A common and pretty major challenge as an activity professional is weekend or evening activities, activities that can be done when we’re not at the facility. There are only so many volunteers to go around and staff is busy with their own work and can’t always facilitate activities either. Movies are great, but not very engaging, and you can only show so many before that gets stale.
A simple suggestion that seems to work really well for my assisted living residents is activity books. I know what you’re thinking: “Aren’t those a little… childish?” And it is tricky to find the right level of challenging without being TOO hard as to be discouraging, or impossible. I’ve found several activities that seem to hit the spot for my residents. Not everyone completes or enjoys every activity, but adding the variety keeps many of them interested.
For each activity packet I choose a theme, and include:
- a crossword
- a word scramble
- a word search
- a normal coloring page
- with more mature content, not something a kindergartener would enjoy coloring
- a color by number
- again, more adult
- a mindful coloring page
- more akin to what you imagine when you think of adult coloring- patterns, designs, very intricate, and takes a lot of time and a lot of focus)
- a spot-the-difference puzzle
- a maze
- jokes and riddles
- answers to the trivia, crossword, word scramble, word search, and maze, and per request I’ll be adding answers to the spot-the-difference puzzle as well
Residents have also requested that in future packets I include rebus puzzles/ word pictures, beginning and end, word in a word, and finish the phrase, all including answers. I’ll be adding these to May’s activity packets.
Here is what I’ve created so far, using content I found through google; I hope to create my own content eventually, but I didn’t have time this month. I claim no ownership of any of these activities, except a few I did create. Click each link to open in Dropbox.
What activities do you leave for your residents to do during the evening or on weekends? Share your ideas in the comments, or on my facebook page!