November 2014 Senior Activity Calendar

Find fun recreational activities for your nursing home residents in the calendar below that can be easily incorporated into your November senior activity calendar. Click on each activity for more information.

Fun Activity Ideas for November
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November is ...

  • American Diabetes Month
  • American Music Month
  • Aviation History Month
  • Banana Pudding Lovers Month
  • Family Stories Month
  • Military Family Appreciation Month
  • National Georgia Pecan Month
  • National Model Railroad Month
  • National Native American Heritage Month
  • National Pomegranate Month
  • Peanut Butter Lovers' Month
  • Sweet Potato Awareness Month
  • Vegan Month

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  • National Authors' Day
  • Sadie Hawkins Day
  • Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, was opened to the public (1512)

Painting to Music

On this day that the Sistine Chapel's ceiling was opened to the public, encourage residents to paint their own fresco or mural on a piece of clay. Play classical music in the background as the residents paint.

Favorite Authors

Invite residents to read a book by one of their favorite authors on this National Authors' Day.

Banana Pudding Social

Celebrate this Banana Pudding Lovers Month by encouraging residents to make and serve a delicious banana pudding for your afternoon social.

Sadie Hawkins Day Dance

Play fun music as you encourage the ladies to invite the men to dance on this Sadie Hawkins Day.

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  • Daylight Saving Time ends
  • North Dakota became the 39th state (1889)
  • South Dakota became the 40th state (1889)

Crafts: Pilgrim Puppets

Encourage residents to make paper bag puppets for the Pilgrim & Indian Puppet Show later this afternoon.

Daylight Saving Time Coffee Break

Bring all the clocks in the facility, which are easy to change, to the coffee break and have residents help reset the time on this day that Daylight Saving Time ends. Serve a variety of coffee to "wake up" and orient residents to the new time.

Pilgrim & Indian Puppet Show

Invite the grandkids and great-grandkids of residents to stop by for a fun puppet show. Encourage residents to use the puppets that they made earlier today to participate in the puppet show.

Peanut Butter Lovers Social

During this Peanut Butter Lovers' Month, encourage residents to make their own mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Reminisce with residents about the kinds of sandwiches they liked as kids. Serve milk.

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  • Sandwich Day

Speaker Series

During this National Diabetes Month, invite a speaker to discuss diabetes and how residents can successfully live with the disease.

Fall Gardening

Gather spring bulbs, like tulips, and have residents plant them in indoor pots. The bulbs will begin to bloom during the winter and produce beautiful flowers.

Harvest Bazaar

Invite local venders to come to your facility to sell their wares to residents and staff members. Decorate your Activity Room with a harvest theme and have vendors set up in the room.

Hoagie Social

Encourage residents to make a giant hoagie on this Sandwich Day. Supply residents with bread, cold cuts, cheese, and condiments for the large sandwich. Have plenty of plastic gloves handy for residents. Cut off small portions of the sandwiches for residents to eat.

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  • Flag Day in Panama
  • General Election Day
  • King Tut's tomb was discovered (1922)

Panamanian Fun

Celebrate Panama's Flag Day today by playing a fun indoor game of soccer, a Panamanian favorite. Divide residents into two teams, with each team sitting facing the other. Use a balloon as the soccer ball and encourage residents to try to kick the balloon past the other team.

Election Day Memories

On this General Election Day, have fun with residents as you discuss wrong newspaper headlines, like The Chicago Tribune's headline that claimed Thomas Dewey won the presidency, when it was really Harry S. Truman who won.

King Tut Social

Recognize this day that the tomb of 19-year-old King Tut was discovered by serving the Egyptian snack of pita bread dipped in molasses.

Election Results Nightcap

Turn on the news in your Activity Room so that residents can hear the election results live. Serve warm cookies and juice.

