March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun, shamrocks, green beer and all things Irish. If you are an activity director in a nursing home and are planning activities around the Irish theme for this month, here are some activity suggestions to keep in mind.
Trivia games can be on all things green or on Ireland. A party theme could be the same and there are many crafts to be made in the spirit of the Irish too! Ireland is well known for its fabled leprechaun, pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, shamrocks, and beer. Though it is probably advisable not to serve your residents beer, you can serve many green coloured drinks and use food coloring to change the looks of many food dishes. Dressing in the spirit of the Irish is also very easy for you and the residents, just wear green!
Palm Sunday and Passover sometimes fall in this month. If you choose to celebrate these dates or acknowledge them for your religious residents, it is also possible to find resources for religious crafts, and trivia online. Christmas and Easter are usually the times to break out the gospel songs that everyone is willing to sing together. So dust of the CD’s and sing along DVD’s if you don’t already use them, and get some instruments to accompany, if that’s what you like.
Is it Spring you’d prefer to focus on rather than the Irish as a month long theme? There is no end to the activities you can do for Spring. It’s a great time to get some potting soil and seeds. The smell of the rich compost is a beautiful smell of spring and every senior can be a part of planting the seeds in the soil for spring flowers to begin. In a few weeks, these will be ready for transplanting outdoors or into larger pots for everyone to enjoy.
Spring crafts could focus on butterflies, flowers, birdhouses and bird feeders. These can be relatively simply or more complex for those that require less help and supervision. From glitter and pom poms to sunflower seeds and wood, you can be pretty creative with the crafts you choose to make. The great thing about crafts is that you can have several different ones for seniors to choose their preference. Not all men want to make butterflies and flowers.
In keeping with the Spring theme for March activities, there are also many outings to do. Everyone has been ‘cooped up’ for months indoors and needs to get out, stretch, feel the sunshine on their faces and breathe in the spring air. Some outdoor activities will be dependent on where you live. Spring takes longer to arrive further north, but as it warms you can take seniors out to walk around a zoo, an outdoor market, park, or just get outside for a walk around the block.
Because it is the beginning of Spring, new changes and new birth, March is a great time to consider small makeovers to freshen things up. From hairdos and manicures to moving furniture around and adding art and new pictures to many walls, in your activities common areas and in residents rooms. As everyone’s spirits are lightened with the longer days and fresh air, have a group sing along or invite in a musician to your facility, someone you haven’t had before. Maybe a new and special talent. Spring is the time to try something new.
A sensory stimulating box might be a good activity for those that are bed bound. This could also be a spring theme, an Irish theme or in keeping with a religious tone for Passover. Items you can use are stones, candles, flowers, coin chocolates, items shamrock shaped or shaped like a cross. Include a gospel CD, Bible or scripture promises in some other form. Pictures of Ireland, the general outdoors, and different flowers are good to include too.
After months of soups and stews, maybe the seniors would like to dig into an ice cream cone or sundae. Ask them! They may have suggestions of other things they are just itching to do. Get their feedback and see where it takes you. March could be a great month for everyone.