Brighten up your spring activity calendars with these 25 ideas.
1. “Lucky” Fortune Chocolates
Learn your luck! With your residents, brainstorm different kinds of luck they would like to have for this month and year. For example, love, friendship, faith, wisdom, rest, laughter… Once you collect enough luck to go around, you can take small baggies and fill them with a few gold chocolate coins and one piece of luck written down on a paper (your residents can help make these)! Place all the lucky bags in a jar or container to mix them around. Once mixed, you can ask residents to select one and share!
2. Fact or fools?!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! First, brainstorm a list of events that includes both true and made-up news stories (an example of a made-up news story could be about a new law in Idaho that states potatoes can only be served mashed and never roasted). Then print out two images (one that says “Fact!” and one that says “April Fools!”) for each resident who will be playing. Throughout the game, keep score of how many news stories each resident correctly guessed were fact or fiction. The resident with the highest number of correct guesses wins!
3. Decoration Station
Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning out your home, it’s also about bringing freshness into your life! Have residents decorate their walker or wheel chairs with this fun craft with this Decoration Station program. Encourage your residents to decorate their walkers, canes, or wheelchairs to best reflect themselves! Once everyone has finished decorating, set up a runway and let your residents strut their stuff
4. Egg Carton Herbs
The second week of April is Garden Week! Celebrate this week by spending time outside and enjoying nature. Organize a program to make Egg Carton Herbs for residents to enjoy gardening in a comfortable environment (and get some delicious herbs and spices!). This program requires minimal set up but is a ton of fun.
5. Let’s Get Earthy
To celebrate Earth Day, go for a nature walk/scenic drive to appreciate the beauty of the Earth! Here are 3 environmentally-friendly activities to celebrate Earth Day! National Earth Day is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Every year around the world, Earth Day organizers promote green campaigns to save the Earth.
Here are a few ideas:
• Share the history of Earth Day.
• Visit a local or nearby state park.
• Watch Planet Earth Documentaries on Netflix to enjoy the wonders of nature in high-def!
6. Pay it Forward Day
Over 80 countries around the world come together for National Pay It Forward Day! Host a discussion around small acts of kindness that your residents have done for others. Have residents volunteer, do a small act of kindness for fellow residents or a staff member and ask that they pass it on themselves. The small act may be picking up something someone has dropped, or telling them their haircut looks nice, or even help a staff member set up for a program. Get more inspiration here!
7. 3D Tulip Craft
They say April showers bring May flowers! With May springing up on us in just a couple of days, make this eye-popping craft that is sure to bring spring fever to your community. All you’ll need is green, red, yellow, and orange cardstock, scissors and a glue stick. Hang the tulips on bulletin boards, on doors, or in windows to add a pop of color!
8. ship happens: titanic trivia
On April 15th, 1912 the Titanic sank. Remember this historic voyage across the Atlantic by hosting a Titanic Trivia program. Check out these Titanic Facts for hundreds of interesting and unique facts you can use for trivia or discussion topics! You can cap off the day with a movie showing of Titanic.
9. Weather or not
April showers bring May flowers! Give your residents a lesson in meteorology! You can reach out to your local news station and invite the meteorologist in for a guest lecture or teach the residents yourself with lessons and crafts.
10. Picnic in the park
Who doesn’t love a picnic in the park among the budding leaves and blooming flowers? Recreate this nostalgic springtime activity by packing up some snacks and refreshments and heading to the local or state park. Sometimes an outing to a park isn’t always possible and that’s not a problem! Set up tables on a porch, in a courtyard or even just by some big windows for an outdoor view. Serve classics like PB&J, fresh fruit, coleslaw, potato salad, chips or pretzels, and of course, something for dessert. Change up table clothes with that traditional picnic blanket pattern.
11. A picture is worth a puzzle
Have you ever heard “a picture is worth a thousand words”? That may be true, but sometimes there’s a puzzle hidden beneath that picture! Test your residents’ brain power with a rebus puzzle! A rebus puzzle is a kind of illustration puzzle, often with letters or words, that depicts a word or phrase. Print out rebus puzzles for your residents and see who can come up with the answers the fastest! Or make it a group game — the group works out their puzzles the quickest gets a special prize!
12. Armed Forces Day
In 1949, the branches of the military were all brought together under the Department of Defense. On May 20, 1950, the first Armed Forces Day was celebrated! It is not just a holiday celebrated in the USA but 39 other countries from around the world also celebrate this day! If you have residents that once served our great country in the armed forces, celebrate them today! Asked them to share stories or highlight them in some way – like a toast! You can also create care packages for those still serving our country to let them know you’re thinking of them and recognize the sacrifice they’ve made. You can learn more about creating care packages here.