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  • Birthday: Ida Tarbell, American writer and editor of McClure's Magazine (1857)
  • Birthday: Roy Rogers, cowboy actor (1911)

Spelling Bee

Quiz the residents' spelling skills by giving words associated with November, like Thanksgiving (with a capital "T"), leftovers, Veteran's Day, cranberry sauce, or giblet gravy.

Journaling Session

Provide residents with special paper and pens as you encourage them to write about what they are thankful for in honor of this birthday of American writer and editor Ida Tarbell.

Peeling Potatoes

Invite residents to socialize and to help Dining Services at the same time by peeling sweet potatoes during this Sweet Potato Awareness Month.

Buckaroo Contest Social

Tie a rope into a lasso and encourage residents to lasso a stuffed animal in honor of Roy Rogers' birthday today. Give the winner a blue ribbon. Serve buffalo wings with a ranch dressing dip as a snack.

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  • Beaver (Full) Moon, so-named by American Indians because of the abundance of beavers at this time of the year that are busily preparing for winter

Crafts: Mosaic Fall Planters

Encourage residents to make beautiful mosaic fall planters to use as decoration throughout your facility.

Baking Club: Sweet Potato Pie

During this Sweet Potato Awareness Month, encourage residents to use the peeled sweet potatoes from the November 5 activity to make a delicious sweet potato pie to be entered into this afternoon's Sweet Potato Pie Contest.

Sweet Potato Pie Contest Social

Invite staff members to enter their own sweet potato pie into a pie tasting contest during this Sweet Potato Awareness Month. Have residents judge which pie they like best. Be sure to include the sweet potato pie made earlier today by the Baking Club.

Beaver Moon Nightcap

Set up a telescope for residents to take a look at the full Beaver Moon after dark. Serve warm cookies and hot cocoa.

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  • Jeannette Rankin became the first U.S. Congresswoman (1916)

History in Review

On this day that Jeannette Rankin became the first U.S. Congresswoman, reminisce about women's rights and how far women have come in society. Discuss feminism and what was considered controversial behavior for women when your residents were young. In addition, discuss famous firsts for women.

Armchair Travel: Autumn Getaway

Show residents a short documentary about autumn in the Northeast, like Living Landscapes: Fall in New England (2006). Borrow a DVD from your local library or video store.

Calligraphy Session

Encourage residents to try their hand at writing a Thanksgiving poem, like Joyce Kilmer's Thanksgiving in calligraphy. Supply residents with calligraphy pens and ink.

Learn a New Language Social

In recognition of this National American Indian Heritage Month, teach residents a few Navajo words. Serve fruit and veggies for a snack.

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  • Birthday: Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind (1900)
  • Louvre Museum opened in Paris (1793)
  • Montana became the 41st state (1889)
  • William Shakespeare's first folio was published (1623)

Parisian Breakfast

Take residents on a trip to Paris on this day that the Louvre Museum opened. Show the DVD The Louvre (1978) detailing the beautiful artwork found in the museum. Serve pastries and strong coffee.

Shakespearean Quiz

Recognize this day that William Shakespeare's first folio was published by quizzing residents with famous Shakespeare lines.

Autumn Photo Shoot

Encourage residents to start a Photography Club to take pictures of the holiday events coming up in your facility. Supply a digital camera to residents. Upload pictures onto your computer or onto a digital frame to showcase to residents.

Gone With the Wind Social

On this day that Gone With the Wind (1936) author Margaret Mitchell was born, reminisce with residents about the first time they saw the movie, which was released in 1939. Serve hot chocolate.

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Crafts: Thanksgiving Cards

Invite residents to make Thanksgiving cards to send to loved ones.

Baking Club: Apple & Pomegranate Crisp

Encourage residents to make a tasty apple and pomegranate crisp during this National Pomegranate Month.

Military Tea

Recognize this Military Family Month by hosting a military tea party. Invite all residents to attend. Encourage veterans to wear their military insignias and to bring any pictures they have from their military days to pass around at the tea party. Have residents reminisce about what it was like being in or having a loved one in the military.

