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Recreation Therapists planning for March.....

pot of gold Activity programmers live holiday to holiday... or it seems. And sometimes we forget that to make a special effort for our family's holidays because we become burned out with holidays. Beware.
  1. Special Events Days
  2. Facts
  3. Birthdays
  4. Poem
  5. Activities

Special Events in March

  • 1st week- National Nutrition Week
  • 2nd week- Save Your Vision Week
  • 3rd week- National Wildlife Week
  • National Professional Social Work Month
  • 1- Ohio Day (1803, 17th state), Nebraska (1867, 37th state)
  • 2- Texas independence from Mexico (1836)
  • 3- Florida Day (1845, 27th state)
  • 4- Vermont Day (1791, 14th state)
  • 15- Maine Day, (1820, 23rd state)
  • 17- St. Patrick's Day
  • 20/21- Spring !!!!
  • 25- Maryland's celebration of arrival of 1st colonists (1634)
  • 30- Doctor's Day

March Facts

  • Birthstone- Bloodstone
  • Flower- Violet
  • Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death" (1775)
  • 5- Boston Massacre (1770)
  • 12- 1st transatlantic radio broadcast (1925)
  • 31- Daylight savings went into effect (1918)

March Birthdays

  • 2- Dr. Seuss (1904)
  • 14- Albert Einstein (1879)
  • 16- James Madison (1751)
  • 26- Robert Frost (1874)

March Poem

The stormy March has come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies:
I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy valley flies.

William Cullen Bryant

March Activity Ideas

Happy St. Pat-on the-Back Day
submitted by rose roscioli, CTRS of NHS of Delaware County on March 9, 2010

Size of Group: 4-25

Equipment: Small Cut out green shamrocks with double-sided tape

Objective: To improve feelings of self worth To receive positive feedback for oneself To be able to give compliments/positive feedback to others/peers To verbally receive progress/skills/attributes which are positive

Description: Gather group together in a circle or semi-circle. Inform group that this group is to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a different way. Invite each participant to take a shamrock (have extras on hand for those who may want to acknowledge more than one person). Next, ask group to think of someone who deserves acknowledgement, compliments, or a pat-on-the back. Ask for volunteers and have each person verbally give a compliment to the person they have chosen. They, then, put a shamrock on their back. The recipient may respond to the compliment. Be ready to invite participants (or yourself) to make sure that everyone is included.

Process at end of the group with questions:
1. How was it to receive a compliment?
2. Was anyone surprised at what was said about them?
3. Do people see themselves differently at times than others see them?

smileSmile Party
submitted by Carmine Gargano of Care One @ East Brunswick on March 8, 2009

Size of Group: 20 or More

Equipment: Music & Energy

Objective: Improve Residents Mood.

Description: Smile Party can run from 30 minutes to an hour.

Start by asking the residents what makes them happy, and begin making a list of 'happy lifetime moments,' you can help your residents by bringing up ideas about the birth of a child/grandchild, wedding, birthdays, first car, etc.

Then play some upbeat music, and encourage the residents to smile, after everyone has a smile on their face, start to make different faces.

It works well with all levels of residents b/c it integrates many features to stimulate residents on different level.

Hope it works out well for everyone!

Vegas Night

Set up several stations of Blackjack, Roulette and Poker. Give your participants a set amount of "play $" to "gamble" with. A prize table will be set up away from the game area to trade their chips they receive each time they win a game. One chip denotes one prize. The prizes are usually toiletry items. Once the participant runs out of money then they can no longer play. It is a good idea to serve refreshments during the event. Have fun!!


Treasure Hunt, St. Patrick's Day
Submitted by Kathy Maples TRT

Size: Up to 10 per helper

Equipment: Shamrocks- to write clues on; Treasure-Gold candy coins, necklaces etc.; Treats- rainbow sherbet; Treasure chest (I make mine out of cardboard); cutout rainbow

Objective: group socialization, team work, reorientation to facility and staff, trivia

Description: Make clues that lead to different areas of facility, put them on back of shamrocks.


When your head is hurting bad, and your stomach is even worse, to get relief from all your pains, you need to talk to our friendly______.

Of course this would lead the group to the nurse.


You involve as much as the staff as possible in order for your groups to meet and greet throughout the facility. I hide the "treasure" behind something that is located directly below a rainbow that has been used since the beginning of the month as a decoration. After the treasure is found, everyone is invited to the dining room for rainbow sherbet. I do this as a sequential activity. The higher functioning residents help make the clues and hide them, the middle functioning residents find the clues, and the entire facility shares in the bounty and the treats.


Spring Fling
submitted by kristi of VAMC-Denver

Size: 10-100

Equipment: Large Fridge Box W/ head sized hole cut in center. Paint the box in fun colors, paper plates and whip cream. You will also need staff, family members or anyone you can find willing to get a pie in their face.

Objective: Increased socialization, stress relief (laughter is the best medicine.)

Description: Have pts. take aim and try to hit the person in the pie toss booth. It's a hoot!!!!

St. Patrick's Day Casino Night
submitted by Jan M. Talkish of Friendship Center, Columbia, SC

Size of Group: 20 - 50


  • Several decks of cards
  • Play money
  • Spinning wheel
  • Bingo items
  • Lots of prizes, and prize chips.

Objective: Social interaction.

Description: Set up several stations of Blackjack. Bingo, Roulette and Poker. Give your participants a set amount of "play $" to "gamble" with. A prize table will be set up away from the game area to trade their chips they receive each time they win a game. One chip denotes one prize. The prizes are usually toiletry items. Once the participant runs out of money then they can no longer play. It is a good idea to serve refreshments during the event. Have fun!!

Note from the editor: Some participants/administration may object to the nature of this activity (gambling or the fact that such activity may reinforce gambling). You may want to consult with administration regarding this activity before implementing it.

Send your ideas to be posted here.


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