September 2016 Senior Activity Calendar

Find fun and unique activities and crafts that you can easily add to your current September senior activity calendar. Each day features four different activities including a unique afternoon social.

Fun Activity Ideas for September
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3
4 5

Labor Day


Back-to-School Week


Back-to-School Week


Back-to-School Week


Back-to-School Week

11 12

Athletic Day


Performing Arts Day


Men's Day


Mystery Day


Harvest Day

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

September is ...

  • Classical Music Month
  • Fall Hat Month
  • Healthy Aging Month
  • International People Skills Month
  • International Women's Friendship Month
  • Library Card Sign-Up Month
  • National Biscuit Month
  • National Chicken Month
  • National Coupon Month
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)
  • National Honey Month
  • National Mushroom Month
  • National Piano Month
  • National Prime Beef Month
  • National Rice Month
  • National Senior Center Month
  • National Shake Month
  • National Square Dance Month
  • National Wilderness Month
  • Whole Grains Month

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  • Emma M. Nutt Day, honoring the first woman telephone operator

Crafts: Decoupaged Pencil Boxes

Invite residents to make decoupaged pencil boxes. Encourage residents to give the finished craft to a school-aged grandchild.

Honey & Tea Break

Celebrate this National Honey Month by supplying residents with an array of hot teas and honey.

Speaker Series

During this Healthy Aging Month, invite your facility's registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to host a discussion with residents to discuss healthy aging habits.

Hello Girls Social

In recognition of the first woman telephone operator who began her career on this day, Emma M. Nutt, have fun reminiscing about the good ol' days of having telephone operators. Ask residents if they remember hearing about Hello Girls from World War I. Serve popcorn and soda as a snack.

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  • Congress established the United States Treasury (1789)

Making a Mint

Recognize this day that Congress founded the U.S. Treasury by hosting a fun money trivia game. Test residents' knowledge of U.S. currency.

Wilderness Survival Skills

Have fun quizzing residents on their wilderness survival skills during this National Wilderness Month.

Trip to Senior Center

Take your residents to your local senior center to meet and socialize with other seniors in the community during this National Senior Center Month.

Honey & Biscuits Social

Celebrate this National Honey Month and this National Biscuit Month by hosting a fun honey and biscuit social. Encourage residents to make their own honey butter to spread onto warm biscuits.

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  • American flag was flown for the first time in battle during the Revolutionary War (1777)
  • First successful penny newspaper, The Sun, was launched in New York (1833)

Baking Club: Homemade Biscuits

During this National Biscuit Month, invite residents to make delicious homemade biscuits for your afternoon social.

People Skills

For this International People Skills Month, quiz your residents to test their people skills.

Americana Art

On this day that the American flag was flown in battle for the first time, encourage residents to draw Americana pictures. Provide residents with paper and colored pencils.

Hearst Social

In recognition of this day that the first successful penny newspaper was launched, honor one of America's leading newspaper publishers, William Randolph Hearst, at your afternoon social. Serve the biscuits made earlier today by the Baking Club as residents discuss what they remember hearing about William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst Castle.

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  • Apache Chief Geronimo surrendered to United States (1886)
  • Newspaper Carrier Day

Crafts: Labor Day Paper Lanterns

Invite residents to make paper lanterns to use as decoration for the Labor Day Parade on September 5.

Coupon Clippings

Encourage residents to clip coupons from your local Sunday newspaper during this National Coupon Month.

Swap Meet

On this day that Apache Chief Geronimo surrendered, encourage residents to partake in an American Indian custom of swapping goods with others. Invite residents to bring their unwanted items to your Activity Room to "swap" with the unwanted items of other residents.

Read All About It Social

In honoring this Newspaper Carrier Day, be the newspaper carrier and supply residents with an assortment of newspapers and coffee. Consider starting your own facility's newsletter. (Encourage residents to make it a resident-run newsletter.)

