May 2014 Senior Activity Calendar

This calendar contains fun and unique May activity ideas. Each day has four different activities that you can easily add to your existing senior activity calendar. For every Sunday and Thursday, find interesting arts and crafts for senior citizens that are easy to make. In addition, each afternoon contains a fun and unique afternoon social idea for your residents.

Fun Activity Ideas for May
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Mother's Day


Community Day


Health Day


Tactile Day


Learn Something New Day


Movie Day


Armed Forces Day

18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

May is ...

  • Arthritis Awareness Month
  • Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • Get Caught Reading Month
  • Gifts From the Garden Month
  • Healthy Vision Month
  • International Mediterranean Diet Month
  • Jewish-American Heritage Month
  • National Barbecue Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • National Meditation Month
  • National Military Appreciation Month
  • National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
  • National Photo Month
  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
  • National Salad Month
  • National Salsa Month
  • National Stroke Awareness Month
  • National Sweet Vidalia Onion Month
  • Older Americans Month
  • Personal History Awareness Month
  • Tennis Month
  • Women's Health Care Month

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  • May Day
  • Mother Goose Day

Crafts: Origami Butterflies

Recruit residents to create origami butterflies to hang in your Activity Room as decoration for the season.

May Day Decorating

Encourage residents to decorate your Activity Room for the upcoming May Day Dance. Have residents make and decorate maypoles for the dance.

Mother Goose Tea Social

Invite residents for a cup of tea as you reminisce about old nursery rhymes on this Mother Goose Day. Start off with the first line of some popular nursery rhymes and see if the residents can finish reciting them on their own.

May Day Dance

Host a fun May Day dance in your Activity Room on this first day of May. Invite residents to dress up for the dance and have fun.

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  • Birthday: Benjamin Spock, author and pediatrician (1903)
  • King James Version of the Bible was published (1611)

Mediterranean Lunch

Coordinate with Dining Services to serve an appetizing Mediterranean lunch for residents, including seafood, olives, and cheese, during this International Mediterranean Diet Month.

Bible Study Club

Recruit interested residents to form a Bible Study Club on this day that the King James Version of the Bible was published. Depending on interest, consider making this a monthly club meeting.

Do You Remember?

On this birthday of Benjamin Spock, the famous pediatrician and author of Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946), host a discussion with residents about the differences between child rearing today and child rearing when they were first-time parents.

Eye Test Social

Have fun with residents during this Healthy Vision Month by playing a few hand-eye coordination games, like Ping Pong Toss or Balloon Volleyball. Serve mini carrots and other veggies with dip for an afternoon snack.

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  • Birthday: James Brown, singer (1933)
  • CBS premiered the "CBS Evening News" on television (1948)
  • Garden Meditation Day
  • 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

Garden Meditation

On this Garden Meditation Day, invite residents to go outdoors to your facility's garden or patio. Encourage them to enjoy nature as they meditate or pray. Serve a calming Chamomile tea.

Radio Theater

Share interesting CBS mysteries with residents on this day that CBS premiered its evening news. Gather residents around a radio as you play a fun mystery (which can be downloaded to a CD) for residents to enjoy.

Kentucky Derby Social

Set up your Activity Room for residents to watch the 140th Kentucky Derby. Serve residents Mint Juleps as you give them Monopoly money to bet on the winning horse. Invite the ladies to wear their most unusual hats to the derby. Give the winner (or winners) a fun prize.

Soulful Dinner

To help celebrate the Godfather of Soul James Brown's birthday today, coordinate with Dining Services to serve soul food for dinner, including fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread, or even baked ham, potato salad, and green beans. Afterwards, have a dance contest to see who can move like James Brown.

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  • Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica (1494)
  • Freedom Riders started challenging segregation on public transportation (1961)

Crafts: Mexican Maracas

Encourage residents to make maracas for your upcoming Cinco de Mayo party.

History Class

Discuss American history on this anniversary of the Freedom Riders, who challenged segregation on public transportation in America. Ask residents if they remember the Freedom Riders. Have residents discuss the changes that they witnessed in regards to desegregation in the United States during the 1960s.

