Sample Dementia Activity Calendar

August 2017 Dementia Activity Calendar

Find fun senior activity ideas for your Alzheimer's and dementia residents in the calendar below that you can easily add to your nursing facility's activity calendar.

TIP: Click on the links in the calendar box below to see more information about each activity.

Fun Dementia Activity Ideas for August
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
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TIP: Use the following monthly themes as inspiration for activity ideas.

August is ...

TIP: Click on the following days of the month to see activity ideas for that specific day.

TIP: Find activities that are classified to help you easily find the types of activity ideas that you need for your calendar.

Each day contains six types of activities:

TIP: Click on the highlighted links below to get more information (instructions, recipes, or pictures) to assist with completing the activity.


Crafts: Paper Stars

Assist residents with making hanging paper stars, for this birthday of the first female astronomer Maria Mitchell, using just coffee stirrers, tissue paper, and tacky glue. To make the stars, simply glue coffee stirrers together using tacky glue to form star shapes before attaching colorful tissue paper. Next, trim around the perimeter of the star to remove any excess tissue paper. Finally, add a piece of tape to one area of the tissue paper as reinforcement when you create a hole in the star for hanging. Hang the finished stars in a window in your Activity Room.

One-on-One: Girl Gossip

On this Girlfriend's Day, talk gossip with your resident over a cup of coffee. Share a few gossip stories of Old Hollywood to see if your resident remembers them. Download a few of today's gossip stories to get your resident's perspective.

Exercise: Breathing Exercises

Gather residents to exercise their lungs, in recognition of this World Lung Cancer Day, by teaching them several breathing exercises to help clear their lungs.

Bedside: Whale Watching

Share a short video with your resident of whale-watching on this birthday of Moby-Dick author Herman Melville.

Reminiscing: The Do's and Don'ts for Babies

In recognition of this first day of World Breastfeeding Week, reminisce with residents about the sage advice they received when caring for their babies. Read several do's and don'ts about caring for babies to see if the residents agree.

Sensory Stimulation: Spiderweb Art

In honor of this day that Spider-Man debuted in Marvel Comics in 1962, invite your residents to make colorful resist-art spiderwebs. Beforehand, recruit volunteers to use white crayons to draw spiderwebs on white paper. During the activity, provide residents with watercolors to paint over the design to reveal the colorful spiderwebs.

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Crafts: Colorful City

In honor of this birthday of French-born American architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant, provide residents with cardboard boxes, paint, and sponge brushes to create a shoe box city that can be used as toys in your facility's children's area for the summer. After the paint has dried, provide residents with black paint to create windows on the boxes. (Watch the short video for instructions.)

One-on-One: Sponge Tower Jenga

For this birthday of French-born architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant, assist your resident with cutting up sponges to build a sponge tower, before playing a game of sponge Jenga.

Exercise: Scouting Combine

In recognition of this birthday of professional sports executive Lamar Hunt, evaluate the athletic skills of your residents during a fun scouting combine. Set up three tests in different areas of your Activity Room. First, measure your residents' verticality with a ball bounce test. Simply provide your standing resident with a beach ball to bounce it on the floor so that it bounces up and hits the wall. Mark the wall where each resident's ball touches to judge who bounced their ball the highest. Secondly, measure your residents' hand-eye coordination by having them stand with a ping pong paddle on one side of a table as you bounce ping pong balls to them. Record how many ping pong balls they hit back toward you. Finally, measure your residents' balance by passing out coins and tongue depressors (craft sticks) and then having residents see how many coins they can balance on the tongue depressor that they are holding in their hand. Award fun prizes for your participants.

Bedside: Tips and Tricks

Share a few coloring pencils tips and tricks, like using Q-tips and baby oil for a blended look, as you encourage your resident to color a beautiful print on this National Coloring Book Day.

Reminiscing: Vintage Summer Treats

Reminisce with residents about their favorite ice cream treats as you pass around photos of vintage ice cream advertisements on this National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Pass around homemade ice cream sandwiches during the activity. (Beforehand, recruit your facility's Baking Club to make the ice cream sandwiches using graham crackers, instant pudding, milk, and whipped topping.)

Sensory Stimulation: Wine and Coloring Party

Pass out adult coloring pages, colored pencils, and wine for residents to color on this National Coloring Book Day. Frame the finished coloring pages for a fun art gallery exhibit in your Activity Room.

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Crafts: Summer Fruit Bowls

Assist residents with decorating summer fruit bowls on this National Watermelon Day. A week before, recruit volunteers to help you make the bowls using shredded paper, water, flour, plastic wrap, bowls, and a hand-held blender. During the activity, provide residents with different colored paints to decorate their papier-mâché bowls.

One-on-One: Retirement Class

For this birthday of age discrimination activist Maggie Kuhn, host a retirement class for your resident, in which you teach him a new hobby. Each week, pick a new easy-to-teach hobby to show your resident.

Exercise: Bean Bag Toss

In recognition of this first day of the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin, set up several numbered containers for residents to play a bean bag toss game. Before the game, arrange to have your facility's Sewing Club make a few bean bags for the game.

Bedside: Remember Murder, She Wrote?

Treat your television crime fan to an afternoon of the popular crime show Murder, She Wrote on this birthday of English crime novelist P. D. James.

Reminiscing: Getting Better With Age

In honor of this birthday of age discrimination activist Maggie Kuhn, set up your Activity Room to feature all the things that get better with age, like wine, cheese, and books. Then invite residents for a fun wine and cheese party as they reminisce about their lives and how much wiser they are now. Encourage residents to share a few tales about the funny mistakes that they made in their youth.

Sensory Stimulation: Watermelon Art

Provide residents with shaving cream, school glue, and food coloring to make watermelon art on this National Watermelon Day. Assist residents with painting their watermelons on heavy cardstock before allowing them to dry.

