7 Socially Distanced Activities for Seniors

social distance senior activities

In this time of Coronavirus, it’s important to make sure that our residents are keeping safe while engaging in activities. While many activities for residents will be individual activities that they will do in their rooms, there are several social distancing activities that residents can still do in your large common areas or even outdoors now that the weather is nice. Here are 7 ideas from notjustbingo to consider:

Playing Backyard Bingo

Your residents still enjoy bingo, so why not have them spaced out in chairs in the backyard where they can play bingo games. To make the game easier to manage, laminate your bingo cards so that residents can use dry erase markers or dry erase crayons to easily cross out the numbers as you call them. That way you can easily separate residents without also needing each resident to sit at a table to play.

Another option if the weather isn’t cooperating, is to play doorway bingo, in which residents sit in the doorway of their room as you call the bingo numbers from the hallway.

Participating in a Bubble Blowing Contest

Host a fun bubble blowing contest in the backyard in which residents who are seated away from one another try to blow as many bubbles into the air in 60 seconds. For the fun game, supply each resident with bubble wands and bubble solution. After the bubble blowing contest, if you want to have a Big Bubble Contest, simply create a bubble solution that’s 1 part corn syrup, 1 and 1/3 parts liquid dish detergent, and 6 parts water to refill the containers to see which resident can produce the biggest bubbles.

Acting Out Charades

Seat residents in their socially distant chairs outdoors in a large circle in the backyard for a fun game of charades. To play, provide each resident with a charade card, and when it’s their turn, have them stand and perform the charade. Award a point to the first person to correctly guess the charade. Keep score and at the end of the game award a fun Charade Champion trophy to the winner.

Telling Stories

Have fun with residents as you get them to create stories by providing each resident with a story starter. For the activity, simply pass out a written story starter prompt for residents to begin creating a story. Make the activity even more interactive by having one resident start the story and then having another resident jump in to continue telling the story.

Making Decisions

Invite residents to play the fun Think Twice in a Jar game, which is similar to the popular Would You Rather? game. To play, simply read a question and ask residents to decide which option they would choose. For instance, while sitting outdoors, would they rather hear the sounds of birds chirping or hear the sounds of a babbling brook. Once residents have stated their choice, encourage them to explain why.

Painting En Plein Air

Share the French art technique with residents of painting en plein air (outdoors) while social distancing. For the fun activity, set up areas in the backyard for residents to paint the backyard landscape onto small canvases. If you do not have enough tables for all your residents outdoors, just alter the activity a bit by supplying residents with paint pens that they can use while sitting in their chairs. Another alteration is to provide residents with sketch pads and pencils to draw what they see.

Flying Kites

Host a fun kite-flying activity for residents to participate in while they enjoy the outdoors. Before the activity, supply residents with their own kites to decorate in their rooms. Then during the activity, seat residents outdoors spaced apart so that they can each fly their own kite.

Find more ideas from Notjustbingo on the S&S blog here.

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? Sign up for the Not Just Bingo Membership to receive specialized activity ideas to keep your residents and staff engaged, active, and having fun!

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