Find out how to tap into your creativity as a nursing facility activity director

How to Tap Into
Your Creativity

We are all creative geniuses. Sadly, some of us do not realize how amazingly creative we are because we do not practice using our creativity. To get good at anything, we must practice. There is a way, however, that we can get better at being creative while working on our monthly activity calendars.
Here are three easy steps:

  1. Host a brainstorming session. Get the ideas flowing from every member of your staff. To create a more relaxed setting, consider hosting your brainstorming session during lunchtime, in which your staff brings their own brown bag lunches or you order out for pizza. Make this a fun, monthly event where you and your staff focus on coming up with fun, meaningful activity ideas for your residents.
  2. Think outside-of-the-box by choosing ideas that are bold and unique. Have fun with your activity calendar by creating activities that are a little different than the norm. For example, during the summer host a "Bikini Contest" activity. This activity could be a reminiscing activity (passing around photos of bikinis from the 1950s), an arts and crafts activity (using paint and canvas to paint colorful bikini art to hang on the wall as summer decoration), an entertaining activity (staff members working in teams to make tissue paper bikinis), or a men's activity (passing around photos of popular pin-up posters of the 1930s and 1940s). Conversely during the winter, host a "Gone Skiing" activity. This activity could be a discussion activity (residents sipping hot cocoa while discussing the top reasons why they will never ever go skiing), a physical activity (leading an Exercise Class that focuses on leg exercises to build the leg muscles), an arts and crafts activity (making papier-mâché casts), a sensory stimulation activity (passing around photos of the most beautiful winter mountains), or an entertaining activity (watching a ski slope simulator DVD in which residents watch and feel as though they are actually skiing down the mountain).
  3. Add a few of the ideas to your calendar. Once you add an activity to your calendar, you will no longer focus on if your team can pull it off. Instead, because it is now on your calendar, you HAVE to do it. Your team will now start focusing on how to pull it off. Be sure to start small and add only a few bold ideas to your calendar each month, so that you will not overwhelm your activity team. Choose ideas that your team will have the most fun carrying out. Remember, residents adopt the energy of the activity leader. By trying out these steps each month and practicing tapping into your creativity, you will see what a creative genius you really are.

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