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Crafts: Paper Fans

Invite residents to use paper to make hand fans on this first day of the Tall Timber Days Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Assist residents with folding colorful paper in accordion folds before gluing it to clothespins and assembling with rubber bands. Encourage residents to use their fans to keep themselves cool throughout the summer.

One-on-One: Blueberry Pie

Assist your resident with baking a blueberry pie in honor of this Braham Pie Day in Minnesota.

Exercise: Dancing Feet

Get your residents feet moving by gathering residents in a circle, playing music, and doing the Hokey Pokey in recognition of this first day of the Gigglefeet Dance Festival in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Bedside: Jazz Game

Play a Name That Tune jazz game with your resident on this birthday of jazz great Louis Armstrong. Play an American jazz song and see if your resident can guess the title.

Reminiscing: Famous Mothers in History

On this birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, reminisce with residents about other famous mothers in history. Go around the room and ask residents to share one great thing about their mother.

Sensory Stimulation: Dairy Classroom

Set up a "cow" in your Activity Room to show residents (or to have them show you) how to milk a cow on this first day of Agrifair, an agricultural family festival in Canada. Use plastic gloves that are filled with milk and attached to the bottom of a table (along the side of the table). Then cover the table with a large piece of white felt that has black felt patches attached to resemble a cow. Finally, invite residents to sit near the "udders" to milk the cow (after prinking the ends of the gloves with a pin). (Another option, if you have an artistic volunteer, is to create a cardboard cow.)

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Crafts: Constellation Jars

Assist residents with painting constellation jars on this birthday of the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong. For the project, provide residents with glass jars for them to paint black. Once the paint has dried, supply residents with sponge brushes, dark and light blue paint, red paint, and white paint to create constellations on their jars. After the jars have dried, fill the jars with individually wrapped candy to give to your facility's administrators as candy dishes for their desks.

One-on-One: Constellation Rocks

Lead your resident outdoors to assist you with collecting flat rocks to turn into constellation stones on this birthday of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Use black Sharpie markers and zodiac constellations for the project.

Exercise: Top 40 Hits

Play the hits from the 1930s and the hits from the 1940s in the background of your Exercise Class on this day that the dance show American Bandstand premiered on television.

Bedside: Newspaper Horoscopes

Obtain your local paper and read your resident's horoscope to her on this birthday of Hollywood astrologer Sydney Omarr.

Reminiscing: The Evolution of Underwear

In honor of this National Underwear Day, reminisce with residents about how far ladies' undergarments have come. Read a bit of the history of how ladies' underwear has evolved over the decades.

Sensory Stimulation: Mustard Tasting

Coordinate with Dining Services to provide mini hot dogs on sticks for residents to sample during a mustard taste test on this National Mustard Day. Provide each resident with a dollop of three different kinds of mustard (yellow mustard, honey mustard, and Dijon mustard) to taste.

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Crafts: Floral Tape Peg Dolls

Invite residents to make floral tape dolls on this National Doll Day. To make the dolls, simply cover peg dolls with floral tape before using markers to fill in the faces. Finally, assist residents with using hot glue to attach rope or yarn for the hair. Set the finished dolls out as a doll display for the day.

One-on-One: State 48 Art

Assist your resident with creating Arizona-themed art, on this American Family Day in Arizona, by stitching cacti. Use the cactus templates, embroidery thread in green, peach, and blue, needles, paper, and cardboard for the artwork. Hang the finished cactus art in your resident's room.

Exercise: Toe Therapy

On this Wiggle Your Toes Day, invite residents to remove their shoes and socks for a few toe exercises.

Bedside: Recording Messages

In honor of this National Sister's Day, use your phone to record your resident sending well wishes to her siblings. Beforehand, contact family members to learn where to send the finished messages.

Reminiscing: I Got Your Back!

Reminisce with residents about their childhood friends on this Friendship Day. Ask residents to share the qualities that they have enjoyed in close friendships. Afterwards, name a member of a famous duo to see if residents can guess the other member.

Sensory Stimulation: The Nose Knows

For this first day of National Farmers Market Week, gather several Dixie cups and fill them with different ingredients from your facility's kitchen for a sensory game. Blindfold residents and pass around a variety of different items from the kitchen, including spices, fruits, and veggies, for residents to smell and identify.

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Crafts: Pretty Packaged Tissues

For this Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day, invite residents to paint empty tissue boxes that can be recycled to place new tissues in. Simply have residents paint the boxes in one paint color. Next, after the paint dries, apply tape to the box in a unique design. Then, have residents use a second color to paint the box. Once the paint dries, take off the tape to unveil the unique tissue boxes. Finally, refill the empty boxes with tissues and set them throughout your facility.

One-on-One: Homemade Lighthouse Calendar

On this National Lighthouse Day, recruit your resident to make a homemade calendar using beautiful lighthouse photos. First, download the photos to your computer before uploading them (dropping the image) into the calendar. After you can view the image on the site, click "Download Calendar" to download the monthly calendar.

Exercise: Conga Line

Get residents up and moving in a fun Conga line on this Emancipation Day in the Bahamas. Play steel-drum music and encourage residents to dance.

Bedside: Picnic Version of Bingo

If it's been a while since your resident has played a game of bingo, then invite her to play the "picnic version" of bingo – using playing cards – on this Picnic Day in Australia. To play, use two standard decks of cards, and deal five cards face-up to your resident and yourself. Then shuffle the other deck and keep it faced down. Pick a card from the second deck and turn it over so that you and your resident can see the card. If either of you has that card in your hand, then turn it over, faced down. The first person with all five of their cards faced down wins.

Reminiscing: Public Speaking Fears

Reminisce with residents about having to speak in public on this Professional Speakers Day. Invite residents to discuss their past speeches and how they overcame their fears. Afterwards, share a few public speaking stories.