Tennis Tournament

Host a tennis tournament among your residents during this Tennis Month. Divide residents into two teams, sitting on opposite sides of a volleyball net. Encourage residents to hit a balloon back and forth using plastic tennis rackets. Purchase inexpensive plastic trophies from your local supply store to give to the winning team.

Jamaican Social

Play fun Caribbean music for residents on this day that Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica. Invite staff members to participate in a limbo contest. Serve tropical drinks and fresh fruit as a snack for residents.

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  • Birthday: James Beard, "Father of American Cooking" (1903)
  • Cinco de Mayo, Mexican national holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862

Lazy Monday Read

During this Get Caught Reading Month, encourage residents to be lazy and stay indoors while taking a book from your facility's library to read.

Low Vision Support Group

Encourage your low-vision residents to gather during this Healthy Vision Month. Develop a forum for residents with limited vision to voice their concerns. Brainstorm with residents about possible solutions. Invite other department heads to attend.

Cooking Demo

Honor legendary cooking great James Beard on this day that he was born by having Dining Services conduct a cooking demonstration for your residents. Have them prepare a Mexican food on this Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo Social

Play fun Latin music as the residents celebrate the Fifth of May, the day that Mexico won a battle in the French-Mexican War in 1862. Serve non-alcoholic Mexican beer as well as salsa and chips for a snack. Encourage residents to use the Mexican maracas that were made on May 4. Beforehand, make a paper bag piñata for residents to enjoy at the social.

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  • Author John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • National Teacher Day
  • No Diet Day

BBQ Lunch

Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a special BBQ lunch for your residents during this National Barbecue Month.

Teachers' Ceremony

Honor your residents, who used to be teachers, on this National Teacher Day. Have each speak a little about their work as a teacher and what or who inspired them to have a career in education. Serve sliced apples with peanut butter for a snack.

Literary Talk

On this day that novelist John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), have residents discuss popular novels that they have read. Ask them about the novels that they had to read in high school.

Hot Fudge Sundae Social

Celebrate this No Diet Day by serving residents hot fudge sundaes. Supply residents with everything they need like nuts, whipped cream, cherries, and hot fudge. Supply sugar-free ice cream and toppings for your diabetic residents.

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  • Be Kind to Animals Week (May 4-10)
  • Birthday: Gary Cooper, actor (1901)

Soup & Salad Lunch

Encourage residents to eat healthier and lighter by coordinating with Dining Services to provide a hearty soup and salad lunch for residents during this National Salad Month.

Trip to Petting Zoo

During this Be Kind to Animals Week, take residents for a trip to your local petting zoo to see the animals.

Finger Exercises Social

For this Arthritis Awareness Month, show residents how to exercise their fingers by teaching them basic words of American Sign Language. Serve warm cookies and juice.

Western Movie Night: High Noon

Celebrate western star Gary Cooper's birthday today by showing the film High Noon (1952). Serve residents popcorn as they enjoy the movie.

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  • National Family Week (May 4-10)
  • National Hug Holiday Week (May 4-10)
  • National Wildflower Week (May 5-11)

Crafts: Flowers in a Jar

On this beautiful spring day, have fun making flowers in a jar that residents can keep in their rooms.

Give Me a Hug

Pass out hugs during this National Hug Holiday Week. Blow up balloons and walk around your facility handing out balloons and hugs.

Wildflower Planting Social

Encourage residents to plant wildflower seeds outdoors during this National Wildflower Week. Coordinate with your facility's Maintenance Department to place the seeds in a location easily viewable from indoors by residents. Serve lemonade and cookies as a snack.

Family Game Night

During this National Family Week set up several tables of games for residents to play, like a Checkers table, Cribbage table, Scrabble table, and a Domino table.

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  • National Nurses Week (May 6-12)
  • National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3-11)

Baking Club: French Breakfast Puffs

Encourage residents to make a French snack for this afternoon's European travel social.

Nurse's Notes

Invite your facility's nurse, during this National Nurses Week, to speak to residents. For example, ask your nurse to speak about ways to relieve arthritis during this Arthritis Awareness Month.

