Activity Idea of the Month

hosting a haunted gingerbread house contest for nursing home senior residents

Haunted Gingerbread House Contest

Celebrate Halloween (October 31) with your residents by organizing a Haunted Gingerbread House Contest (by kidfriendlythingstodo.com). For the contest, provide residents with chocolate graham crackers and hot glue to construct the houses. Then encourage residents to use black frosting and lots of Halloween candy to turn the houses into spooky gingerbread houses. Once the houses have been decorated, display them in a common area, and encourage passersby to vote on the "Scariest Haunted Gingerbread House." Award a Halloween-themed prize to the winner of the contest. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Men's Activity Calendar.)

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Creative Craft of the Month

making black cat mums for Halloween for your senior nursing home residents

Black Cat Mum Planters

Recruit residents to help you decorate for October by making black cat mum planters (by hgtv.com) for your facility's front porch. For the craft, provide residents with black paint to paint garden planters. Once the planters are dry, attach green, pink, and black craft foam to create the cat's eyes, nose, and mouth. Then use gold pipe cleaners to add the cat's whiskers to the planters. Next, use a part of a wire hanger and black craft foam to construct a curled tail for the cat. Finally, fill the planter with colorful mums, and display the planters on your facility's front porch as decoration. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Assisted Living Activity Calendar.)

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Activity Ideas for Male Residents

making pumpkin lanterns with the seniors at your nursing facility

Male Bonding Activity of the Month

Recognize this pumpkin season by encouraging the men to make pumpkin lanterns (by orangenmond.at) using tissue paper, balloons, glue, and battery-operated tea lights. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Men's Activity Calendar.)

making turkey suckers for Canada's Thanksgiving Day with nursing home residents

One-on-One Activity of the Month

Recruit a volunteer to assist your Canadian-born resident with making turkey suckers (by crayonsandcravings.com) to celebrate Canada's Thanksgiving Day on October 14. To make the adorable suckers, simply melt colorful Jolly Rancher candies together to create the turkey's feathers and face. Then while the candy is still warm, add a lollipop stick to each turkey. Next, add candy eyes, Tic Tacs candy, and Red Hots candy for the facial features. Allow the lollipops to harden and wrap them in cellophane to hand out to your facility's visitors on Canada's Thanksgiving Day. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Men's Activity Calendar.)

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Activity Ideas for Dementia Residents

decorating Bride of Frankenstein cookies with seniors in assisted living facilities

No-Bake Recipe of the Month

Recognize this spooky season with residents by making no-bake Bride of Frankenstein madeleine cookies (by tellloveandparty.com). For the easy activity, provide residents with store-bought madeleine cookies to decorate. First, melt green candy melts and dip the bottom of the madeleine cookies into the melted candy. Then add heart sprinkles for the lips, and allow the cookies to harden. Next, melt chocolate chips, and dip the top part of the madeleine cookies into the chocolate. Be sure to use a knife to spread the chocolate down so that it butts up against the melted green candy. Then allow the cookies to harden again. Next, melt white candy melts, and use a piping bag to pipe on the recognizable Bride of Frankenstein streak in the hair. Then use the piping bag to create eyes before adding the black nonpareils. Finally, allow the finished cookies to dry before eating. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Dementia Activity Calendar.)

making playdough mandalas with senior residents

Sensory Stimulation Activity of the Month

As Diwali comes in October this year (beginning around October 27 in most regions in India), invite residents to make playdough mandalas (by nurturestore.co.uk). For the project, first make orange playdough by mixing flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar, and orange food coloring. Then mold the playdough into a circle by pressing it into a circular lid. Next, use seeds, nuts, and lentils to create a unique design in the playdough. (This activity idea is also featured in our October 2019 Dementia Activity Calendar.)

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Activity Resource of the Month

Alzheimer's Walk

Walk to End Alzheimer's

In recognition of this Alzheimer's Walk season, check out our activity resource of the month, the Walk to End Alzheimer's website (act.alz.org) to find walking groups and teams to join in your area.

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