Sensory Stimulation: Beachy Paintings

In recognition of this National Lighthouse Day, provide residents with paper, colorful sand, and glue to make sand paintings. To make the paintings, simply have residents use brushes to spread glue onto the paper before sprinkling different colored sand onto the glue. Consider using coloring pages and assisting residents with adding glue to one section at a time before sprinkling a specific colored sand on that section. Use fun images, like ice cream cones, sailboats, and butterflies, that can be displayed for summer.

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Crafts: Nature Mobile

In recognition of this Farmers' Day in Tanzania, gather elements of nature from your garden for residents to use to create a nature mobile. Provide residents with clay, rolling pins, flower petals, and leaves for the project. Hang the finished nature mobile in your Activity Room for the summer.

One-on-One: Zucchini Bread

Invite your resident to assist you with making zucchini bread on this National Zucchini Day.

Exercise: Rockette Auditions

In honor of this birthday of Radio City Music Hall Rockettes founder Russell Markert, host "auditions" to show residents a few leg kicking exercises during your Exercise Class.

Bedside: The Secret to High Kicks

On this birthday of Russell Markert, the American choreographer who founded the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, share a few behind-the-scenes secrets of the Rockettes. Provide popcorn for your resident to enjoy while watching the short video.

Reminiscing: How Many Have You Seen?

For this birthday of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, play a fun film-reminiscing game with residents. Name popular movies from the 20th century and give one point to each resident who has seen the movie. As you name the different movies, ask residents to try to remember what the movie was about.

Sensory Stimulation: Popsicle Taste Test

Celebrate this National Frozen Custard Day by hosting a popsicle taste test for your residents. Ahead of time, fill Dixie cups with a variety of different fruit juices, and stick the cups in the freezer until they are half frozen. Then add popsicle sticks to each of the cups and place them back in the freezer until they freeze completely. For the taste test, provide each resident with a different fruit juice popsicle to taste (simply tear away the Dixie cup from the frozen popsicle) and to identify the fruit juice.

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Crafts: Coffee-Filter Fish

Provide residents with coffee filters, water droppers, and watercolors to create rainbow fish on this birthday of fishing treatise author Izaak Walton. After the coffee filters have dried, cut them into fish shapes, adding strips of aluminum foil as accents to the fish. Place the finished fish in your facility's craft bin for visiting kids to freely take.

One-on-One: Lavender Sachets

In recognition of this National Rice Pudding Day, assist your resident with using a cup of rice to make several lavender sachets for her furniture drawers. For the sachets, combine dried lavender and rice for the filling. Then, use needle and thread to sew together two squares of fabric, leaving one side of the fabric open to insert the rice. Once the sachets are filled, sew the remaining side closed.

Exercise: Hoop and Pole

Play a fun version of the popular Native American game Hoop and Pole on this International Day of the World's Indigenous People. To play, seat residents in a row of chairs facing the same direction, and provide each resident with an object to throw (e.g., pool noodle, stick, or even a ball of paper). Then, use a large hoop and roll it from one end of the row to the other end to see which residents can toss their pool noodle, stick, or ball through the hoop as it passes by. Award points for each person who throws their object through the hoop.

Bedside: Living on the Reservation

On this International Day of the World's Indigenous People, share a few myths about Native Americans with your resident. Afterwards, share a few facts about what life is like on an Indian reservation.

Reminiscing: The Resignation

Reminisce with residents about President Richard Nixon's resignation on this anniversary of the event. Ask residents to discuss their thoughts back then during the Watergate Scandal.

Sensory Stimulation: Dyed Rice Artwork

Encourage residents to create dyed rice artwork in recognition of this National Rice Pudding Day. Assist residents with sketching a flower head on their paper before applying tacky glue and the colored rice. (A few days before, recruit volunteers to dye rice in various colors for residents to use for the activity.)

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Crafts: Museum Paintings

On this day that the Smithsonian Institution was founded, provide residents with canvases, flowers, and paint for them to make their museum-worthy Monet-inspired artwork. First, have residents dip their flowers into paint before making flower prints on their canvases. Then set the prints outside to dry quickly in the sun. Once the prints have dried, squeeze a line of blue paint along the left side of the painting and use a ruler to spread the blue paint across the rest of the picture. Finally, set the pictures back outside to dry before hanging the Monet-inspired masterpieces.

One-on-One: Two Mocha Coffees to Go

In honor of this birthday of Nestlé chocolate founder Henri Nestlé, make two mocha coffees and sit out on the front porch with your resident for a quick morning coffee break.

Exercise: Playing Hooverball

For this birthday of President Herbert Hoover, teach residents how to play Hooverball, a ball-throwing game created for President Herbert Hoover while he was in office. Instead of using a weighted ball, use a beach volleyball for residents to throw and catch over a net. To play, have residents toss the ball over the net for another resident to catch, before they toss the ball back over the net.

Bedside: Hobo Sing Along

Invite your resident to sing hobo songs with you on this first day of the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. For your sing along, sing "The Hobo Song" and "Hobo's Meditation".

Reminiscing: Baby Formulas

Reminisce with residents about baby food on this birthday of Henri Nestlé, who was an entrepreneur of baby formula. Ask residents to discuss what they fed their babies besides formula, while sharing a list of foods that should not be given to babies.

Sensory Stimulation: Marshmallow Minute-To-Win-It

Celebrate this National S'mores Day with residents by inviting them to compete in a fun marshmallow stacking Minute-To-Win-It game to see who can stack the most marshmallows in a minute. Afterwards, encourage residents to enjoy their sweet treats.

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Crafts: Paper Kites

Assist residents with making paper kites for the upcoming Kite Air Show. Use bright colored paper for the kites.

One-on-One: Paper Toy Physics

On this first day of the Abbotsford International Airshow in Canada, invite your curious resident to conduct a test with you to see which paper airplane flies the farthest. First, assemble several different types of paper airplanes before conducting the experiment outdoors.

Exercise: Jazz Stepping

Play jazz music in your Activity Room as you lead residents on a jazz walk while listening to the music on this first day of the Long Beach Jazz Festival in Long Beach, California.