Reading Club

During this Get Caught Reading Month, encourage able residents to volunteer to read to other residents who would like to have visitors in their room. Supply your resident-volunteers with books, magazines, or newspapers.

Armchair Travel Social

Take your residents to a fun and exotic European destination during this National Travel & Tourism Week. Show a travel video, like Travel the World by Train: Europe (1999), which you can borrow from your local library or video store. Serve the French Breakfast Puffs made earlier today by the Baking Club, along with strong "European" coffee.

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  • Birthday: Fred Astaire, dancer and actor (1899)
  • Birthday: Maybelle Carter, leader of one of the first popular country music groups (the Carter Family) in the United States (1909)
  • National Babysitters Day
  • Paul Harvey's segment The Rest of the Story first premiered on the radio (1976)

Bluegrass Instruments

Encourage residents to make easy bluegrass instruments on this birthday of Maybelle Carter, leader of one of the first popular country music groups in the United States. Encourage residents to make the instruments to save and give later as gifts to the kids in their family.

Babysitter Competition

On this National Babysitters Day, see if your residents are up for the task of a fun competition. Provide each participating resident with a dressed doll wearing a diaper. Have the residents compete to see who is first to undress the doll, change the diaper, and re-dress the doll. Award a prize to the winner.

The Rest of the Story

On this day that radio legend Paul Harvey's segment The Rest of the Story first premiered on the radio, share an excerpt of the program or have a fun discussion about current news.

Dance Contest Social

See who can dance like Fred Astaire on this day that the talented dancer was born. Have the non-dancing residents judge which resident is the best dancer. Serve yogurt and granola as a snack to keep the resident's energy up as they dance.

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  • Minnesota became the 32nd state (1858)
  • Mother's Day
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)

National Nursing Home Week: Mother's Day

Crafts: Mother's Day Keepsake Box

Encourage residents and their family members to make special keepsake boxes for Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Brunch

Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a delicious Mother's Day brunch with champagne mimosas for the guests of honor.

Famous Mothers

On this Mother's Day, encourage residents to help fill out a famous mothers word search puzzle. Print out the puzzle and pass it around so residents can solve it either individually or as a group.

Family Tree Social

Supply paper and pens to residents and their family members to make a family chart during this Personal History Awareness Month.

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  • Limerick Day
  • National Etiquette Week (May 12-16)
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)
  • National Police Week (May 11-17)

National Nursing Home Week: Community Day

Early Morning Meditation

During this National Meditation Month, invite your facility's early risers to a morning meditation session. Play soothing music in the background and encourage residents to enjoy the music as they relax and get ready for a new day. Supply the early-risers with fruit and tea.

Trip to Police Station

For this National Nursing Home Week, take your residents out into their community. Encourage residents during this National Police Week to bake cookies and pack them up to deliver to your local police station as a "thank you" for the job that they do. Call ahead to see if they will allow you to bring residents to the station to drop off the cookies. Be sure to ask for a tour of the station.

High Tea With Emily Post

For National Etiquette Week, encourage residents to dress up for a special afternoon tea. At the tea, share butter cookies and etiquette tips.

Limerick Social

Share classic limericks with residents on this Limerick Day. Serve peanuts and (root) beer for a snack.

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  • Children's Book Week (May 12-18)
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)
  • National Transportation Week (May 11-17)

National Nursing Home Week: Health Day

Eye Exam

Create a Health Day at your facility during this National Nursing Home Week. Coordinate with the Nursing Department to invite an eye doctor to come and set up shop in your facility to offer eye exams to residents during this Healthy Vision Month.

Train Show

On this third day of National Transportation Week, host a fun train show. After school, invite the boys in your facility's neighborhood (or the grandsons of your residents) to bring their trains to show off to your residents. Set up a display table for the trains, and ask the boys to show off their trains' features to the residents.

Pop-Up Books

During this Children's Book Week, encourage residents to make a children's pop-up book that they can give as a gift to a loved one. (To make a pop-up book, simply glue the pop-up cards back to back.)

Batter-Up Social

Enjoy this baseball season as well as the great weather by gathering residents in your backyard to hit Nerf balls. Purchase a large plastic bat from your local toy store. Serve Cracker Jack as a snack.

