Days roll on living in this “new normal” COVID 19 has provided. Activity coordinators and senior community staff have been forced to shift their activity schedule to fun, collaborative activities to small group programming. While it’s a dramatic change from what residents have come to know and love, it is required to keep seniors safe.
Small group programming is a change, but can still be just as fun and engaging as the usual activity schedule. It requires some creativity, but it’s worth the effort for seniors’ mental and physical health! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite small group programming ideas for you to try.
Virtual Entertainment is growing in popularity as it’s an easy way to offer more to residents and get them (virtually) outside the walls they have been confined to!
The Amazon Alexa is a great resource for seniors, especially for entertainment. The artificial intelligence provided by Alexa makes for an interactive activity from word games, music games, and more. As a group, residents can gather to listen to an audiobook, or compete in games offered like “Music Quiz” or trivia!
Rendever is an incredible technology brought to seniors to experience memories and new adventures through virtual reality. If you have multiple pairs of glasses, the group can share a fun experience. If not, it is just as fun watching the person enjoy their VR experience while they wait!
Eversound Activity Programming
Our activity programming opens the door to an endless supply of entertainment in the form of guided programs, games, videos, print outs, and more.
This package requires less time planning and gives communities more time to enjoy and connect. All participants will find something they love from the library of topics which include art, fitness, animals and, and much more. Plan several small groups a day each in a different format and topic.
Residents can still get the engagement and excitement while maintaining social distancing from their doorway. Senior communities have been creative in their activities to play games and run competitions with different wings of their buildings. This cuts down the group number and still maintains safe distances.
A few ideas for hallway fun are: Concerts, race car races, bingo, fashion shows.
One tried and true activity popular throughout senior communities is craft time. This activity can be done solo or in a group, so it’s a great option for small group activity. In a small group, it’s easier to connect to everyone and have a nice conversation while creating the craft.
Some crafting ideas include knitting, crochet, art, or painting. Check out this creative idea to make “pool float wreathes”
A great craft idea is to task residents to create a craft independently and when put together they create one larger piece!
Decide on a theme and each resident can create a different part of the bulletin board.
Create a unique set of game pieces for a game of your choice. For example, have residents paint their own Jenga block and put them all together for a fun secondary activity!
Some seniors are too shy to speak up about concerns in front of their peers, so a smaller meeting to discuss questions or concerns might bring up the most constructive discussion the community has had! In small groups, the meeting can cover meals, activity ideas, COVID related concerns, and anything else on the minds of residents.
Getting outdoors while there is still nice weather is a great option to change the scenery and get seniors some fresh air. Outdoor activities might include gardening, bird watching, taking a walk, having a picnic, or taking photos of nature. One facility transformed their outdoor space to a beach with seating and decoration!
Get Creative, Stay Safe
It’s so important to remember, while residents are craving the interaction with peers and loved ones, COVID is still prevalent and safety must remain a top priority. If your senior community is cleared for some activities, there are endless possibilities for getting the engagement and fun even in small groups.