Pomegranate Social

During this National Pomegranate Month, encourage residents to try a variety of foods made with pomegranates, like the Apple & Pomegranate Crisp made earlier today by the Baking Club.

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  • Children's television show "Sesame Street" debuted (1969)
  • U.S. Marines Corps was formed (1775)

Watching Sesame Street

Celebrate this day that "Sesame Street" debuted by inviting kids from a local boy and girls club to stop by to watch the children's show in your Activity Room with your residents. Serve juice and muffins.

Sesame Street Hand Puppets

Encourage the residents and the visiting kids to make "Sesame Street" hand puppets on this day that the children's television show debuted.

Thanksgiving Tidbits

Have fun sharing interesting facts about Thanksgiving with residents.

Semper Fi Social

Honor marines on this Marine Corps birthday by recognizing the marines in your facility for their service to our country. Serve champagne.

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  • Origami Day in Japan
  • Veterans Day
  • Washington became the 42nd state (1889)
  • World War I ended (1918)

Origami Medals

Encourage your residents to make medals for the upcoming Veterans Day Dedication, as you show them the art of origami on this Origami Day in Japan.

Veterans Day Parade

Create a parade atmosphere to honor veterans by having the veterans in your facility, one-by-one, speak about their time in the military. Encourage other residents to be spectators. Hand out doughnuts, coffee, and mini flags to the spectators.

Veterans Day Dedication

Invite a local high school band to play a few songs for your veterans. If the weather permits, have an outdoor ceremony in which you raise the American flag on your facility's flagpole. Announce veterans' names, branches of service, and years of service. At the ceremony, present the veterans with the origami medals that were made earlier today.

11/11 Social

Celebrate the end of World War I on this day. Reminisce about war times and the celebrations at the end of both world wars. Serve wine & cheese.

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  • Birthday: Grace Kelly, actress (1929)
  • First meteor shower recorded (1799)
  • New York Harbor's Ellis Island closed (1954)
  • World Pneumonia Day

Pneumonia Shots

Coordinate with your facility's nurse to offer pneumonia shots for your residents on this World Pneumonia Day.

Handy Work

Encourage residents to use their hands to mold clay into a replica of the Statue of Liberty on this day that Ellis Island closed. Once the clay has dried, have residents paint their artwork. Display the mini statues and encourage residents to pick the best look-a-like.

Space Exploration

On this day that the first meteor shower was recorded, invite residents to make fun pop rockets to give to their grandkids or great-grandkids as gifts.

Royal Social

Celebrate the birth of Princess Grace Kelly on this day. Reminisce about her grand wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Serve Tastykake snacks to honor Grace Kelly's birthplace of Philadelphia (the home of the Tastykake).

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  • Birthday: Robert Louis Stevenson, author (1850)
  • Walt Disney's Fantasia premiered (1940)
  • World Kindness Day

Crafts: Paper Turkeys

Encourage residents to make paper turkey centerpieces for your Dining Room.

Coffee & Beethoven

Play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to recognize this day of the premiere of Walt Disney's Fantasia. The film included Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Serve coffee and doughnuts.

Kindness Walk

Invite residents for a kindness walk. Encourage residents to pick up trash around your facility on this World Kindness Day.

Treasure Island Social

Recognize Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday today by hosting a social that pays tribute to his popular novel Treasure Island (1883). Serve tropical drinks as you play fun Caribbean music.

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  • Herman Melville's Moby Dick was published (1851)

Baking Club: Sugar-Coated Pecans

During this National Georgia Pecan Month, have residents prepare a delicious snack of sugar-coated pecans.

Windy Day Read

Encourage residents to take a book out of your facility's library and enjoy this autumn day by reading. If your facility does not have a library, encourage residents to organize a Library Club that can be in charge of receiving book donations to start a library in your facility.

Holiday Cookbook

Ask residents to donate holiday recipes to be placed in your facility's cookbook. Sell the cookbook to the residents' families and friends for the holidays. To save money, simply recruit a volunteer to type the recipes, print them out, and collate them into a book.