13. you quack me up!
Feed the ducks at the park on a beautiful spring day! When you think of feeding the ducks, you traditionally think of feeding them breadcrumbs. However, breadcrumbs are actually not good for ducks. It’s like duck junk food, there isn’t much nutritional value and uneaten bread crumbs easily grow mold which could seriously harm the next duck that comes along to eat that breadcrumb. Instead, consider getting corn, peas, beans or something else off this list.
14. sun’s out, buns out!
On National Hamburger Day – grill out and play BBQ games! Consider having a hamburger bar with all types of toppings available for residents to make one of a kind burger creations. Here are some options for toppings beyond just ketchup and mustard! Also put out some games for residents to mingle and play as they enjoy their burgers. Games to put out may be frisbee, cornhole, horseshoes, or bocce.
15. i lava you, a lot!
Kick off summer with a luau! This traditional Hawaiian party or feast originally marked men and women being allowed to eat a meal together. Bring together your residents, staff, loved ones and friends to enjoy great food and entertainment. Make sure you have leis, as these are tradition to wear, and music! Music highlighting drums and ukuleles are also traditional. Try this playlist to get your residents moving!
16. night at the drive-in
Bring back the nostalgia of drive-in movie theaters in this two-part activity! To get your night at the drive-in started, have residents paint license plates to put on the back of their chairs. You can also ask residents to paint or color decorations that can be hung up around the room you are hosting the movie in such as stars or the moon. For an additional twist, hang string lights up to recreate the twinkle of the night time sky and set-up a concession stand with popcorn and candy!
17. what’s the scoop?
Trade coffee with your morning paper for ice cream in this fun twist. Treat your residents to a scoop of ice cream as you review the week’s current events. Keep the conversation going by inviting residents to discuss their opinions on current events, or even share video clips that match the headlines.
18. don’t drop the ball!
Water balloon toss are a great way to get your residents outside and working together! Pair up residents and give them each pair a semi-filled water balloon. Have residents line up in two lines facing one and other about 3 feet apart. Each time a partner successfully catches the water balloon, they must take a step back from each other. Last pair standing wins! Reward winners with these affordable prize ideas.
19. farmer’s market frenzy
Nothing quite marks the start of spring and summer like a farmers market. Find a market near you for a daytime outing and have residents pick out local, fresh fruits and veggies to take back to the community to incorporate into your menu for that week. For easy planning, choose a menu item that can be served each day of the week and buy ingredients around that such as salads or smoothies.
20. leave your (book)mark
A fun and affordable activity, residents can create their own bookmarks for their favorite stories. Head to your local hardware store and collect some paint samples to act as the base of the bookmark. Then set-up a variety of stamp stations where residents can stamp fun designs onto their paint cards. Residents can even hole punch the card tops and tie their favorite ribbon or strings to them.
21. life gives you lemons, make a volcano!
Science never gets old, which is why this volcano building activity is sure to be dynamite! This activity uses seven simple steps and seven household materials to create Lemon Volcanos! These colorful explosions are mesmerizing and low maintenance, and also a perfect way to use any extra leftover lemons from Lemonade Stand Day.
22. 3 things in common
This activity is perfect for introducing new residents to your community and even getting residents to learn more about one and other. 3 Things in Common is an interactive game that encourages residents to mingle and is very easy to implement for an afternoon activity.
23. sunrise yoga
Exercise is key to keeping your residents happy and healthy. Yoga is a universally recognized exercise that accommodates all levels of fitness while also providing therapeutic benefits. In the spirit of National Great Outdoors Month, have residents partake in an early morning yoga session in your community’s outdoor spaces or find a free class in your local park.
24. Bird to the wise
Encourage a sense of accomplishment and get residents working with their hands in this bird house building group program. Great for men’s groups, have residents assemble pre-cut bird houses, including everything from sanding, nailing and painting. Hang finished birdhouses in your courtyard and see what visitors fly by!
Create beautiful flower arrangements using real or silk flowers in this crafty art activity. If using real flowers, take residents on a walk to select their own wildflowers or to a local farmers market for a few large bouquets. Silk flowers can be purchased online or your local craft store. Check their site in advance for deeply discounted coupons to purchase flowers with! Have residents arrange their flowers in vases or paint plastic bottles. After residents can decorate their rooms or place their arrangements around the community for all to enjoy!