How to Celebrate Mardi Gras at Your Senior Facility


Mardi Gras senior activities

Even though Mardi Gras is not until the last day of February, there are a few supplies that you can begin gathering to make sure that you have a fun New Orleans-style celebration for your nursing home residents. Here are six supplies that you can grab right now:

1. Mardi Gras Beads – One way to get your residents into the Mardi Gras spirit is to pass out Mardi Gras beads for them to wear. Whether you are hosting a Mardi Gras lunch with po’ boy sandwiches and gumbo or leading a Mardi Gras parade through your facility’s hallways, Mardi Gras beads are an instant way to make the event more festive.

2. Mardi Gras Masks – Add in a bit of mystery to your Mardi Gras festivities with masks. Either provide plain masks for residents to decorate as a craft activity using feathers and beads, or provide ready-to-wear sequined masks for residents to wear at a fun masquerade party.

3. Noisemakers – If you decide to hire an entertainer for your Mardi Gras event, be sure to pass out instruments or noisemakers for residents to join in on the fun. Continue reading

6 Football Tailgate Party Ideas for Senior Residents


football tailgate party ideas

Get your residents into the Super Bowl spirit on Super Bowl Sunday, which is on February 4th. Host a tailgate party for residents to enjoy. Set up fun tossing games throughout your facility for residents to play before the big game begins.

Cornhole: Teach residents how to play the popular backyard game of cornhole using cornhole boards and bean bags. Divide residents into teams and have each team try to toss their bean bags into their opponents’ cornhole board.

Ladder Toss: Play a game of ladder toss during your tailgate party by setting up the PVC ladders in your room and providing residents with bolos to toss onto the ladders. Award points to the teams whose bolos have remained on the ladders without falling off. Continue reading

How to Celebrate Groundhog Day at Your Senior Facility


groundhog day seniors

For Groundhog Day on February 2nd, treat your residents to fun and games in your Activity Room to celebrate six more weeks of winter!

1. Host a Punxsutawney Phil Breakfast

Arrange to have a special breakfast for residents, featuring all their favorites (items that they may not normally receive) like sunny-side-up eggs, blueberry waffles, and country ham. Encourage residents to dress-up for this special breakfast.

2. Make Sock Puppets With the Grandkids

Schedule an intergenerational activity for residents to make and decorate animal hand puppets with the grandkids. They can even work together to design a puppet theater and put on a show. Continue reading

Across the USA Theme – State of New York


across the usa NY

Celebrate New York as the Across the USA theme throughout December. Create fun activities for your residents that take advantage of the holiday attractions in New York City, like Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Fifth Avenue window displays, Central Park, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Rockefeller Center

across the usa New York

Rockefeller Center is popular this time of the year because of its famous tree lighting ceremony. Each year almost 125 million people visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree that contains over 15,000 colorful lights. This year, consider hosting your own tree lighting ceremony with your residents by simply setting up your holiday pine tree and having residents assist you with decorating it. Instead of purchasing ready-made ornaments, use easy-to-make ornament kits that residents can assemble to help personalize the tree.

For instance, invite your facility’s Beading Club to make beaded ornaments, or ask your Sewing Club to stitch ornaments for your tree. If you rather use traditional ornaments, then invite your Crafts Club to decorate ball ornaments with paint, glue, and glitter before hanging them on the tree. Finally, encourage residents to assemble holiday paper chains that can easily wrap around the tree as garland.

If a large tree is not an option, then provide residents with smaller trees that they can decorate. For instance, use unfinished wooden pine trees that residents can paint and use as decoration throughout your facility for the season.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall, which is also located within Rockefeller Center, is known for being the headquarters of the dancing group the Rockettes. Each year the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes attracts a lot of visitors who enjoy watching the dancers perform “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.” This year, bring that same excitement to your facility’s common areas by filling the spaces with lots of snowflakes and beautiful Christmas balloons. In addition, add to the festive environment by playing holiday music and scheduling a few holiday karaoke sessions for your residents, using a Christmas karaoke CD set.

Fifth Avenue Window Displaysacross the usa theme

Get inspired by the beautiful window displays that are found along Fifth Avenue by creating a fun holiday-themed diorama in your own facility. Brainstorm with residents about this year’s theme for the display, then use holiday elements to bring the display to life. For instance, use Christmas stockings, jingle bells, and a 5-foot Santa for a St. Nicholas theme. In contrast, use snowflakes, tree ornaments, and foam gingerbread houses for a winter village theme.

In addition, use the colors of Hanukkah, blue and white, to create a beautiful holiday display for your Jewish residents. Use blue garland and a menorah for the display.

Central Park

Since Central Park is known for its ice skating during this winter month, provide crafts across the usa seniorsfor residents to make that relate to wintertime activities. For example, invite residents to make sleds, snowboarders, skiers, and even snow globes.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Finally, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a popular landmark in midtown Manhattan that draws both worshipers and sightseers. In recognizing the cathedral, provide your residents with Christian crafts for them to assemble, like beaded crosses or beaded angels. In addition, use stained glass kits that tie in with the beautiful stained glass that can be found the cathedral. For example, as a craft, use Christmas-themed stained glass frames for residents to make.

About Not Just Bingo:

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Not Just Bingo is an online resource of fun, senior activity ideas for activity professionals of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They have been providing fun activity ideas online since 2009, and continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Not Just Bingo feels privileged to help activity directors better the living experiences of their residents while demonstrating that a senior’s quality of life can actually improve when they move to a nursing facility!


Want even more ideas each month? Visit for how-to activity ideas, monthly newsletters, and daily holiday ideas. You can also sign up for the Notjustbingo Membership to receive specialized activity ideas to keep your residents and staff engaged, active, and having fun!

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Pre-K & Kindergarten

Give your Pre-K or Kindergarteners the perfect gifts for the holiday this year! Here are 10 hand picked items from one of our S&S associates to help your little ones enjoy the season.
 pre-k kindergarten gifts
1. Candy Land® Game

I remember how I used to play Candy Land for hours as a child, and I look forward to playing this game with my children as well. I love that the game has pictures on the card so reading is not required. I think at this age it is important to learn about how to be a good winner and good loser, and shake hands at the end of each game. So this will be a fun way to introduce that concept.
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