Moby-Dick Social

Recognize Herman Melville's book Moby-Dick on this day that it was published by serving cheddar goldfish crackers as a snack.

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  • America Recycles Day
  • Birthday: Georgia O'Keeffe, artist (1887)
  • Elvis Presley's first movie Love Me Tender opened (1956)
  • National Bundt (Pan) Day

Watercolor Design

Recognize artist Georgia O'Keeffe's birthday today by encouraging residents to paint beautiful poppy flowers using watercolors.

Baking Club: Apple Bundt Cake

For this National Bundt (Pan) Day, encourage residents to make a delicious Apple Bundt Cake.

Recycling Club

On this America Recycles Day, have residents start a Recycling Club to recycle trash. Contact local and county environmental departments for more information on how to start a recycling program in your facility.

Love Me Tender Social

Reminisce about Elvis Presley's first movie Love Me Tender that opened on this day. Play some of Elvis Presley's songs as you serve peanut butter and bananas.

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  • Oklahoma became the 46th state (1907)
  • The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway (1959)

Crafts: Gourd Turkeys

Encourage residents to use real gourds to make beautiful turkeys.

Broadway Matinee

Show residents an interesting documentary about Broadway, like Broadway: The American Musical (2004), on this day that the The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway.

It's Almost Thanksgiving Social

Invite residents to sit and chat about their Thanksgiving plans or what they used to do for this holiday when their kids were young. Serve turkey and cheese for a snack.

Official State Dinner

Celebrate Oklahoma becoming the 46th state on this day by hosting an official state dinner. Encourage residents to dress up for the occasion. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve dishes native to Oklahoma, like Oklahoma brisket, or to serve dishes native to your state.

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  • Elizabethan Age began, after Queen Mary I died and her half-sister Elizabeth started her reign (1558)
  • Suez Canal opened, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas (1869)

Monarchy Trivia

Quiz residents about their knowledge of monarchy trivia on this day that the Elizabethan Age began.

Vegan Lunch

For this Vegan Month, coordinate with Dining Services to offer a delicious vegan (no meat or meat products) meal option for lunch.

Candy Cornucopias

Show residents how to make their own candy cornucopias for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mediterranean Social

Recognize this day that the Suez Canal opened by having a fun Mediterranean social. Ask residents about the trips that they have taken to the Mediterranean. Serve wine and fruit.

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  • National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week (November 15-23)

Baking Club: Lemon Pecan Pound Cake

Encourage residents to use Georgia pecans during this National Georgia Pecan Month to make a tasty lemon pecan pound cake.

Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project

During this National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week, encourage the red hatters to collect donations (food or money) for a local homeless shelter.

Family Stories Social

Celebrate this Family Stories Month by encouraging residents to share what Thanksgiving was like when they were growing up. Serve the lemon pecan pound cake that was made earlier by the Baking Club.

Pomegranate Martini Night

For this National Pomegranate Month, play bartender as you serve pomegranate martinis. For a nonalcoholic version, simply combine pomegranate juice and a nonalcoholic martini mix that can be purchased at a liquor store.

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  • International Men's Day
  • National Educational Support Professionals Day
  • President Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address (1863)
  • Soccer great Pelé scored his 1000th goal (1969)

Soccer Break

Celebrate Brazilian soccer great Pelé scoring his 1000th goal on this day by having residents sit in a circle and kick a balloon to one another. This is an excellent way for residents to get exercise without calling it "exercise."

School Days

Reminisce with the residents on this National Educational Support Professionals Day about their elementary school teachers. Ask the residents whether their teachers had aides in the classroom to help.

Gettysburg Address Social

Quiz residents on this day that Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address. See who can remember the first line of the historic speech. For a snack, serve one of President Lincoln's favorite desserts, apple cake.

Men's Poker Night

On this International Men's Day, encourage the men in your facility to kick back and have fun playing poker.