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  • Birthday: Jesse James, outlaw (1847)
  • Labor Day

Labor Day Parade

Host a fun Labor Day Parade featuring your residents. Serve doughnuts and coffee to your parade spectators. Beforehand, create a sign for each of your residents in the parade that gives clues about the resident's occupation. (For example, consider using the following clue for a dentist: "People usually frowned when they entered my office, but then they smiled when they left.") Ask the spectators to guess the occupation.

Labor Day Pictionary

Encourage residents to play a fun game of Labor Day Pictionary, in which residents draw pictures of different occupations and have their teammates guess which occupation they are drawing. Divide the residents into two teams. Beforehand, write down different occupations on small sheets of paper and place them in a bowl for residents to choose. The occupations can be easy, like nurse or doctor, or a bit harder, like White House press secretary or school crossing guard.

Good or Bad?

Test residents' knowledge about healthy eating after 50 during this Healthy Aging Month.

Saloon Social

In remembrance of outlaw Jesse James' birthday today, host a saloon social for residents. Turn your Activity Room into a saloon and encourage residents to dress in western gear. Play fun western music as you encourage residents to dance. Serve shots of root beer.

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  • President McKinley was fatally wounded in Buffalo, New York (1901)

Back-to-School Week

Theater Class

For this first day after the Labor Day weekend, host a fun Back-to-School Week that includes "classes" for your residents. For example, set up a theater class in which residents perform short skits at your facility. Be sure to invite your local high school's drama club to stop by and give a few pointers.

Secrets of the Secret Service

On this day that President William McKinley was fatally wounded, share little-known presidential secrets.

History Notes

Show a DVD on an interesting historical event during this Back-to-School Week. Borrow a DVD like Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997) from your local library or video store.

Whole Grains Social

Encourage residents to eat healthier during this Whole Grains Month by serving whole grain muffins as a snack. Discuss the nutritional value of whole grains.

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  • Birthday: Buddy Holly, singer (1936)
  • Game show Truth or Consequences premiered on television (1950)
  • National Waffle Week (September 4-10)

Back-to-School Week

Waffle Breakfast

Create a waffle bar in your Dining Room and ask Dining Services to make waffles-to-order during this National Waffle Week.

Nutrition Class

Host a nutrition class during this Back-to-School Week as you ask residents questions about nutrition.

"Truth or Consequences" Social

Play a fun game of Truth or Consequences on this day that the television game show premiered. Ask fun trivia questions and give residents, who are unable to answer correctly, easy "consequences" like drinking a shot of cranberry juice. Serve cheese and crackers for residents to eat with their shots of cranberry juice.

Rock & Roll Party

Celebrate rock and roll star Buddy Holly's birthday today by hosting a fun rock and roll party. Invite residents to kick up their heels as they listen to some of Holly's greatest hits, like Peggy Sue or That'll Be The Day.

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  • President Gerald Ford pardoned former president Richard Nixon for crimes committed while in the White House (1974)
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show was first broadcast nationally (1986)

Back-to-School Week

Crafts: Woodshop Class

During this Back-to-School Week, invite residents to try their hand at building a fun wood project, like assembling a small bird house or wooden truck, for Woodshop Class. Use small wood kits that can be found at your local dollar store or supply store.

Reminiscence & Tea

For this Back-to-School Week, serve tea to residents as they reminisce about their favorite subjects in school.

Famous Presidential Pardons

Invite residents to discuss famous presidential pardons on this day that President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for crimes committed while in office.

Talk Show Social

At the afternoon social, create a fun talk show theme in commemoration of The Oprah Winfrey Show going national on this day. Invite your fellow managers and administrators to be the guests on the show as residents get to ask them questions. Serve ice cream as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (1828)
  • California became the 31st state (1850)

Back-to-School Week

Home Economics

During this Back-to-School Week, host a home economics class in which residents make easy lemon cookies.

Creative Writing

Invite residents to write a short story on this day that Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy was born. Ask residents to write the story about a memorable time in their lives, and encourage them to share their stories with one another. Supply residents with writing journals and pens.

