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Looking for activity ideas? Here are some good places to start. Have suggestions for more? Let us know.

Activity Connection | This is a subscription site that has lots of activity suggestions and a bulletin board where you can post questions and answers. There is a preview of the site for those who are trying to decide to join or not.

Re-creative Resources | This website has documents, a job bank, training and seminar listings as well as resources for activity professionals.

Activity Program Idea Bank

At the fall PAPA board meeting the members took a few minutes to brainstorm programming ideas they had found successful. Here are some of those ideas:

  • Coffee with the Composers: Set the table with china and linens, serve coffee and a pastry, and play classical music by (artificial) candlelight. Select a composer and read brief bio and play his music.
  • After presenting an educational program about butterflies, hatch butterflies and release.
  • Have a County Fair: Have residents display their handmade items. Give prizes. Serve fair-type food. Dress like a clown and mingle with residents. Have a wacky sideshow with bearded lady, juggler, etc.
  • Have an Art Fling. Hang old sheets outside. Fill spray bottles and catsup bottles with tempra paints. Put an old raincoat on resident and let them spray away. Can also did paint brushes in paint and fling or dip sponges in paint and throw against sheet. Display the final product.
  • Have a bubble wrap party. Give each resident an equal piece of bubble wrap. Have a contest to see who can break all their bubbles first. Do a bubble wrap dance. Run wheelchairs over bubble wrap. Make an outfit out of bubble wrap and vote on the best. Wrap someone in bubble wrap and roll on the floor. Pop bubble wrap to music, trying to keep in time to the music.
  • Tea for Two: Dress up a cart with tablecloth and napkins, tea pot and tea cups. Visit residents in their rooms and serve a pastry with tea. Can be done to do initial assessment.
  • Dressing in PJs and reading “Night Before Christmas” or other bedtime stories.
  • Cart to travel daily between 1-3pm. Each day is different: book cart, tea/coffee cart, music, manicures/back massages, activity cart.
  • One-to-One Musical program that plays cello for bedfast or hospice (local school music department).
  • Pen pal program with local school; teacher comes once a week and brings four different students with letters.
  • Word games made from longer words.
  • Local vo-tech school does manicures.
  • Grandparent program.
  • Stories told by residents are put into a book for placement in the local library; can be read to children.
  • Day of camping – complete with sleeping bags, tent all placed in designated area; sing-along; campfire and s’more making.
  • Valentines Day – bags placed outside resident’s doors for cards and notes.
  • Photos used at Memorial services then given to families.
  • New Orleans Day – play computer games.
  • Jeopardy – developed a big board and gave prize to the big winner.
  • Getting to Know You – monthly program with guest resident to tell about himself or herself.
  • Going to the Dogs – Dog races similar to horse race game.
  • Scrabble – each resident gets 10 letters to make as many possible words as they can.
  • Educational entertainment – speakers who discuss health issues.
  • Western Day – panning for gold (stones sprayed gold placed in sand).
  • Lost in the Hay – plastic animals in chest of hay.
  • Arts Festival – competition in various categories; photos taken and sent in for the competition.