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  • Congress approved the formation of the WAAC (Women's Auxiliary Army Corps), in which women could enlist for noncombat duties (1942)
  • First permanent English settlement in North America - Jamestown, Virginia - was founded (1607)
  • Flower (Full) Moon
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)

National Nursing Home Week: Tactile Day

Taking Woodshop

Create a Tactile Day during this National Nursing Home Week and encourage residents to assemble and paint wooden cars and planes. Purchase inexpensive wooden car and plane kits from your local dollar or supply store.


Recognize the women who served during World War II on this day that Congress approved the formation of a women's corps that enlisted women for noncombat duties, the WAAC (Army Corps), which eventually led the way for women to enlist in the WAVES (Navy), WAFS (Air Force) and SPARS (Coast Guard). Ask residents whether they or anyone they know served in these branches.

Early Settlement Social

To commemorate this day that Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, was founded, serve foods like old-fashioned jams and jellies with bread. Share interesting information about Jamestown in the early 1600s.

Flower Moon Nightcap

Set up a telescope near a large picture window in your facility so residents can view the Flower (Full) Moon, so named by Native Americans because of the abundance of flowers at this time of the year. Serve juice and warm cookies as a nightcap.

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  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)
  • National Transportation Week (May 11-17)
  • Nylon stockings went on sale at stores throughout the United States (1940)

National Nursing Home Week: Learn Something New Day

Crafts: Candy Airplanes

Encourage residents to make candy airplanes that they can give away as gifts to the young kids in their family, during this National Transportation Week.

Piano Lesson

Teach residents something new during this National Nursing Home Week like playing the piano. Demonstrate to residents how to play an easy song on your facility's piano.

Coffee Klatch: Women's Fashions

Reminisce with your facility's ladies about women's fashions of the 1940s and 1950s on this day that nylon stockings went on sale throughout the country. Serve coffee and pastries to the ladies.

Hand Massage Social

Offer hand massages to residents during this Arthritis Awareness Month, using various scented lotions. Serve snack foods like cheese on a toothpick so residents can easily eat while having their massages.

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  • Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France (May 14-25)
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)

National Nursing Home Week: Movie Day

Chair Yoga

During this National Meditation Month, host an exercise class in which residents perform yoga in their chairs. Play soothing music in the background. If this activity generates enough interest, consider making this exercise a weekly activity.

Guess Who?

Quiz residents about movie actors and actresses on this first day of the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Fresh From the Garden Social

If your facility has a garden, pick a few ready-to-eat veggies and serve them with dip for the afternoon social during this Gifts From the Garden Month.

Cannes Film Festival Night

Host a fun movie day during this National Nursing Home Week. On this third day of the Cannes Film Festival in France, show a recently released movie that residents would enjoy. Rent a DVD from your local library or video store.

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  • Armed Forces Day
  • Birthday: Wilhelm Steinitz, first undisputed world chess champion (1836)
  • National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17)
  • National Police Week (May 11-17)
  • New York Stock Exchange established (1792)

National Nursing Home Week: Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Flag-Raising Ceremony

On this Armed Forces Day, host a special flag-raising ceremony honoring your residents that served in the Armed Forces. Invite residents, as well as family members and staff, outdoors as you raise the American flag on your facility's flagpole. Consider inviting a volunteer to play the trumpet during the ceremony. Announce each resident's name that was in the Armed Forces, and give them a special pin. Purchase inexpensive flag pins from your local dollar or supply store. Host a fun social afterwards for your facility's heroes.

Famous Criminals

For National Police Week, host a discussion with residents about famous criminals of the past century. Ask residents what they remember hearing about them.

Chess Tournament

Host a chess tournament for your residents on this day that undisputed world chess champion Wilhelm Steinitz was born. For those residents who do not know how to play, teach them a few basic chess moves.

NYSE Ticker Social

On this day that the New York Stock Exchange was established, talk to residents about the stock market and whether they have ever invested money in the market. Use today's newspaper to read how some of those stocks are doing today. Serve coffee and doughnuts as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Big Joe Turner, blues and rock & roll singer known as the "Boss of the Blues" and "Grandfather of Rock and Roll" (1911)
  • International Museum Day
  • National Stationery Show in New York City (May 18-21)
  • Washington state's Mount Saint Helens erupted (1980)

Crafts: Pressed Pansy Stationery

Invite residents to make pressed pansy stationery on this first day of the National Stationery Show in New York.