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  • England's Queen Elizabeth II married Philip Mountbatten (1947)

Crafts: Native American Pottery

Recognize this National American Indian Heritage Month by encouraging residents to create their own American Indian pottery using sculpting clay. Once the clay dries, encourage residents to paint their pottery.

Westminster Abbey Memories

On this anniversary of England's Queen Elizabeth's wedding to Philip Mountbatten, ask residents if they remember hearing about this extravagant wedding at Westminster Abbey in London. Discuss some interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II. Be sure to serve a spot of tea.

Family Feud

As Thanksgiving approaches, invite residents to play a fun "family game." Split residents up into two teams and have them play "Family Feud" with fun questions.

Mocktail Tasting Social

Encourage residents to sample your non-alcoholic Thanksgiving drinks like apple pie spiced cider or rosy cranberry cider before the big day.

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  • North Carolina became the 12th state (1789)

Baking Club: Cranberry Apple Raisin Stuffing

Encourage the Baking Club to whip up a tasty cranberry apple raisin stuffing for the upcoming Stuffing Contest Social.

Fun Facts

Share interesting facts about Native Americans during this National American Indian Heritage Month.

Letters of Thanks

During this Thanksgiving season, encourage residents to write notes giving thanks to a loved one. Supply residents with stationery and pens.

Stuffing Contest Social

Coordinate with your facility's kitchen to prepare a variety of tasty holiday stuffing and dressing for residents to sample, like pineapple stuffing, sausage and apple stuffing, or mushroom stuffing. Include the stuffing that was made by the Baking Club earlier today.

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  • Geography Awareness Week (November 16-22)
  • National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week (November 15-23)

Where Is It?

For this Geography Awareness Week, quiz residents about geographic locations.

Woodshop Session

Encourage residents to assemble and paint a wooden train for this afternoon's model train display. Purchase wooden train kits at your local supply store or dollar store.

"Adopt a Shelter" Fair

Have your facility "adopt" a local homeless shelter during this National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week. Raise money for the shelter by selling tickets to a fair at your facility. Invite staff and family members to play fun fair games, like ring toss, and enjoy great food, like cotton candy and hot dogs. Donate the proceeds to your local homeless shelter.

Model Trains Social

Invite the grandkids of family members to bring their model trains to celebrate this National Model Railroad Month. Set up trains to showcase to residents; include any trains made earlier today in Woodshop. Serve cookies and milk as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Billy the Kid, outlaw (1859)
  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Crafts: Thanksgiving Favors

Invite residents to make cute Thanksgiving favors for your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.

Thumbprint Turkeys

Provide finger-paints for residents to use as they make their own fingerprint turkeys on canvas.

Remembering the Old West

Discuss some of the famous outlaws of the Old West on this birthday of Billy the Kid.

Thanksgiving Word Game Social

Write the word "Thanksgiving" on a piece of paper for each resident and have them list as many words as possible that use only the letters that are in "Thanksgiving." Serve warm pastries as a snack.

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  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Paint Like Norman Rockwell

Provide residents with paint to create holiday scenes on canvas. Create a gallery space in your facility to hang the artwork.

Show & Tell: Family Recipes

Encourage residents to share their family's Thanksgiving recipes.

Scrapbooking: Family Recipes

Invite residents to paste their recipe pages in a scrapbook and decorate them.

Crossword Puzzle Social

During this National Game & Puzzle Week, make copies of a crossword puzzle and hand them out to residents, or enlarge the puzzle for all to see. Serve veggies and dip as a snack.

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  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Autumn Science Project

Can you grow an apple tree from apple seeds? Invite residents to work on this autumn science project. Serve apples to the residents and have them save the seeds to plant in small containers with soil. Encourage residents to water their seeds daily and to set them in the sun.

Autumn Poetry & Prose

Invite residents to listen to famous poems about autumn like Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem The Autumn or John Keats's poem To Autumn. Encourage residents to bring and read any poems that they have written.

