by Linda Bell of Shoreham Village

Equipment: red bristol board, string, paper punch , heart pattern large enough to sign 56-60 names

Objective: interaction with all staff and residents within the home and to in touch by a hug

Description: on valentines morning a heart is given to each resident. They are told to get as many signatures on their heart as they can by 2 pm. They must receive a hug from the person before their heart is signed.

Later in the day, have the residents bring their hearts to the valentines party. Count the signatures. We give out three prizes for the highest number of signatures.

Comment: It is a fun day, and residents look forward to this activity every Valentines day.

Be My Valentine
submitted by Julie Carbaugh of Nazareth Court and Center on January 26, 1999

Size of Group: Large: 20 plus

Equipment: Duplicate items or pictures of duplicate items

Objective: Social activity to promote interactions with others Physical - while looking for partner Cognitive - Finding matches for each item-- you decide the cognitive level depending on your group's abilities

Description: Pair up your residents using some Valentine-related items. Give each person one item up to one week before the event. They must interact to find the person who holds the other half of the item. On the day of the event the couples dine with each other with a special Valentine meal.

Some ideas for pairing: make a giant heart-shaped candy box--make pairs of candies (candy bars, etc) as the couples find each other their candy gets taped in the "box" (display the box on the wall); famous pairs, hearts cut in two pieces (vary the size and color of hearts and distinct cuts); flowers, animals (we did Noah's ark for this one).

You may choose to pick partners so that you know the two will get along-- this depends on your residents-- this also allows you to know who is supposed to be a certain person's partner if someone can't find their partner or if someone is unable to search for his/her partner. For the special meal you may choose to provide the real items they used to pair. Ex. For Noah's ark each pair got a cutout cookie of the animal they were, and for the candy box they received that candy in their meal-- we do "box lunch" on these days-- similar to picnic lunch so they can be prepared ahead-- another good reason for pre-pairing your couples so Dietary can determine special needs lunches.

submitted by SUSAN LONG CTRS of SANDALWOOD MANOR on February 2, 1999

Size of Group: 20+

Equipment: A dozen or more, whichever desired, construction paper groundhogs attached to some sort of pocket large enough to hold several pieces of paper. Tags that have residents name on them, enough tags for each resident to have their name on and enough to correspond with number of groundhogs. Prizes for winners.

Objective: Facility awareness. Interaction with staff and socialization with peers. Increased problem solving ability.

Description: Groundhogs are placed around facility in inconspicuous places. Residents are gathered and given tags that have their names on each tag. Twelve tags if there are twelve groundhogs. Residents are instructed to hunt for the groundhogs and place one of their tags in the pocket until they have found all of the groundhogs. A social is planned for the afternoon and groundhogs are collected. Tags are counted to see how many each resident found. Prizes are awarded. I have also done this at Christmas time using elves and opening day of deer hunting season using magazine pictures of deer.

An afternoon in Mardi Gras
submitted by Christine Allen of Newmarket Health Center on May 23, 1999

Size of Group: Any number

Equipment: Balloons, streamers, lots of decorations
Mardi Gras masks for everyone, crowns for the king and queen
King Cakes and punch

Objective: Turn the activity area into downtown New Orleans for Mardi Gras
To provide entertainment and socialization for the residents. To reminisce through familiar songs and allow them to participate in group activities.

Description: We had a barbershop quartet come in and sing many of the classic hits from the past. The harmony between them was nothing compared to the harmony of the group. Everyone sang and laughed. Staff dressed up like clowns to add to the carnival atmosphere and there was a draw for the king and queen of Mardi Gras (for the afternoon). There was juggling acts and the history of Mardi Gras was explained to all.

Traditional refreshments of King cakes and punch were served and everyone left with their own Mardi Gras Mask.

Send your favorite activities for February and have it posted here.

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


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