National Fun at Work Day Activities for Staff & Residents


senior activities fun at work

Celebrate National Fun at Work Day on Friday, January 26th! Organize a few fun games and activities throughout the day that different staff members and residents can enjoy. This observance is also celebrated on April 1st and can be combined with April Fools Day.

(Note: Some sources say this observance is celebrated on January 28th, but since this is a Sunday, it’s best to plan activities for the Friday before!)

Before the observance, ask administrators if staff members can wear jeans and sneakers for the day to make it easier to participate in fun activities with residents. Here are a few ideas to ensure that your staff have fun at work with your residents. Continue reading

4 Star Wars Makerspace Activities for Kids


star wars makerspace

Looking for themed Makerspace activity ideas for your school or afterschool program? Here are 4 Star Wars activities that will inspire students to be creative and inventive!

Star Wars Character

Star Wars Makerspace activities

Activity: Build your own Star Wars character!

Suggested Materials:

  • CD’s
  • Cardboard boxes/rolls
  • Egg Cartons
  • Fabric/sheets
  • Buttons
  • Chenille stems
  • Markers
  • Wiggly Eyes
  • Foil
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Glue
  • Duct Tape

Step 1: Preparing your Makerspace

  • Gather recycled materials such as CD’s, cardboard boxes/rolls, egg cartons, and sheets/fabric scraps.
  • Gather, purchase, and organize different craft materials and tools (see suggested materials) for makers to use to create their Star Wars character. Tools include plenty of glue, scissors, duct tape, and other adhesives.

Continue reading

3 Simple Learning Activities for Preschool Students


Learn 3 new activities that can help preschoolers play and learn! We tried these with our students at Cathy’s Nursery School. Each activity helped teach them different skills and are great for early childhood education. They also kept their focus and allowed kids to be creative and have fun at the same time!

Learning Letters with Alligators

These wooden alligators helped with learning! This week we were focusing on the letter “A” in Nursery School. The children learned all about alligators and were excited to color and take home their own alligator to play with. I enjoyed how each alligator was as unique as the child who made it. Once they were done coloring them with washable markers, they could immediately play with them!

preschool learning activities Continue reading

Educational Lesson Plan Ideas for Diversity


diversity lesson plans

Diversity is an important topic in education. Teachers and afterschool professionals can help instill an appreciation for other cultures in students. With our EduCraft® Kids of All Nations Craft Kit, kids can create and design their own paper craft based on a specific nation. There are 8 lesson plans for you to use below that go along with this craft kit. These activities incorporate the topic of diversity into subjects like Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts.

Download the Free Activity Guide here for a printable version of the lesson plans!

EduCraft® Kids of All Nations Craft Kit

Age Group: 7 and up
Project Time: 60 minutes

Craft Kit Includes:

  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Paper Fasteners
  • Paint Brushes
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Precut Paper Figures
  • Yarn
  • Patterns
  • Teaching Guide with instructions and illustrations

Additional Materials:

  • Pencils
  • Scissors

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!

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