Bedside: You Think You Know Elvis?

Quiz your Elvis fan with Elvis trivia on this first day of Elvis Week. Be sure to make a quick peanut butter and banana smoothie for your resident to enjoy while taking the quiz.

Reminiscing: Just a Wearyin' For You

For this birthday of composer Carrie Jacobs-Bond, encourage residents to remember the words and to sing along to her popular songs like "I Love You Truly", "Just a Wearyin' For You", and "A Perfect Day".

Sensory Stimulation: Kite Air Show

Provide residents with the kites that were made earlier during the Crafts activity to fly outdoors for a fun air show on this first day of the Abbotsford International Airshow in Canada. Before the activity, recruit a few children in the building (or staff members) to run with the kites just in case it's not a windy day.

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Crafts: Antiquing Bottles

In recognition of this day of the Somerset Antique Show in Somerset, Pennsylvania, assist residents with making antique bottles using masking tape and brown shoe polish. For the project, provide residents with bottles and masking tape and have them tear off pieces of the tape to place on the bottle. Then assist them with using a cloth to apply shoe polish to transform the bottle into an antique.

One-on-One: Inspiring Stories

In honor of this birthday of the "Dick and Jane" readers author Zerna Sharp, invite your resident to read inspiring stories with you. Alternate reading the stories to each other.

Exercise: Four Square (Senior Style)

For this International Youth Day, play a senior-version of the popular youth game Four Square. Seat residents in a large square and create a four-square grid on the floor using masking tape. Encourage residents to bounce-pass a ball to one another by first bouncing the ball in one of the squares.

Bedside: Around-the-World Trip

In commemoration of this day that the IBM personal computer was introduced, borrow a tablet to take your resident on a trip around-the-world.

Reminiscing: Is It Really That Bad?

Reminisce with residents about their birth order and their relationships with their siblings on this Middle Children's Day. Afterwards, read birth-order characteristics and ask residents to tell you whether you are describing the first-born, the middle child, the youngest, or the only child.

Sensory Stimulation: Little Readers

On this birthday of Zerna Sharp, the American educator and creator of the "Dick and Jane" readers, invite the grandchildren to stop by to read to your residents. Ahead of time, pick up a few readers from your local library for the children to use.

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Crafts: Jar Lanterns

Collect Mason jars and assist residents with making jar lanterns on this birthday of the founder of the science of light Anders Jonas Angström. Assist residents with gluing tissue paper squares to the outside of their jars before applying a coat of Mod Podge. Next, have residents string beads on craft wire before wrapping the wire around the jar. Finally, add a battery-operated tea light to the jar for illumination.

One-on-One: Channel Surfing Bingo

Print out a channel surfing bingo card for your resident to play television bingo in recognition of this birthday of John Logie Baird, the British scientist who was the first to demonstrate a working television. Simply turn on your television and switch the channel every five seconds to see how long it takes for your resident to mark off all his bingo squares.

Exercise: Target Toss

Place a target or Hula Hoop on the floor for residents to toss bean bags into on this birthday of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Award points for each bean bag that falls inside the hoop.

Bedside: The Glass Eye

Celebrate this birthday of English suspense film director Alfred Hitchcock with your resident by showing him an episode of a Alfred Hitchcock Presents television show.

Reminiscing: First T.V. Set

Reminisce with residents about their family's first television set on this birthday of John Logie Baird, the British scientist who was the first to demonstrate a working television. Pass around photos of original televisions as you encourage residents to describe their family sets.

Sensory Stimulation: Painting Rainbows

On this birthday of the founder of the science of light, Anders Jonas Angström, create rainbows for your residents to paint. To make the rainbows, place a table in the sun and submerge a CD into a clear bowl of water on the table. Then encourage residents to paint the colors that are reflected on their paper.

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Crafts: Navajo Sand Paintings

Assist residents with creating Native American sand paintings on this Navajo Code Talkers Day. First, draw an object onto paper and have residents add glue to a particular section of the object before sprinkling the sand.

One-on-One: Pet Puppy

Encourage your resident to assist you with making a pet puppy on this birthday of Ernest Everett Just, an American marine biologist and zoology professor. Use yarn and glue to make homemade pom-poms for the dog's body. Finally, add felt and mini pom-poms to complete the dog.

Exercise: Hymn Walk

Lead residents on a hymn walk as you encourage residents to sing hymns while walking through your Activity Room on this day that Germany's Cologne Cathedral was completed.

Bedside: Cathedral Tour

Go online with your resident to see photos of the most beautiful churches in the world on this day that the Cologne Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, was completed. Encourage your resident to pick a few of the churches to Google for a virtual tour.

Reminiscing: Religious Influences

Reminisce with residents about the religious influences in their lives on this day that Germany's Cologne Cathedral was completed. Then ask residents whether they think that religion has too much influence on the government.

Sensory Stimulation: Creamsicle Break

Host an afternoon creamsicle break for your residents on this National Creamsicle Day.

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Crafts: Tie-Dyed Art

Provide paper and crayons to residents for them to make their own tie-dyed artwork on this first day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York. Simply draw a spiral on each of the papers and encourage residents to use different crayons to fill in the spiral, as demonstrated on the website. Then provide residents with white erasers to finish creating the tie-dyed look.

One-on-One: Baking Like Julia

In honor of this birthday of television chef Julia Child, invite your resident to assist you with baking Julia's brownies. Set the finished brownies out for others to sample before asking them to guess the celebrity chef who created the recipe.

Exercise: Relaxation Therapy

Teach residents a few relaxation exercises on this National Relaxation Day.

Bedside: Abstract Art

On this birthday of graphic artist and designer Paul Rand, invite your resident to assist you with creating a fun abstract art piece for her wall. Make sure that your resident keeps her brushstrokes going in the same direction.