California Dreamin'

Share beautiful photos of California landmarks on this day that California became the 31st state. Ask residents about the places in California that they have visited.

Math Quiz Social

Quiz your residents with a list of easy math problems during this Back-to-School Week. Serve veggies and dip.

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  • First drunk driving arrest was made in London for George Smith, who drove his taxi into a building (1897)
  • Nathan Hale agreed to become the first American spy in the Revolutionary War (1776)
  • Swap Ideas Day

Cookbook Authors

For this Swap Ideas Day, gather residents to share some of their culinary recipes for a facility cookbook. Include popular recipes from staff as well.

Spy Game

On this day that patriot Nathan Hale became the first American spy of the Revolutionary War, host a fun spy game (similar to a treasure hunt). Give residents a piece of paper with five questions about your facility's staff on it (each resident can have different questions) and have the residents discover the answers to the questions without letting the staff know what they are doing. Use easy questions so the residents can easily find out the answers, like "How many kids does the Administrator have?" or "Where was the Dining Services Coordinator born?" But, remember to remind residents that they cannot let the staff know what is going on - they have to act like spies! Reward the resident-spy who is the first to get all of their questions answered.

Trip to Library

During this Library Card Sign-up Month, take residents for a trip to the library to get a library card.

Sobriety Social

In recognition of this day of the first drunk driving arrest, have a sobriety social in which you serve residents non-alcoholic drinks.

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  • National Grandparents' Day
  • Patriot Day, commemorating terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001

Crafts: Family Picture Frames

On this National Grandparents' Day, encourage the young relatives of your residents to stop by for an intergenerational craft, like making picture frames to feature family photos.

Grandparents' Day Brunch

Host a special brunch to honor residents on this National Grandparents' Day. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a spectacular meal with champagne (or sparkling apple cider).

Baking for the Firemen Social

Encourage residents to get their hands dirty as they help bake oatmeal raisin cookies for the upcoming Trip to Fire Station activity. Make extra batches for residents to sample.

Trip to Fire Station

Take residents to your local fire station on this Patriot Day to drop off the tasty cookies that were made earlier by your Baking Club. While at the fire station, ask for a brief tour.

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  • National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17)
  • President John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in Rhode Island (1953)

National Assisted Living Week: Athletic Day

Track Walk

During this National Assisted Living Week, coordinate fun, themed days for residents to enjoy. On this day, create a fun Athletic Day, in which you encourage residents to take a "track walk" (or wheelchair roll) down your facility's hallways.

Women's Club

Encourage the ladies of your facility to start a Women's Club during this International Women's Friendship Month. Invite the ladies to brainstorm activity ideas that they would like to do, like having a Ladies' Lunch or a special afternoon tea party.

Senior Stretches

For this Healthy Aging Month, teach residents a few, simple stretches.

American Royalty Social

Celebrate American royalty on this day that John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier by discussing presidential marriages. Serve wine and cheese.

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  • National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17)

National Assisted Living Week: Performing Arts Day

Band & Chorus

Take your residents back to their high school days in band on this Performing Arts Day by encouraging them to sing along and play along (with handmade instruments or whatever is handy) to music from the 1930s and 1940s.

Classical Concerto

Invite classical music students from your local college or high school to play for residents during this Classical Music Month.

Wine & Cheese & Bach Social

To celebrate this Classical Music Month, play music from Bach as residents enjoy sipping wine and eating cheese.

Prime Rib Dinner

For this National Prime Beef Month, have your residents licking their chops over a mouth-watering prime rib dinner. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve this unique meal for residents.

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  • National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17)
  • National Line Dance Week (September 12-17)

National Assisted Living Week: Men's Day

Beer Bread

Invite residents, especially the men, to make beer bread to serve at this afternoon's social on this Men's Day.

