budgeting

How to Stretch Your
Activity Budget

While your activity budget may be small, you can still provide fun and meaningful activities for your residents. Here are a few tips to
stretch your budget:

Recruit Volunteers

  • Ask members of the church groups that lead programs at your facility to volunteer.
  • At your next family member event, spread the word that you are looking for family volunteers.
  • Coordinate with your local school to find appropriate volunteers. Be sure to only take the students that the guidance counselor refers.

Request Donations

  • Contact your local library to ask for donations of old magazines that can be used for craft projects.
  • Ask family members to donate old books and CDs. Consider setting up a Book Drop or CD Drop, in which you encourage family members and staff to drop off unwanted items.

Stock Up on Supplies

  • Shop for supplies during the back-to-school season to catch great deals on glue, construction paper, and card stock.
  • Use coupons for your online retailers. Online retailers tend to ship out coupons with the merchandise that you ordered to entice you to order more.

Download Free Crafts

  • Instead of purchasing kits, look online for easy-to-do crafts and ideas for your residents that use basic materials that you already have. Encourage one of your volunteers to scour the Internet each month looking for fun and inexpensive ideas.

Use Your Staff

  • Recruit your co-workers to "fill in" as vendors. For example, if you normally have a special guest or entertainer every Friday afternoon, ask a different co-worker each month to fill in and lead a fun activity (e.g., your facility nurse giving a health talk, your administrator bringing in her quilts to show off to residents during a Quilt Show, or even your CNAs giving a choir performance).

Replace Paid Entertainment With Free Performances

  • Coordinate with your local high school to have their band and choir perform at your facility each season. Be sure to let these students know about the volunteer opportunities at your facility.
  • Switch out expensive entertainment with free musical activities like Musical Bingo, in which you make bingo cards on your computer that list song titles that are played from a CD; Sing Along, in which you print out song lyrics of your facility's CDs to pass out to residents; and Name That Tune, in which you play songs from a particular CD and have the residents guess the title (e.g., Name That Sinatra Song, Name That Big Band Tune).

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