Reminiscing: Teenage Years

Reminisce with residents about their teenage years on this anniversary of the first day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York. Ask residents to name a few teenage pranks that they pulled as youngsters.

Sensory Stimulation: Hand Massages

Give residents relaxing hand massages on this National Relaxation Day.

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Crafts: Beachy Centerpieces

On this day that the beachy country of the Dominican Republic celebrates its restoration as a country, provide residents with glass jars, sand, seashells, and battery-operated tea lights to assemble beachy centerpieces for your Dining Room tables this summer.

One-on-One: Hip Swiveling Lesson

Teach your resident the proper way to swivel his hips like Elvis by tying an tissue box that's filled with ping pong balls around his waist. Play an Elvis song and encourage your resident to shake the balls out of the box (like the Junk in the Truck game) thus swiveling his hips and dancing like Elvis.

Exercise: Doing the Wave

In recognition of this International Wave at Surveillance Day, a day to show sarcasm as people are encouraged to wave at the surveillance cameras in public, organize a wave of a different type for your residents that allows them to get exercise. Recruit staff members to help you do a facility-wide "stadium wave" at a particular time of the afternoon. Set up chairs side-by-side in your Activity Room, along hallways, and in the common areas and have residents and staff members be prepared to stand (or raise their hands, or both) to catch the wave and pass it along. After the wave has completed, use your Activity Cart to roam the halls passing out popsicles to the participants for a fun facility-wide popsicle party.

Bedside: Reinventing Your Career

In honor of this birthday of actor Fess Parker, who became a winemaker, have a fun discussion with your resident about whether he ever wanted to reinvent his career. Afterwards, share a story about the day in the life of a winemaker. (If your resident has identified a different career that he has always thought about, try to find a story online about someone in that occupation to share with him.)

Reminiscing: Gone Too Soon

For this day that Elvis Presley died, reminisce with residents about other celebrities that died too soon.

Sensory Stimulation: Sandy Pots

In commemoration of this Restoration Day in the beachy country of the Dominican Republican, assist residents with making sandy pots for summertime decoration. Simply use sponge brushes to cover the pots with glue before rolling them in sand.

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Crafts: Indian Corn Mosaics

On this first day of the Sun Prairie's Sweet Corn Festival in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, recruit residents to help you make Indian corn mosaics that you can use as decoration for next month's arrival of autumn. For the project, provide residents with kernels of colorful Indian corn to decorate salt-dough clay (3/4 cup water, 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour). Follow the site's instructions for baking and setting the decorated clay.

One-on-One: Scented Ball Match

For this first day of the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, provide your resident with a different kind of ball to focus on: the cotton ball. Use your essential oils to infuse cottons balls for your resident to play a match game. Simply place scented cotton balls into small boxes for the game, making sure to label the scent on the bottom of the box and to have two boxes featuring the same scent. (This is also a fun game to play with two residents at a time.)

Exercise: Shamrock Scavenger Hunt

Recruit volunteers to print out shamrocks onto green cardstock to hide throughout your facility for residents to participate in a day-long scavenger hunt on this first day of the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Award a prize to the resident who has collected the most shamrocks by dinnertime.

Bedside: That 1930s Hair!

Chit chat and reminisce with your resident about the beautiful hairstyles from the 1930s on this birthday of 1930s actress Mae West. Share photos of classic 1930s styles as you ask your resident to choose her favorites.

Reminiscing: County Festivals

Reminisce with residents about the summer county festival that they used to attend on this first day of the Sun Prairie's Sweet Corn Festival in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Discuss the popular county fair foods as you pass around a crowd favorite: kettle corn.

Sensory Stimulation: Irish Party

Play Irish tavern music and invite residents to dance in recognition of this first day of the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seat residents in a circle and have them clap their hands as you invite residents up to dance. Show residents how to do a variation of the Irish set dance, as appropriate for your residents.

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Crafts: Ice Cream Cups

In honor of this National Ice Cream Pie Day, provide residents with plain cups and colorful Washi tape so that they can help you decorate the cups for an upcoming ice cream dessert party.

One-on-One: My Favorites

Assist your resident with creating a collage of her favorite things using pictures from old magazines on this day that the first general merchandise mail-order catalog was published by Montgomery Ward. Use poster board, glue sticks, and scissors to help your assist cut out her favorite things. Encourage your resident to find her favorites among different topics, like favorite color, favorite city, favorite dessert, etc.

Exercise: Rhyme Toss

Seat residents in a large circle to play a rhyme tossing game on this Bad Poetry Day. To play, choose a word, like cat, and toss a beach ball to a person who must come up with another word that rhymes with cat. Then that person tosses the ball to another person who must come up with another word that rhymes with cat, and so on. Once everyone has had a chance to catch the ball and say a rhyming word, create another word for residents to have to rhyme with, like dog. If you have a lot of people playing the game, try to use simple words so that everyone can think of a rhyming word.

Bedside: Just Flipping Through

Bring several mail-order catalogs to flip through with your resident on this day that the first general merchandise mail-order catalog was published by Montgomery Ward. In addition, bring a cup of sweet tea for your resident to enjoy while looking through the catalogs.

Reminiscing: Winning the Lottery

Reminisce with residents about their pleasant surprises in life on this Serendipity Day. Ask residents whether any of them have ever won the lottery before sharing a lottery-winning success story as well as a few bad things that can happen to lottery winners.

Sensory Stimulation: Ice Cream Pie Tasting

Invite residents to sample a variety of ice cream pies on this National Ice Cream Pie Day. Make simple ice cream pies using a Ben & Jerry's ice cream pint and gingersnap cookies. For this activity, consider making a few other ice cream pies using different Ben & Jerry's ice cream pints and different cookies, like vanilla wafers or Oreos. (Please note that if you crush whole Oreo cookies for the cookie crumb crust, then the butter and sugar in the recipe will not be needed since the Oreo filling will help the cookie crumbs stay together.)