Trip to Museum

For this International Museum Day, take a group of residents to one of your local museums.

National Geographic Wonder

On this day that Mount Saint Helens erupted in Washington state, show residents an up-close video of an erupting volcano, like National Geographic: Volcano: Nature's Inferno (1997). Borrow the DVD from your local library or video store.

Shake, Rattle & Roll Social

Encourage residents to Shake, Rattle and Roll on this day that the song's singer, Big Joe Turner, was born. Play rock & roll music as you serve root beer floats as a snack.

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  • Dark Day in New England (1780)

Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project

As the weather warms up, encourage your red hatters to set up a clothing drive for your residents' unused clothes. Encourage your facility's residents to donate any unused clothing to your local Salvation Army chapter.

Do You Believe?

On this anniversary of the Dark Day in New England, in which New England became inexplicably dark at midday, share some other unexplained phenomena and ask residents whether they believe it or not.

Salad Bar Social

For National Salad Month, serve crackers with chicken salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad to residents as an afternoon snack.

Trip to Asia Happy Hour

Celebrate this Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by hosting a fun happy hour featuring warm appetizers from Asia. Coordinate with Dining Services to offer a few Asian foods, like mini egg rolls with dipping sauce or curry chicken fingers.

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  • Birthday: Jimmy Stewart, actor (1908)
  • Levi Strauss received a patent for blue jeans (1873)
  • National Backyard Games Week (May 19-26)
  • Norman Rockwell's first cover for the Saturday Evening Post appeared (1916)

Wear Your Jeans Day

Encourage residents and staff members to wear jeans on this day that Levi Strauss received a patent for blue jeans.

Relay Race

Create an obstacle course in your backyard during this National Backyard Games Week. Have staff members push residents in wheelchairs along the obstacle course. Make the course a slow course, but competitive. For example, use a large space like a back patio for the race. Set up two rows of cones or other obstacles and have two teams (made up of a resident in a wheelchair and a staff member pushing the resident) compete against one another. Place an item for each team on the opposite side of the patio. The first team to go through the cones, pick up the item, and come back through the cones is the winner.

Saturday Evening Post Social

Share some pictures of the Saturday Evening Post's covers on this day that Norman Rockwell's first cover of the periodical appeared. Ask residents if they remember some of the popular covers. Serve small slices of cherry pie as a snack.

Jimmy Stewart Movie Night

Show residents a popular Jimmy Stewart movie, like The Philadelphia Story (1940), featuring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, on this day that the famed actor was born. Pop some popcorn for residents to enjoy while watching the movie.

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  • American Red Cross was founded (1881)
  • International New Friends, Old Friends Week (May 18-24)
  • National Backyard Games Week (May 19-26)

Baking Club: Apple Pie

Encourage residents to bake a delicious apple pie to serve to your facility's new residents at this afternoon's social.

Red Cross Prep

Share important American Red Cross preparedness information (or your facility's preparedness guidelines) with your residents as to what to do in emergencies on this day that the American Red Cross was founded.

Pitching Horseshoes

For National Backyard Games Week, play a fun horseshoe game in your facility's backyard. Purchase plastic horseshoes from your local toy store.

New Resident Welcome Social

Invite your new residents to socialize during this International New Friends, Old Friends Week. Serve the apple pie that was made earlier today by the Baking Club.

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  • Birthday: George Best, soccer star (1946)
  • Birthday: Mary Cassatt, Impressionist painter (1844)
  • "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" premiered on television (1967)
  • National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23)

Crafts: Papier-Mâché Boats

For this National Safe Boating Week, invite residents to construct papier-mâché boats.

Impressionist Artwork

Encourage residents to paint an Impressionist painting on this day that American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt was born.

Soccer Skills

Invite your residents to show off their soccer skills on this day that 60s and 70s soccer star George Best was born. Sit residents in chairs in a circle. Blow up a balloon and have them "exercise" as they kick the balloon back and forth.

