With Thanksgiving just around the corner, get your residents excited and active during the holiday season by scheduling fun facility-wide competitions. Here are a few Thanksgiving games from notjustbingo.com to get you started.
Instead of playing the traditional game of football during this time of the year, challenge residents to a game of bowling – turkey bowling! To play, simply modify your existing bowling pins by taping feathers to the back of each pin. In addition, consider setting up several bowling games in your Activity Room to encourage more people to play. To make it even more fun, the day before the competition, divide residents into teams and encourage team members to dress alike for the competition (e.g., all wear red shirts or all wear baseball caps – an item that they all have) to encourage “team unity.” Afterwards, award mini trophies to the winning Turkey Bowl team.
Who’s the Turkey?
Play a fun trivia game with residents to find out who’s the turkey of the group. Divide residents into teams and award points to the team members who answer the trivia questions correctly. At the end of the game, tally the points to find out which team has the lowest score and then award that team with the title of “turkey.”
Invite residents to play one of their favorite games – balloon volleyball – but instead of using plastic rackets, use fun inflatable turkey legs! Play just like you would a regular game of balloon volleyball, with a net and balloon, but pass out the turkey legs for residents to use as rackets. For this special game, try to create instant buzz by naming it the (Your Facility Name) Annual Turkey Leg Challenge. Several days before, appeal to your residents’ competitive side by organizing teams for the challenge (e.g., Exercise Club against the Knitting Club or the first floor against the second floor). To get residents even more excited about the competition, display the prizes that will be awarded to the winning team, like the trophies or a few of your coveted bingo prizes. Consider getting your facility’s administrators in on this annual challenge by hosting a special administrator game as well.
Play a fun game with residents for the day where they automatically receive a prize such as awards or candy for saying the word of the day: gobble. Don’t let anyone know what the word of the day is, just have your staff and administrators give out the prize whenever they hear a person use that word during the day. If residents like this activity, consider playing this word-of-the-day game each week. This is also a great and easy weekend game for weekend staff members to play when you’re not there.
Pass the Cranberries
Have fun with your residents while they get a good workout playing Pass the Cranberries. To play, seat two teams of residents at a long table with members of each team sitting on the same side of the table. Set a bowl of cranberries in front of one member of each team – the one sitting at the end of the table – and provide empty bowls for all the other team members. Give each resident a pair of chopsticks, or these fish sticks (you can also use spoons to make it easier) and when you say “go” have the person with the bowl of cranberries in front of them take their chopsticks or spoon and pass one cranberry at a time to the person next to them by placing it in their bowl. Next, have that person do the same until the cranberry ends up in the bowl of the last person on the team. Finally, have that last person pass his cranberries onto a plate (to make it easier to count). The object of the game is to be the team to get the most cranberries from the first bowl to the plate by the end of the time allotted. This is also a great activity for practicing fine motor skills! If real cranberries are not an option, use pom-poms as an alternative.
Share your favorite Thanksgiving games to play at your facility!
notjustbingo.com 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 we continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Don’t get them wrong – bingo is fun, but we want to spread the word that there is more to life than just bingo. Overall, notjustbingo.com feels privilege 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.