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Crafts: Tree Jewelry

On this birthday of fashion designer Coco Chanel, assist residents with making bird food garland as jewelry for your trees. Simply provide residents with Cheerios cereal and dried cranberries to string on twine using plastic needles. Drape the finished garland on your backyard trees.

One-on-One: Pollination House

Invite your resident to assist you with constructing a pollination house for your backyard bees on this National Honey Bee Day. For the house, use a hammer and nail to make a hole in the bottom of a tin can, near the edge. Then paint the can before stringing twine through the can. Finally, fill the can with rolls of scrap paper and hang it in your facility's backyard.

Exercise: Plane Toss

For this National Aviation Day, host a fun paper plane relay race among residents. To play, divide residents into teams and have one member of each team make a paper plane and toss it into that team's basket. If it doesn't reach the basket, then they have to make a new paper plane and toss it. Once that player tosses his or her plane into the basket, the next team member can go. Award a prize to the first team to complete the challenge of making their paper planes and tossing them in their basket.

Bedside: Life After Leaving Office

In honor of this birthday of President Bill Clinton, chit chat with your residents about what presidents should do after they leave office. Share a short documentary with your resident about today's former presidents and what they have been up to.

Reminiscing: Common Pets

Reminisce with residents about their former pets on this International Homeless Animals' Day and Candlelight Vigils. Share a list of the most common pets to see how many of each were owned by your residents. Award a prize to the person who has owned the most different kinds of pets.

Sensory Stimulation: Black Cow Floats

Set up your activity cart as an ice cream stand and serve up "Black Cow" floats (coke floats) to residents on this day that the float was created. To make the float, simply pour coke into a glass and add scoops of vanilla ice cream.

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Crafts: No-Sew Pillows

Provide residents with colorful summertime fabric to create beautiful no-sew pillows on this birthday of furniture designer Eero Saarinen. Simply provide scissors and fabric for residents to assemble the pillows.

One-on-One: Gothic Read

Pick a book of Gothic literature to read with your resident each week in recognition of this birthday of H. P. Lovecraft, an American writer and renowned master of American Gothic literature.

Exercise: Using a Chair

On this birthday of furniture designer Eero Saarinen, lead residents in using the furniture, including chairs and tables, to assist them with their daily stretches.

Bedside: Mid-century Style

Share photos with your resident of mid-century home styles on this birthday of architect Eero Saarinen. Ask your resident to pick out the photos that closely resemble her home from the 1950s.

Reminiscing: Home Improvement Projects

Reminisce with residents about their past home improvement projects on this birthday of architect Eero Saarinen. Ask residents to share a few funny home improvement stories of when they took on more than they could handle.

Sensory Stimulation: Marshmallows and Pretzel Sticks

Supply residents with mini marshmallows and pretzel sticks to build their own houses on this birthday of architect Eero Saarinen. As the residents are assembling their houses, reminisce with residents about their past homes.

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Crafts: Hawaiian Shacks

Divide residents into groups to assemble Hawaiian beach houses on this day that Hawaii became the 50th state. Beforehand, recruit volunteers to cut the graham crackers and assemble the houses so that residents can decorate them with icing, candies, and wheat cereal.

One-on-One: Legal Stories

Share a few funny legal stories with your former attorney-resident on this day that the American Bar Association was founded. Ask your resident to share a few funny stories of his own.

Exercise: Hula Class

Make hula skirts from paper bags and pass them out to the men and women of your Exercise Class before teaching them how to hula on this day that Hawaii became the 50th state.

Bedside: Perfecting the Skyhook

Bring a foam basketball to your resident for him to practice his hook shot on this birthday of NBA Hall of Fame player Wilt Chamberlain.

Reminiscing: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

On this day of the Solar Eclipse, set up a viewing party for your residents. Reminisce with residents about past eclipses they have seen as you wait on the eclipse to arrive in your area. Be sure to pass out special solar eclipse glasses for the viewing party.

Sensory Stimulation: Waikiki Beach Party

In honor of this day that Hawaii became the 50th state, host a fun surfing party for your residents. Play Beach Boys music in the background as you play the game Pass the Coconut. To play, seat residents in a circle and provide them with a ball that they have to pass around the circle until the music stops. Whomever is holding the ball when the music stops is out of the game. Continue the game until there is only one resident left.

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Crafts: Angel Wings

On this Be an Angel Day, invite residents to make angel wing ornaments using coffee filters, hot glue, glue spray, glitter, and ribbon. Once the angel wings are made, encourage residents to give their wings to someone who they recognize as being an angel.

One-on-One: Short Story Drawings

In recognition of this birthday of photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, invite your resident to tell stories through pictures. Use paper for the two of you to each draw a short story. Once finished, exchange pictures to see if the two of you can guess what the story is about.

Exercise: Burn Calories

Encourage your residents to burn calories while singing folk songs and clapping their hands on this day that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed for the first time as the Mormon Choir. Pass out folk song lyrics for residents to follow along.

Bedside: Caption Writer

In honor of this birthday of French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, encourage your resident to think of captions for family photos. Beforehand, contact your resident's family members for them to send family photos for the two of you to organize in a family album. After placing the photos in the album, have your resident tell you the funny captions to write underneath each of the photos.

Reminiscing: Little Angels

For this Be an Angel Day, reminisce with residents about how angelic their grandchildren are. Ask residents to share a few funny stories about their grandkids.

Sensory Stimulation: Sand Angels

Invite residents to create sand angels on this Be an Angel Day using platters of moon sand.

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Crafts: Cupcake Liner Butterflies

For this National Sponge Cake Day, assist residents with using cupcake liners to make simple butterflies. Use colorful cupcake liners and clothespins for the summertime butterflies.

One-on-One: Sponge Cake Baker

Recruit your resident to assist you with baking a sponge cake on this National Sponge Cake Day.