Quick on Your Feet

Host a fun line dance competition among your facility's staff during this National Line Dance Week with the residents acting as judges. Play fun music as you teach the staff a new line dance. After a few minutes of dancing, ask the residents to "politely" ask those staff members who are just not picking up the new dance steps to leave the dance floor. Have fun with the competition by supplying the winner with an inexpensive trophy.

Beer & Nuts Social

For this Men's Day, serve residents an array of non-alcoholic beer with nuts and the beer bread that was made earlier today. Encourage residents to talk about their favorite beers.

"Men Make the Appetizer" Happy Hour

Encourage the male residents to make a delicious appetizer on this Men's Day like a tomato, corn, and avocado salsa for a resident happy hour.

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  • Birthday: Agatha Christie, English mystery writer (1890)
  • National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17)

National Assisted Living Week: Mystery Day

Crafts: Mystery Box

For this Mystery Day, encourage residents to decorate a fun mystery box for your facility that can be used for sensory stimulation, in which residents place their hands in the mystery box to feel an object and determine what it is.

Alfred Hitchcock Matinée

On this Mystery Day, show the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, Suspicion (1941), with Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant. Serve popcorn.

Mystery Game

Invite residents to act out roles to solve a fun whodunit? case on this Mystery Day.

Spooky Story Social

Read scary stories on this birthday of English mystery writer Agatha Christie. As a snack, serve pretzels and ginger ale.

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  • Harvest (Full) Moon
  • National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17)
  • President Franklin Roosevelt approved the military draft (1940)

National Assisted Living Week: Harvest Day

Science Class

As the leaves change color, encourage residents to work on a science project that explains the change.

Draft Notice

On this day that President Franklin Roosevelt approved the military draft, start a discussion about being drafted and what that meant to the families that were left behind. Pass around copies of old draft cards.

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Taste Test Social

During this harvest time, gather several different types of apple pies (from Dining Services or your local grocery store) and invite residents to do a taste test as to which pie tastes better.

Harvest Moon Nightcap

Set up a telescope and invite residents to view the full moon, nicknamed the Harvest Moon. Serve juice and cookies for the nightcap.

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  • Big Whopper Liar's Contest in New Harmony, Indiana
  • International Eat an Apple Day
  • United States Constitution was signed by delegates in Philadelphia (1787)

Know Your Constitution

In recognition of this day that the U.S. Constitution was signed, give residents a constitutional quiz to test their knowledge.

Culture Shock

For this International People Skills Month, discuss how different gestures vary in different cultures.

Big Whopper Stories Social

See how creative your residents can be with a big lie contest on this day of the Big Whopper Liar Contest in Indiana. When it is their turn to tell a story, encourage residents to have fun making up an unbelievable story (lie) for all to enjoy. Serve apples and peanut butter as a snack.

Apple Martini Night

Serve non-alcoholic apple martinis on this International Eat an Apple Day.

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  • Birthday: Air Force (1947)

Crafts: Veteran Pins

Assist residents with making veterans pins for the upcoming Air Force Ceremony.

Cooking Demo

Invite a member from Dining Services to perform a cooking demonstration featuring mushrooms during this National Mushroom Month.

Piano Lesson Social

During this National Piano Month, encourage residents to learn how to play the piano. Encourage those who know how to play to show-off their skills. Serve brownies as a snack.

Air Force Ceremony

On this birthday of the Air Force, host a flag-raising ceremony outdoors. Honor those residents who served in the U.S. Air Force by pinning on them the veteran pins that were made earlier.

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  • Balance Awareness Week (September 19-25)

Balance Test

On this first day of Balance Awareness Week, encourage residents to do exercises that will improve their balance.

Mexican Sombreros

Encourage residents to make mini sombrero cookies for this afternoon's Hispanic Heritage Social.

Making Sangria

For this National Hispanic Heritage Month, invite residents to make sangria that can be served at this afternoon's Hispanic Heritage Social.

Hispanic Heritage Social

During this National Hispanic Heritage Month, share information about influential Hispanic-Americans. Serve the sombrero cookies and sangria that were made earlier.