Choir Club

Start recruiting residents to join your facility's choir. Have a regular meeting for participants to practice singing together. In fact, schedule a Holiday Concert in December so that the Choir Club can sing for other residents.

Hangman Social

For this National Game & Puzzle Week, play Hangman in the afternoon. Serve popcorn as a snack.

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  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Apple Paring Contest

In preparation for the apple pie to be baked by the Baking Club later today, invite residents to help participate in a fun apple paring contest. Simply, give each participant an apple and an apple peeler and see who can peel off the longest piece of apple peel. Award a fun prize to the winner. Use the peeled apples for the Baking Club's activity later today.

Baking Club: Apple Pie

On this fall day, encourage residents to bake a delicious all-American apple pie to be served at this afternoon's social.

Thanksgiving Eve Memories

Have fun with residents as you reminisce about Thanksgivings of the past. Ask residents to share their family Thanksgiving traditions.

The Price Is Right Social

During this National Game & Puzzle Week, encourage residents to play "The Price Is Right." Invite residents to play fun games like the Clock Game in which residents must guess the price of two items within 30 seconds. Serve the apple pie that was baked earlier by the Baking Club.

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  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)
  • Thanksgiving Day

Crafts: Holiday Napkin Rings

Encourage residents to make cute holiday napkin rings using pony beads for your Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Invite residents to come to the Activity Room to watch the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.

Football Game Social

Watch the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions play football this Thanksgiving. Serve pigs in a blanket and beer.

Thanksgiving Dinner (Happy Turkey Day!)

Coordinate with Dining Services to provide a delicious turkey dinner.

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  • Black Friday
  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Leftovers Lunch

Meet with Dining Services to coordinate turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, or other leftovers for lunch.

Wish List

Question residents about what they would do on this Black Friday if they had one million dollars to spend. Pass out catalogs from local department stores to see which items they would put on their wish list. Ask residents to compare prices of items today to the prices of yesteryear.

African Drums

For this International Drum Month, encourage residents to make African drums.

Wheel of Fortune Social

Summon your inner Pat Sajak during this National Game & Puzzle Week as you have residents take turns guessing letters to solve a puzzle as you play "Wheel of Fortune." Simply, print and cut out a copy of the wheel and affix it to a piece of cardboard. Attach a paperclip to the center of the wheel with a pushpin. Have residents spin the paperclip to see how much money they are playing for. As a snack, serve warm oatmeal raisin cookies.

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  • Coffee rationing began (1942)
  • First Army-Navy game was played (1890)
  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 23-29)

Coffee Break

Supply a variety of coffee for residents to reminisce about the coffee rationing that began on this day. Serve warm pastries.

Dream Catchers

Encourage residents to make Native American dream catchers during this National American Indian Heritage Month.

Memories of Yesteryear

Invite residents to reminisce about the sports they used to play on this day that the first Army-Navy game was played.

Jeopardy Social

Use your trivia book to test your residents' knowledge during this National Game & Puzzle Week as you play "Jeopardy" by asking a variety of trivia questions. Serve chips and salsa as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), author (1835)
  • Birthday: Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England (1874)

Crafts: Kachina Dolls

In recognition of this American Indian Heritage Month, encourage residents to make Kachina dolls to give as gifts to their granddaughters.

Morning Cup of Joe

Serve some of the varieties of coffee from yesterday's Coffee Break activity as you invite residents to partake in a current events discussion. Take the day's newspaper and discuss the leading stories. Serve doughnuts.

Creative Writing

Pay tribute to Mark Twain's birthday today by having residents participate in creative writing. Encourage residents to use their imaginations while creating a story about two young boys and what they would do with a considerable sum of money they had just received.

Winston Churchill Tea Social

Honor Winston Churchill's birthday today by reminiscing about his tenure as Prime Minister of England during World War II. Serve tea and crumpets (biscuits).

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What types of 1:1 activities do you like to provide for your residents with dementia?

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