Exercise: Multiplication Dance

On this birthday of dancer Gene Kelly, get residents up and dancing by doing the multiplication dance. For the dance, play music and ask a couple to start dancing in the middle of the floor. Then when the music stops, encourage both the woman and man to find new partners to dance with until the music stops again. At that time, invite everyone who is on the dance floor to find people that they haven't danced with yet. Continue the game until everyone is up and dancing.

Bedside: Dance Performance

Encourage your resident to watch a dance performance by Gene Kelly on this day that he was born.

Reminiscing: Tea and Cake

Invite residents to an afternoon of tea and cake on this National Sponge Cake Day. Reminisce with residents about the cakes that they enjoyed baking.

Sensory Stimulation: Dancing in the Rain

Play the song Singin' in the Rain by Gene Kelly for residents to dance to in their chairs on this birthday of the choreographer.

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Crafts: Solar System Necklaces

Assist residents with making solar system necklaces on this day that the planet Pluto was demoted to dwarf status. For the activity, provide a variety of beads for residents to paint and string to make the necklaces.

One-on-One: Alaskan Travel

Take your resident on a trip to Alaska on this first day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska. Show a travel documentary to your resident.

Exercise: Mat Quoits

Play a traditional Alaskan quoits game (ring toss) with residents using a mat on this first day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska. Instead of using a stake to throw the rings around, use masking tape to create a line down a mat or on the floor for residents to toss their rings on. Points are awarded to those whose rings are closest to the line.

Bedside: Alaska Solitaire

Teach your resident how to play Alaska solitaire game on this first day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska.

Reminiscing: Peach Jam Tasters

On this National Peach Pie Day, invite your residents to reminisce about canning peaches and making peach jam. During the activity, invite residents to sample toast with peach jam.

Sensory Stimulation: Summer Concert Series

Host a fun summer concert series and invite an entertainer to perform for your residents on the back patio. Encourage residents to dance and have fun.

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Crafts: Fingerprint Peace Dove

Invite residents to make their own fingerprint peace doves on this first day of Be Kind to Humankind Week. Pass out dove coloring pages for residents to fill in with fingerprints of different colors. (Consider using pencil erasers for those residents who don't want to use their fingertips for the painting.)

One-on-One: Community Service Project

On this first day of Be Kind to Humankind Week, invite your resident to participate in a community outreach project to fill a need in your community, like organizing a clothing drive in your facility.

Exercise: Park Walk

In recognition of this Founders Day, commemorating the founding of the National Park Service, invite residents on a "park walk" through the backyard. Before heading out, pass out color wheels to each participant and instruct them to find three elements in nature that match a color on their color wheel. After the walk, encourage residents to share the objects that they found.

Bedside: Bedside Quiz

Quiz your resident about her knowledge of the iconic movie The Wizard of Oz on this day that it was released in theaters. Afterwards, reminisce with her about when she first saw the movie.

Reminiscing: Best Parks

Reminisce with residents about their favorite parks on this Founders Day, commemorating the founding of the National Park Service in 1916. Pass around photos of the country's best parks as well as the world's best parks.

Sensory Stimulation: Conducting the Symphony

On this birthday of American conductor Leonard Bernstein, play classical musical and encourage your residents to join in and conduct the symphony by moving their arms to the beat of the music. Pass out wooden dowels for residents to use as conductor batons.

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Crafts: Papier-Mâché Bowls

On this birthday of newspaper editor Ben Bradlee, assist residents with using newspapers to make papier-mâché bowls. Use newspaper, newsprint (plain white paper used for printing newspapers), Mod Podge, balloons, and paint for the fun activity. (For speedier drying times, place the wet balloons outdoors in the sun.)

One-on-One: Listening to the Game

Listen to an old radio broadcast baseball game with your resident on this birthday of the "Father of Radio" Lee De Forest. Serve homemade Cracker Jack for your resident to enjoy while listening.

Exercise: Men vs. Women

Host a fun gender competition in your Activity Room – men against the women – on this Women's Equality Day. Pick a fun game like balloon volleyball or bowling.

Bedside: Corvette Admirer

Share photos of the most beautiful corvettes with your car admirer on this day of the Corvette Crossroads Auto Show in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Afterwards, take your resident for a closer view of corvettes.

Reminiscing: Timeline of Women's History

In commemoration of this Women's Equality Day, reminisce with residents about the inequalities they witnessed in the workplace towards women. Ask residents to share stories of their parents about the inequalities at the beginning of the 20th century. Afterwards, share a few stories along the timeline of women's history in the United States.

Sensory Stimulation: Dog Whisperers

For this National Dog Day, arrange to have your facility's house dog provide pet therapy for your residents. Give each resident a different task to do with the dog when the dog comes to them, like brushing, petting, shaking the paw, throwing the ball, etc.

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Crafts: Ministering to the Birds

On this day that Mother Teresa was born, invite residents to make cross bird feeders to hang on your outdoor trees. Use Cheerios cereal, pipe cleaners, and twine to hang the feeders.

One-on-One: Balloon Delivery

Invite your resident to assist you with tying balloons on the bedposts of your bedridden residents as a way to cheer them up on this birthday of compassionate activist Mother Teresa.

Exercise: Holy Stretching

In recognition of this birthday of Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa, teach your residents how to do a spiritual exercise, like a centered chair yoga exercise.

Bedside: Easy Art

In honor of this first day of Burning Man 2017, a temporary art community in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, assist your resident with creating easy Washi tape art on canvases. Hang the finished artwork on her walls.

Reminiscing: Working in the Church

Reminisce with residents about their work in their churches and synagogues over the years on this birthday of Mother Teresa. Ask residents to discuss how they began to get involved with their local church.