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  • First Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France (1946)
  • Tennis stars Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs played in the "Battle of the Sexes," in which King beat Riggs (1973)

Hat Fashion Show

Invite the ladies to participate in a fun hat fashion show during this Fall Hat Month. Assist the residents with finding hats in their closets for them to model. Consider coordinating with a local hat shop to borrow their hats for the fashion show.

Baking Club: Rice Pudding

Encourage residents to make delicious rice pudding to celebrate this National Rice Month.

Battle of the Sexes

On this day that tennis great Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes," set up a tennis court in your Activity Room. Divide the room in half and separate the men from the women. Supply residents with plastic tennis rackets and an inflated balloon, and see who wins.

(Your Facility's) Film Festival Social

To commemorate the first Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on this day, show the popular movie To Catch a Thief (1955) featuring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Serve popcorn.

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  • Birthday: Chuck Jones, Warner Brothers cartoonist who created Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (1912)

Cartoon Drawing

Invite residents to make a fun cartoon drawing that they can give to their grandkids or great-grandkids as a gift on this birthday of Chuck Jones, creator of Warner Brothers characters Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Biscuit Bake-Off

Celebrate this National Biscuit Month with your residents by hosting a biscuit bake-off. Recruit residents and staff members to bake biscuits for residents to sample and judge.

Library Redo

During this Library Card Sign-Up Month, recruit residents to assist you with cleaning out, organizing, and re-shelving the books in your facility's library.

Exercise Rally Social

Host a fun, facility-wide exercise rally to get your residents excited about exercising during this Healthy Aging Month. At the event, pass out prizes to participants and serve healthy smoothies.

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  • Autumn (September 22 - December 21)
  • President Abraham Lincoln set over 3 million slaves free by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (1862)
  • U.S. Postmaster General was established (1789)

Crafts: Autumn Wall Decor

Recruit residents to make an autumn wall decor for your Activity Room featuring colorful tissue paper and a large twig.

U.S. Geography

See how well your residents know their American city skylines by quizzing them on this day that the U.S. Postmaster General was established.

Little-Known Secrets of Lincoln

On this day that President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, setting over 3 million slaves free, discuss some little-known secrets about our 16th president.

Autumn Social

Celebrate this first day of autumn by serving hot apple cider and reminiscing about fun autumn activities that the residents did when they were young.

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  • Build a Better Image Week (September 18-24)
  • Planet Neptune was discovered by German astronomer Johann Galle (1846)

Library Cart

Encourage residents to "check out" books from your facility's library during this Library Card Sign-Up Month. Take a cart filled with books from your facility's library or your local library, and distribute the books to residents.

Afternoon at the Museum

Enjoy this second autumn afternoon of the year by "taking" residents to the museum (in your Activity Room). Show a documentary about a popular museum, like Mysteries at the Museum (2010). Borrow the video from your local video store.

Astronomy Constellations

Show pictures of constellations to residents on this day that the planet Neptune was discovered. Ask residents about the constellations with which they are familiar.

Self-Portrait Social

For this Build a Better Image Week, encourage residents to make a fun self-portrait, using printable faces, yarn for hair, and googly eyes. Supply residents with frames for their self-portraits. Serve cheese and crackers as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Jim Henson, Muppets creator (1936)
  • International Week of the Deaf (September 19-25)
  • Judiciary Act of 1789 established the first U.S. Supreme Court (1789)
  • National Punctuation Day

Puppet Show

As an intergenerational activity, invite kids from a local school to your facility to make paper bag puppets and have a puppet show on this birthday of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

Learn a New Language: Sign Language

For this International Week of the Deaf, teach residents American Sign Language.

Legal Eagle

On this day that the first Supreme Court was established, invite residents to act as judges as you read them real cases and ask them what they would do if they were the judge.

Punctuation Social

Take residents down memory lane as you give them English punctuation quizzes to do on this National Punctuation Day. Serve cookies and milk as a snack.