Fun Puppet Social

Host an intergenerational activity with kids from a local school or after-school program by making puppets in honor of the television premiere of the children's show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on this day. After making the puppets, ask the children to put on an impromptu puppet show for the residents. Serve warm cookies and milk.

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  • Birthday: Rosemary Clooney, singer (1928)
  • South Carolina became the 8th state (1788)

Name That Rosemary Clooney Song

Encourage residents to guess which Rosemary Clooney song you are reading on this day that she was born. Ask residents to finish singing the lyrics.

Chips & Salsa Break

Celebrate National Salsa Month by providing a variety of salsa and chips for residents to sample. Have fun and play Salsa music as you encourage (and teach) residents to dance.

Women's Health Fair

During this Women's Health Care Month, set up a health fair for women in your facility by contacting local county departments to send over a representative for one to two hours. Set up four to five tables, with each representative manning a table with brochures and information. Fill the room with balloons and serve warm appetizers. Encourage residents to visit the fair, and invite members of your community to come in for the fair (and to check out your facility as well).

Healthy Social

Invite your facility's nurse to talk to your residents about the warning signs of stroke during this National Stroke Awareness Month. Serve a healthy snack, like slices of fruit with dip.

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  • Fleet Week New York 2014 (May 21-28)
  • National Backyard Games Week (May 19-26)
  • World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in Peoria, Illinois (March 23-26)

Photo Club

Enlist residents to take pictures on this spring day during this National Photo Month. Show residents how to use your facility's digital camera. Afterwards, display the photos in a digital photo frame for all to see.

Painting to Music

Play fun music while encouraging residents to paint a fleet of ships during this Fleet Week New York 2014. Supply residents with paint and canvases. Hang up the artwork in your facility's "gallery" during the Memorial Day holiday.

Ring Toss

Gather residents out in the backyard to play Ring Toss during this National Backyard Games Week. Purchase an inexpensive ring toss kit from your local toy store.

Piano Bar Social

Invite a resident or staff member who knows how to play piano to entertain your residents, on this second day of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in Illinois. Serve celery sticks and peanut butter as a snack.

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  • French Open Tennis Tournament in Paris, France (May 25 - June 8)
  • Indianapolis 500 Race, the world's largest single-day sporting event, in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • National Backyard Games Week (May 19-26)

Crafts: Patriotic Pinwheels

Encourage residents to make pinwheels for your upcoming Memorial Day celebration. The pinwheels can be planted around your facility's entrance.

Men's Club: Indy 500

Set up your Activity Room to host an Indianapolis 500 Party for the male residents in your facility. Serve pigs in a blanket as a snack.

Volleyball Fun

Set up a volleyball net outdoors and have residents go outside and participate in a fun volleyball game. Use a large beach ball as you have fun during this National Backyard Games Week.

French Open Social

On this first day of the French Open Tennis Tournament, tune your television to one of its tennis matches and invite residents to watch. Serve croissants and strong coffee to residents as a snack.

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  • Birthday: John Wayne, actor (1907)
  • Memorial Day

Military Parade

For this National Military Appreciation Month, create a parade atmosphere to honor military veterans by having them, one by one, briefly talk about their time in the service. Encourage other residents to be spectators, cheering on their military heroes. Hand out doughnuts, coffee, and mini flags to the spectators.

Memorial Day Cookout

On this Memorial Day, have a fun cookout outdoors for lunch. Serve hamburgers for this National Hamburger Month, and be sure to add Vidalia onions during this National Sweet Vidalia Onion Month.

Patriotic Sing Along Social

For this Memorial Day, gather residents together to sing along to patriotic songs this afternoon. Play a patriotic CD as you serve small pieces of apple pie.

Western Dinner

Encourage residents to wear their cowboy hats and dungarees to dinner on this day that western actor John Wayne was born. Coordinate with Dining Services to provide a nice western dinner, like chili and cornbread or barbecue ribs and beans.

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Life Stories

During this Personal History Awareness Month, encourage residents to share some of their personal life stories with other residents. Show residents how to document their life stories so those stories can be passed down to their family members.