Sensory Stimulation: Shaving-Cream Pots

For this first day of the desert art festival Burning Man 2017, invite your residents to help you decorate the pots of your facility's small succulent plants. For the activity, provide each resident with small pots, and plates of shaving cream. Have residents drop several different colors of paint into their shaving cream before swirling the paint. Next, show residents how to roll the pots in the shaving cream to create the marbleized texture on the pot's exterior. Finally, set the pots aside to dry before wiping off any excess paint from the pots. Use the finished pots as colorful decoration during these final days of summer.

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Crafts: Save the Paint!

In recognition of this birthday of American naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, provide residents with creating edible birdhouses for your backyard birds. Simply slather peanut butter all over the wooden birdhouses before sprinkling them with birdseed.

One-on-One: Bird Identifier

On this birthday of American naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, invite your resident outdoors to look for birds that resemble the birds on your bird spotter sheet. Try to find birds that have similar colors before marking the sheet.

Exercise: Balloon Bouncers

Pass out plastic tennis rackets to residents to see how long they can bounce a balloon on their racket on this first day of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Bedside: Bread and Peanut Butter

Provide your resident with slices of bread, peanut butter, birdseed, cookie cutters, and twine to assist you with making peanut butter bird feeders for your neighborhood birds on this birthday of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson. Place the finished feeders on the trees that are located outside of your resident's room window.

Reminiscing: Your First Time

Reminisce with residents about their first time using a computer on this Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day, referring to the action that most desktop users do as they wait for the screen to load. Afterwards, ask residents whether they had ever dreamed that they would live the life of the Jetsons.

Sensory Stimulation: Thumb Workout

For this Chinese Valentine's Day (the Double Seven Festival in China), recruit residents to assist you with making double thumbprint cookies. Provide each resident with small balls of dough for them to use their thumbs to create a heart-shape in the cookies. Once the cookies have baked, fill the indentations with strawberry preserves.

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Crafts: Washi Tape Herb Cans

Collect empty aluminum cans for residents to decorate for a herb garden in your Activity Room on this More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Simply wrap colorful Washi tape around the cans to create unique designs for each of the herb pots.

One-on-One: Learning About Ingrid

Invite your resident to learn more about actress Ingrid Bergman by showing a biography of the actress on this day that she was born.

Exercise: Hand Taps

In honor of this birthday of jazz musician Charlie Parker, play jazz music in the background as you lead residents in a fun hand tapping exercise at the tables in your Activity Room. (Use wooden dowels for residents to tap on the tables.)

Bedside: Is This Your Card?

Learn a few card tricks to show your resident on this "According to Hoyle" Day, a day promoting games to be played according to the rules.

Reminiscing: Name That Singer

Play a fun game of Name That Singer on this birthday of iconic pop singer Michael Jackson. Name a song title and encourage residents to recall and name the singer of the song.

Sensory Stimulation: Herbs and Spice Testing

Host an herbs and spice tasting for residents on this More Herbs, Less Salt Day. First, gather your dried herbs and spices and mix each herb with butter and place in the microwave for 10 seconds to create a butter spread. Then spread the herb/spice butter onto small pieces of bread for residents to sample, doing one herb or spice at time. If your residents are interested, blindfold them to see if they can guess what they are eating without looking.

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Crafts: Monster Pencils

On this birthday of Frankenstein novelist Mary Shelley, assist residents with making spooky monster pencils to give away to kids as they begin the new school year. Simply use craft glue to add the googly eyes to colorful pom-poms, and then use hot glue to attach them to the pencils. Set the pencils out at your facility's front desk for visiting kids to help themselves.

One-on-One: Stain Remover

In recognition of this day of La Tomatina, the world's biggest food fight, which features tomatoes, invite your resident to be a stain remover using natural products. First, apply grass stains, tomato stains, and lipstick stains to cloth napkins before trying out the natural products to try to remove the stains. Encourage your resident to share his findings with other residents.

Exercise: Marshmallow Toss

Divide residents into pairs for a fun game of marshmallow toss in honor of this National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Seat the partners on opposite sides of a table. Provide one team member with a small cup of mini marshmallows for them to toss into the empty cup of their partner. Give residents one minute to toss as many marshmallows into their partner's cup. Award a prize to the team who successfully transfers the most marshmallows.

Bedside: Virgin Mary

Treat your resident to a nonalcoholic Virgin Mary on this day of La Tomatina, the large tomato food fight in Spain.

Reminiscing: Best Afternoon Snacks

For this National Toasted Marshmallow Day, reminisce with residents about their favorite afternoon snacks. Use your facility's toaster oven to toast a few marshmallows for residents as you go around the room and ask residents to name their favorite afternoon snacks.

Sensory Stimulation: Relaxing Chores

In honor of this National Holistic Pet Day, treat your residents to a holistic activity as you ask them to fold towels that are sprayed with calming lavender essential oil.

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Crafts: Wind Chime

In recognition of this Independence Day in Trinidad and Tobago, recruit residents to assemble a fun wind chime for the back patio. To make the wind chime, assist residents with stringing large beads onto jewelry cording using plastic needles. Then, tie one end of the long string of beads to an embroidery hoop. Next, add long pieces of colorful ribbon to fill in the empty spaces along the embroidery hoop. Finally hang the embroidery hoop outdoors.

One-on-One: Word Square

In honor of this Love Litigating Lawyers Day, play a fun mind game of Word Square with your resident. Use a 4x4 grid for the game.

Exercise: Leaving a Trail

On this National Trail Mix Day, provide residents with popcorn to leave a trail outside for the birds as you lead them on a walk through the backyard and garden.

Bedside: Beautiful Trails

Share photos of the most beautiful paths with your resident on this National Trail Mix Day. Ask your resident about the trails that he used to walk.

Reminiscing: Crooks Are Stupid

Reminisce with residents about the dumb criminals that they have heard about in the past on this Love Litigating Lawyers Day. Share a few funny stories of dumb criminals.

Sensory Stimulation: Sorting Trail Mix

Provide each resident with a bowl of trail mix to have them sort the different nuts and seeds onto their plates before eating them on this National Trail Mix Day.

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