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  • The first Congress passed the Bill of Rights (1789)
  • World Maritime Day

Crafts: Autumn Centerpieces

Encourage your residents to make beautiful autumn centerpieces for the tables in your Dining Room.

Chicken Lunch

Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a delicious chicken lunch during this National Chicken Month.

Ahoy Mates!

Discuss interesting facts about pirates on this World Maritime Day.

Bill of Rights Quiz Social

Quiz residents with Bill of Rights trivia to test their knowledge on this day that the first Congress passed the Bill of Rights. Serve cookies as a snack.

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  • Birthday: Johnny Appleseed, planter of apple orchards (1774)

Trip to Farmer's Market

Take advantage of the season's harvest by taking residents to your local farmer's market to pick fresh produce, like apples for the upcoming Baking Club activity.

Baking Club: Apple Betty

Using the apples bought from the trip to the Farmer's Market, encourage residents to make a delicious Apple Betty on this birthday of Johnny Appleseed, to be served at the upcoming Square Dance Hoedown.

Create Your Own Milkshake Social

During this National Shake Month, make delicious milkshakes for residents to enjoy. Reminisce with residents about hanging out at the local soda shop when they were teenagers.

Square Dance Hoedown

Celebrate this National Square Dance Month by hosting a fun hoedown for residents. Play music and teach residents how to square dance. Encourage residents to dress up for the hoedown.

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  • Ancestor Appreciation Day
  • World Tourism Day

Biscuit & Gravy Breakfast

Host a biscuit and gravy breakfast for residents as you recognize September as National Biscuit Month.

Friendly Letters

For this International Women's Friendship Month, encourage the ladies in your facility to write letters to send to their friends. Supply residents with stationery and pens.

Trace Your Family Social

On this Ancestor Appreciation Day, invite residents to complete a family tree that can be given to their loved ones. Serve pretzels and ginger ale as a snack.

Armchair Travel Night: World Tour

Show a documentary like Touring the World (2008), featuring amazing places in the world to visit, for this World Tourism Day.

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  • Birthday: Ed Sullivan, television personality (1901)
  • National Good Neighbor Day

Neighborhood Centerpieces

Invite residents to assemble paper neighborhood centerpieces for your Activity Room tables for the upcoming Meet & Greet Social.

Talent Show

Celebrate television host Ed Sullivan's birthday today by hosting a talent show at your facility. Encourage residents to share their talents with the other residents, and ask staff members to participate as well.

Meet & Greet Social

For this National Good Neighbor Day, invite residents to come out and meet your facility's newest residents. Serve warm cookies as a snack.

Harvest Ball

Host a special ball for your residents commemorating the harvest season. Encourage residents to dress up and dance the night away. Hire live entertainment for this special evening.

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  • Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read (September 26 - October 1)
  • Birthday: Gene Autry, actor and singer (1907)

Crafts: Fleece Hats

For this Fall Hat Month, encourage residents to make fleece hats for the season.

Baking Club: Honey Pie

Encourage residents to make a delicious honey pecan pumpkin pie during this National Honey Month.

Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project

Invite your red hatters to visit the bed-ridden residents in your facility and read to them on this fourth day of Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read.

Singing Cowboy Social

Play music and invite residents to sing along on this day that the original "Singing Cowboy" Gene Autry was born. Serve the honey pie that was made earlier.

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  • Actor James Dean died in car accident at age 24 (1955)
  • Birthday: Johnny Mathis, American singer (1935)
  • Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, was published (1452)

Piano Bar

Encourage a resident or staff member, who knows how to play the piano, to play a few songs for residents during this National Piano Month.

Bible Study

Invite residents to a bible study on this day that the Gutenberg Bible was first published.

Name That Johnny Mathis Song

Play "Name That Tune" with residents, playing only Johnny Mathis songs, on this day that the great singer was born.

Famous Young Actors Social

On this day that actor James Dean died in a car accident, reminisce about famous actors like Dean, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, who tragically passed away at young ages. Serve ice cream as a snack.

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