During this National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, get your residents interested in physical fitness by encouraging them to participate in a Walk-a-Thon. Set up an area outdoors in which residents can walk around (or indoors, walking up and down your facility's hallways). Give each resident a prize for each "lap" they walk.

Jewish-American History

Celebrate this Jewish-American Heritage Month by showing residents the documentary The Jewish Americans: A Series by David Grubin (2007).

90 & Over Party Social

During this Older Americans Month, invite all residents to help celebrate the residents in your facility who are age 90 or over. Serve champagne and birthday cake.

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  • First set of quintuplets to survive longer than a few hours, the Dionne Quintuplets, were born (1934)
  • National Senior Health & Fitness Day

Healthy Breakfast

Coordinate with Dining Services to provide a healthy breakfast for residents on this National Senior Health & Fitness Day. Serve yogurt with granola, oatmeal with cinnamon, or cantaloupe with low-fat cottage cheese.

This Day in History

Reminisce with residents on this day that the Dionne Quintuplets, the first quintuplets to have lived more than a few hours, were born.

Manicures & Make-up Social

Invite a make-up artist to your facility to help get the residents ready for tonight's prom. Have staff give manicures to the residents. Serve snacks that are on toothpicks, like cheese, so residents can keep their manicures intact.

Senior Prom

Host a fun prom for your facility's seniors. Have an entertainer or small band play for the residents. Pin a flower (as a corsage or boutonniere) on each resident as you encourage them to dance and have fun.

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  • Birthday: John F. Kennedy, U.S. president (1917)
  • Rhode Island became the 13th state (1790)
  • Wisconsin became the 30th state (1848)

Crafts: Ocean Dioramas

Get residents ready for the summer and beach season by making fun ocean dioramas that they can keep in their rooms during the summertime.

Speaker Series

Invite a speaker to talk to your residents about osteoporosis during this National Osteoporosis Prevention Month.

Name That Kennedy

Host a fun quiz about the Kennedy family on this day that President John F. Kennedy was born.

Cheese Social

Celebrate Wisconsin becoming a state on this day by serving an array of delicious cheese. Serve wine and crackers to go along with the cheese.

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  • Birthday: Carl Fabergé, designer and jeweler (1846)
  • Birthday: Mel Blanc, voice artist (1908)

Monthly Book Club Tea

Host a monthly tea for your Book Club members during this Get Caught Reading Month. If your facility has not started a Book Club, simply contact your local library to ask if they can send you multiple copies of the same book for a few weeks. Hand out books to interested residents and host the tea once the residents are ready to discuss the book.

Voice Impersonations

Have fun with residents on this day that one of the greatest voice artists for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Mel Blanc, was born. Encourage residents to make funny voice impersonations of some of their favorite cartoon characters.

Fabergé Egg

Invite your residents to make their own version of the Fabergé Egg on this day that the designer, Carl Fabergé, was born.

Countdown to Summer Social

Encourage residents to gather and talk about their upcoming summer plans as well as past summers. Serve fruity drinks and fresh fruit. Play fun music.

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  • Birthday: Norman Vincent Peale, author of the 1952 book The Power of Positive Thinking (1898)

Positive Thinking

Play a fun positive thinking game on this day that the author of The Power of Positive Thinking (1952), Norman Vincent Peale, was born. Play the Glad Game or the Compliment Circle Game with residents.

Trip to Farmer's Market

Take a group of residents to your local farmer's market during this Gifts From the Garden Month. Encourage residents to find carrots for this afternoon's Carrot Social.

Carrot Social

For Healthy Vision Month, serve carrots with dip to residents. Discuss how the carrot and vision connection is really a lore and not science. (It turns out that during World War II, Britain's air force spread the word that eating carrots was the reason why their pilots saw their enemy at night, instead of telling the real reason - they had radar).

Official State Dinner

If your facility is located in one of the four states that were admitted to the United States during the month of May (Minnesota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin), consider hosting an official state dinner. Encourage residents to dress up for this dinner. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve food that is specific to your state. Decorate with Presidential themes and play "Hail to the Chief".

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Find interesting discussion ideas for the men in your facility.

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